Executive Summary -
Many readers ask what is the difference between the affinity card from Costco and the Blue Cash series? While they are both cash back cards, there are some subtle differences that many people do not find. In this section of the review, we will look at them in greater detail.
Another common question we get from readers is asking us to compare the cash back from Costco versus the those from the Blue Cash Every (BCE) program. I suspect the reason is because the BCE cash back program has gasoline and supermarket as part of their category where you earn more than 1% cash back. So let's dive into this.
Blue Cash Grocery Category Does Not Include Costco - One of the things that consumers have to be aware of is that Costco is not considered a standalone grocery or supermarket. Instead, they are considered a discount warehouse. As a result, while you can earn 3% cash back from the BCE program at ACME or WholeFoods, you will only earn the standard 1% cash back if you use it at Costco.
But You Can Only Earn 1% Cash Back with Costco - Unlike other affinity cards, you only get to earn 1% cash back at Costco whereas other affinity cards will normally let you earn more than 1% either in cash back or points terms. Therefore, in terms of cash rewards while shopping at Costco, there is no difference between these two cards.
BCE has slight edge in the "suparmarket" category - Since you do not earn extra cash back with Costco, the Blue Cash Everyday program gives it an edge since you can earn 3% cash back at standalone supermarkets. And the truth is even if you are a Costco member, it will not be the only place you shop for your groceries.
Costco is better in the gasoline area - But it is in the gasoline area where things get a little interesting. The BCE program allows you to earn 2% cash back at standalone gas stations. The problem with that is that if you fill your gas at Costco stations, you will not earn that 2% cash back. The reason is that Costco stations are not considered to be "standalone". But with the affinity card from Costco, you can earn 3% cash back at Costco stations and other standalone gas stations (limited to $4,000 annual gas spending). So from a gasoline perspective, Costco edges out the BCE.
Other Minor Differences - The other minor difference is that you can earn 2% cash back at department stores with the BCE rewards and 2% cash back at restaurants with the Costco rewards.
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