Costco American Express Card Rebate Time

February 18th, 2009 · 51 Comments

Well, it’s time for everyone that has a Costco TrueEarnings American Express to get their refund checks.  Last year we had only had our card for a couple of months, so the rebate wasn’t all that impressive.  This year, however, it is a nice amount that easily pays for our Costco membership and then some or a few weeks of our regular shopping at Costco.  I think it is great that someone is willing to give me a percentage back on the things that I would have bought anyway; it’s like always having a coupon for everything I buy without involving scissors.

The refund it basically a check that you can only cash at Costco stores in the U.S. or Puerto Rico.  You can use it to pay for your next purchase at Costco or you can redeem it for cash at Costco.  The only thing you can’t use your rebate for is to pay off the balance of your American Express card; which seems a little odd but they mention it several times on the page of information.  Of course, you could go to Costco and redeem your rebate for cash, which you then deposit into your bank account, and use to pay your American Express bill.  They’ll never know. :-)

So, if you don’t have a Costco TrueEarnings American Express, the question is why not?  You get a percentage back on all purchases, not just those made at Costco, including gas.  Depending on the type of purchase you make, you can can get 1% to 3% back: 3% for purchases of automobile gasoline (any individual Purchase transaction in excess of 75 gallons or equivalent dollar value will not be deemed to be a Purchase of automobile gasoline) at Costco Gasoline and domestic stand-alone gas stations, excluding gas purchased at warehouse clubs other than Costco, superstores or supermarkets; 3% at restaurants; 2% for travel purchases from airline, lodging, car rental, cruise line, travel agency and tour operators; or 1% on all other eligible purchases posted to your account.  So, that’s a pretty good deal if you buy gas and eat out.  Oh yeah, and this rebate is in addition to the Costco 2% rebate for Executive Members.   Plus, there’s no annual fee, just your normal Costco membership fee, and this card will serve as both your American Express card and your Costco membership card; one less card to carry around with you.

So, if you’d like to learn more about the TrueEarnings American Express card, or apply for it now, you can do so at  The sooner you apply, the sooner you start working toward your refund check next February!


Tags: Coupons · General Share

51 Responses so far ↓

  1. 1 Jen // 2015.01.30 at 5:21 pm

    We were in there cashing our check a couple of years back and the member in front of us had so much cash from their reward that Costco had to actually cut them a four figure check in addition to giving them several hundred in bills!

  2. 2 Ed // 2014.05.31 at 1:11 pm

    I enrolled in the Costco Amex /Executive Membership and it has been the best move I have made. My and I spend a lot of money at Costco and other places which accept Amex. I just make sure I paid it off each month. I can not believe that people don’t know to cash in their checks before the deadline. You can cash in either check without buying anything at any Costco Warehouse or make a minimum purchase and get the rest back in cash. Each year I received way over what my membership cost. It is a great deal if you use it wisely.

  3. 3 jean // 2014.05.14 at 8:23 pm

    Agree Amex is banking on a certain % of people not redeeming their rebates, they told me to read the fine print , yet I missed about $ 1000 in lost rebates, I never knew there was 2 cheques, thought that the Costco one was the only one.
    Shame on Amex because they know it…

  4. 4 Michael // 2014.01.31 at 6:43 pm

    Where does it say in the terms that your cash back is forfeited if you do not redeem the check by 8/31? Why cant they simply reissue this check? Where does your money go? To the bottom line of AMEX. This should be absolutely considered stealing and AMEX needs to revamp their business practice as it relates to this policy. No one should lose the money they actually EARN due to this flawed, strong arm policy. Is this government regulated?

    • 5 Brianna // 2015.01.19 at 7:33 am

      American Express checks have the expiration date printed right on the front of the check. And there are two different checks because executive checks are issued through Costco. American Express checks are not. we have to redeem them for credit after we give you the money. Do not wait until coupons expire! It’s free money laying around and contrary to what one person stated Costco will not always let you use it after expiration because they cannot be reimbursed after the expiration date.

  5. 6 ASCjr // 2013.06.13 at 3:16 pm

    A lot of expenses are not included in calculating the 1% part of the rebate. How to know what those expenses are? The short blurb they use to sign you up is weasel-worded so as not to say specifically which purchases don’t qualify for the rebate. Does anyone know of a clear, exhaustive list of expenses that do or don’t qualify?

