Credit Card Reviews

TrueEarnings® Card from Costco and American Express

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Credit Score
  • info This chart details the percent of cardholders that a credit score that currently falls within the given score ranges.
  • info This chart displays the average credit score across all holders of this card, every month, for the past year.
Credit Limit
  • info This chart details the percent of cardholders whose credit limit on this card currently falls within the given amount ranges.
  • info This chart displays the average credit limit of all holders of this card whose current credit score falls within the given score ranges.
  • info This chart displays the average credit limit of all holders of this card whose current age falls within the given age ranges.
Current Balance
  • info This chart details the percent of cardholders whose current balance on this card falls within the given amount ranges.
  • info This chart displays the average current balance for all holders of this card whose current credit score falls within the given score ranges.
  • info This chart displays the average current balance for all holders of this card whose current age falls within the given age ranges.
Credit Limit Utilized
  • info This chart details the percent of cardholders whose current credit limit utilization for this card falls within the given utilization ranges.
  • info This chart displays the average credit limit utilization for all holders of this card whose current credit score falls within the given score ranges.
  • info This chart displays the average credit limit utilization for all holders of this card whose current age falls within the given age ranges.
60+ Days Past Due Status
  • info This chart displays the percent of holders of this card that were 60+ days past due for the given month for the past year.
  • info This chart displays the percent of holders of this card that are currently 60+ days past due and whose current credit score falls within the given score range.
  • info This chart displays the average amount that is 60+ days past due for holders whose current credit score falls within the given score range.
Age of Cardholder
  • info This chart details the percent of cardholders whose current age falls within the given age ranges.
Sample Size: 2,569
Data Created: October 01, 2013

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63 Cardholder Reviews

Results 1-10 of 63Results per page: 5 | 10 | 25Page 1 of 7   Previous | Next

All Reviews

Helpful to 15 out of 15 people

CreditKarma Transrisk Score: 778, Vantage Score: 954
I love this card! It has given me the financial flexibility to get to where I am today.
I can't figure out how their underwriting process works, but I'm grateful they gave me a chance and am now a loyal user of this card. So much so that now I've convinced most of our friends to switch to this card (we even paid the Costco membership for one of them). Now they love it and can't stop talking about the card. 
I got my first card in 1999 as soon as I turned 18 - the month before I went to college. I think I had a $500 credit limit initially. I got a few more cards on campus (yes, I traded my info for free t-shirts and the like), but I made sure I never charged more than what was in my bank account. I kept the account funded by working various jobs throughout the year. I've missed maybe 3 or so payments on different credit cards (usually during the semester breaks when I wouldn't get the mail statements before moving home for break), but I called the companies as soon as I realized the mistake and usually got the fees/interest waived when I told them I would be sending the payment in full right away. Fortunately none of the late payments ever showed up on my credit report.
I give Amex 5 stars for their customer service. When my account number was compromised at a local restaurant, the fraudulent charges were removed immediately (same day) - no questions asked. Now if I have any suspicion that I may be ripped off by a new vendor, using Amex gives me complete peace of mind. And with electronic/online statements and payments, it's much easier to check balances and make timely payments. 
Now about the Amex credit evaluation and underwriting (and yes, I filled out the application truthfully, stating that I was still a student - I used financial aid award as part of my income) - I got the Amex Costco card in 2005 while in graduate school and living off student loans and limited part-time jobs. So I was naturally taken aback when they approved me at age 24 for a nearly $18K credit limit. Of course, I continued to pay the balance in full each month (usually around $300).
Fast forward to mid-2007. Armed with a professional doctorate degree in hand, I launch my practice/business. Which needs even more capital. So I add on the business version of the Amex Costco card. Even with nearly $200K of student loan debt, they grant me another $35K credit limit on the new business card. Wished they had given me more, but I had another ~$22K credit limit on a FIA mastercard with Fidelity Investments that I was able to tap into (savings set aside from work went into a Roth IRA at Fidelity). In hindsight, this kind of credit would have been impossible to obtain one year later after the Lehman meltdown and ensuing credit crisis...
My biggest pet peeve? Companies that change the programs or value of points to redeem. And what do you do with leftover points if you want to stop using the card? Why do I need to redeem in 5,000 point increments? I won't mention companies that have shortchanged me here... For rewards - cash is king, they generally won't change those values.
The last three years we've averaged over $700 in rebates from Costco (plus about $100 in the executive reward category) - which I readily cash at the front desk or at checkout. Yes, medical equipment and supplies are expensive, but my practice is profitable and all cards continue to be paid off in full monthly. Costco has such happy employees, it's such a pleasant shopping environment. When I cash the rebate check, they flash me a smile and usually comment "nice job, you did well this year." Although I don't know that I necessarily feel good about people complimenting me on spending a lot of money... 
The figure would be a few hundred dollars higher, except I still routinely split purchases onto my Fidelity FIA mastercard, and Shell mastercard (for gas) to maximize rewards (and some of my vendors don't accept Amex). Fidelity has a new Amex that gives 2% back on everything - just got that card about two weeks ago, so I'm planning to upgrade some of our office equipment with that line. And our friend who we gave Costco membership to? His reward is nearly $1,500 in the second year running. We'll let him win this one... 

