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TrueEarnings® Card from Costco and American Express

Approval Odds
Card Holder (50 Reviews)
Application Process
Customer Service
3.5199999809265 5

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Most Helpful Positive Review

APPROVED ON SECOND APPLICATION
Helpful to 10 out of 12 people

APPROVED for 3000 limit on Costco AmEx business card. .  Several years ago had financial difficulty but payments have been current for about 2-years. 71K income, plus I have a two year old business (corporation)  in good standing.  No balances carried on my credit cards, paid in full monthly.  No car payment.  Only debt is mortgage.  Transunion 650,  Vantagescore 779, Experian score 645 (I believe AmExp uses Experian).  Four months ago I was declined based on an error in my report, I had the error removed and reapplied at the store and received instant approval.  CreditKarma helped me identify issues and get them fixed.    

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Most Helpful Critical Review

Begging Costco to use different card
Helpful to 5 out of 7 people

I've had this card for seven years and it's always been a nightmare of an experience when things go wrong. Customer service refuses to admit to mistakes and refuses to correct them. They blame the "computer" and act like they have no way to help if the computer doesn't allow it. 

My story started with a late fee. My payment due date was on a weekend and I had previously set up autopay for situations like this when I may not be available to make the payment in full manually. I was surprised when I saw the late fee and immediately paid my balance and called to see if I could have the late fee removed. It was a $26 late fee assessed on an existing balance of $39. I explained that I'd had the card for 7 years and never been late once and the rep agreed and submitted a request to have the late fee removed. The system denied it. He was unable to or unwilling to tell me why it was denied. I spent an hour on the phone with an account supervisor and then an account manager. They were all rude and unhelpful. Fuming I went online to my account to set up autopay so this never happened again. This is when I noticed that I HAD already set up autopay, all my bank info was there and accurate, autopay was just turned off. So I called American Express back and explained that I wouldn't have a late fee if they hadn't turned off my autopay. The rep submitted a request and told me that the request went through and I should see the amount post to my account in the next 2-3 business days. 2 weeks later I check my balance and notice that there was no such credit. I called American Express again. This time I talked to the rudest rep of all who just kept telling me that the late fee was a valid charge and there was nothing he could do about it. Sensing I was getting nowhere with this guy and tired of his rude attitude that was making me angry I asked to speak to a supervisor. After 10 min more a supervisor got on the phone and I spend 5-10 minuted rehashing all the details of my problem. She said that all she could do was again try to submit a request to the system to remove the late fee but gave no guarantees. She put me on hold and came back 5 min later saying that the system denied my request. She was also unable or unwilling to tell me why. At this point I gave up, told her that my experience with them had been terrible and I was a extemely unhappy customer. The fact they claim their system is so ridgid and in no case can they override its parameters is utterly unbelievable. I know they can, they just refuse to. I've had worse account history with mastercard and visa accounts that HAVE reimbursed me for late fees when I call in. I've said that I would never use this card again before and then been suckered into using it because costco ONLY accepts americanexpress for some reason. However this time I shredded the card and all my AMEX cards. I'll pay with a **** check at costco or shop somwhere else if that's what it takes to not use AMEX. They are a terrible terrible company.

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toomanyjoes's review was:    

 

Reviews (50)

Begging Costco to use different card
Helpful to 5 out of 7 people

I've had this card for seven years and it's always been a nightmare of an experience when things go wrong. Customer service refuses to admit to mistakes and refuses to correct them. They blame the "computer" and act like they have no way to help if the computer doesn't allow it. 