    If I knew which ones they were I’d pay for those things with another card that does have rebates or rewards on it. But which ones are they?

    I have to assume Costco and AmEx don’t want you to know that information.

  6. 7 Aaron // 2012.12.04 at 7:39 pm

    I guess Karl Rove didnt get a rebate. Lmao Guess he needs a hug. Relax man. Relax. Hope this guy has no weapons. :()

    • 8 Karl Rove // 2012.12.05 at 8:13 am

      hehehe well although I do have weepons I wont be hauling them out.
      And its so funny you should mention that but we moved and I STILL do not have my rebate check.

      And having moved FROM WA State well, I just am missing out on the reforms so irritated is a word for the day.


  7. 9 Karl Rove // 2012.11.09 at 8:15 pm

    Oh my god seriously? Its so stupid simple. I cant beleive the ignorance in the above thread. Can ya’ll just plain not read english? TWO checks One at renewal and One at Feb or March Simple as that. PAY ATTENTION prolly live in WA state ort Colorado puffing their brain cells away

  8. 10 James Hardman // 2012.07.10 at 4:26 pm

    I got talked into Executive membership ($100) by somebody who approached in at the checkout stand. I had $50 membership. I was told I would get a larger rebate 2% instead of 1%. I spent more and got a smaller discount with the February bill. Also I called and they said the Feb. discount was an American Express discount. That I would be getting the Costco discount in August. I think the person I talked to lied. I have since learned that one discount comes and thats in February.

    • 11 Kimberly // 2012.07.10 at 5:23 pm

      @James – You are actually incorrect and the person that told you there are two separate rewards/rebates is correct. There is an American Express rebate that comes attached to your bill in February or March; the rate of rebate is variable depending on your type of purchase. And then, separate from that completely, is your 2% Executive membership reward from Costco that will arrive with your annual Costco renewal notice. The reward from Costco comes from them and is a “check” that you take to the warehouse to use for merchandise. For more information about the 2% reward you can go here:

    • 12 Stephanie Haggith // 2012.10.18 at 4:15 pm

      I too experienced this!
      It took 3 years before I knew there were 2 separate cheques issued. One is slid in at the end of your bill without any markers(dull plain paper-does not appear to be a cheque….intentional? I still cannot figure out who gives what -4th year-is this intentional?…………..

      • 13 James Hardman // 2012.10.18 at 6:41 pm

        I was looking for second rebate from Costco and was happy to get it. I dont know what happened first year. Maybe didn’t have executve membership long enough or I just flat out missed it. I haven’t had the membership too long–can’t remember when I got it. The first in Feb. wasn’t too much which was suppose to be American Express. the second was over $100 later in the year and was Costco’s.

  9. 14 Suzanne Chrysler // 2012.06.05 at 8:42 am

    What bothers me is that I usually get my gas at Kroger and sometimes I’ll get 3% & sometimes only 1%. When I asked about it I was told Kroger is not on their list of “approved places” to get fuel. Well, I never saw any “approved list” on their web-site or anywhere else. If this is the case then why do I sometimes get the 3%. I don’t trust them. Also the list she sent me in response to my question included Costco but the list of “unapproved” places had warehouse stores on it. What a joke!

  10. 15 GR // 2012.05.15 at 5:54 pm

    Last weekend (during the month of May) I wondered why I hadn’t seen my CostCo rebate and called Amex. When I was told it was on the last page of the February statement, I told the rep I think I shredded it. He said “that happens all the time” and offered to re-issue it . Luckily, I found the unshredded statement and my rebate check while I was still on the call (and also before the August expiration) as it’s almost $150!

  11. 16 James Hardman // 2012.05.04 at 6:26 pm

    I got a much lower Costco rebate than I should have gotten in February. The person I talked to at American Express said that was an American Express rebate. Costco was printed in several places on the coupon. She said the Costco rebate would come in July. I think I was lied to by the American Express representive.

  12. 17 Mike // 2012.03.09 at 6:06 pm

    I got my first rebate check $106. Figured I better use it right away before I lost it or forgot about it. Went to Costco but they wouldn’t let me use it at the register, but they’ll let me cash it at the customer service desk. This is great for me because now I can keep the money and spend it elsewhere, don’t understand why they would do that though, it seems like more people would use it at Costco if given the chance.

