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Does Costco take Mastercard? All Payment Methods

10 mins read

America has its fair share of popular retail and wholesalers. The popularity of these brands has reached such an extent that many people in the middle east are also familiar with these brands. Be it Walmart, 7/11 or Target. People love buying stuff from these companies. Costco is another popular corporation that is famous for its cheap products. But does Costco take cash? In this article, we will cover Costco payment methods and answer questions like does Costco take Mastercard and does Costco take Apple pay.

Does Costco take Mastercard? All Payment Methods

Today, online payment is accepted everywhere and when we talk about brands like Walmart, there are many ways to pay. Costo is a famous company and has a global presence. But what are Costco payment methods? And can you use a Mastercard in their shop? Before we find that out, let us learn about the company.

What is Costco?

Costco website

Costco is an American multinational company in the segment of membership-only big box retail stores and is headquartered in Issaquah, Washington, US. It was founded by James Sinegal and Jeffrey Brotman in 1983 on September 15th. Australia

Canada, China, France, Iceland, Japan, Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain, Sweden, Puerto Rico, Taiwan, and the United Kingdom are the areas where the company operates and it still manages to be ranked 5th largest retailer in the world. It also features as number 10 in Fortune 500 companies list in the United States in terms of revenue.

It is a public company and is listed on NASDAQ as well. As of 2022, they are available in 842 locations. Hamilton E. James is the current chairman of the company and the post of President and CEO of the company is held by W. Craig Jelinek. Their revenue in 2022 stands at 226.95 billion dollars.

The number of employees on their payroll totals 3 lakh 4 thousand people. The company’s first warehouse was opened in Seattle in 1983 where the company was founded. As expected they have more than half their stores in the US with the exact number being 579 while Iceland, New Zealand, and Sweden each have the least, that is one. Now that we know about Costco we also need to familiarize ourselves with Mastercard before we look at Does Costco take Mastercard?

What is Mastercard?

Mastercard website | Does Costco take Mastercard

Headquartered in Purchase, New York, Mastercard is the world’s second-largest payment processing corporation. The company was founded back in 1966 and today operates globally. Merit Janow is the Chairman of the company while Michael Miebach is the CEO. The company also provides people with credit cards, debit cards, and prepaid cards. In 2022 the company’s revenue stood at 18.88 billion dollars and its workforce consisted of 24,000 people up to 2021.

In 2006 the company became a public company as it got listed on the stock exchange. Undoubtedly its biggest competitor is Visa. The company was in the past owned by more than 25,000 financial institutions that collaborated to compete with Bank Of America whose card went on to become Visa.

Now that we are through with the introductions we can look at does Costco take Mastercard or not.

Does Costco take Mastercard?

Mastercard on table
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So the thing is, back in 2016 Visa and Costco signed an exclusive agreement that made Visa the preferred payment mode in Costco warehouses and since then American Express, Mastercard, and Discover cards can’t be used in Costco warehouses. Although before Visa they only accepted American Express cards. So does Costco take Mastercard? No. But is there a way around it? Yes.

As we mentioned, Visa is the preferred payment option at Costco warehouses and that extends to their gas stations as well but that’s about it you can use Mastercard to purchase the app, Costco.com, and on Costco travel. While the website doesn’t offer the same range of products as the physical store you can still find stuff you are looking for and pay for it using your Mastercard. The same goes for Costco travel packages that can be paid for by Mastercard while availing of the benefits that the card offers.

A debit card with Mastercard or American Express logo can also be used at Costco. There are also a few hacks on the internet that can help you use Mastercard in Costco which include using the Mastercard to buy a Costco Cash card and indirectly being able to use Mastercard at Costco and more. However, rather than going the extra distance, it is better to sign up for another card or look for an alternative payment option readily available to you.

While US citizens have a problem using Mastercard at Costco, people in Canada have a 360-degree situation in their country. At Costco Canada, it is Mastercard which is the accepted mode of payment while Visa card isn’t accepted so be prepared to face a unique issue if you are looking to switch countries or planning to go on a trip to your neighboring country. So does Costco take Mastercard? US, No. Canada, Yes.

Also Read: Can You Get CashBack With Apple Pay?

Why Doesn’t Costco take Mastercard?

