Costco Got Me Hook, Line, and Sinker With Their Reward Programs
My wife and I were doing some shopping, and stopped by Costco to pick up a few things on our list. We realized our membership had expired, and stopped by the customer service desk to renew.
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Our first decision was whether to pay $55 for their regular membership, or $110 for their executive membership. The difference between the two is with the executive membership we would receive 2% back on all purchases. Doing some quick math, I determined that we would have to spend $2750, or about $230 a month, at Costco over the next year to make up for the difference in price. We decided to go with the executive membership because:
- We are looking to by a new patio set this year, which would go a long towards that $2750
- We have relatives nearby that love shopping at Costco, don’t have a membership of their own, and have us bring them in.
- If we don’t spend enough to recoup the cost, Costco will actually pay you the difference so there’s no way to lose money on the executive membership.
I swiped my debit card, signed a form and figured that was that.
But just as I was preparing to leave, the employee asked another question, â€œAre you interested in applying for the Costo Anywhere Visa by Citibank card?â€
I quickly said, â€œNo,â€ but my wife wanted to hear more. The employee placed a fact sheet on the counter in front of us that listed the benefits:
- 4% cash back on gasoline purchases
- 3% cash back at eligible restaurant and travel purchases
- 2% cash back on purchases made at Costco, or Costco.com
- 1% cash back on other purchases
I have to admit to you, this is my entrance into the credit card rewards game. I’m a little bit nervous that it may cause me to actually spend more because I’ll be swiping my Costco Anywhere Visa by Citi card instead of using cash in my pocket. The plan is to stick to our same budget, and pay off the balance each month.
Can I do it? Stay tuned.
Do you use credit card reward programs? Do you think it causes you to spend more than you would if you used cash?
Brought to you courtesy of Brock
Brock is a software engineer by day and personal finance blogger at night. He is a fitness junkie and enjoys grilling and smoking meat. Married with two children, Brock strives to improve his skills as a husband and father, and is always on the lookout to stretch his family’s budget as far as he can.