andychangdmd's review was:    

  Jan 14, 2011 Reply

andychangdmd(1, 15)

Review by andychangdmd

1 Contributions 15 People Helped

Great Card w/ Great Rewards Helpful to 5 out of 5 people

My all around score on my credit karma account is 737.  I make about 80k a year, with a car loan, mortgage, 40k in student loans, and 4 other primary credit cards. I have a Citi Bank Thank You Perferred(No pre-set spending limit), Capital One Newcomers ($1,000 credit limit), Chase Freedom Visa ($2,500 CL), and a AMEX Blue Cash ($10,000 CL) I was very surprised when AMEX approved me for the True Earnings with a $5,000 CL. Most recently(only two months after having the card) they approved me for a $2,500 increase! I love the benefits and the rewards that come with carrying an AMEX. One problem, many places do not accepts AMEX as frequently as VISA/MC, but I'll get over it. 

jasonpierce97's review was:    

  Jun 26, 2013 Reply

jasonpierce97(5, 10)

Review by jasonpierce97

5 Contributions 10 People Helped

Helpful to 5 out of 5 people

I work for Amex....We look at Experian first. We used to look at Transunion and switched a few years ago. Many things can affect why you may get approved or declined for a card. I have seen individuals with a score of 750 declined because of their debt to credit ratio. If someone has a few credit cards even if they are not using them then they have the ability to charge and carry a balance. All of these things are taken into consideration when and if a person gets approved for an Amex card. By the way on a True Earnings Business card you can receive 4% back on gas. Thanks, Guyamex

Dec 02, 2009 Reply
Helpful to 1 out of 1 people

Well I received my TrueEarnings card today. I already logged in, set up the things I wanted, enrolled in AutoPay as a safety net (in case I get sick, or am traveling, etc. on the due date and forget to pay early), mobile fraud detection alerts, daily account monitoring updates, and so forth.

I'm very happy I can now stop slumming it with First Premier and can tell them to go suck a rotten egg, and I know better than to close all my accounts. AmEx always makes it SOO easy to do business with them - making payments is no hassle, and their web site is well designed and easy to navigate.

kimvette's reply was:    

  Mar 29, 2010

kimvette(3, 1)

Review by kimvette

3 Contributions 1 People Helped

This is probably new, but I just applied (unfortunately on a holiday) online and they said to call for instant approval. Their office is closed since it's MLK day here, and their office is apparently closed (got the 'our office is closed' message on the phone ) .

theegooch's reply was:    

  Jan 21, 2013

theegooch(8, 6)

Review by theegooch

8 Contributions 6 People Helped


Don't rule out AmEx with a short history. I have only an 8 month history. I used to have excellent credit - car loans, several credit cards, and so forth and never missed payments. The economic crash in 2001 happened so I closed all my accounts but one (that one had a balance) and I made the mistake of living off of savings while starting a business and got behind on one card. I eventually paid it in full (or as agreed, whatever the term is) when I got my neck above water.

Last year I needed to finance a car and could not get financing because of the lack of personal credit. One of the lenders cited two errors on my credit report but I have the documentation for those and furnished it. They still turned me down. Eventually I found a local credit union who would finance me (only after I provided the documentation about the errors) and I was able to get the car I really wanted.

I made the mistake of not even talking to AmEx. I went to Best Buy first and they turned me down. Then, I went to First Premier, and have been gouged with miscellaneous fees (including "convenience fees" for making payments online!!!), and since I make multiple payments per month, they sit on my payments for a week or more before releasing credit. So, after six months of that crap I called AmEx. I told them what my goals are, that I have a very limited personal credit history but am currently with First Premier and need to get away from them (between the low limit, fees, and delays on clearing payments) so he directed me to the TrueEarnings card. AmEx ended up approving me with only 8 months' history. My payments are all 100% on time. I would not rule out talking to AmEx. My experience with them has been as a corporate cardholder; this will be my first experience with them as a personal cardholder. Quite honestly, I am looking forward to it, because the other issuer has been a pain to deal with at every turn - and the thing is, I was trying to give First Premier more business but they just do not seem to want my money beyond the gadzillion miscellaneous fees.