Woman making payment
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As stated above Costco does not accept Mastercard, Discover, or American Express cards. There was a time when it partnered with Discover and then AmEx and now Visa. This partnership is the reason why doesn’t Costco take Mastercard. But in Canada the situation is the opposite as there only Mastercard is accepted, however, there are hacks that Mastercard users can look for to be able to use Mastercard at US Costco or they can look for alternative methods.

Costco’s switch from AmEx came when they couldn’t agree on renewal terms but their acceptance of Visa has benefited their members a lot. For example, the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card helps customers as it acts as a membership card, has no foreign transaction fees, and doesn’t charge an annual fee as well, also its cash-back rewards can only be redeemed at Costco.

You also get 4% back on the purchase of edible oil worth up to 7,000 dollars a year after which there is a return rate of 1%. Spending at restaurants and eligible travels is worth getting 3% back, you also get 2% back on all purchases made at Costco stores and the online website, and the rest of the purchases get you 1% back. When you look at all these benefits you understand why not does Costco take Mastercard but Visa instead as their customers benefit from it and thus helps them return for more purchases. Let us now learn about Costco payment methods.

Costco Payment Methods

Person holding phone | Does Costco take Mastercard
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When talking about the Costco payments method we need to keep in mind that there are three main areas that we need to consider and they are Costco warehouses, Costco gas stations, and Costco.com. Now strictly speaking about the US scenario each of these three Costco points of sale accept more than one payment method that may or may not overlap.

All Visa Cards, The Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi, 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, Mobile Payment (Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay) are accepted modes of payment at Costco warehouses.

All Visa Cards, The Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi, Most PIN-based Debit/ATM Cards, and Costco Shop Cards are accepted payment options at Costco gas stations. Does Costo accept Mastercard? At Costco.com, yes and that is why Mastercard along with AllVisa Cards, The Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi, Discover Cards (Including JCB and Diners Club), Most PIN-based Debit/ATM Cards, Costco Shop Cards, and Visa Click to Pay is the accepted mode of payment in this case.

Mastercard now takes the place of Visa and becomes the primary payment option as we switch our attention from US Costco to Canada Costco. When AmEx’s 15-year deal with Costco ended the company asked AmEx to even lower its charges, something that they weren’t very keen on. And this paved the way for Mastercard to come to the forefront. MasterCard issued by Capital One was accepted in Costco Canada but now as the deal closes in on the ending period Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce is set to replace them.

With this card, you will be getting 3% cashback on Costo gas and restaurants, 2% back on other gas stations and Costco.ca, and 1% on all other purchases which includes Costco. Cash, Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, and Costco gift cards also remain other payment options. Tangerine World Mastercard, BMO CashBack Mastercard, and Brim World Elite Mastercard are some of the best Costco-related cards. This was all about Costco payment methods.

So does Costco take Mastercard? In Canada very much yes. Since we have been talking about payment methods let’s talk about a few in detail. So here we will introduce you to the mode of payments and how they work with Costco.

What is Apple Pay?

Apple Pay page

It should be nothing new for Apple and iOS users. However, for Android users, we are talking about a mobile payment service by Apple Inc. Just like you have Google Pay, Venmo, Zelle, and PayPal, there is Apple Pay, a medium that Apple users can use to pay money using iOS devices. It was released on 20th October 2014 and supports iOS devices only. You can also use this feature from the web and can link a credit card or debit card to it as well.

Does Costco take Apple Pay?

Man in gray tshirt | Does Costco take Mastercard
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Costco accepts various methods of payment and Apple Pay is one of those. However, there are certain restrictions to it. Apple Pay may not be usable at all Costco locations especially if they don’t have an NFC reader or some Costco stores, in general, don’t accept it. In the US your Apple Pay needs to have Visa as your primary credit card or again you may find yourself stuck not being able to make a payment.

Does Costco take Apple Pay? Yes. And this applies to its gas stations and pharmacy at least. But again you will need to have Visa as your primary credit card. Using Apple Pay can speed up the process of checkout for you at Costco gas stations as well as pharmacies as you avoid long lines. All you need to do is scan the code and apply any coupons if you have them and you are good to go. So we have the answer to does Costco take Mastercard and Apple Pay but how about Cash? Come let’s find out.

Also Read: Cash App vs Venmo vs Zelle: Which is the best?

Does Costco take Cash?

