Posted by Chuck on January 15, 2016
Credit Cards

Published on January 15th, 2016 | by Chuck

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Amex Costco Cardholders Transition Offers + No Hard Pull

American Express co-branded Costco will transition over to Visa cards in mid-2016 and Amex is offering bonuses to try retaining those cardholders. The new Visa card will come automatically and the Amex Costco card will be closed. However, Amex is trying to retain Costco cardholders and transition them to a different credit card.

[Read: Our review of the new Citi personal & business Costco Visa cards]

There are a few questions being asked about doing such a transition:

  1. What bonus can I get a bonus for the new card?
  2. Will there be a hard pull for the new card?
  3. Will I retain my credit history?

Hard/Soft Pull – Soft

Many reports on Reddit (1, 2) indicate that accepting the product change offer from Costco to Blue Cash will not result in a hard pull. Note that this may be only for a phone offer and it may be worth calling in so as to ensure that you avoid a hard pull. It’s possible that accepting an offer via a different channel would yield different results. If you apply for a card as a new application, it will likely result in a hard pull; the key here seems to be to get the new card as part of a transition offer and not a regular application.

Signup Bonus – Up to $300

Amex is aggressively pursuing their Costco cardmembers to try to retain them in various ways. Some people got emails, some snail mail, some got offers over chat, some got offers in their login, and some even got a phone call from Amex with a special offer.

The offers are consistently for the Blue Cash Everyday card and the details vary widely or even change as time goes on. The best offer available is for a $300 after spending $2,500 within 3 months. That’s a nice offer on its own, and certainly for a card with no hard pull. Other common offers are either $100 or $200 after spending $1,000.

Screen Shot 2016-01-14 at 10.43.15 PM

If you’re getting a subpar offer, try calling or chatting and see what you can get. Don’t settle for less than $200 as that one seems common enough, and it may be worth holding out for a while to see if you can even do better than $200. We still have some time to go.

All reports talk about a converting the Costco to a Blue Cash Everyday which leaves a big question as to what will happen for those who already have that card. You can try calling in to see if they can offer you the Everyday card or the Blue Cash Preferred card, although one person’s attempt at this did not work.

Credit History

Typically, when a product change is done, the credit history remains; even the account number often stays the same. In this case, it sounds like the Costco card will close down and getting the Blue Cash card will be a completely new product. This isn’t entirely certain, though.

It really doesn’t make a major difference if it’s a new account or not since the Costco card is being closed anyway and there isn’t anything you can do about that. The main difference would be if you can’t get any bonus for doing a product change (i.e. you already have Blue Cash Everyday), should you just shut down the account or do a product change without a bonus. At the moment, it sounds more like it will be a new card and it would seem to me that it’s not worth getting taking Amex up on a transition without a signup bonus.

The new Citi card issued by Visa will presumably be considered a new card on your credit history.

Update 2/3/16: Nerdwallet is reporting the reverse – the new Citi card will likely keep the same credit history as the old Costco card while the new Amex Blue Cash card (if you get one) will be a new card on your history.

Update 2/2/16: See the info given here by Amex.

Thanks to our friend on Reddit (here and here) for most of the info in this post, including the image

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AB
AB

I just called to see if they would switch me and they said that because I had an OBC I was ineligible… BUT that next month they were going to have some full product change opportunities with bonuses. The guy repeated that twice and told me to stay on the lookout for it.

anthonyjh21
anthonyjh21

About a week ago I went on Amex live chat and the rep told me to hold out a little bit longer and that they expect they’ll have something for us (us w/ the blue cash already). When I asked about specifics he essentially told me they don’t know anything yet.

So at this point I think Amex hasn’t even disclosed what they’ll do. Pretty silly considering we’re already half way into January. Hopefully I’ll get an offer for another card that isn’t BC.

Jack
Jack

There is an AMEX employee who posts a bit on myfico and goes by the handle Pooka89. For what it’s worth, the latest info from him is that AMEX still doesn’t have everything decided as far as how to handle the change-over but your Costco AMEX card should stay alive until mid 2016.

P
P

My sister also has the Blue Cash (not Preferred). She signed up for it when the bonus was $250 in October. She had to call in to get it approved because it went to pending. The CSR asked her why she’s applying for it. The CSR mentioned that since my sister has the Costco card, she won’t be automatically converted to the Blue Cash since they were going to approve her for it, and her Costco card will just be closed. This all happened in October, so I asked her to call them this month or next month to inquire if she can convert her Coscto to a Everyday or Everyday Preferred so she can earn MR points. Hopefully, they agree to this (even if she doesn’t get the bonus) because this could potentially provide her better Amex offers. In my experience, my older Amex cards (5 years or older) and my premium cards are getting better Amex offers. Her Costco is older than any of my Amex, but she doesn’t get nearly as good Amex offers.

penny
penny

I am waiting out. AMEX have been giving me a pop up everytime I log in for the $100 credit after spending $XXX.. which isn’t much.. in addition, they sent me bunch of emails and snail mail.

I want at least 1 AMEX card due to the AMEX offer.. but the Blue cash isn’t appealing to me, since I don’t spend much at supermarkets… and all my other cards give me 2% CB on gas…

GEJ
GEJ

For both the Amex (soft pull) and Citi Visa (soft pull, or no pull at all? can anyone confirm that point?) – both count as new cards, so both will reduce average age of credit accounts, correct?

Jack
Jack

From what others have reported on the forums, if you go for the current Blue offer it may be a hard pull unless it specifically states otherwise and it reports as a new card and will reduce AAoA. My guess is if you let the Costco card transfer to Citi it will keep the reported open date from AMEX. That is how it tends to work when one bank purchases the portfolio of another bank. However, none of this is a done deal. Latest news from AMEX is that your Costco card will be active until sometime in mid 2016 and that nothing is settled yet as far as what is going to happen. They may come up with better offers. Perhaps the ability to product change within AMEX so the card will retain the opening date as another AMEX card. I’m going to sit and wait until we know more.

J T
J T

Any new options, as hinted at by AmEx? I don’t have a BC product but I’m more interested in converting TE into an Everyday product, to earn MR. Any data points on this?

J T
J T

Just had a useless chat with Amex re account conversion. Suggested I simply apply for another card, nothing offered at all to convert to another card. When I pressed about the impending closure and transfer of customers to Citi, the CSR repeatedly said “not to worry”. I can only conclude that Amex still doesn’t have any idea what they’re going to do about this.

J T
J T

With no consistent upgrade/conversion options forthcoming from Amex, I’m just going to wait out the automatic conversion to Citi. If the account history, CL, rewards all transfer as promised, the TE will triple my total CL with Citi, which has been resistant to significant increases despite being my oldest accounts. CLI are easier to get with Amex anyway.

David
David

I am now seeing this offer showing up when I login to their website. Any updates regarding hard pull through this channel?

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