American Express Trying To Retain Costco Card Members Before Switch

Image courtesy of The.Comedian

With less than a week left before Costco’s store-branded credit card officially makes the switch from American Express to a Visa card issued by Citi, the ousted credit card company is working overtime to retain and draw in new customers through an aggressive advertising campaign focused on its erstwhile account holders at the warehouse store. 

American Express has been mailing decked out offers to Costco members promoting its Blue Cash Everyday Card in an attempt to make up for the 10% of accounts it’s poised to lose with the Costco switch, The Motley Fool reports.

The credit card company’s letter focuses on both the purported benefits of its own card and the advantages customers will lose once their Costco card switches to Visa’s Citi card. However, a look at the competing cards’ reward programs shows there might not be as much benefit for those sticking with AmEx.

The aggressive tactic begins with the outside of the envelope, Motley Fool reports, noting that the package reminds card holders of the June 20 switch, while drawing attention to the Blue card and the welcome offer to earn $250 back.

Of course, to qualify for the deal, users must spend $1,000 in purchases on the card within the first three months. They will then receive $250 reward in the form of a statement credit.

American Express also gets into the difference between its card and the new Costco store-branded card. For example, AmEx says it doesn’t doesn’t charge an annual fee and comes with an introductory 0% APR for 15 months.

However, Motley Fool reports that Costco’s new Visa card has a slightly more generous rewards program — 4% back on gas, 3% back on travel and restaurant purchases, 2% back on purchases at Costco or Costco.com, and 1% back on everything else. In contrast, the AmEx rewards program, which is just three tiers, offers 3% cash back at supermarkets, 2% back on purchases of gas, 2% back at select department stores, and 1% back on everything else.

Still, as Motley Fool points out, it’s worth noting AmEx’s 3% cashback at any supermarket outpaces Costco’s 2% at its own stores.

Here’s How American Express Is Trying to Keep Costco Customers from Fleeing [The Motley Fool]