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Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi vs Sallie Mae Accelerate 2023

investor.com

Written by investor.com

In head-to-head competition, which of these rewards credit cards wins out? Here’s what each has to offer and how they fare when put to the ultimate test — the cash back you’ll earn for using them.

Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi
Earn 4% cash back on eligible gas and EV charging worldwide for the first $7,000 per year and then 1% thereafter; 3% on restaurants and eligible travel purchases worldwide; 2% on all other purchases from Costco and Costco.com, and 1% on all other spending.

Sallie Mae Accelerate
Redeem 2% cash back to help pay down any student loan, or earn 1.5% cashback for everything else.

Credit Card Calculator
Monthly Spend
Spend Categories expand_more
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dining Dining
theater_comedy Entertainment
local_gas_station Gas
shopping_cart Groceries
monetization_on Other
local_pharmacy Pharmacy
card_travel Travel
local_shipping Amazon
storefront Costco
construction Home Improvement
shopping_bag Online Shopping
smart_display Streaming
local_taxi Transit
power Utilities
kitchen Whole Foods
receipt_long Wholesale Clubs
Best for Road Warriors

Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi

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Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi Logo
Cashback Per Year
$...
Annual Fee
$0
Welcome Bonus
N/A

Sallie Mae Accelerate

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Sallie Mae Accelerate Logo
Cashback Per Year
$...
Annual Fee
$0
Welcome Bonus
N/A
Want to compare more cards? Use our full calculator.

Which credit card earns more cash back overall?

Based on identical spending inputs, you’ll earn $235.92 cash back per year with Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi and $180.00 with Sallie Mae Accelerate. For context, the average annual rewards payout from the cashback credit cards in the investor.com database is $181.73.

The annual rewards payout assumes you charge $1,000 each month spread across the following spending categories: Dining ($145), Entertainment ($134), Gas ($140), Groceries ($198), Travel ($128), Pharmacy ($15), and Other ($240). The dollar amounts for each category are based on consumer spending data collected by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (i.e., how much the average American spends proportionally across the major credit card rewards categories). But you can — and absolutely should! — customize the inputs based on your actual monthly spending habits, using our rewards calculator.

To ensure the most accurate results possible, the rewards calculations for Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi and Sallie Mae Accelerate incorporate bonus rewards rates, spending caps, default rewards rates and annual fees, where applicable.

Is the Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi good?

The Costco Anywhere Visa is definitely not your average store credit card. It offers competitive reward rates on practically everything on your shopping list — gas, restaurants, travel — and, of course, a deal (2% cash back) on your Costco/Costco.com purchases.

thumb_up Likes

  • High 4% cashback on gas/EV charging year round (up to a point)
  • Doubles as a 3% dining/travel rewards card
  • 2% rewards on Costco purchases
  • No rotating rewards categories
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Executive Members can really cash in

thumb_down Dislikes

  • Requires a Costco membership (to state the obvious)
  • $7,000 annual cap on gas/EV charging rewards spending
  • Rewards paid out once annually ...
  • ...and they expire
  • No signup bonus or 0% intro APR on purchases or balance transfers


Category Default Rate Bonus Rate Bonus Spend Cap Bonus Spend Period (Months)
Gas 1.00% 4.00% $7,000 12
Travel 3.00% - - -
Dining 3.00% - - -
Entertainment 1.00% - - -
Pharmacy 1.00% - - -
Groceries 1.00% - - -
Other Purchases 1.00% - - -

Is the Sallie Mae Accelerate good?

If paying down your student loans is a priority, this cashback card from Sallie Mae offers an incentive — a 33 1/3% rewards rate booster (turning a 1.5% cashback rate to 2% cashback) to direct the money towards any federal or private loan.

thumb_up Likes

  • Earn 2% cashback when redeemed to help pay down a student loan
  • No annual fee
  • $200 bonus for spending $1K in first three months
  • No cap or expiration on rewards
  • Secondary cell phone coverage and other Mastercard bennies

thumb_down Dislikes

  • Limited redemption options (which is kinda the point, but still)
  • The 1.5% base cashback rate is pretty basic
  • $25 reward redemption minimum
  • No welcome bonus or 0% intro APR on transfers or purchases
  • The 3% foreign transaction and 5% cash advance fees will leave a mark
  • Not really worth it if you don’t have student loan debt


Category Default Rate Bonus Rate Bonus Spend Cap Bonus Spend Period (Months)
Gas 1.50% - - -
Travel 1.50% - - -
Dining 1.50% - - -
Entertainment 1.50% - - -
Pharmacy 1.50% - - -
Groceries 1.50% - - -
Other Purchases 1.50% - - -

compare_arrows Compare credit cards

Select and compare two credit cards head to head to see which offers the most bang for your buck.


