Does Costco Accept Amex? (You Will Be Surprised)

When it comes to payment methods at Costco, it can become quite confusing. Over the years, Costco has changed its preferred payments several times from Amex to Visa.

So, does Costco accept American Express anymore? Here is what I found out!

Does Costco Accept Amex?

Costco does not accept Amex credit cards at any of their locations. While Costco used to exclusively accept Amex credit cards, customers will have to pay for their purchases with Visa credit cards or other forms of payment moving forward.  

This can be a major frustration for Costco customers who want to use their Amex cards to take advantage of certain benefits that their specific cards might offer.

This is especially true for Costco customers who have been using their Amex cards at the store for years. Read on to learn more about this surprising policy change.

Costco Ended Its Agreement with Amex

In the summer of 2016, Costco ended its exclusive deal with Amex. The two parties were unable to reach an agreement that would see the contract renewed, which resulted in Costco partnering with Visa.

Existing Costco members who had used their Amex credit cards previously were no longer able to use those same cards at Costco stores.  

Currently, Visa credit cards are the only credit cards that Costco will accept at its brick-and-mortar locations.

Additionally, Costco does allow other non-Visa credit cards to be used for online purchases and orders, but Amex is unfortunately not included in this. 

Visa and Costco’s deal ensures that credit cards from Discover, Mastercard, and others are not an accepted form of payment.

The switch from Amex to Visa does not seem to have affected Costco too badly as the company continues to thrive with its current partnership. This is frustrating for current and new members, though. 

At one point in time, Amex maintained an exclusive deal with Costco just as Visa does today. Now customers cannot use their cards in the stores or even online.

Costco accepts credit cards from Mastercard and Discover for online purchases only. Amex credit card users do not get this benefit. 

Does Costco Accept Amex Debit Cards?

After learning about Costco’s strict policies with credit cards, you may be surprised to know that your Amex debit card is accepted at Costco, both in-store and online.

Costco accepts most debit cards from various providers without issue. This is a huge relief for those with Amex debit cards. 

Costco accepts pin-protected debit cards from Mastercard and Discover as well. There are far fewer restrictions on customers who want to use Amex debit cards at Costco locations or online.

Many customers are at the mercy of their bank when it comes to who provides the services for their debit cards. Costco accepts every provider. 

Customers can use their Amex debit card at the following: 

  • When shopping in person at Costco warehouse stores 
  • When shopping from the convenience of their home online at 
  • While traveling at Costco gas stations 

This is a great way for Costco to retain customers that bank with institutions that issue debit cards that are serviced by Amex.

The last thing that a customer wants to hear after shopping for their groceries or other products is that their form of payment is not accepted. Shoppers that use Amex debit cards do not have this worry at Costco. 

As great as their policy is for those that use Amex debit cards, there is still an absolute refusal for those that want to use their Amex credit cards at Costco.

Until a new deal can be reached, customers that hope to use their Amex credit cards for groceries might need to consider shopping at another store. 

For more information on payment methods at Costco, don’t forget to check out my posts on using EBT at Costco and using Mastercard at Costco.

Additionally, you can see our other guides on whether or not Costco accepts Apple Pay and PayPal.


After 16 years of the exclusive partnership, Costco and Amex have parted ways. This is surprising for customers that have used their credit card there for years with no issue. Before you consider signing up for a Costco membership, you should be aware that the warehouse supercenter does not accept Amex credit cards.

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Marques Thomas

Marques Thomas graduated with a MBA in 2011. Since then, Marques has worked in the retail and consumer service industry as a manager, advisor, and marketer. Marques is also the head writer and founder of

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