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Costco American Express Review

Allison Martin
Costco store

The TrueEarnings Card from Costco and American Express offers a generous cash back system. It enables Costco members to access to American Express benefits while saving money on everyday purchases.


This credit card offers you the best of both worlds if you are a Costco member since the annual fee is waived and you can earn cash back on all purchases. In addition, card holders are never assessed a fee in the event that the balance exceeds the credit limit.

Unlimited Cash Back

Cardholders are able to earn an unlimited amount of cash back on qualifying purchases. These include:

  • 3% on gasoline expenditures at U.S. and Costco fueling stations (up to $4,000.00)
  • 2% on restaurant expenditures at U.S. restaurants and on eligible travel (up to $4,000.00)
  • 1% on all other purchases

You will receive a Reward Coupon in February, and it is valid until August 31 of the same year. The certificate can be redeemed for cash at any Costco Warehouse location or applied towards in-store purchases.

Earn More With Multiple Cardholders

Account holders have the option to add other individuals with paid Costco memberships to their account without incurring any fees. This allows you to earn more cash back when they shop using the credit card linked to your account, as noted by Katrina Gutierrez of Daily Markets.

Access American Express Benefits

Cardholders have access to a variety of American Express travel, entertainment and shopping benefits. They apply to purchases made on the American Express card.

Travel Entertainment Shopping
Car rental loss and damage insurance
Roadside assistance
Travel accident insurance
Access to ticket pre-sales
Members-only events
Discounts at select vendors
Extended warranty
Purchase protection
Return protection

No Liability for Fraudulent Purchases

In the event that bogus transactions occur on your card as a result of fraud, theft or human error, American Express customer service representatives are available to assist with the dispute resolution process.


As with any credit card, that are drawbacks to the program that you should consider.

Categorization Issues

Reviewers from Nerd Wallet indicated that there were several instances where they missed out on accruing cash back because vendors incorrectly classified purchases. This was a frequent occurrence with gasoline expenditures as they were often categorized as services, disqualifying cardholders from earning the 3% that they were entitled to.

Ineligibility of Common Travel Expenses

Individuals who live in metropolitan areas often incur travel expenses on their daily journey to and from work. Reviewers from Daily Markets were disappointed that these purchases were ineligible for the 2% cash back rewards because commuting expenses do not qualify for inclusion into the program.

Stringent Redemption Policy

Although the cash back earnings potential is endless, you may forfeit the right to your balance if you cancel your Costco membership or the redemption deadline lapses.

Is the TrueEarnings Card Right for You?

If you frequently purchase products and gasoline from Costco, you should consider this card because of the cash back program and American Express perks offered to cardholders. Those who travel or dine out regularly can also save big, as long as the balance is paid in full each month to avoid the 15.24% variable APR after the introductory period expires.

However, there are cards out there that offer more competitive cash back systems without the spending limits if you are not a regular Costco customer.

Be sure to carefully review the terms and conditions prior to applying if the credit card fits your needs.

How to Apply

You can apply for the TrueEarnings Card from Costco and American Express by:

  • Completing an online application
  • Calling 1-800-223-2670
  • Selecting the link included in the email or online promotion (if applicable)

Online applicants usually receive a decision in 60 seconds or less. If approved, you should receive your new credit card in the mail in seven to ten business days.

Costco American Express Review