What Costco shoppers need to know about their new Visa Card

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If you shop at Costco, you've likely heard the company ended its partnership with American Express. The switch to a Costco-branded Visa from Citibank, called the Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi, happens Monday, June 20, 2016. Here's what you need to know.

TrueEarnings card will no longer work

The TrueEarnings card and other Costco-branded American Express cards that you may have used get deactivated. You won't be able to use them anywhere. That includes such smartphone mobile wallets as Android Pay, Apple Pay, or Samsung Pay. If you want to make payments through these systems, you'll need to set up a different card. The Jawbone UP4, which can only be linked to one American Express card, won't allow any payments whatsoever and, for the time being, there is no way to associate it with another card. The device will still perform other functions like fitness tracking.

What happens to my rewards, balances, and old card benefits?

The last rewards notice you received was on your February 2016 billing. You can redeem it in person at any Costco in the U.S., including Puerto Rico. The expiration date is August 31, 2016, so be sure to do so while you still can. Any rewards you earned between that billing and June 19 gets transferred to the new Citibank Visa card you will get from Costco. Any balance gets transferred to the new card. As for benefits, those provided by American Express might be transferable to another American Express card. Some might continue for a period of time because you paid a premium. Check the American Express frequently-asked questions site for more information.

Do I need to apply for the new Costco Citibank Visa?

If you currently had the Costco American Express card, you should have received the Visa card automatically by early June. If you didn't, contact Costco. There is no additional credit check to receive the replacement card so there is no impact on your credit score.

What is the interest rate, payment date, and annual cost?

The information should have been mailed to you. If the mailed information listed the standard purchase annual percentage rate (APR) as 15.49 percent and you had a lower rate for new purchases with the American Express card, you keep the lower rate. Payment dates will either be the same or close, but check to be sure. And there is no annual cost beyond your Costco annual membership cost.

What if I had automatic payments set up with the American Express card?

If you have set up automatic payments with third parties, you'll need to contact them and update your payment card information.

What are the cash back rewards?

You get different rewards, depending on the type of spending:
  • Gas purchases, including those at Costco, get 4 percent a year up to the first $7,000. After that you get 1 percent.
  • Restaurant and eligible travel purchases offer 3 percent cash back.
  • All other purchases at Costco and Costco.com get 2 percent.
  • Any other purchases received 1 percent.

Does the Visa card act as my membership card?

It does. You don't have to show an additional membership card when making a purchase.

What other benefits do I get with the new card?

The new card has many benefits, including extended warranties and worldwide car rental insurance. Check the site (link above) to learn more.
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