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Even With Costco’s Higher Fees, Its Visa Card Remains a Good Deal

March 3, 2017
Credit Cards, Rewards Credit Cards
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Costco shoppers, look out. The warehouse club plans to raise its annual membership fees.

The cost for basic membership for individuals and businesses will increase by $5, to $60, effective June 1. Executive membership fees will be $120, an increase of $10. About 35 million members are affected, the company said. It’s the first fee increase at Costco since 2011.

Is the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi still worth it?

The increased dues essentially mean it’ll cost that much more to carry the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi. Although the card has an annual fee of $0, you can’t get the card without a Costco membership.

It’s never fun to pay more for a service you’ve come to rely on. But for $5 more per year, the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi is still a pretty good value.

Our full review has all the details, but the rewards are worth repeating:

  • 4% back on gas purchases at Costco and other gas stations (on up to $7,000 spent per year)
  • 3% back on restaurants and qualifying travel purchases
  • 2% back at Costco and Costco.com
  • 1% back on everything else

Costco vs. Sam’s

Even before this announcement, Costco fees were higher than those at Sam’s Club, its main competitor, which charges $45 a year for a basic membership.

In a side-by side comparison, the Sam's Club Mastercard and the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi are basically equal. One has higher rewards here, the other there. The Sam's Club Mastercard has a better fee structure in general. But customers who prefer Costco and paid the higher fee before this announcement are unlikely to bail on account of another $5 a year.

» MORE: How to make the most of the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi

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