Probably one of the most variable expenses in a budget is consumables — namely groceries and going out to eat. This budget category can get out of hand if we’re not careful!
Though we’ve used cash in the past to manage these expenses, we began to use a credit card for gas and consumables and track it weekly to control our spending. The card we chose was the Costco Citi card, and I was so surprised how much we would earn in cash back over the year!
One caveat however: This card doesn’t work like a traditional cash back credit card. Typically with a cash back credit card, you can elect to redeem your cash back every month. But with the Citi Costco Card, all of the rewards are recorded and then sent to you in the form of a Rewards Certificate you can use at the end of the rewards cycle. You have to remain a Costco member to be able to receive and redeem the reward certificate.
To be honest, it’s nice being able to get a big chunk of change like this in the form of a certificate. And, you don’t have to use the amount all at once. If you only use a portion, Costco will give you the remaining amount in the form of cash or a check you can use anywhere you want!
The rewards we received for this card were far greater than other credit cards we use, probably because of Costco’s 4% cash back on gas purchases up to $7,000, 3% back on restaurant and eligible travel purchases, (with travel protections, I might add), 2% back on purchases at Costco and Costco.com and 1% cash back on everything else. We don’t use credit cards with annual fees, so the fact that this one also has no annual fee was a no-brainer!
A cash back card is a great way to get rewarded for items you buy every day. In addition to no annual fee, I’d consider the rewards on this card a great deal!
Remember to spend responsibly and always pay off your credit cards every month. If you find that using credit cards gets you into trouble with spending, sticking with cash might be the best option for your situation.