What Payment Methods Does Costco Accept?

Costco is a great retailer for those who love to stock up on essentials.

From toilet paper to canned vegetables to paper plates, you can find everything you need at Costco and some things you didn’t know you needed. 

With the world moving towards a cash-free system, knowing what payment methods retailers will accept can be tricky.

Cryptocurrency and touch-free payments are becoming more popular every day, but not everyone accepts them yet. 

Costco currently accepts Visa, Debit/ATM Cards, Costco Shop Cards, Cash, Traveler’s checks, EBT cards, personal and business checks from members, and Mobile Payments from Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay. When shopping on Costco.com, you can also use MasterCard and Discover. Visa, debit, and Shop Cards are accepted at the gas stations.

To learn more about what you can expect when shopping at Costco, online or in-person, keep reading.

What Type Of Payments Does Costco Accept?

When shopping in-store at Costco, there are several payment methods you can use. Some of these include Visa, EBT, cash, Samsung Pay, Google Pay, and Apple Pay. 

If you are more of an online shopper, you can use Visa, Mastercard, Discover, Costco Shop cards, and debit.

The gas station has fewer options, only accepting Visa, debit, and Shop cards.

Costco In-storeCostco.comCostco Gas Station
Visa CardsVisa CardsVisa
Costco Anywhere Visa® CardCostco Anywhere Visa® CardCostco Anywhere Visa® Card
Debit/ATM CardsDebit/ATM CardsDebit/ATM Cards
CashMasterCardCostco Shop Cards
Costco Shop CardsCostco Shop Cards
Personal checks if a Costco MemberDiscover Cards (Including JCB and Diners Club)
EBT cards
Costco Business Members checks
Traveler’s checks
Mobile Payments (Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay)

Can You Use A Visa At Costco?

Visa credit and debit cards and the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card are accepted at Costco locations, costco.com, and Costco gas stations.

Does Costco accept Mastercard?

MasterCard is not accepted at Costco stores or gas stations. Costco has an exclusive deal with Visa only to accept their cards on site. If you need to use a MasterCard, you will need to shop on costco.com.

Why Does Costco Not Take Mastercard?

In 2016, Costco signed an exclusive deal with Visa, a competitor of Master Card. This was after a long-term deal with American Express ended.

If you have a MasterCard debit card, you can use it with your PIN in-store at Costco and at the gas station.

If you need to use a MasterCard credit card, you will need to shop online or consider shopping elsewhere.

What Payment Methods Are Not Accepted At Costco?

While Costco accepts many different types of payment methods, there are a few you should leave at home on your next shopping trip.

These include American Express, Discover Card, and MasterCard. This is due to an exclusive contract Costco has with Visa to only accept their cards as in-store payments.

Can You Pay By Credit Card At Costco In-Store?

If you have a Visa credit card or a Costco Anywhere Visa® Card, you are all set to pay via credit card at your local Costco club.

Costco In-store

If not, you will need to pay another way as Visa is the only credit card Costco accepts in-store and at the gas station.

Can I Use Samsung Pay At Costco?

Costco is an acceptor of a few different mobile payment methods, including Samsung Pay, Apple Pay, and Google Pay as a payment method in-store. 

Can You Pay Costco Through Checks?

Costco does accept checks, but there are a couple of stipulations. Personal checks will only be accepted by current members, meaning only the membership holder will be able to pay with a check, but no one else who is with them can.

Costco also accepts business checks, but the same rules apply. You must be an active Business membership holder to pay via check.

Can You Use A Mastercard Debit Card At Costco?

While Costco doesn’t accept MasterCard credit cards, if you have a MasterCard debit card, you will be able to use it as long as you process the transaction as debit.

If you need to use a MasterCard credit card, you can use it online at Costco.com.

Does Costco Accept Apple Pay?

Costco accepts Apple Pay along with Samsung and Google Pay.

Apple Pay

This is a convenient payment method for those who don’t have a card on hand at all times and as most people have an iPhone or a smartphone they can use it to pay. 

Using Apple pay is easier than most other payment methods. Simply, let the cashier know you want to pay via Apple pay and put your phone or watch next to the NFC reader.

Apple Pay can be used in-store, online, and on the Costco, app. Currently, Costco gas stations don’t have the capability to pay with Apple Pay.

