Does Costco Accept Mastercard? (Why Costco Customers Are Annoyed!)

If you have never visited your local Costco or if you have just recently opened up a membership with the big-box retail store, you might be surprised to learn an inconvenient quirk about the wholesale shopping super-center.

Here is everything you need to know about the relationship between Costco and Visa and where Mastercard fits into the picture.

Does Costco Accept Mastercard?

Costco does not accept Mastercard credit cards at any of its locations. However, Costco members can pay with Mastercard PIN debit cards in-store and at Costco Gas. Additionally, Costco does accept Mastercard credit cards when shopping online at only.

Mastercard is used widely across the world, so not having this option can be incredibly inconvenient for Costco’s current and potential customers.

Read on to learn more about why Costco does not accept Mastercard credit as a form of payment in its physical locations.  

Costco Has a Deal with Visa

Costco does not allow its customers to use Mastercard credit to purchase from their stores because the wholesale chain has an exclusive deal with Mastercard’s competitor Visa.

This deal began in June of 2016 when Costco and American Express could not reach an agreement upon the end of their previous contract.

The Visa deal ensures that Costco can only accept Visa credit cards from customers at their stores. Many people who do not shop at Costco, but are considering a membership, do not like this. 

This move can be incredibly frustrating for new customers that are considering a membership. It could even persuade them against membership with Costco altogether.

Creating more obstacles for consumers to navigate while shopping at a store is a gamble that Costco is willing to take. This deal has been beneficial to both parties.  

The most frustration that shoppers experienced likely occurred when existing customers, who had been using their American Express credit cards at Costco for years, discovered that their preferred form of payment was no longer accepted.  

Will Costco Accept Debit Cards from Other Carriers?

Although Costco has an exclusive deal with Visa on credit card transactions, customers can use their preferred debit cards with no complications at all.

This is great news for people whose banks only issue debit cards from Mastercard, American Express, or other companies.  

The forms of payment that are accepted at Costco include the following: 

  • Any credit card that Visa has issued 
  • Cash  
  • Most pin-protected debit cards pin-protected, regardless of what company issues them 
  • EBT cards  
  • Checks from current Costco members 

Costco’s deal with Visa does not limit the warehouse store from accepting a broad range of payment forms.

This is good news for frustrated customers because it offers them several alternatives to pay at checkout. This helps those who do not use Visa credit cards. 

Even though Costco accepts several forms of payment at their locations, customers are still experiencing irritation at this serious inconvenience.

Many people choose to do their grocery shopping with credit cards to maintain healthy credit activity each month. If their credit cards are not Visa, they will have to find new ways to shop. 

To learn more about different payment methods at Costco, you can see our related posts on whether or not you can pay with PayPal at Costco, use Apple Pay at Costco, and if Costco has layaway.


Costco’s exclusive deal with Visa might not hinder customers that currently use Visa credit cards, but it does affect those who use another brand. This can be a serious deterrent for customers who would like to shop at Costco and pay with their Mastercard credit cards. People always want the easiest shopping experience available. 

Costco has created a frustrating obstacle for its customers to navigate every time they plan to shop at their establishment. There could be another change whenever the current deal runs out with Visa. However, until that day comes, customers will have to stick to Visa credit or choose a different form of payment altogether.

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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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