Money in wallet
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Cash needs no introduction, we all know it very well. They are the most widely accepted form of money today across the world and so there is no doubt it has got to be accepted at almost all places across the world if not all, provided that you use the correct currency.

If we are talking about the Costco warehouses then you can be relieved to know that yes your cash will be accepted here. However, the same can’t be said for Costco.com and that is understandable as it is an online medium and one that is not supporting cash on delivery. But Costco gas stations also don’t accept cash payments and that is a big piece of news for us as well.

There are very limited payment options available at Costco gas stations which are All Visa Cards, The Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi, Most PIN-based Debit/ATM Cards, and Costco Shop Cards. Visa has been getting so much importance although the article, it’s about time we introduce you to it as well before we move ahead.

What is Visa?

Visa website

A multinational financial services corporation, Visa Inc, was founded in 1958 on September 18th when it was known as Bank Americard. The company headquarters are in One Market Plaza, San Francisco, California, U.S. It is a public company traded on the stock market and Dee Hock is the name of its founder. Alfred F. Kelly Jr. is the CEO of this company, which had a revenue of 29.31 billion dollars in 2022 while having 26,500 people on its payroll in the same year.

They offer credit cards, debit cards, and prepaid cards and operate globally. It is the number one competitor to Mastercard. Its present-day name Visa came to be in 1976. Now that we know about Visa company let’s understand why does Costco take Mastercard only in Canada and not the US.

Why does Costco only take Visa?

Card on laptop | Does Costco take Mastercard
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In the world of business, it’s all about partnerships, profits, hidden benefits, sustainable plans, and other such stuff. If you ask why does Costco only take Visa in the US and Mastercard in Canada. It comes down to the business aspect. We have mentioned above how at one point Costco had partnered up with Discover and then they only started accepting American Express cards to this now.

The reason that the partnership between AmEx and Costco ended was that when the time came for the renewal of the partnership Costco asked AmEx to lower its charges which would help Costco earn more profits. This however proved to be a big burden and unacceptable for AmEx. Thus, Visa stepped in with favorable terms to start a new partnership with Costco and became its primary payment option. This is what made using other cards at Costco a problem. But does Costco take Mastercard or any other cards?

In theory yes, Mastercard and other cards can be used at Costco through certain loopholes or at certain places which don’t include Costco gas stations or warehouses.

Does Costco accept Debit cards?

Man holding a card
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Debit cards are accepted by Costco. Your debit card can have an AmEx logo or a Mastercard logo and still be accepted. Most PIN-based Debit/ATM Cards are accepted at Costco, the list for which can be found on the internet. However, even if your debit card for some reason does not work at Costco then you can always go with a credit card, especially a Visa card or Costco branded card.

There are also Costco shop cards, EBTs, check options, and more payment options available to you and so you should not stress out if your debit card does not work at Costco. So to summarize, does Costco accept debit cards? Yes. But limited ones and so you have alternative options or go ahead with your purchase in case your debit card is not accepted by Costco.

Also Read: How to Call in Sick at Walmart?

Can you use a Visa or Mastercard at Costco?

Person holding many cards | Does Costco take Mastercard
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Hasn’t the whole article been about does Costco take Mastercard? Costco loyalists know what payment modes are accepted at the store. What modes help you with quick checkout? What modes get you more discounts, and so on. If you are new to Costco then you might have to ask your friends and family members who are old Costco users about the payment modes that might be useful to you down the line.

However, from time to time there might be changes that may affect your plan. Just like AmEx users at one time had the sole power of being accepted at Costco before Visa stepped up and became the primary payment option. Similarly in Canada where Mastercard is the primary payment mode, you will now see the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce giving out cards that are accepted at Costco instead of the Capital One cards that were accepted earlier.

So from time to time, there will be these changes and new options coming up and the older ones being replaced and you would have no option but to adapt to the newer methods if you wish to continue shopping at Costco. But for the time being, can you use a Visa or Mastercard at Costco? You sure can, depending on which country you are in and what Costco store you choose to shop at.

Sushma Singh

Sushma is a financial expert and online entrepreneur. With years of experience in personal finance and business management, she is dedicated to empowering individuals to take control of their finances and make smart investment decisions. Through Moneymint's website, she provides insightful tips, strategies and resources to help individuals grow their wealth and achieve financial stability. Join Sushma on the journey to financial freedom today!

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