The Best Costco Credit Cards in Canada

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Choosing the best Costco credit cards in Canada can be a bit complicated. The official co-branded Costco credit card is mediocre at best and Costco only accepts Mastercard which limits your choices. In addition, Costco is not considered a grocery store so you won’t get any additional points with cards that have a higher earn rate for grocery purchases.

With all of these conditions in place, all you can really look at is the base earn rate, the type of points you earn, and any additional benefits that may come with your card. To help you narrow down your choices, I’ve come up with a list of the best Costco credit cards in Canada.

The best Costco credit cards in Canada

Credit cardBase earn rateAdditional features
WestJet World Elite Mastercard1.5%Airline benefits
PC Financial World Elite Mastercard1%PC Optimum points days
BMO CashBack® World Elite®* Mastercard®*1.5%Roadside assistance
Rogers World Elite Mastercard1.5%Free global WiFi
HSBC World Elite Mastercard1.5%Airline loyalty transfer partners
Capital One Platinum Mastercard1%Price protection

WestJet World Elite Mastercard

  • $119 annual fee
  • $250 WestJet Dollars sign up bonus after your first purchase 
  • $200 Additional WestJet Dollars when you charge $5,000 in the first 3 months (must apply by Jan. 5, 2022)
  • Earn 2% back in WestJet dollars on WestJet flights or WestJet Vacations packages
  • Earn 1.5% back in WestJet dollars on everyday purchases
  • Annual companion voucher
  • Save 3¢/L on fuel and always earn 20% more Petro-Points when you link your WestJet RBC World Elite MasterCard
  • Free first checked bags for the primary cardholder (up to 8 bags on the same reservation)
  • Some travel insurance included
  • Free Boingo Wi-Fi
  • Purchase security and extended warranty insurance
  • Mastercard Airport Experiences provided by LoungeKey

I’m a huge fan of WestJet Rewards as it’s one of the best travel rewards programs in Canada. With the WestJet World Elite Mastercard, you would earn 1.5% back in WestJet dollars on your Costco purchases which is a decent rate of return, but it’s the additional benefits that come with the card that make this a winner. 

The free annual companion voucher is incredibly valuable and you also get your first bag checked free. One other feature that many people don’t  often think about is the member exclusive fares which are cheaper than regular tickets but can only be booked using WestJet dollars which is why you want to build up your bank as quickly as possible.

PC Financial World Elite Mastercard

  • No annual fee
  • Earn 45 PC Optimum Points per $1 dollar spent at Shoppers Drug Mart
  • Earn 30 PC Optimum Points per $1 spent where PC Products are sold and at PC Travel
  • Earn 30 PC Optimum Points per litre at Esso/Mobil locations
  • Earn 10 PC Optimum Points per $1 spent on all other purchases

At first glance, the PC Financial World Elite Mastercard may seem like a poor choice for one of the best Costco credit cards in Canada since you’ll only earn 10 PC Optimum points per $1 spent at Costco, but you need to look beyond the base earn rate.

There are many ways to earn more PC Optimum points with one of them being PC Points events. For example, about 3-4 times a year, you can redeem 200,000 PC Optimum points for $300 in credit. The normal redemption rate would be $200 so you’re getting an extra $100 or a 33% bonus. Using and PC Mastercard at Costco would help you rack up those points.

BMO CashBack® World Elite®* Mastercard®*

  • $120 annual fee – First year free
  • 10% cash back in your first 3 months
  • 1.5% cash back on all card purchases
  • Mastercard Airport Experiences provided by LoungeKey (no passes)
  • Complimentary roadside assistance program
  • Concierge service
  • Travel insurance
  • Price protection
  • Extended warranty

If you’re looking for a Costco credit card that earns you cash back, take a look at the BMO CashBack® World Elite®* Mastercard®* as you’ll earn 1.5% cash back on all your purchases. What’s nice about this card is that there are often promos where new applicants can earn increased cash back for 3 months. Costco would be the perfect place to take advantage of that promo.

The card does have an annual fee of $120, but the first year is free. It’s also worth noting that the complimentary roadside assistance program is worth about $120 per year so technically speaking, you’re breaking even on the card every year. Not only is the BMO CashBack World Elite Mastercard one of the best Costco credit cards, it’s also one of the best cash back credit cards in Canada.

Rogers World Elite Mastercard

  • No annual fee
  • $25 in cash back rewards after your first purchase
  • Earn 3% cash back on purchases made in U.S. dollars
  • Earn 1.50% cash back on all other purchases made in Canadian dollars
  • Mastercard Airport Experiences membership provided by LoungeKey (no passes)
  • Global WiFi for the primary cardholder via Boingo
  • Travel insurance
  • Purchase protection
  • Extended warranty

The Rogers World Elite Mastercard may have been devalued, but you’ll still earn 1.5% cash back on all your Costco purchases. Using this card at Costco is handy since the card has a minimum spend requirement of $15,000 or you’ll be downgraded to the Rogers Platinum Mastercard.

The nice thing about the Rogers World Elite Mastercard is that you can use your cash back earned on any purchase. To make a redemption you need to go into your Mastercard Pay with Rewards app and select ‘redeem’. As long as you have a minimum of $20 in cash back, you can use it on all or some of your purchases. You can even set the app to automatically redeem your cash back earned. 

