Our 'Costco: Clean Up Your Credit Card' campaign is calling on Costco's new CEO and its board to end Costco's credit card partnership with Citibank, one of the worst banks funding the oil and gas business and climate harms.

Third Actors have been leading a significant fight against banks behaving badly against our climate, and have added a new strategy: working to encourage the big clients of big banks – like Costco – to push banks to end their relationships with the fossil fuel industry or risk damaging their own brands. Costco is very popular: it’s the third biggest retailer in the U.S. and 1 in 3 Americans shops at Costco, including thousands of Third Actors. But Costco’s co-branded store credit card is issued by Citibank, the #1 US funder of coal and the 2nd biggest funder globally of fossil fuels. That’s why, as part of the Costco: Clean Up Your Credit Card campaign, Third Actors have been hosting petition drives – more than 45 events in 14 states – and engaging Costco shoppers in their communities to raise awareness about Costco’s relationships with dirty Citibank and how Citi’s egregious bankrolling of oil, coal, and gas expansion is undermining Costco’s own climate commitments.

In addition, in advance of Costco’s virtual annual shareholder meeting on January 18, 2024, Third Actors who are Costco shareholders are expressing concern about Costco’s banking relationships, in particular its credit card partnership with Citibank, and asking the new Costco CEO, Ron Vachris, and Costco’s board what their plans are for addressing Citi’s poor record on climate change and their continued investments in expanding fossil fuel production that is causing the climate crisis.

Many Third Act supporters are Costco members and shareholders and they have shared their concerns with us.

Chris Goelz is a member of Third Act Washington, and has shopped at Costco for 30 years, is a shareholder, and knows people who work there. “As I came to understand how the big banks are enabling the fossil fuel industry, I decided to sever all relationships with them. When I went through my credit cards, I was disappointed to find that the Costco card was cobranded with Citibank, one of the worst of the worst,” Chris shared. “So, I reached out to Costco directly, and although I emailed with several lovely people, Costco refused to even discuss the issue. The message was that whatever Citi does with the money it makes from Costco is not Costco’s concern. That doesn’t work for me.” Chris continues, “finding a responsible banking partner is something Costco can do — other big retailers have. Costco is in a strong financial position and I am certain that it can find a way to operate without poisoning the planet for all of us. As a shareholder, I want Costco to engage with customers and shareholders around issues of climate and to align its credit card relationship with its values and its climate goals.”

Massachusetts Third Actor Bruce Watson added, “Though there are not many Costco stores in Western Massachusetts, where I live, I have been a Costco shareholder for twenty years. I was drawn to the company not for its prices but for the respect it gives its workers. That’s why I was surprised to learn that Costco is resisting efforts to go green by pressuring Citibank to divest in fossil fuels.” Bruce continues, “I am puzzled why Costco would approve a green future for its own operations yet remain tied to Citibank. I join with Third Act and with Costco shareholders in challenging company directors to be more consistent in their efforts to fight global warming.

Shareholders appreciate Costco’s growth, mission, values, and commitment to reducing its carbon footprint. However, shareholders are concerned about Citibank’s terrible record of funding clients like ExxonMobil and expanding oil and gas production in the Amazon rainforest, across the African continent, and in majority Black communities in the Gulf Coast.

Third Actors believe this record does not align with Costco’s values, ethical standards, or climate policies.

You can hear directly from Third Actor and Costco shareholder Chris Cantwell from New York, who really believes in Costco, share about why Costco should find a better credit card as part of our Costco: Clean Up Your Credit Card campaign.]


As one of Citi’s largest credit card clients, Costco has a huge opportunity to use its power as a retail leader to push Citi to stop funding new fossil fuel projects and urge Costco’s executive leadership and board to address these concerns.

Costco shareholder Chris Goelz said it more bluntly, “Cheap roasted chicken isn’t worth jeopardizing our planet’s future.”