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Comparing Rewards: Costco Visa vs. Sam’s Club MasterCard

Cash Back Credit Cards, Credit Cards
costco anywhere visa vs sams club mastercard comparing rewards
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Although the new Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi has rewards that can compete with the best cash-back credit cards available, readers have been asking the Nerds how the card stacks up against another warehouse club card — the Sam's Club MasterCard.

Let’s compare them side by side:

 Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by CitiSam's Club MasterCard
Rewards on gas purchases4% back on gas purchased at Costco and other gas stations (on up to $7,000 spent per year.) Does not include gas bought at supermarkets, other warehouse clubs or convenience stores.5% back on gas purchased at Sam's Club, Wal-Mart and other gas stations (on up to $6,000 spent per year.) Does not include gas bought at supermarkets or other warehouse clubs.
Rewards on travel and dining3% back3% back
Rewards on warehouse club purchases2% back at Costco and Costco.com1% back
Flat rewards on all spending1% back1% back
Annual warehouse club membership fee$55 annual Costco membership$45 annual Sam's Club membership
Foreign transaction feesNoneNone
Redemption optionsCoupon for the previous year's rewards mailed in February, redeemable at any Costco store to cover annual membership dues, purchases or cash back.Check for the previous year's rewards mailed in February.
Other detailsNo cap on rewards earned.Rewards are capped at $5,000 per year.

All in all, the new Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi seems designed to compete with the Sam's Club MasterCard — not necessarily with general cash-back cards. Each card has its advantages, but most likely your preference for Sam’s Club or Costco will dictate which one is right for you, as opposed to the card’s features determining where you shop.

If Costco is your jam, you can’t start earning these rewards on gas, dining and travel just yet. You’ll have to wait until June 20 to use the new card, whether you’re an existing TrueEarnings® Card from Costco and American Express cardholder or not.

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Virginia C. McGuire is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: virginia@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @vcmcguire.

This article was updated. It was originally published in April 2016.