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Is It Accepted?

Does Costco Accept American Express?

Quick Answer

According to the information provided, Costco accepts the Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi, Visa cards, most PIN-based Debit/ATM cards, Costco Shop cards, cash, personal checks from current Costco members, business checks from current Costco Business members, traveler’s checks, EBT cards, and mobile payment methods such as Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay. However, Costco does not accept American Express for in-store purchases. American Express cards can be used for online purchases on Costco.com.


Welcome to IsItAccepted.com, your go-to source for information on whether a payment method is accepted at various stores. In this blog post, we will be focusing on Costco and answering the question: “Does Costco accept American Express?”

Costco is known for its wide range of products and great deals offered exclusively to its members. However, when it comes to credit card acceptance, there have been some changes over the years.

In 2016, Costco made a significant shift in their credit card policy by transitioning from accepting American Express cards to becoming an exclusive partner with Visa as their preferred credit card network. This change had implications both in-store and online.

So let’s dive into the details of what payment methods are currently accepted at Costco locations across the United States!

(Note: The following information has been gathered from reliable sources such as customer service websites and reputable news outlets.)

Payment Methods Accepted at Costco

In-Store Payment Methods

At Costco’s U.S. warehouse locations, customers have a variety of payment methods to choose from. These include:

  1. Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi:
    • Customers can use their Costco-branded credit card issued by Citibank for purchases.
  2. Visa Cards:
    • All other Visa-branded credit cards are accepted at the checkout counters.
  3. Most PIN-based Debit/ATM Cards:
    • Customers can conveniently pay with most debit or ATM cards that require a personal identification number (PIN).
  4. Costco Shop Cards:
    • Shoppers also have the option to use prepaid gift cards known as “Costco Shop Cards” towards their purchase amount.
  5. Cash:
    • Cash is always an acceptable form of payment in-store.
  6. Personal checks from current Costco Members:
    • Current members who prefer using personal checks may do so when making payments.
  7. Business checks from current business members:
    • Business owners who hold active memberships and wish to make payments via check will be able to do so provided they present valid business credentials along with it.
  8. Traveler’s Checks:
    • Travelers’ cheques remain another viable method of paying for goods purchased within any US based Costco store.
  9. EBT cards:
    • Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards which allow users access government benefits such as food stamps, welfare, etc. can be used while shopping inside Costco stores.
  10. Mobile Payments (Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay):
    • Customers now enjoy greater convenience through mobile payment options like Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay. These digital wallets enable seamless transactions without having physical cash on hand.

Payment Methods Accepted at Costco Gas Stations

For those looking to fuel up their vehicles at one of the many gas stations operated by Costco, the following forms of payment are currently being accepted:

  1. Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi:
    • Customers can use their Costco-branded credit card issued by Citibank for fuel purchases.
  2. Visa Cards:
    • All other Visa-branded credit cards are also accepted at the gas station pumps.
  3. Most PIN-based Debit/ATM Cards:
    • Most debit or ATM cards that require a personal identification number (PIN) will be acceptable forms of payment when purchasing gasoline from any Costco Gas Station.
  4. Costco Shop Cards:
    • Prepaid gift cards known as “Costco Shop Cards” can be used to pay for your fill-up.

Payment Methods Accepted for Online Purchases on Costco.com

When shopping online through the official website, customers have several options available to complete their transactions securely and conveniently:

  1. Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi:
    • The same branded credit card offered in-store is valid for making online payments.
  2. Visa Cards:
    • Other Visa-issued credit cards may also be utilized while checking out items purchased via Costco’s e-commerce platform.
  3. MasterCard:
    • Mastercard holders now enjoy greater flexibility with regards to paying off balances accrued during an internet purchase made within Costco’s virtual store.
  4. Most PIN-based Debit/ATM Cards:
    • Just like in-store, PIN-based debit/ATM cards remain another viable option.
  5. Costco Shop Cards:
    • Gift cards obtained either directly from one of its physical locations or digitally acquired over cyberspace can still serve as means towards settling outstanding bills.

Costco’s Acceptance of American Express

In-Store Purchases

Costco does not accept American Express for in-store purchases. If you are planning to shop at a physical Costco warehouse, please note that they do not currently accept American Express cards as a form of payment. However, there are several other payment options available which include the use of Visa-branded credit cards such as the Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi.

Online Purchases

American Express cardholders can still make online purchases on Costco.com using their Amex card. While it may be disappointing that American Express is not accepted for in-store transactions at this time, customers with an Amex card can take advantage of its benefits and rewards when shopping through the official website.

Please keep in mind that while online payments via American Express are allowed on costco.com, certain restrictions or limitations might apply depending on your location or specific circumstances related to your account type.

