Deceptive…beware the asterisk!
I have been using this cardas a test since it was first introduced. My plan, to see if the cash backwas anywhere near what was promised or if it was deceptive by way of "fineprint". For the past year plus, we have used this card exclusivelyfor all of our gas, restaurant and Costco purchases. Gas is supposed tobe 4%, restaurants 3% and Coscto 2%. I am just getting my cash backreward, it is nowhere near 2% of my total purchase amount. Consideringthe majority of my purchases were for restaurants and gas, this wasdisappointing. I called Costco, who noted my concern and reached out toCiti. The Citi representative said there was no way to really tell whichof my transactions earned a specific % in cash back. She is able to lookone by one and determined that Sam's Club gas station only gave me 1% cashback. She explained that Costco does not give the higher percentages tobusinesses that are competitors. She also mentioned that the terms of myaccount specify only participating retailers. Fine, I guess, but pleasethen is there a list of participating retailers? NOPE, no such listexists. Then I thought about competitors. Isn't any gas station acompetitor to Costco gas stations? Mind you, the closest Costco gasstation to me is 123.92 miles away and to be a competitor it seems you wouldhave to actually be selling a competing product. Really, any retailerwould be a competitor under the loose definition and example. At the endof the day this is what I found out about this card. You will get 2% cashback from Costco. You have no way of knowing if you will get 3% fromrestaurants if going to a restaurant, nor 4% from gas stations when purchasinggas. The Citi representative did try to tell me that these rebates werebased on the merchant codes. So, with that in mind I did some researchand found out that the merchant code for Sams's Club gas stations is 5542 forall of my transactions. Per the merchant category code description, 5542is for "Automated Fuel Dispensers." Somehow, this does not qualifyfor the 4% cash back for gasoline purchases. Really it seems that the 4%cash back should be marketed honestly like this: 4% cash back on some gaspurchases. At participating gas stations only, and no a list is notavailable. Not valid at gas stations Costco determines to be acompetitor, regardless of a merchant code specifically identifying your gasolinepurchase. Costco defines a competitoras a business selling something, so at Costco’s sole discretion, and in analternative factual reality, you may not earn extra cash back on anything. Up next: Costco changes the definition for “purchases”to exclude any items or services for which there is a monetary exchange.