Why I Love Getting an Annual Cash Back Reward From My Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi

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  • Many credit cards let you cash out rewards from month to month.
  • My go-to credit card makes my cash back reward available once a year, and that works out much better for me.

A single lump sum of cash is a great perk in my book.

When I first heard about the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi, I was beyond excited. One big perk of this card is scoring 2% cash back on all Costco purchases -- including ones made online. And since I tend to spend a large chunk of my paycheck at Costco, I knew that would result in a large payday.

Additionally, the card offers 3% back on restaurants and travel and 4% cash back on gas purchases, up to $7,000 per year. Since I like to dine out and tend to do my share of driving, those are great benefits for me, too.

But it's not just that my Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi lets me rack up cash back on purchases. I also happen to like the system it uses for disbursing rewards.

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I prefer a yearly payday

Most of the credit cards I have allow you to redeem your rewards or cash back every month. But the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi works a little differently.

With this card, you get an annual Costco reward certificate emailed to you that represents the cash back you've accrued over the past 12 months. You can then take that certificate over to Costco and use it for purchases and/or redeem it for actual cash.

This past year, I racked up more than $1,000 in cash back on my Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi. That's because on top of using it for purchases at Costco, I tend to pretty much use it everywhere.

I find that the cash back I get for gas and restaurant purchases is competitive. And although I only get 1% back on non-Costco groceries, I still find it convenient to charge the bulk of my expenses to this card.

But let's get back to that lump-sum reward for a minute. With other credit cards of mine, I've been known to redeem my rewards month after month, because who wouldn't want an extra $50 here or $75 there?

But the fact that the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi has me waiting a year to get my rewards works to my advantage. That's because I'm effectively forced to bank those rewards until they amount to a larger sum. And then, I can use that larger sum to fund a major purchase -- whereas I may not have the discipline to save smaller rewards along the way.

In fact, I'm planning to use my most recent payday to cover the cost of a weekend getaway for my family this spring. If it weren't for that large reward, though, we probably wouldn't be planning that trip, because it wasn't in our budget otherwise.

Forced savings of sorts

Having access to extra money during the year can be a good thing. So you might prefer a rewards card that gives you that and doesn't make you wait.

But I know that if my go-to credit card were to give me access to smaller amounts of cash back month after month, I'd probably spend that cash on fun but fleeting things like restaurant meals. Since I'm forced to wait a year and let my rewards accrue, I can use them for a more expensive but meaningful experience.

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