Select Credit Cards

×
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  • check_box_outline_blankcheck_boxAmerican Express Cash Magnet
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  • check_box_outline_blankcheck_boxBank of America Customized Cash Rewards
  • check_box_outline_blankcheck_boxBank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards
  • check_box_outline_blankcheck_boxBank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards (Gold Tier)
  • check_box_outline_blankcheck_boxBank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards (Platinum Honors Tier)
  • check_box_outline_blankcheck_boxBank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards (Platinum Tier)
  • check_box_outline_blankcheck_boxBlue Cash Everyday from American Express
  • check_box_outline_blankcheck_boxBlue Cash Preferred Card from American Express
  • check_box_outline_blankcheck_boxBMO Harris Bank Cash Back Mastercard
  • check_box_outline_blankcheck_boxCapital One Quicksilver Rewards
  • check_box_outline_blankcheck_boxCapital One Quicksilver Rewards for Good Credit
  • check_box_outline_blankcheck_boxCapital One QuicksilverOne
  • check_box_outline_blankcheck_boxCapital One Savor Rewards
  • check_box_outline_blankcheck_boxCapital One SavorOne Rewards
  • check_box_outline_blankcheck_boxChase Freedom Flex
  • check_box_outline_blankcheck_boxChase Freedom Unlimited
  • check_box_outline_blankcheck_boxCiti Custom Cash Card
  • check_box_outline_blankcheck_boxCiti Double Cash Card
  • check_box_outline_blankcheck_boxCostco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi
  • check_box_outline_blankcheck_boxCredit One Bank American Express Card
  • check_box_outline_blankcheck_boxCredit One Platinum Rewards Visa
  • check_box_outline_blankcheck_boxCredit One Platinum Rewards Visa with No Annual Fee
  • check_box_outline_blankcheck_boxCredit One Platinum X5 Visa
  • check_box_outline_blankcheck_boxDiscover it Cash Back
  • check_box_outline_blankcheck_boxDiscover it Chrome
  • check_box_outline_blankcheck_boxPayPal Cashback Mastercard
  • check_box_outline_blankcheck_boxPenFed Power Cash Rewards
  • check_box_outline_blankcheck_boxPetal 2 Visa Card
  • check_box_outline_blankcheck_boxPNC Cash Rewards Visa Credit Card
  • check_box_outline_blankcheck_boxSallie Mae Accelerate
  • check_box_outline_blankcheck_boxSallie Mae Evolve Credit Card
  • check_box_outline_blankcheck_boxSoFi Credit Card
  • check_box_outline_blankcheck_boxTD Cash Credit Card
  • check_box_outline_blankcheck_boxTruist Enjoy Cash Credit Card
  • check_box_outline_blankcheck_boxU.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card
  • check_box_outline_blankcheck_boxUpgrade Cash Rewards
  • check_box_outline_blankcheck_boxUpgrade Triple Cash Rewards
  • check_box_outline_blankcheck_boxUSAA Cashback Rewards Plus American Express Card
  • check_box_outline_blankcheck_boxUSAA Preferred Cash Rewards Visa Signature Card
  • check_box_outline_blankcheck_boxVenmo Credit Card
  • check_box_outline_blankcheck_boxWells Fargo Active Cash Card

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Methodology

The results of the investor.com Credit Card Rewards Calculator are based on the monthly spending amounts you enter and the annual dollar value of the rewards each credit card program pays per $1 spent. Credit card companies often express this payout amount as a percentage (e.g., 1.5% of every dollar spent) or on a points basis (e.g. ,1.5 points for every dollar spent). We converted all of them to a dollar amount (“Cash Back Per Year”) to make comparing offers easier.

To calculate the amount of cash back you could earn per year, we factored in:

  • Spend category inputs: The default dollar values for each “Spend Category” in the Best Cashback Credit Cards tool — gas, groceries, travel, restaurant, entertainment, pharmacy, other — are based on average American spending data from the Consumer Expenditure Surveys from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. We also include additional spend categories (such as streaming services, online shopping, utilities, transit, Amazon and more) to help you see which rewards cards are most closely aligned with your actual spending patterns. We encourage you to customize the monthly spend inputs for the most accurate results.
  • Tiered rewards rates: If a rewards credit card pays higher cashback rates on certain spending categories (also called “Bonus Rewards”), that difference is reflected in the total “Cash Back Per Year” tally.
  • Rewards spending caps: Some cards impose category- or time-based limits (monthly, quarterly, annually) that affect the amount of rewards you can earn. For example, a card may pay 3% cash back on groceries on up to $1,000 of spending each quarter, then revert to the base/default rewards rate until the following quarter. We accounted for bonus spending caps and timeframe in the calculations.
  • Default rewards rates: Purchases that exceed a spending cap are usually subject to a lower default rewards rate (e.g., 1% or 1.5%). We mathed that out too.
  • Annual fees: If a rewards card charges an annual fee, we deducted that amount from the “Cash Back Per Year” total to provide a true accounting of a card’s annual rewards payout.

What’s not included in the “Cash Back Per Year” total is the cash value of any sign-up/introductory bonus. We highlight any Welcome Bonus separately. While sign-up bonuses can be the most lucrative part of getting a new cashback rewards credit card, not everyone will want or be able to do what it takes to earn the extra cash. (It usually requires spending a certain amount in a specified time period after the card is activated.)



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