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Comparing Canadian and U.S. Costco Credit Cards

After Costco dropped American Express as the exclusive accepted credit card at its retail stores, they took at MasterCard in Canada and Visa in the United States. Today, we will be comparing the two respective co-branded Costco credit cards available.

Both cards require the cardholder to be an existing Costco member to qualify. Furthermore, in both cases, the cash back is received once per year in the form of a Costco certificate (or rebate coupon).

Canada Capital One Platinum MasterCard

  • No annual fee
  • Earn 3% cash back on restaurant purchases
  • Earn 2% cash back on gas purchases
  • Earn 0.5% cash back on the first $3,000 on all other purchases (1% thereafter)

The following benefits apply, assuming that your charge the purchase to your credit card.

Everyday Benefits

  • Price Protection Service – Receive the difference, up to $100 per item ($500 per calendar year), if item was purchased in Canada that is offered at a lower price within 60 days of purchase up to $10,000, whichever is less.
  • Purchase Assurance – Insured (reimbursed, replaced or repaired at the insurance company’s discretion) against theft, loss or damage for purchases made anywhere in the world for 120 days.
  • Extended Warranty – Doubles the original manufacturer’s warranty for up to two years.

Travel Benefits

  • Common Carrier Travel Accident Insurance – Insures the cardholder, spouse and dependent children against accidental loss of life or dismemberment for up to $250,000 while travelling on a common carrier (e.g. bus, cruise ship, plane or train).
  • Car Rental Collision/Loss Damage Waiver – Insured if rental car is damaged or stolen for a car rental of up to 31 days.
  • Baggage Delay – Reimbursement of up to $100 per day for up to 3 days to purchase essential items, if checked baggage is delayed for more than 4 hours at an away-from-home destination.
  • Travel Assistance – 24/7 assistance for medical referrals, emergency cash transfers, lost documents and ticket replacements, lost luggage assistance and legal referrals when travelling outside province of residence.

U.S. Citi Costco Anywhere Visa

  • No annual fee
  • Earn 4% cash back on gas purchases worldwide (for the first $7,000 per year and then 1% thereafter)
  • Earn 3% cash back on restaurant and travel purchases
  • Earn 2% cash back on all Costco and Costco.com purchases
  • Earn 1% cash back on all other purchases

The following benefits apply, assuming that your charge the purchase to your credit card.

Everyday Benefits

  • Price Rewind – Receive the difference, up to $500 per item ($2,500 per calendar year) between the price paid and the lower price found within 60 days.
  • Damage & Theft Purchase Protection – For repairs or a refund within 120 days of purchase (90 days for New York residents).
  • Extended Warranty – Extends the manufacturer’s warranty by 24 months or up to $10,000, whichever is less.

Travel Protection

  • Trip Cancellation & Interruption Protection – Reimbursed for non-refundable trip expenses (e.g. change fees).
  • Worldwide Car Rental Insurance – Covered against theft or damage to a rental car.
  • Worldwide Travel Accident Insurance – Offers some financial help cardholder and dependants if a tragic accident occurs.
  • Travel & Emergency Assistance – 24/7 emergency travel arrangements, travel issues, medical and legal referrals. Referrals or assistance is at no cost, but payment needed for the services used.

Earning Ratios

It is fairly obviously that the U.S. version has a better earning ratio, as it offers a higher percentage on more categories. In terms of the Canadian one, I am most disappointed that we are not earning more than 1% on Costco purchases, as well as the brutal 0.5% cash back on the first $3,000 of all other purchases. What I do like a lot about the Canadian version is the 3% on restaurants. This is relatively amazing for a no annual card.

As for the U.S. version, this may seem competitive, relative to the Canadian one, but there are so many other more competitive no annual fee cash back cards in the U.S. that they still have some work to do to keep up. If you are American, I would look into the no annual fee, 5% cash back on specific categories instead.

Winner: USA

Everyday Benefits

Both cards offer very competitive purchase benefits. But as you can see, the Canadian version is slightly more limited. For example, there is a higher price protection limit on the U.S. card. Also keep in mind that not every single purchase qualifies for the price protection in either card.

Winner: USA

Travel Protection

Both packages are fairly competitive. The U.S. one is slightly more comprehensive due to the Worldwide Travel Accident Insurance. The Canadian one is definitely not far behind.

Winner: USA

Conclusion

The every day benefits and travel protection are close enough between the two cards. What really sets the two cards apart is the earning ratios.

However, irrespective of which country, if you are a Costco member, this is still a no-brainer card to have in your wallet that you can use for specific purchases that optimizes your return. The main reason is because there is no annual fee on either of the cards, so you can always have it in your back pocket.

I just hope that they continue to offer a no annual fee version of the card. If they want to introduce an annual fee, I would hope to see a second upgraded version instead. There are two levels of Costco memberships, so it could make sense to have two types of credit cards to choose from!

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Pointshogger aims to provide analysis and updates on earning loyalty reward points and maximizing the value of your points. We hope to inspire our readers to experience the joy of travel and make the most out of what they've already got!

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