The Big Costco Credit Card Switcheroo
Updated 7 p.m. ET June 29 with this clarification:
Initial reports on June 20, when Costco said it would switch the type of credit card it would accept, said the new cards would not have roadside assistance. But Citi spokeswoman Jennifer Bombardier now tells NPR that the Costco Visa cards "offer a comparable roadside assistance plan."
NerdWallet says overall the new Costco Visa card has better benefits than the old Costco American Express card.
In the first few days after the switch, some customers complained of long wait times when they called with questions about their new cards. But Bombardier says wait times have since fallen considerably. When NPR spoke to her on June 29, Bombardier said average wait times that afternoon were 4 minutes.
Our original post continues:
For years, if Costco customers wanted to shop with a credit card, the retail giant required them to pay with an American Express card. But as of Monday, the giant big-box retailer and its 81 million customers are switching over to AmEx's rival, Visa.
Why should anybody care? Well, if you don't shop at Costco, there's probably not much reason. But, if you are one of the millions of Americans who like to buy 12-packs of paper-towel rolls or 30-pound boxes of frozen beef patties, then here's what you need to know:
How many people might this change affect? Costco says it has 81 million customers/members who bought $114 billion worth of stuff at Costco last year. By the way, if you ever wondered just how many Costco stores there are in the country and the world, in its latest annual report, Costco says it now has 698 warehouse stores across the U.S., Canada, Mexico, the U.K., Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Australia and Spain.
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