Costco Visa vs. Sam’s Club Mastercard: Comparable Rewards, Drawbacks

Both offer rewards that can compete with some of the best cash-back cards on the market — but both cards also have their downsides.

On a similar note...
On a similar note...
Comparing Rewards: Costco vs. Sam's Club credit cards

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If you're fortunate enough to live in an area that offers choices when it comes to wholesale-club shopping, you may have considered applying for one of the following:

Both cards offer rewards that on certain levels can compete with some of the best cash-back credit cards on the market — and both cards also have their drawbacks.

Let's compare them side by side:

Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi

Sam's Club® Mastercard®

Rewards on gas purchases

4% cash back on gas purchases (both at Costco and other eligible gas stations) on up to $7,000 of spending a year, then 1% back

5% cash back at eligible gas stations worldwide, including gas stations at Sam’s Club (on up to $6,000 spent per year, then 1%)

Rewards on travel and dining

3% back

3% back

Rewards on warehouse club purchases

2% back at Costco and Costco.com

1% back

Flat rewards on all spending

1% back

1% back

Annual warehouse club membership fee (minimum)

$60 annual Costco membership

$45 annual Sam's Club membership

Foreign transaction fees

None

None

Redemption options

Receive a coupon for the previous year's rewards mailed in February, redeemable at any Costco store.

Receive a check for the previous year's rewards mailed in February, redeemable at any Sam's Club store.

Recommended credit score

Credit score ranging from 720 to 850 (excellent credit)

Credit score ranging from 690 to 850 (good to excellent credit)

Other details

No cap on rewards earned.

Rewards are capped at $5,000 per year.

Citibank Costco-Anywhere Visa Card Credit Card
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As you can see, each card has its advantages and downsides, and in some cases there's not a lot of difference between the two. For example:

  • Neither card charges an annual fee — but to get either one of them, you'll have to shell out an annual membership fee to Costco or Sam's Club.

  • Both cards offer rich rewards in multiple categories — but in either case, those rewards come only once a year, and you have to redeem them in physical stores.

Synchrony Bank Sams Club Mastercard Credit Card
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It's a similar give-and-take as you start comparing the cards' features side by side.

  • The Sam's Club® Mastercard® offers a higher rewards rate on gas — but the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi has a higher annual cap in that category.

  • The cost of a baseline Sam's Club membership ($45 a year) is cheaper than that of a baseline Costco membership ($60 a year), but the Sam's Club® Mastercard® caps your total annual rewards at $5,000. The Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi has no cap on rewards.

  • Neither card offers its highest rewards rate when it comes to actual in-store shopping at either Costco or Sam's Club.

Most likely, your preference for Sam's Club or Costco will dictate which card is right for you, as opposed to the card's features determining where you shop.

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