HSBC World Elite Mastercard

  • 1st Year annual fee waiver for Primary Cardholder*($149 value/$99 value)
  • Welcome Bonus of 20,000 Points (up to $100 value) PLUS apply by October 3, 2021 and get an additional 20,000 Points (up $100 value) when you spend $5,000 within 6 months of account opening*
  • Earn 10,000 Points (up to $50 value) for adding your 1st Authorized User
  • Receive an additional 20,000 Points (up to $100 value) as an Anniversary Bonus
  • 3% (6 points per $1 spent) in travel rewards on all eligible travel purchases
  • 1.5% (3 points per $1 spent) in travel rewards on all other eligible purchases
  • No foreign transaction fees. Only the exchange rate will apply.
  • $100 annual travel enhancement credit
  • 31-day travel insurance coverage
  • Mastercard Airport Experiences Provided by LoungeKey (fee per visit still applies)
  • 10% discount on select hotel bookings on your card with Expedia and Agoda
  • Unlimited Wi-Fi through Boingo at over 1 million hotspots worldwide
  • Purchase assurance
  • Extended warranty

For Quebec residents

  • Welcome Bonus of 20,000 Points (up to $100 value) PLUS apply by October 3, 2021 and get 50,000 Points (up to $250 in value) if you keep your account open and active for 6 months
  • Earn 10,000 Points ($50 travel value) for adding your 1st Authorized User
  • Receive an additional 20,000 Points (up to $100 in value) as an Anniversary Bonus*

Another travel credit card that’s considered one of the best Costco credit cards is the HSBC World Elite Mastercard. The earn rate is 3 points per $1 spent which has a real value of 1.5% when redeeming your HSBC Rewards points for travel. Of course, you can get even more value out of your points if you were to transfer them to one of HSBC Rewards’ airline partners (Asia Miles, Singapore Krisflyer Miles, British Airways Avios).

What really makes this card great are the additional benefits that you get. There are no foreign transaction fees, you get an annual $100 travel enhancement credit, 10% off select hotel bookings on Expedia, travel insurance, free Wi-Fi worldwide and more.

Capital One Platinum Mastercard

  • No annual fee
  • Earn 0.5% on the first $3,000 you spend annually
  • Doubles at your Costco membership (membership fee still applies)
  • Earn 3% cash back on restaurant purchases
  • Earn 2% cash back on gas purchases
  • Earn 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • Price protection (60 days up to $100, $500 per year)
  • Purchase protection (120 days)
  • Extended warranty (2 years)

Rounding up the list of the best Costco credit cards is the Capital One Platinum Mastercard which really shouldn’t even be on this list. You only earn 1% cash back on your Costco purchases and your cash back earn rate is capped at 0.5% on the first $3,000 every year. That’s equivalent to a hidden $15 annual fee. The Capital One Platinum Mastercard is only on this list because it’s the official co-branded Costco credit card in Canada.

That said, the additional benefits are great as they’re better than what many other credit cards offer. You get price protection that covers prices drops for 60 days. There’s a $100 limit per claim with a total of $500 per year, but price protection is rare so it’s worth it. The purchase protection is good for 120 days whereas most cards only cover you for 90 days. Finally, the extended warranty doubles your manufacturer’s warranty for up to 2 years which is incredible since almost every other credit card caps it at one additional year.

Does Costco take Visa or American Express?

In Canada, Costco only accepts Mastercard in stores. One way around this is to purchase Costco gift cards online with the credit card of your choosing and then using those credit cards in store.

The Costco website does take Visa and American Express, but their stock is not the same as what’s available in the store.

What merchant category is Costco?

When it comes to merchant categories set by the credit card providers, Costco is considered retail. Since it’s not considered a grocery merchant, you would not earn any additional points with any credit cards that give an increased earn rate for grocery purchases. You get the base earn rate regardless of which credit card you use at Costco.

Is the Costco Executive Membership worth it?

The Costco Executive Membership is a higher tier Costco membership that many people consider but aren’t sure if it’s worth it. I wrote a detailed post about the value of a Costco Executive Membership which you should check out, but if you’re looking for a quick answer, it comes down to value. Basically, you need to spend at least $3,000 a year at Costco for the Executive Membership to pay for the increased annual fee. If you spend at least that, you’ll come out ahead.

How to pick the best Costco credit card

There’s no one Costco credit card that’s perfect for everyone so you need to consider the following to help you choose the right card.

  • Type of benefits – The type of benefits you want is usually the most important choice. Are you interested in travel or cash back rewards? Don’t forget to consider a low interest credit card if you have any debt.
  • Annual fee – Will the benefits you get from your credit card be worth more than the annual fee? If not, look at no fee credit cards. Keep in mind that you may get your annual fee waived if you have a premium banking plan with RBC.
  • Welcome bonus – The welcome bonus is usually worth more than the annual fee so always take a look at what credit card deals are available when applying.
  • Additional benefits – For some people, the additional benefits such as no foreign transaction fees, lounge access and travel insurance are important, so check to see what each card offers and compare it to others.

Final thoughts

When it comes to the best Costco credit cards in Canada, there are a lot of limitations. Instead of focusing on getting the highest rate of return, think about what type of rewards you like to earn or if any of your current cards can be used at Costco. Unless you’re spending a lot of money, you probably don’t need a separate credit card that you only use at Costco

The Best Costco Credit Cards in Canada

About Barry Choi

Barry Choi is a Toronto-based personal finance and travel expert who frequently makes media appearances. His blog Money We Have is one of Canada’s most trusted sources when it comes to money and travel. You can find him on Twitter:@barrychoi

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