  13. 18 Rashell // 2012.03.06 at 8:38 pm


    I’m happy to report that after writing AMEX a letter and complaining to the Better Business Bureau, they credited my Costco Amex card for the full amount!

    I’m very satisfied with the outcome!

    Good Luck to everyone!

    p.s. I will ALWAYS remember to look closer at my February statement annually!

  14. 19 DL // 2012.03.06 at 12:48 am

    I had the same problem not seeing my 2010 Amex Costco Reward Coupon worth $786.00. I do online banking and usually check my charges for the month, I really don’t notice the last page. It bothers the heck out of me that they put expiration dates on them. The rebates belong to us! There should be a class action lawsuit! How does this happen?

  15. 20 Rashell // 2012.02.17 at 5:50 pm

    After reading the above posts, I too did the EXACT same thing! My account was opened in 2007, rewards issued 2008 to current. Our bookkeeper at that time never noticed them but I found every one of them after discovering my 2012 rebate this year, now that I’m working in the office! Totally bummed after speaking to a rep and being told they don’t/ won’t reissue them! Ultimately, my fault but very frustrating that I have over $1,000.00 in rebate coupon checks that are worth zero!

    • 21 Kimberly // 2012.02.18 at 5:28 am

      @Rashell – I have heard, though I haven’t actually tried it myself, that you can take your expired American Express rebate checks to Costco and they will honor them for store credit. So, you might want to try that instead of just throwing them away. And hopefully, you’ll find that it is really true. If so, please come back and let us all know!

  16. 22 co // 2011.05.27 at 11:31 pm

    No sh*t sherlock but I never saw this card advertised as a REBATE card…I believe their moniker is TRUE REWARDS. I would rather see them be TRUE rewards but (if) smaller than TRICKY REWARDS. My personal feelings only….after missing out on almost $1000 which of course makes me a little bitter and angry . And now that I’m in the “the know”, I’d still rather have a smaller but FAIR reward than screw other people over. And if you think me missing my $1000 gives any one of you any more money in your pocket you are CRAZY….the only one to benefit is AMEX. And I guarantee they bank on it…to the tune of a certain %, I’m sure.

    Still think it sucks but at least I wasn’t in their bounty this year and won’t ever be again. I’ll I can do is pass the word.

  17. 23 Kim // 2011.05.27 at 10:36 pm

    Folks, this is how rebates work. Some people never take the steps to take advantage of them. If they were automatic, they wouldn’t exist or they would be much smaller. Once you know about it, it’s not hard to find.

  18. 24 co // 2011.05.26 at 9:59 pm

    I too recently discovered that I was overlooking the amex checks while only cashing the costco ones. I also pay online and never looked to page of 7 of 9 for my 2010 rebate check of almost $700 until someone told me about 2 checks (then I found it but too late). Why can’t amex put it on the first page and make it something other than black and white which is way too similar to the number of ads that fill my bills? The costco check is on top and in COLOR so it actually looks like a REAL check. Amex said there is nothing they can do about it and I told them wouldn’t be surprised if there is a class action suit against them (in looking for it, I found this blog but alas no lawsuit on this issue though a law firm is looking into the cards that got cancelled before the checks were issued). BTW – I did get one postcard reminder but I thought it was about the costco check which I had already cashed. Never EVER had any phone calls (robo or otherwise). I also never cashed my 2009 check but didn’t have a copy of it anymore and it was only $300 something. I told the lady I guess they just got around $1000 that should have been mine.

  19. 25 Brant // 2011.03.05 at 4:25 pm

    I got my 2011 check yester day and it reminded me of the $1900.00 I was screwed out of in 2009. My bookeeper missed it, why whould she be looking for a check in the statement anyways. This is a ploy plain and simple to let the “slippage” go back to AMEX to decrease their overall rebate expense.

  20. 26 RN // 2011.02.16 at 9:01 pm

    JS & Kitkat sound and talk like paid shills for Amex.

    AMEX Calls it a “Cash Back”, but there is no cash, just a time bound voucher redeemable at one store. This is misleading advertising. Someday, there will be enough interest for a class action suit against AMEX.

    I do wish that the execs at Costco will do something about this. Took them all of 2 minutes to reissue the Costco Rebate.

    Whereas at AMEX, I think they are specifically told not to give in to re-issuing the voucher. The company definitely has some sleazy executives that push the customer service people to tow a strict line in this regard.

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