You can purchase a Shop Card with Apple Pay and use it at the gas pump. 

Do I Need A Membership To Use A Costco Shop Card?

If you are given a Costco Shop Card, you can give it to anyone to use regardless of their membership status.

This is a way to use cash to pay for gas at the Costco gas stations if you don’t have a Visa or debit card to use. 

This is also an excellent way to get more time from your membership, as you can use these cards after your membership ends.

How Can I Use A Costco Shop Card?

The perks of a Costco Shop Card are numerous. It is a convenient payment option to use in warehouses, gas stations, and Costco.com.

Shop Cards are a convenient way to pay for gas without having to use your Visa or ATM card at the pump.

It is a great option for many situations, including for students who need an allowance for day-to-day supplies, gas money, and other necessities. 

Costco Shop Cards can be bought and reloaded at any Costco Warehouse. They also make an excellent gift for those who don’t have a membership. 

If you have less on the Cash Card than your total comes to, you can pay the difference in cash, Visa, or debit even if you don’t have an active membership.

For example, you have a SHop Card with only $15 left and your purchases add up to $75. You can use the $15 on the Shop Card and pay for the rest with any accepted payment method. 

Keep in mind, that you will need a member to reload your card to buy you a new one. 

Does Costco Gas Take All Credit Cards?

Costco Gas stations only accept Visa credit cards. If you have a debit card, you can use it at the pump.

Also, Costco Shop Cards can be used as a payment method if you don’t want to rach up your credit card on gas. 

Does Costco Accept EBT?

Costco accepts EBT as a method of payment at all warehouse locations. The same rules will apply as to what you can buy with the EBT card, but you will be able to utilize the bulk discount on items like milk, produce, meat, and other grocery staples.

What items can be bought with EBT will vary by state. Check your location here before you head to Costco with your EBT card.

EBT isn’t accepted for the purchase of ready-to-eat foods at the food court,  gas, alcohol, tobacco, household supplies, and pet food. 

Do I Need A Membership To Get Gas At Costco With A Credit Card?

One of the drawbacks of the Costco gas stations is the need to have an active Costco membership to use the gas pumps.

When you pull up to the pump, you will be prompted to scan or insert your membership card; this is the only way to get the gas unless you have a Costco Anywhere Visa® Card or are using a Costco Shop Card. 

If you are a member, you can still only use Visa, debit, and Shop Cards at the pump. 

What Credit Cards Are Accepted At Costco Gas?

Costco gas stations only accept Visa credit cards as a method of payment.

Their partnership with Visa extended to the gas stations as well, so you will need a Visa card, the  Costco Anywhere Visa® Card, or a Costco Shop Card to pay for gas.

Is Costco An Acceptor Of American Express?

In 2016, Costco ended its long-term exclusivity deal with American Express in favor of a better deal with Visa.

After this deal took effect, Costco no longer accepts American Express as a payment method. Costco.com and the Costco gas station won’t accept American Express either.

Is the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi Worth Getting?

If you are a Costco member looking for a rewards credit card, the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi is a good one to consider.

It is available only to current Costco members, and the card will be closed if you let the membership lapse. 

Cardmembers can enjoy quick payment at the gas station as they won’t need to scan their member card if they choose to pay with the Costco Anywhere Visa.

It is also accepted in-store, online, and anywhere globally that accepts Visa. 

Some of the other perks of this card include no annual fee, cashback on every purchase, travel benefits, and fraud protection benefits.

The cashback is paid out once per year. It breaks down like this:

  • 4% cashback on the first $7,000 each year, 
  • 3% cashback when using for dining and travel,
  • 2% cashback shopping at Costco and online,
  • 1% cashback on everything else and after the first $7,000 of spending each year

Is Discover Accepted At Costco?

Unlike American Express cardholders, there is some light at the end of the tunnel for Discover Card users.

While Discover is not accepted for in-store purchases, it is accepted on Costco.com. This is also the case for the less common JCB and Diners Club cards. 

Final Thoughts

Costco is a great place to stock up on essentials and get free samples. If you shop in-store, make sure you have cash, Visa, EBT, debit, or Shop Cards.

You can leave your MasterCard at home unless you plan to buy gas and leave your American Express and Discover on your kitchen table too. 

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