My story started with a late fee. My payment due date was on a weekend and I had previously set up autopay for situations like this when I may not be available to make the payment in full manually. I was surprised when I saw the late fee and immediately paid my balance and called to see if I could have the late fee removed. It was a $26 late fee assessed on an existing balance of $39. I explained that I'd had the card for 7 years and never been late once and the rep agreed and submitted a request to have the late fee removed. The system denied it. He was unable to or unwilling to tell me why it was denied. I spent an hour on the phone with an account supervisor and then an account manager. They were all rude and unhelpful. Fuming I went online to my account to set up autopay so this never happened again. This is when I noticed that I HAD already set up autopay, all my bank info was there and accurate, autopay was just turned off. So I called American Express back and explained that I wouldn't have a late fee if they hadn't turned off my autopay. The rep submitted a request and told me that the request went through and I should see the amount post to my account in the next 2-3 business days. 2 weeks later I check my balance and notice that there was no such credit. I called American Express again. This time I talked to the rudest rep of all who just kept telling me that the late fee was a valid charge and there was nothing he could do about it. Sensing I was getting nowhere with this guy and tired of his rude attitude that was making me angry I asked to speak to a supervisor. After 10 min more a supervisor got on the phone and I spend 5-10 minuted rehashing all the details of my problem. She said that all she could do was again try to submit a request to the system to remove the late fee but gave no guarantees. She put me on hold and came back 5 min later saying that the system denied my request. She was also unable or unwilling to tell me why. At this point I gave up, told her that my experience with them had been terrible and I was a extemely unhappy customer. The fact they claim their system is so ridgid and in no case can they override its parameters is utterly unbelievable. I know they can, they just refuse to. I've had worse account history with mastercard and visa accounts that HAVE reimbursed me for late fees when I call in. I've said that I would never use this card again before and then been suckered into using it because costco ONLY accepts americanexpress for some reason. However this time I shredded the card and all my AMEX cards. I'll pay with a **** check at costco or shop somwhere else if that's what it takes to not use AMEX. They are a terrible terrible company.

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I have a feeling that if your weren't a hot head you would have never reviewed this card. Makes me believe that you are frustrated and it makes your story difficult to believe as most people I know have had great experiences with their cards.

chris91's reply was:    

 
Big Penalty for not paying in full
Helpful to 14 out of 21 people

I have multiple credit cards and generally pay off in full. Occasionally, when I was travelling I missed paying in full by 4 days on the Amex costco card. They charged me full interest on entire balance for that month. And this triggered revoking of the general grace period for purchases made on the next month. So, even though I paid my balance in full for the next month, they ended up piling on interest again as a penalty for not paying in full for the previous month.

This has to be one of the most outrageous policies for a credit card company. Calling the customer service was another futile waste of time. They regurgitate the same policy and blamed it on me for not reading the 'Terms and Conditions' document. I have never had such experience with other cards mainly discover or chase. 

Rewards are not comparable to other cards. I see no reason to continue using this card in future.

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In all fairness, you are 100% responsible for reading the "Terms and Conditions." You cannot blame them for fully enforcing a contract to which you agreed.

RayGLombardi's reply was:    

 
Cooperative
Helpful to 6 out of 7 people

I just got of the phone with Amex, having called about the nearly 28% interest rate on this card.  I explained that I have excellent credit, have always paid way more than the minimum payment and have been on time with payments.  The Amex agent, who was very polite,  saw that one payment a few months ago posted a day late and that it automatically kicked in the maxiumum penalty interest rate.  

The agent said the rate would be lowered to the opening interest rate and was happy to make the adjustment.

The moral of this story is that Amex is mostly computers.  They are programmed to do crazy things with no discernment about any other factors other than the time a payment is made and if that payment meets the minimum payment requirement. If either of those factors is not met, the penalty interest rate automatically kicks in.  

Try calling, be polite, and make your case.  It is worth a try and it worked for me.  I nice experience with the Costo American Express!  Thank you!

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Nothing but best all around My Card
Helpful to 3 out of 8 people

Best card I have ever had in my credit card use of nearly 50 years  they know how to treat customers right

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So far, so good
Helpful to 3 out of 4 people

I have had the Costco TrueEarnings card ever since Costco and AMEX hooked up. I have a $23,000 credit limit.  I pay off the bill "in full" each month. I had "one" problem with a purchase with a company. I called the TrueEarnings Customer Service line.  They helped me with no questions. Like anything, the card is not perfect. But, when I really needed help, they were there for me.  

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Approved on first try.
Helpful to 1 out of 1 people

We have had this card since Costco teamed up with Amex .  We use this card where ever they 

take the Amex card and pay our bill once a month with no interest. We have a $10,000 limit.

I'm very pleased with American Express customer service.

