Costco is the largest retailer of goods in the world. They are a membership-based company that offers wholesale prices on everything from groceries to electronics. Costco has over 710 locations in the United States, Canada and Mexico. They also have an online store where you can purchase items for pickup at your local store. Costco memberships are available for individuals, businesses, and families. The cost of a membership varies depending on what type of membership you purchase.
Why You Should Get a Costco Membership
You Can Get Almost Anything There
Costco is a one-stop shop for, well, just about everything. From groceries to clothing to electronics to home goods, the retailer has it all. And while the bulk items might be tempting (especially if you have a large family), know that you can purchase individual items as well.
The Quality Is Impressive
When it comes to product quality, Costco doesn’t mess around. In fact, the store’s private label, Kirkland Signature, has been so successful that other retailers (like Whole Foods) have started carrying some of the items.
The Prices Are Unbeatable
Sure, Costco might not have the cheapest prices on everything, but overall, the deals are pretty tough to beat — especially when it comes to groceries and home goods. Need proof? According to a recent CNBC report, a price comparison of 43 items found that Costco was cheaper than Walmart on 31 of them.
You Can Try Before You Buy
In many cases, Costco allows you to test out products before making a purchase — which is great news if you’re undecided about an item or uncertain about its quality. For big-ticket items like mattresses and TVs, this is especially helpful.
The Return Policy Is EXTRA Generous
Costco’s return policy is notoriously generous (which might be why so many people try to return things they bought elsewhere). Basically, if you’re not satisfied with your purchase for any reason, you can return it at any time — even if it’s been years since you bought it. No questions asked!
What You Can Get with a Costco Membership
When you join Costco, you’re automatically enrolled in Gold Star Membership program. With your Gold Star Membership, you can shop at any Costco warehouse worldwide and receive exclusive member-only savings on thousands of high-quality items in warehouses and online at Costco.com. In addition to the exclusive member-only savings, as a Gold Star Member, you also receive these added benefits:
- Complimentary technical support for electronics and major appliances purchased at Costco
- Special order services for furniture, tires, custom jewelry and major appliances
- Printing services for Business Cards, Photo Books and Canvas Prints
- Costco Concierge Services** available 24/7 for electronics technical support
- Freezer food storage recommendations
- Personalized assistance with travel planning**
- Advice on personalized wine selections**
When you shop at Costco with your Executive Membership, you not only receive all of the privileges of a Gold Star Member, but you also receive an annual 2% Reward (up to $1,000) on qualified purchases*, exclusive member-only coupons and access to our online pharmacy. In addition to the 2% Reward and added benefits, as an Executive Member, you also receive these exclusive benefits:
- Executive Member–only pricing on costco.com
- Additional free household card
- Identity protection service with credit monitoring and ID theft protection
- Eligible for cash back rewards from Citi ® when using your Executive Membership card
As a business owner, you know that saving time and money is essential to the success of your business. That’s why Costco offers two types of memberships designed specifically for businesses:
- Business Memberships and Business Delivery Memberships.
With either membership option, you can shop at any Costco warehouse worldwide and receive exclusive member-only savings on thousands of high quality items in warehouses and online at costco.com. You can also take advantage of our selection of Business Services designed to help save your business time and money. Learn more about the different types of Business Memberships below.
*Receipts from Kirkland Signature™ gas stations are not eligible for the 2% Reward program. Visit www.costco.com/executive-membership or any warehouse for details.Executive Membership is subject to qualifications and limitations; visit www.costcoexecutiveMembership or see the membership counter for details.
How to Get a Costco Membership
There are two ways to get a Costco membership:
- You can pay an annual fee of $60 for a Gold Star membership or $120 for a Business membership.
- You can purchase a Costco Cash Card for $60, which can be used as a voucher towards the purchase of a new membership.
What to Expect When You Join Costco
When you join Costco, you’re buying a membership that allows you and your family to purchase products at our warehouses at deeply discounted prices. You will also be able to take advantage of our online services, which include grocery delivery, travel planning and more.
In order to become a member, you must purchase a yearly membership for $60. This membership allows you access to all of our warehouses in the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada. You will also receive a subscription to our monthly magazine, The Costco Connection.
As a member, you can purchase products in bulk at deeply discounted prices. We offer a wide variety of products, including groceries, furniture, electronics and more. You can also take advantage of our online shopping services.
How to Make the Most of Your Costco Membership
Costco membership comes with a lot of great benefits, but it’s not always clear how to make the most of them. Here are a few tips:
Take advantage of the free samples
This is one of the best things about Costco! They always have plenty of free samples available, so you can try new products without having to commit to buying them. Just be sure to grab a few so you don’t get too hungry while you shop.
Ask for help
The employees at Costco are always happy to help, so if you need assistance finding something or have a question about a product, don’t hesitate to ask.
Beware of impulse buys
It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of finding good deals and end up buying things you don’t really need. If you see something you want, take a step back and ask yourself if it’s something you really need before making the purchase.
Make a list before you go shopping
This will help you stay focused on what you need and prevent you from overspending. It’s also helpful to check online for any coupons or promo codes that you can use on your purchase.
Know when to shop
The best time to shop at Costco is during the weekdays when it’s not as crowded. Avoid weekends if possible, as this is when the store is usually the busiest.
Pros and Cons of a Costco Membership
There’s no denying that Costco is a popular place to shop. According to Forbes, the warehouse store is the second most popular retailer in the United States. But is a Costco membership worth it?
Here are some of the pros and cons of having a Costco membership:
- Access to bulk discounts on items like food, toiletries, and other household items.
- Members-only prices on gas and other items.
- Ability to use the store’s credit card for additional savings.
- 2% cash back rewards on eligible purchases.
- Complimentary technical support for electronics purchases.
- Annual coupon book with additional savings opportunities.
- Annual membership fee of $60 (although this fee may be offset by the savings you’ll accrue).
- Prices on some items may be higher than at other stores (although the bulk discounts may make up for this).
- Limited selection of items (although this may vary depending on your location).
Is a Costco Membership Worth It
Costco is a membership warehouse club, dedicated to bringing their members the best possible prices on quality brand-name merchandise. According to Costco, in order to provide the best possible value to their members, they accept only Visa cards.
There are two types of membership: Executive Membership and Gold Star Membership. The annual fee for an Executive Membership is $120 and includes a 2% Reward (up to $1,000) on eligible annual Costco and Costco.com purchases. The annual fee for a Gold Star Membership is $60 and there is no additional reward.
So, let’s do the math: if you spend $3,000 per year at Costco (which is not difficult to do), you would earn a $60 Reward with an Executive Membership (2% of $3,000). Therefore, your net annual cost for an Executive Membership would be $60 ($120 – $60). In other words, an Executive Membership essentially pays for itself. Plus, you would also get all of the benefits that come with being a Costco member, which we will discuss next.
How to Cancel Your Costco Membership
We’re sorry to see you go. Here’s what you need to know to cancel your Costco membership:
You can cancel your membership at any time by visiting our Member Services Desk in person or by phone.
If you are a Business Member, please call our Member Services Contact Center at 1-800-774-2678. If you are an Executive Member, please call 1-800-220-6000.
Have your membership number ready when you call.