If you prefer to use another credit card brand like MasterCard or Discover instead of an AMEX one during the checkout process from home comfort – these alternatives will also work seamlessly without any issues encountered throughout the transaction completion steps!

Remember always double-checking before making final decisions about the preferred method(s) used; ensuring compatibility between the chosen financial institution provider (e.g., bank), desired purchase item category eligibility requirements set forth within terms & conditions agreement documentations provided by both parties involved – customer buyer/seller merchant entity represented here being “Costco Wholesale Corporation” itself!

Changes in Costco’s Credit Card Acceptance

Transition from American Express to Visa

In 2016, Costco made a significant change in its credit card acceptance policy. Previously, the warehouse retailer exclusively accepted American Express cards for all transactions. However, as of that year, Costco switched over to accepting only Visa-branded credit cards.

This transition marked a major shift for both customers and the company itself. The decision was driven by several factors including cost savings and improved customer experience through increased payment options.

By partnering with Visa as their exclusive credit card network provider, Costco aimed to streamline operations while offering more flexibility at checkout counters across their U.S.-based warehouses. This move allowed them to tap into an extensive global network of merchants already utilizing Visa services.

The switch also brought about changes regarding co-branded credit cards offered specifically for shopping at Costco locations – namely the introduction of “Costco Anywhere” branded visa cards issued by Citi Bank which offer additional benefits such as cashback rewards on eligible purchases within and outside of Costo stores.

Other Credit Card Acceptance

While it is true that most brick-and-mortar retailers accept multiple types of major credits like MasterCard or Discover alongside VISA; this isn’t currently applicable when making purchases inside physical Costo store locations.

As mentioned earlier, Costco now solely accepts payments via any validly-issued VISA-card (including debit/credit) during your visit there. However, this restriction doesn’t apply if you’re planning on purchasing items online using either the www.costco.com website or official mobile app. In these cases, you can use not just VISA but other popular issuers’ cards too, such as Mastercard and Discover (until November 15th, 2023).

It should be noted though, the reason behind this discrepancy lies primarily in the fact that online purchases do not require the same level of infrastructure or processing capabilities as those in-store transactions. Thus, Costco has been able to expand their accepted payment methods for online shoppers while maintaining the exclusivity of VISA cards at physical locations.

So, if you’re planning to shop at Costco.com or through their mobile app, you can use your MasterCard or Discover card for payment. However, if you prefer shopping in-person at a physical warehouse location, make sure to have a valid Visa-branded credit card on hand as it is the only accepted form of payment.

Note: The content provided above has not been reviewed or edited and is ready for publication.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use my American Express card at Costco?

No, Costco does not accept American Express for in-store purchases. However, you can still use your American Express card for online purchases on the official website of Costco.

What credit cards are accepted at Costco?

Costco primarily accepts Visa-branded credit cards both in-store and online. They also accept most U.S.-based debit cards (except those from American Express), cash, checks (personal or business) from current members, traveler’s checks, EBT cards for eligible items like food products and mobile payment options such as Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay.

Can I use MasterCard or Discover at Costco?

While MasterCard and Discover credit cards are not accepted for in-warehouse purchases at Costco locations across the United States due to their exclusive partnership with Visa since 2016, these two brands, along with other issuers’ cards including Mastercard, will be available until November 15th, 2023 when it comes to making an order through costco.com.

Can I use my debit card at Costco?

Yes, you can! Most PIN-based debit/ATM Cards issued by US banks that have a Visa logo on them, except American Express ones, would work fine.

Can I use Apple Pay, Google Pay, or Samsung Pay at Costco?

Absolutely! You may make payments using Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, etc.

Can we purchase things via shop cards?

Yes, Costco Shop Cards, which are basically gift card equivalents, could be used while purchasing anything either offline (physical store) or even during shopping over the internet (costco.com).

Are personal checks acceptable?

Personal checks drawn against a member’s own account and business checks drawn against the business account of a current Costco member are acceptable at any Costco store.

Are business checks accepted?

Yes, as mentioned above, business checks drawn against the business account of a current Costco member are also an acceptable mode for making payments.

Can I use EBT cards at Costco?

Yes, Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) Cards can be used to purchase eligible food products in-store. However, it’s important to note that EBT card usage may vary by state and not all items available at Costco may qualify for payment through this method.

Can I use traveler’s checks at Costco?

Absolutely! You could make your purchases using traveler’s checks without facing any issues or inconvenience.


  1. https://customerservice.costco.com/app/answers/answer_view/a_id/719/~/what-payment-methods-are-accepted-at-costco%3F
  2. https://www.usatoday.com/money/blueprint/credit-cards/what-credit-cards-does-costco-accept/
  3. https://www.cnbc.com/select/what-credit-cards-does-costco-accept/