The CIBC Costco Mastercard is an excellent card for those those who primarily fill gas at Costco, as well as those who who purchase Costco online.
Bonuses & Fees
As is usually the case with Costco-affiliated credit cards, the CIBC Costco Mastercard does not offer any kind of welcome bonus.
The card has no annual fee for both the primary cardholder and any supplementary cardholders. It’s a solid choice to keep open as a free primary or backup credit card, all while supporting the longevity of your credit history.
The CIBC Costco Mastercard offers the following earning rates:
- 3% cash back on Costco gas, and restaurants
- 2% cash back on non-Costco gas, and at Costco.ca
- 1% cash back on all other purchases
All elevated cash back on gas is limited to the first $5,000 (1% thereafter), so it’s in your best interest to only use this card at Costco gas stations, where you’ll earn a 3% return.
The 2% cash back when buying Costco online also only applies to the first $8,000 spent, and will earn 1% thereafter.
For a no-fee credit card, the return on spend is excellent until the prescribed limit. In fact, a 3% return on restaurant spend without any spending cap is ridiculously good for a free card, and even higher than many premium cards.
Further, no other no-fee credit cards can compete with 3% cash back earnings on gas. After reaching $5,000, you can switch over to another Mastercard when buying gas at Costco, such as the Tangerine World Mastercard, which also has no annual fee and earns a respectable 2% cash back if you select it as one of your three preferred categories.
A 2% return at Costco.ca is also a high return for a no-fee card, given the uniqueness of the category; every other credit card would have this in the base earning category, making this extremely competitive, even among premium cards – at least you reach the $8,000 cap.
This is easily optimized by making large electronic purchases online instead of in-store (since you only earn 1% cash back in-store) and still benefit from Costco’s fair pricing and excellent warranty.
As is always the case with Costco-affiliated credit cards, members will receive their cash back every January in the form of a gift certificate.
This is a relatively weaker proposition than other cash back credit cards, since you receive a Costco gift certificate rather than cash. However, card members of this particular card likely do spend regularly at Costco, so the gift certificate can be valued at face value.
Note that there is no option to receive cash back at any other time of year, as they are only issued every January.
The insurance benefits on the CIBC Costco Mastercard are fairly limited, given the nature of this card for those who spend regularly at Costco rather than the avid traveller.
The most notable insurance inclusion is Mobile Device Insurance, offering $1,000 in coverage per occurrence. This insurance is relatively new to credit cards in general, and is extremely rare on no-fee credit cards.
CIBC themselves do not offer this insurance on any of their other no-fee cards, and the only other no-fee card to offer it is the Brim Mastercard; but unlike the CIBC Costco Mastercard, Brim has a deductible as well as a much less generous payout policy, subject to depreciation.
The card’s sole type of travel insurance is Common Carrier Accident insurance, which reimburses you up to $100,000 in the case of an unforeseen accident onboard scheduled transportation that results in bodily harm.
In addition, it offers extended warranty (doubling the manufacturer’s standard warranty, up to one additional year) and purchase protection (against accidental damage or theft within 90 days).