True Earnings American Express Card – Bonus Promotion at Costco

December 15, 2008

TrueEarnings® Card from Costco and American Express

Costco is running a promotion for existing customers – when you apply for the True Earnings American Express Card card or setup your Costco membership to automatically renew on your TrueEarnings card you get two months of free Costco membership.

Our neighbors are Costco members and they use the True Earnings cashback card not just for groceries but also for gas. They save quite a bit filling up at the Costco gas stations, the cash rewards card offers 3% back on gas purchases.

(Update) After seeing how our friends used the wholesale club, my wife and I have became Costco members. Our experience has been that if you can find a few things that are a great savings for you then the membership will pay for itself easily.

Costco Memberships

costco membership card

We actually started out as Gold members and shopped there for a few months to see what kinds of savings we’d see. Once we ran the numbers and saw that an Executive Membership made sense for us financially, we upgraded.  

The reason to start out at the Gold level is that it has the lowest annual fee.  For some people, being a Gold member makes more sense due to the lower fee.  If you’re like us and spend significant amounts at Costco then the cash back you earn as an Executive member can more than make up for the higher annual fee.

American Express Cards

You don’t have to use the True Earnings card to shop at Costco, you can always pay with cash.  But if you want to use a credit card Costco only accepts American Express cards.  We’re a big fan of earning cash back on our purchases so paying by credit card is what we prefer.  We do have a Blue Cash card but if you don’t have any AmEx cards then True Earnings is a good option.

Of course, one thing you have to ask when dealing with cash back cards is how the rewards are paid out.  With the Costco True Earnings card, the cashback you earn is applied to your card automatically, you don’t have to request payment.  Something else people ask about is whether you can use the card to shop on the Costco website.  You can but you don’t automatically have an online account when you become a member – you’ll have to create an account on costco.com before you can use the card to shop online.

Cash Back Rewards & Fees

Although you have to be a member of Costo to be approved for the True Earnings card, you aren’t limited to using it only at Costco. 

You earn cash back anyplace you use the card.  Since most everyone has to buy gas regularly, probably the best deal is the 3% back you get on the first $3,000 of gas purchases.  You earn at the 2% level when you eat out at restaurants, the cash back rates is 2% for travel purchases, and you earn 1% for everything else you put on the card.  One nice thing about the card that not all cash back programs offer is that there’s no limit on the rewards you can earn.

In terms of card costs, there is no fee to become a cardmember.  Once you’re a Costco member you’re eligible to apply for the True Earnings card.  If you’re approved you can actually use the card both to pay and as proof of your Costco membership, you don’t have to carry two different cards.

Click here to sign up for the card and start earning more cash back on your purchases at Costco.



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Ben Edwards, the founder of Money Smart Life, saved up enough to buy a Nintendo back when he was 12 years old. When he used the money to buy shares of Wal-Mart stock instead, he knew he wasn't like the other kids... His addiction to personal finance has paid off for his family and now he's helping you to afford the life that you want.

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8 Responses to True Earnings American Express Card – Bonus Promotion at Costco

  • robert russo

    I signed up for your AMEX-Costco True Earnings yesterday….and made my initial purchase at Costco the same day..I presume I am to get the $25 credit applied to my account..sincerely R Russo

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