My advice is to check AmEx first. The worst AmEx can do is show a "hard inquiry" on your report and deny your application. You might be pleasantly surprised. I wish I had discussed my needs with them first, because AmEx customers get a lot of services included with the account, such as extended warranties, accidental damage coverage, great fraud protection, and miles or cashback depending on the card type - and they don't sit on payments for a week or longer. The ONLY thing I don't like about AmEx is when I am out on the road and need to fill up my car, and forget to ask BEFORE pumping whether or not they accept AmEx, because not everyone does.

Now I'm getting spammed with credit offers from a lot of issuers (including Best Buy, who turned me down just a few months ago).

kimvette's reply was:    

  Mar 25, 2010

kimvette(3, 1)

Review by kimvette

3 Contributions 1 People Helped

To amitpanchabh

It doesn't look ok....common, $1,000 limit? and 4 month of credit history? You will not get an AmEx card, definitely not now when they are cutting off good customers.

Please don't encourage people to apply, and then, after he gets denied, explain that it is not as simple, many variables, etc....

With this type of info, he/she is much, much more likely to not be approved than approved by AmEx

vladislavk1's reply was:    

  Dec 09, 2009

vladislavk1(3, 2)

Review by vladislavk1

3 Contributions 2 People Helped

I am a student. I am looking for Amex card with $2000+ credit limit. My score is 729 with no debt, have 4 month credit history with Bofa ($1000 limit). I appreciate your reply.

amitpanchabh's reply was:    

  Dec 03, 2009

amitpanchabh(16, 0)

Top Contributor

Review by amitpanchabh

16 Contributions 0 People Helped

Top Contributor

Credit details look good. The only draw back is the 4 months of credit history.

CK Moderator

Helpful to 0 out of 1 people

LOL...if you truly work at Amex in their card division, you should know that anyone who applies for the CostCo Amex can only get an instant approval if they apply within CostCo. Otherwise, it's usually a 14 day wait, since the app gets sent to CostCo to verify membership. It has nothing to do with their credit worthiness at that point. Just sayin'. :)

jacksandgo's reply was:    

  Aug 14, 2010

jacksandgo(1, 0)

Review by jacksandgo

1 Contributions 0 People Helped

APPROVED ON SECOND APPLICATION Helpful to 8 out of 9 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.    

Jan 11, 2013 Reply
Great First year Helpful to 3 out of 3 people

CreditKarma Transrisk Score: 715, Vantage Score: 770

I moved to US about an year ago. I carried 3 cards when i was living outside US - a platinum Visa, a world mastercard and Amex. When i was moving to US, i researched and found that only Amex allows you to transfer or get new card in US based on global credit rating. I took Costco credit card because i guessed that a lot of money in the first year would be spent setting up operations here. I guessed correctly. In 9 months on executive membership, we got over $100 cash back and currently on track to get $400 on Costco Amex card for the first year. I always pay off entire balance. Because of my pre-US credit, they gave me a $8000 limit when i applied for the card. Really helped me during the setup time.

The Amex credit card website is the best amongst the ones that i use. I use my tags and it gives a good reflection of how i spend my money. The service representatives are great and respond quickly when i call them. I didn't know the origins of one transaction and when i called, they responded within 3 mins. Moreover after the first 8 months, i got a bump in my credit limit to 9.4K. Extremely happy

Jan 09, 2013 Reply
Great Card, Great Perks, Great Service! Helpful to 3 out of 3 people

American Express is a stand-out company when it comes to taking care of customers.  I have four AMEX cards, including a Platinum, Optima Platinum, Blue, and the Costco Cash card.  Except for travel, the Costco card is the one I use the most.  The cash back rewards are a better value than any points system, and of course Costco is amazing.  I don't understand why ANYONE who is a costco member wouldn't want this card!

