Save even more at Costco?

March 11th, 2008 · No Comments

My husband and I recently decided to sign up for an American Express TrueEarnings card. This is a combo card with your Costco membership, so you only need the one card that works as your membership and your credit card. We decided that it was kind of silly not to get one since we wouldn’t pay an additional yearly fee for having it, as with most American Express cards; you can pay it over time like a normal card or all at once; plus, you get cash back for all kinds of purchases (and not just ones at Costco).

Now, by itself the Executive Costco membership gives you 2% cash back, up to $500, on all your purchases (except gas and the food court) at the end of your membership year. So, if you spend enough to cover the $100 Executive membership fee (roughly $425 a month), you should really get one. My husband and I spend enough to cover the yearly membership fee and still get a decent amount back on top of that (it’s embarrassing that we buy that much at Costco but it really is our main grocery, book, and DVD/CD shopping place).

American Express TrueEarningsHowever, with the American Express card you also get cash back when you use it at Costco, or other merchants, and that is on top of your Executive Costco membership rewards. You can still get this American Express card, even if you are a Gold Star member (but you don’t get the additional 2% back from Costco).

So, here’s the break down of cash back amounts for various types of purchases on your American Express card:

  • 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
  • 1% on all other Eligible Purchases posted to your account (including your Costco membership)

So, you could essentially get 3% back on all of your Costco purchases, including gas! Since Costco’s Executive membership reward doesn’t include gas, and in these days of ever escalating gas prices, that 3% back is absolutely awesome! I love that I can get even a little bit of my gas purchase back from someone. Since Costco is just as close to us as any other gas station we almost always fill up there and while we already save on average $0.10 per gallon, the extra 3% is a nice bonus. Plus, now when we’re out of the area and fill up we’re getting a 3% discount at those places too. And really, this applies to other purchases you make at Costco as well, you are basically saving an extra 3% on all of the stuff you buy, making alot of it an even more spectacular buy.


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