What is Eligible Travel for a Costco Visa? Maximize Your Cash Back Rewards!

What is Eligible Travel for a Costco Visa

Explore the world with your Costco Visa! Discover eligible travel criteria, and perks, and maximize rewards. Your ultimate guide awaits! 🌟

As a frequent traveler and Costco member, you’re probably aware of the great cash-back rewards offered by the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi. But what exactly qualifies as “eligible travel” for earning those sweet 3% rewards? Worry not, this guide will answer all your questions and help you maximize your cash-back potential.

What is Eligible Travel for a Costco Visa?

The Costco Visa card rewards you with 3% cash back on “eligible travel purchases,” making it a compelling option for frequent travelers. But what exactly counts as “eligible travel”? This analysis breaks it down:


  • Traditional travel: Airfare, hotel bookings, car rentals, cruises, and purchases made through Costco Travel or other travel agencies.
  • Ridesharing: Uber and Lyft rides are considered travel purchases.
  • Travel-related expenses: Fees for airport parking, luggage fees, travel insurance, and train or commuter travel.

Not eligible:

  • Timeshares and campgrounds: These fall under the 1% cash-back category.
  • Restaurants: While restaurants earn 3% cash back, only those within travel-related establishments like hotels and airports qualify.
  • Activities: Tours, excursions, and other travel activities only earn 1% cash back.

Cash Back Rewards on Travel

Here’s the good news: the definition of “eligible travel” for the Costco Visa is quite broad. It encompasses a wide range of travel-related purchases, including:

  • Airfare: Domestic and international flights booked directly with airlines or through travel agencies.
  • Hotels: Stays at any hotel, motel, resort, or vacation rental booked through any travel provider.
  • Cruises: Whether you’re setting sail on a luxurious ocean liner or exploring the beauty of rivers, your cruise costs qualify for cash back.
  • Car rentals: Whether you pick up your wheels at the airport or rent from a local company, your rental fees are covered.
  • Travel packages: Booking a pre-packaged tour that includes flights, hotels, and activities? Enjoy 3% cash back on the entire package.
  • Transportation: Train tickets, bus tickets, and even ferry fees count as eligible travel purchases.
  • Vacation rentals: Renting a private home or apartment through platforms like Airbnb or VRBO qualifies for cash back.

Bonus for Executive Members: If you’re a Costco Executive member, you’ll earn an additional 2% reward on all Costco Travel purchases, on top of the 3% cash back offered by the Visa card. This means you can earn a whopping 5% cash back on travel booked through Costco Travel, further boosting your savings.

Related: Costco Travel Medical Insurance

Cash Back Rewards
Cash Back Rewards

Other Travel Benefits

The Costco Visa offers several other valuable travel benefits beyond cashback, making it a compelling choice for frequent travelers. These include:

  • No foreign transaction fees: No matter where your travels take you, you won’t incur any pesky foreign transaction fees when using your Costco Visa.
  • Travel insurance: The card provides complimentary travel insurance that includes emergency medical evacuation, trip cancellation/interruption coverage, and rental car insurance.
  • Global acceptance: You can use your Costco Visa at millions of merchants worldwide, making it a convenient and reliable payment option on your international adventures.
  • Access to Costco Travel: Book your entire vacation through Costco Travel and take advantage of exclusive member discounts and special offers.

4% Cash Back on Gas and EV Charging Purchases

While not strictly travel-related, it’s worth mentioning that the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card also offers an impressive 4% cash back on gas and EV charging purchases for the first $7,000 spent per year. This can significantly offset your fuel costs, especially for road trips or long commutes.

3% Cash Back on Travel and Dining Purchases

Remember, the 3% cash back applies not only to eligible travel but also to dining expenses. So, whether you’re enjoying a delicious meal before your flight or indulging in local cuisine on your trip, you’ll be rewarded for every bite. Read also Is Super Travel Legit.

Other Travel Perks

No annual fee: With a paid Costco membership, there’s no annual fee for the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card, making it an even more attractive option.

Double as your membership card: The card doubles as your Costco membership card, eliminating the need to carry two separate cards.

Card convenience: Use the card to pay at the register, access cash at ATMs, and make online purchases with ease.

Business option: If you’re a business owner, there’s a Costco Anywhere Visa Business Card available that offers similar benefits and rewards.

How to Maximize Your Cash Back Rewards with Costco Travel

While the Costco Visa offers great cash back on travel, there are some ways to further maximize your rewards and save even more money. Here are a few tips:

1. Book your travel through Costco Travel:

When you book your flights, hotels, and car rentals through Costco Travel, you’ll earn an additional 2% cash back on top of the 3% offered by the Visa card. This can add up to significant savings, especially on longer trips.

2. Utilize travel packages:

Look for travel packages that include flights, hotels, and activities. This way, you’ll earn 3% cash back on the entire package instead of just the individual components.

3. Pay attention to gas and EV charging:

Remember, you can earn 4% cash back on gas and EV charging purchases for the first $7,000 spent per year. Plan your fuel stops accordingly to take advantage of this bonus cash back.

4. Track your spending:

Stay organized by keeping track of your travel-related expenses. This will help you ensure you’re earning cash back on all eligible purchases.


5. Consider upgrading to an Executive membership:

If you travel frequently, the Costco Executive membership can be worth the extra cost. You’ll earn an additional 2% reward on all Costco Travel purchases, access airport lounges worldwide, and enjoy other exclusive benefits.

6. Take advantage of other Costco perks:

Remember, your Costco membership offers many other perks beyond travel benefits. Use the card to save on gas, groceries, and other purchases throughout the year.

Final Thoughts

The Costco Anywhere Visa® Card presents an enticing blend of cash-back incentives, valuable travel advantages, and convenient features, rendering it a superb option for both Costco members and travelers. By grasping the criteria for “eligible travel” and fully utilizing the card’s perks, you can optimize your cash-back opportunities and enhance the overall rewarding nature of your travel experiences.