TrueEarnings® Card from Costco & American Express Review
Update: In early 2016, Costco will be switching from this card to a Costco Visa Card.
I’ve been a Costco member for 5 years and right around the time that my wife and I started shopping there, we signed up for our primary credit card, the TrueEarnings® Card from Costco and American Express.
I’ll definitely be chatting about the virtues of cost savings from Costco on another day, but for today, I thought I’d chat about the virtues of the TrueEarnings Card.
But first, a disclaimer: before I get railed for talking about a credit card, know that I have never paid a fee or carried a balance on one. I’ve only used them to build my credit score and get rewards. If you don’t have that kind of discipline, this or any credit card is not for you. And I actually have used this American Express card for 5 years.
Costco American Express Credit Card Offers Higher than Average Rewards
There are really solid cash back reward possibilities with the True Earnings card. Earn 3% cash back at US gas stations and on gasoline at Costco, up to $4,000 per year in purchases (then 1%), 2% cash back at US restaurants, 2% cash back on eligible travel purchases, including at Costco, and 1% cash back on other purchases, including at Costco.
Not bad, eh?
American Express does a great job at breaking down your spending in each category and by each vendor, much like Mint or Quicken. I calculated the additional rewards (above and beyond the typical 1% most card rewards programs offer) earned me an additional $95 over the year.
How do you Redeem your Costco True Earnings Rewards?
This is one of my favorite things about the Costco American Express. Your card issues a cash rebate coupon annually. It can be redeemed at any US Costco warehouse for cash or merchandise. I usually get my rebate in February and then have until August to redeem it. On one of our monthly trips to Costco, we redeem the card for cash.
Other Costco American Express Benefits:
Excellent cash rebate card rewards aside, the card offers a lot of other really nice benefits.
It’s effectively a two-in-one card – an Amex card and a Costco membership card, with no annual fee for Costco members (1 less card in your wallet!). Costco only accepts American Express, PIN-based debit cards, cash, or check. It’s the only credit card brand you can use there. If you have a business and purchase from Costco a lot, the rewards can really add up vs. one of the other methods.
American Express truly does have great customer service. They are available 24/7 and I have requested multiple credit line increases and not been turned down.
Any Downside to the Card?
I love the TrueEarnings Card, but not every merchant takes American Express. In my experience, about 90% do (but almost 100% of restaurants and grocers).
Disclosure: This content is not provided or commissioned by American Express. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or evaluations provided here are mine alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by American Express. This site may be compensated through Advertiser affiliate programs. I am an American Express cardholder, and think that this is a great card, that could benefit readers here.