Which credit card do you use to shop at Costco?
It may be time to update your choice for online shopping with the wholesale club.
That’s because Costco, which is a favorite shopping hub for money expert Clark Howard, is making some changes to its credit card policy.
Costco is famously a “Visa-only” merchant for in-store purchases, but they do lift that restriction for Costco.com purchases. Online purchases are also open to Mastercard and Discover cardholders. For now.
In this article, we’ll fill you in on the upcoming changes to payment options for Costco.com shoppers.
Note: Team Clark has reached out to Costco for official comment on this topic. As of the publish time for this article, Costco has not replied. If they do, we will update the story to reflect their comments.
Costco Soon Will Eliminate Discover as an Online Payment Option
Team Clark has confirmed that Costco will be eliminating Discover as a payment option on Costco.com.
Internet chatter began to spread in recent days indicating that Costco was contacting wholesale club members with an email that contained the following message:
“We are contacting you to inform you of the recent changes to the payment options on Costco.com. Effective November 15, 2023 Costco.com will no longer be accepting Discover cards as payment.”
But, strangely, not all club members have received the memo. None of Team Clark’s writers who are also Costco members reported receiving this email as of the publication of this article.
I reached out to both Costco and Discover for clarification on what is going on.
Costco has not responded, but Discover did confirm the bad news to me.
Discover issued the following statement to Team Clark:
“We are disappointed in Costco’s decision to stop accepting Discover® at Costco.com, especially for the impact it has on our shared customers. Discover strives to ensure a quality customer experience so our cardholders can shop where they choose across any of the 99% of merchants in the US that take Discover. While discussions on this matter with Costco have concluded at this time, Discover will continue our focus on ensuring the best experience for our cardholders.”
And though Costco has been quiet, perhaps their actions speak louder than an actual statement.
Discover has been removed from the list of accepted payment methods for Costco.com:
Though Discover has been removed from the list, I was still able to select my Discover card as a payment method for online purchases. So, things aren’t shut off just yet.
Costco Customers With This Discover Card Will Be Hurt the Most
Discover it® Cash Back Card
While all Discover cardholders will feel the pain from this news, I think the Discover it® Cash Back cardholders will be hit hardest.
This cash back credit card is one of our favorites because of its rotating 5% cash back on popular spending categories with no annual fee.
Oftentimes one of those quarterly 5% categories is wholesale clubs. And while you could not use this perk inside a Costco Wholesale club, you could use it to make purchases through Costco.com.
A favorite strategy for some in-store shoppers was to buy Costco gift cards online with their Discover cards during this 5% cash back period and then use the gift cards for in-store purchases.
It may come as a surprise to some of you that Discover was even an option in the first place, but this is a pretty disappointing development for Costco members who like to shop with a Discover card.
As recently as June 2023, the Discover it® Cash Back was offering 5% cash back on wholesale club purchases as a quarterly bonus.
But that’s a perk of the past, it seems. Discover cardholders will soon join American Express cardholders in being completely locked out of making purchases with Costco.
Moving forward, Costco customers will need a Visa card for in-store purchases and either a Visa or Mastercard for online purchases.
If you’re a serious Costco shopper, you may want to consider adding the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi. Clark carries it in his wallet for his purchases with the wholesale club.
Are you a Discover cardholder and Costco.com shopper? Does this news impact your future purchases? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the Clark.com community.
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