Posted by Chuck on September 5, 2018
Credit Cards

Published on September 5th, 2018 | by Chuck


Costco Now Accepts Mobile Payments – Apple, Google, & Samsung Pay [4.5% with Altitude Card]

This is a few weeks old, but Costco now accepts mobile payments, including Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Google Pay. They’ve been trialing this for a while, so you may have had it before, but a few weeks ago it was officially confirmed to be available in all Costco locations nationwide.

They are also in the process of equipping their gas stations with mobile payment terminals, though that’s not yet complete.

Mobile payments is a convenience for some, and has additional interest to credit card aficionados due to the points angle. Mainly interesting for the U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve card that earns 3x on mobile payments which can be worth 4.5% back toward travel charges. That’s a terrific return for a typically non-bonused wholesale club. There have also been other deals available for mobile payments, such as the Freedom 5x mobile payments earlier this year, as well as various other mobile payments deals that come up from time to time.

Remember, Costco clubs now only accept Visa cards, regardless of whether you pay with a mobile wallet or the physical card.

Hat tip to reader Nicholas

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which is the best no fee card for mobile payments?

AFAICT only the Altitude gets ongoing bonus for mobile spend, so same answer as for non-mobile payments.

The best non-mobile payments method that is not restricted to season (such as Freedom, Discover IT) is Vantage West Connect Reward. You can always select Wholesale Club as your 5% bonus category, but only up to $1,500 per season though.

I was wowed by this as I’d never heard of it before, but the DoC page on it says its now restricted to Arizona only

I’ve been doing mobile payments for months at Costco

Same here. Using the altitude.

yup, Samsung Pay + Altitude reserve = Win

Ditto. For more than a year actually with Samsung Pay.

Started using this card at Costco in May 2017, first with Samsung Pay, then with Google Pay. My store enabled NFC almost a year ago.

Same. And i always look over how others are paying and see a lot of Citi Costco cards.

Is there a good list of merchants that take mobile payments (so as to maximize the Altitude+ card)?

Citi Costco Visa cards+Executive membership = effectively 4% cash back for Costco purchases (2% membership rewards, 2% Visa cash back) plus that card’s product protections. Coupling that 4% return with bonuses/rewards from various mobile pay schemes can be lucrative.

I max out my and P2’s Discover It cards to get 5% cash back via purchasing Costco Cash cards when “Wholesale Clubs” is the quarterly category. This will come in handy if you spend over $3k per year once those Cost Cash cards are emptied.

But they don’t take discover???

They do online

I do this too. Can’t wait until October 1st!

the beauty of this is that if you hold the executive costco card you also get 2% back on your purchases from that. So effectively you’re getting 6.5% at costco. Not too shabby!

Unless you found a way to get the executive card for free, that 2% costs $60

It pays for itself if you spend >$3000/yr (?) there. You get the 2% no matter what payment method you use. If you use the citi costco card w/ executive you’re getting 4% back… but you gotta wait a year for the refund.

Thing is if you spend *just over* 3k like I do its not even worth thinking about as the benefit is so small.

Your calculations overlook the discounts Costco pricing often yields v. buying the same or similar goods, services, and gas elsewhere, and the inherent price protection/product protection/returns protection supplied by Costco’s super liberal customer service policies. Also, some Costco patrons appear to more than cover their membership fees by replacing the cost of buying meals with copious food sampling. LOL

Yes, but the regular membership gets you that. No need for executive, that’s just for the extra 2% back.

When using mobile payment, does Costco allow Marstercard or AMEX ?

According to the last part of the write up, no. Still has to be a Visa card.


Same case for other stores too. Tried using apple pay with Discover and Amex and some stores who don’t take those normally still don’t with apple pay

No. Visa is the only Credit card that will work. Debit cards have always worked from other brands.

Hmm, i guess i need to join the times and figure out how this Apple pay thing works 🙂

It’s actually safer and quicker than using the chip.

I highly recommend it. It’s safer and faster than nearly all other methods of payment. Your CC number is never shared with the merchant. A surrogate number, or token, that is directly linked to your card is used instead. On the chance that there is fraud on the Apple Pay transaction, there is literally no impact to you. You tell your issuer there was fraud and the app securely and automatically updates with fresh card information. Your original card number in your wallet stays the same since it was never shared.

They also enabled tap to pay with RFID enabled cc! (Like the Costco Visa. I’ve found it much faster than inserting into the chip reader.)

Do you still need to carry your physical card for them to scan your membership number though?

If by physical card you mean the costco card, then yes, you’ll still need it. This is payments related only at this time.

samsung pay can store your costco card and i have been able to use the digital bar code of costco membership from phone in both self checkout and also at POS with person. They didnt ask me for any id. the membership is in my SO.

Good to know. Worth noting that the 5% cash back on wholesale club is coming up on the Discover it card. Personally I’ll max it out with Costco GC online.

Can you churn the Altitude Reserve? Already had it for one year, closed it. Might grab it again if it’s possible.

Can I put my MasterCard in Apple Pay and pay with that card on Apple Pay?

Costco accepts Visa credit cards, and basically all debit cards. If you have a MC debit in Apple Pay, it should work. If it’s a MC credit card, then no.

The best way to max out is to discover card in Q4 and get a costco cash card and use it for the rest of the year

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