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Very poor customer service
Helpful to 1 out of 2 people

I have been a card holder for over 13 years and had for the first time an issue where I had to contact customer service to ask them for their support and consideration. This was regarding a $26 fee. The customer care person as well as the supervisor both (not US based) declined my request with the argumentation that they are making so little profit with Costco. Seems they have zero interest in customer retention. Can't wait that Costco follows their subsidiary in Canada and stops working exclusively with Amex. I will definately cancel my Amex card (as I have already cancelled my other Amex cards).

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Don't be late or miss a payment
Helpful to 4 out of 6 people

Yes, it's great to get all the % cash-back...but its not really cash back.  A check is sent once a year, which can be only cashed or used at Costco to pay for your Costco purchases.  If one cancels the card, all the accumulated cash back is forfeited.

Also, the interest rate of the card is 15%+, and if one misses a payment or is late with a payment, the APR rockets to 28%!

The key point this reviewer missed is that the user of this card needs to pay the balance in full before the due date to avoid the 15% finance charge.  

As with everything, there are positives and negatives.

Almost all credit companies offer cash-back  (true cash back, not a Costco rebate.)  Discover Card offers equal or better "true cashback".

This is not a good choice for a credit card.

Especially if one carries a balance from one statement to the next.

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Helpful to 2 out of 2 people

Fully agree with your review.

One comment - you can get cash back for your rebate check when you go to the customer service desk at Costco.

But as you otherwise stated many other cards offer much easier, more flexible and equal deals. It is a shame that Costco does not allow other Credit Cards and is forcing their customers to this Amex card. Costco Canada is cancelling their relationship with Amex - I can only hope that Costco US is doing the same.

juergenor's reply was:    

 
Bundle my Costco stuff. Works great.
Helpful to 5 out of 6 people

Applied for this card to help streamline my Costco experience.

CreditKarma Score: 635

Average account age: 1 year

Oldest account age : 2 years

On-time payments: 100%

Credit card lines: 3 (two open, one closed)

Loans: 1 (student)

I got approved for a $2000.00 credit limit. 15.24% APR after 0% introductory period ends. Everything has worked fantastic so far. Only hitch was my name was mispelled but that was corrected promptly. Great customer service over the phone and chat room.

Website is fast and robust. Haven't had any issues paying my account at the AMEX website. Haven't tried any of the android/ios apps though.

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Nightmare experience. Avoid!
Helpful to 5 out of 8 people

Through my billpay error, I mistakenly paid Costco AmEx $10,000 on a zero balance (paid the wrong AmEx account).  I called Costco AmEx, they said, "No problem!  We'll be happy to wire the money back" into my Checking/Brokerage Acct.

That was approximately 2 weeks ago.  I still do not have my money.  I have spent HOURS and HOURS on the phone with them. In exchange, I have received misinformation, excuses, and rudeness.  They say their Wire Dept filled out the wire information incorrectly TWICE, so it was twice rejected.

They refused to overnight me a check.  

They refused to expedite a third attempt, "We don't send wires after noon."

Spoke to the supervisor's supervisor (an account manager?) Patti in N.C.  Her customer service response on Day 13 of this ordeal?  "This was YOUR mistake." (after she refused to overnight me a check).  I asked who would be following up with me about the wire.  Patti: "No one."

I have filed a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.  Total nightmare.  Avoid.

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Helpful to 5 out of 10 people

Don't get so upset when you're the one that made a mistake. How do you pay a zero balance by accident? There are multiple steps to making a payment, and it's pretty hard to screw it up 

impaul4's reply was:    

 

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Company Overview

American Express is the world's largest card issuer by purchase volume, catering to high-spending cardmembers around the world. American Express offers personal, small business, corporate, prepaid, and charge cards. American Express stands out in the credit card industry for its cardmember services, such as concierge service and loyalty programs, and its charge cards with no pre-set spending limit, such as the Centurion, or "Black card”, known for its exclusivity and elite features.

Headquartered in New York City, American Express is a global financial services company that provides financial products, processes transactions, and facilitates payment services to consumers and merchants. With its iconic Roman gladiator logo, American Express operates in over 130 countries around the world.

Approval Odds

TrueEarnings® Card from Costco and American Express

50 Reviews