Choosing the best Costco credit cards in Canada can be a bit complicated. Even though the new CIBC Costco Mastercard is about to replace the Capital One version, it’s still a bit lacking. Yes, you’ll now earn cash back at Costco.ca and get a slightly higher earn rate on all other purchases, but you also lose some of your insurance.
That said, it doesn’t make much sense to dwell on the past. As a consumer, you should always be looking at what products give you the best bang for your buck. If you regularly shop at Costco, you’ll know that only Mastercard is accepted. While the CIBC Costco Card will do a fine job, it’s also worth considering one of these cards on my list of the best Costco credit cards in Canada.
The best Costco credit cards in Canada
|Credit card||Base earn rate|
|CIBC Costco Mastercard||1%|
|WestJet World Elite Mastercard||1.5%|
|PC Financial World Elite Mastercard||1%|
|BMO CashBack® World Elite®* Mastercard®*||1.5%|
|HSBC World Elite Mastercard||1.5%|
CIBC Costco Mastercard
- No annual fee
- 3% cash back on restaurant purchases
- 3% cash back at Costco Gas, 2% at non-Costco gas stations on the first $5,000 (1% after)
- 2% cash back on Costco.ca purchases up to $8,000 (1% after)
- 1% cash back on all other purchases
- Mobile device insurance
Since the CIBC Costco Mastercard is the official credit card of Costco, it makes sense to feature it first. The overall earn rate has been slightly increased over the previous version. You now get 3% back on restaurant purchases, 3% at Costco Gas, and 2% at non-Costco gas stations on the first $5,000 (1% after), 2% on Costco.ca purchases up to $8,000 (1% after), and 1% on all other purchases.
Similar to before, your CIBC Costco Mastercard doubles as your membership card, but you still have to pay the annual fee to get into Costco. The card also now comes with mobile device insurance.
WestJet RBC 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
- Earn 2% back in WestJet dollars on WestJet flights or WestJet Vacations packages
- Earn 1.5% back on all other purchases
- Annual companion voucher and free checked bags
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 makes this card 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 at least 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, which is the same as the CIBC Costco Card. However, when you look at the value of your PC Optimum points, you’ll see why it makes sense to earn as many points as possible.
For example, about 3-4 times a year, you can redeem 200,000 PC Optimum points for $300 in credit or even 250,000 points for $400. The normal redemption rate would be $200 so you’re getting an extra $100 or $150. Using a 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 on all purchases for three months (up to $200)
- 5% cash back on grocery purchases
- 4% cash back on transit purchases
- 3% cash back on gas and electric vehicle charging
- 2% cash back on recurring bill payments
- 1% cash back on all other purchases
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 usually free. It’s also worth noting that the free 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, but it’s also one of the best cash back credit cards in Canada.
HSBC World Elite® Mastercard®
- $149 annual fee – First year rebate
- Earn up to 80,000 HSBC points* ($400 travel value). Must apply by October 31, 2022. Conditions Apply.
- Quebec residents – Earn up to 110,000 points* ($550travel value) – $149 annual fee
- 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
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.
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 use those credit cards in-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.
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