What Credit Cards are Accepted at Costco in Canada?

Kariuki Maina
By Kariuki Maina 5 Min Read

In Canada, Costco warehouses exclusively accept Mastercard credit cards. In addition to credit cards, they also take debit and cash. Prior to January 1, 2015, they exclusively took American Express credit cards.

There is a solution if you absolutely want to use your Visa card. Costco Shop Cards, which may be used to pay in-store, are available for purchase online. A maximum of $2,000 can be stored on each Costco Shop Card, but daily spending is capped at $10,000.

This enables Visa cardholders to get reward points on their credit card when making purchases at Costco.

You may also purchase online from Costco.ca with your Visa card. However, keep in mind that as stated on their online product sites, pricing are often more online than in-warehouse: “May be available In-Warehouse at a lower non-delivered price”.

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Why does Costco only accept Mastercard?

For the right to accept payments from consumers using their brand of credit card, credit card companies like Visa and Mastercard charge businesses interchange fees, which are percentages of each purchase made with one of their credit cards and generally range from 1.6% to 3% of the purchase.

Compared to debit cards, which normally cost merchants a flat $0.10 per transaction, these fees are quite expensive. For stores like Costco with greater average transaction amounts, credit card payments are particularly expensive:

Payment option Cost to retailer Fee on $500 Fee on $1,000
Cash $0 $0 $0
Debit $0.10 $0.10 $0.10
Credit 1.6% to 3% $10 (2%) $20 (2%)

Costco is an example of a retailer who may bargain reduced processing rates depending on the amount of credit card payments they take.

Every year, they sell items worth $25 billion in Canada, and many customers choose to charge their huge Costco purchases to credit cards. They leverage their scale and volume to bargain with all of their suppliers for reduced rates, including lower credit card company processing fees.

Giving Costco members exclusive access to one of the three main Canadian credit card issuers enables them to haggle for even lower costs.

Since purchasing the Costco Mastercard portfolio from Capital One Canada on March 4, 2022, CIBC has been the card’s issuer.

Payment methods accepted at Costco in Canada

Costco accepts the following payment methods in Canada:

Payment method Warehouse Costco.ca Gas station
Mastercard Yes Yes Yes
Visa Yes
American Express
Debit (including Visa debit) Yes Most Yes
Cash Yes
Personal cheque Yes
Costco Shop Card or gift card Yes Yes Yes (physical)
Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Google Pay
No’s are left blank

CIBC Costco Mastercard

The official Costco credit card has no annual fee and offers 1% cash back on purchases made at the warehouse (with an additional 2% if you have an Executive membership, for a total of 3% back), 2% back at other merchants, and 3% back at dining establishments and Costco petrol.

  • Annual fee: $0
  • Cash back
    • Restaurants and Costco gas: 3%
    • Costco.ca and other gas stations: 2%
    • All other purchases, including Costco: 1%
  • Purchase interest rate: 19.75%
  • Cash interest rate: 21.49%

Does Costco accept Visa in Canada?

No, but you may purchase Costco Shop Cash Cards on Costco.ca with a Visa card.

Does Costco accept American Express in Canada?

No more. Between 1999 and 2014, Costco accepted American Express credit cards in Canada for 15 years. However, on January 1, 2015, an agreement with Mastercard was established when discussions with Amex broke down.

After 16 years with American Express, Costco in the US moved to Vista on March 31, 2016.

Does Costco accept debit?

Debit cards, including Visa debit cards, are accepted at Costco.

Does Costco accept cash?

Although the petrol station is completely self-serve and has no cashier, Costco does accept cash payments in the warehouse.

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By Kariuki Maina Kariuki Maina
In a world full of worriers, be the warrior.
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