I love to earn cash back from my everyday purchases and I’ve found the best combination of cash back credit cards to maximize my spending rewards. One of the biggest challenges for my household is that we spend between $300 and $400 a month at Costco, and they only take American Express cards, like their own TrueEarnings Card from Costco.
TrueEarnings Card from Costco
When I applied for the Costco Executive Membership last year, I also signed up for the TrueEarnings Card. I wanted to use this card to get more rewards from shopping at Costco and to take advantage of some of the other perks.
Here are the features and benefits of the TrueEarnings Card:
- Earn a $20 Statement Credit with the TrueEarnings Card if you apply by March 24th, 2013
- Get 3% Cash Back on eligible restaurant purchases
- Get 2% Cash Back on eligible gas purchases
- Get up to 1% Cash Back on everyday purchases – including at Costco
- Add a FREE Supplementary Card – that person just needs to be a current member on your Costco account
- Enjoy 2.99% special low interest rate on purchases for the first 6 months, 19.75% thereafter
- Show your TrueEarnings Card for entry into any Costco warehouse and use it to pay for your purchases
You can sign up for the TrueEarnings Card here to take advantage of the $20 Statement Credit promotion – (link)
My Credit Card Fail
I filled out the credit card application at the membership desk, and included my new mailing address because we had recently moved.
That’s where my credit card fail began. I didn’t receive the credit card and then I forgot that I’d even applied for it in the first place.
I continued to use my American Express Air Miles credit card at Costco until November, when I partnered with American Express to test drive their new ChoicePlus card.
Then a few weeks ago I went to the membership desk to renew my Executive Membership for the year. The customer service rep said my membership had already been renewed; it was automatically billed to my TrueEarnings Card!
I thought that was strange, considering I hadn’t even received the card to activate it for purchases. Apparently they had my old address on file since I’d been a member for years, and so they didn’t bother to look at the new address that I had filled out on my application.
They had even sent my annual rebate cheque to my old address.
The next day I got a phone call from American Express saying my bill was two months past due. The balance was $115.50 for the membership, plus another few dollars in interest charges. If I let this go unpaid any longer it might affect my credit rating or even go to collections.
I’ve updated my address with Costco and American Express and should get my TrueEarnings Card, credit card statement, and rebate cheque in the mail next week.
I managed to get American Express to waive the interest charges (provided I pay the balance once I receive the card and statement) and they were very good about the whole situation.
If you want to maximize the rewards you get from everyday purchases then it’s important to carry the credit cards and loyalty cards that best match your spending habits. For me, that means carrying three or four credit cards along with store loyalty cards from the places where I shop the most.
Unfortunately, all of these cards can be difficult to track and manage sometimes, especially when you’re forgetful like me. I know my wife can’t keep track of all the cards and she’s always asking which card she’s supposed to use when she’s out shopping.
Thankfully it all worked out and I’ve learned my lesson to keep better track of my credit cards.