Jan 04, 2013 Reply
Helpful to 2 out of 3 people

Here's a good reason not to get this card as a Costco member.  I have been an executive member at Costco  which now costs $110/year for around seven years, but I always get $200-$300 cash back in addition to covering my membership fee.  I have not opted for their Amex co-branded card.  As you know, Costco accepts only American Express credit cards, but because of business I fly very frequently.  American Airlines is my airline of choice, but their AAvantage cards are all through Citi.  I refuse to participate in the Delta Skymiles program through Amex (non-Costco) because they have the absolute worst value in points, and available flights, of any airline.

However, Citi offers an Amex AAdvantage card which can be used at Costco, as can any other Amex card.  I thereby still get the 1% cash rewards from my Costco Executive membership, but in addition, get the 1 mile per dollar spent anywhere from Citi with this card.   I also got 75000 AAdvantage miles free for spending $2500 in three months, which is easy for me to do.  That also earned an additional 2500 miles.  My partner and I will be flying round trip, first class, to Costa Rica and will use 60,000 miles to pay for those tickets.  If I had paid cash, it would have cost $2700 for those two first class tickets.  I still have nearly 90,000 points in my account through a separate business card I also have with Citi.

I can't see any Costco benefit that would exceed having the Citi AAdvantage Amex card, even though it costs $89/year.  It is well worth the money.

Jasper2's reply was:    

  Oct 19, 2013

Jasper2(170, 477)

Top Contributor

Review by Jasper2

170 Contributions 477 People Helped

Top Contributor

Fast Approval in Costco Helpful to 2 out of 2 people

I just applied for a Costco card and got the amex card. I was approved instantly for a CL of $2000. They pulled Experian and on there I have 3 hard inquires listed. My scores are listed on my profile.

ecq's review was:    

  Nov 15, 2012 Reply

ecq(11, 30)

Top Contributor

Review by ecq

11 Contributions 30 People Helped

Top Contributor

Helpful to 2 out of 2 people

This is my first amex, I tried to get the Macy's amex to no avail. This my apr is 0% until 05/13 and then it becomes 15.24%. Great that it's a rewards card, the apr is lower than my chase freedom visa which is 18.xx%

ecq's reply was:    

  Nov 15, 2012

ecq(11, 30)

Top Contributor

Review by ecq

11 Contributions 30 People Helped

Top Contributor

Helpful to 2 out of 2 people

Transrisk 684, Vantage 725, Experian 704 (as of 3 months ago), 40k income, debt to income ratio 21%, and credit card balances usually 0-10% with one spike of 35%.   Been paying down debt and never late with any payments so that Experian score is likely higher than 704.

Applied in person at a Costco store and was instantly approved for $3500 and 15.24%.  You also get a temporary card printed out so that you can use it right away in store.  Was just trying to assess my credit rebuilding efforts from the damage caused by shopping around for a new car and was not expecting instant approval since all the American Express cards seem to require excellent credit.

Some advice: apply in person to avoid the hassles with their online application.  Having an active membership prior to applying probably helps as well.  The customer service reps were very friendly and don’t make you feel inferior as the well dress couple next to me who were not approved were handled very politely.

marakhai's review was:    

  Nov 14, 2012 Reply

marakhai(1, 2)

Review by marakhai

1 Contributions 2 People Helped

Helpful to 2 out of 2 people

Costco and American Express make for a great product. Both have fantastic customer service and good deals. Both skew a bit towards the higher end of the spectrum but I think that is part of why they are both so great. The card is free if you have a membership and you can earn higher cash back. 

AppleRules's review was:    

  Dec 28, 2010 Reply

AppleRules(748, 917)

Top Contributor

Review by AppleRules

748 Contributions 917 People Helped

Top Contributor

Helpful to 2 out of 2 people

You have to watch for your rebate calculations. I have lots of travel expenses with Hotwire and airline companies and they calculated it under "everything else" This is outright trickery. you have to guard the calculations like a hawk

durankarma's review was:    

  Sep 03, 2009 Reply

durankarma(1, 2)

Review by durankarma

1 Contributions 2 People Helped

Results 1-10 of 63Results per page: 5 | 10 | 25Page 1 of 7   Previous | Next

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Card Details

  • Balance Transfer Intro APR Not
  • Balance Transfer Regular APR Yes
  • Purchase Intro APR 0% for 6 months
  • Purchase Regular APR 15.24%* Variable
  • Annual Fee No Annual Fee with your paid Costco Membership
Learn More Visit Application Page

Cardholder Rating Distribution (63)

  • 55%
  • 13%
  • 3%
  • 5%
  • 25%

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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.

TrueEarnings® Card from Costco and American Express

Intro APR
on Purchases for 6 months