Costco membership: Perks, fees and more

Costco membership: One of the most adored membership warehouse chains in the country is Costco; there are even Facebook fan groups for it, and some devoted customers have even wed there.

Costco is one of the biggest membership warehouse chains in the world with more than 830 locations across eight nations and nearly 117 million cardholders. But how does everything operate? Is it a supermarket? Are couches sold there? Can I rotate my tires there? “Yes” is the response to each of these queries.

Everything you need to know about Costco, from annual membership fees to the store’s various offerings, is summarized below. I’ve been a Costco member for a while, and I’ve used and benefited personally from many of these services, shared by Morgan Greenwald from NBC News.

What is Costco?

Since Costco is a warehouse club, it sells products in large quantities for lower prices. In addition to groceries, it also sells clothing, toys, electronics, and other goods. When Costco first opened its doors in the 1970s, it only catered to small businesses, but by the 1980s, it had expanded to include consumers as well.

Is a membership required to shop at Costco?

Yes, a membership is required in order to shop at Costco. If you know someone with a membership, you can go to the store with them, but they must use their primary card to make all purchases.

Without a membership, it is possible to shop on the Costco website, but non-members can only access a limited number of deals, and online prices are frequently higher than in-store prices.

What does a Costco membership cost?

There are three different types of Costco memberships, and each one entitles you to visit any Costco location in the world.

The least expensive option for clients who aren’t connected to a company is the Gold Star Membership. Two adults over the age of 18 who reside at the same address may use the membership for a total of $60 per year.

The Business Membership is also $60 per year, but it is only available to business owners who wish to purchase goods for their own use as well as for resale. The membership includes two cards in total, and extra cardholders can be added for $60 per year each. The only membership type that allows you to add more members is this one. You must present three different types of business identification, such as a business license, in order to be eligible for the Business Membership.

The Executive Membership comes with a total of two Household Cards and is $120 per year. In addition to a 2% annual reward on eligible Costco purchases, this tier provides greater savings on Costco services and particular Costco Travel packages.

The more expensive price might be justified with some careful shopping. For instance, you’ll get $60 back—the cost of the tier upgrade—if you spend $3,000 annually on qualifying purchases like groceries, furniture, and electronics.

Benefits of Costco Membership

Every Costco member has access to benefits like reduced contact lenses, vacation packages, and more, with Executive members having even more savings on Costco services and particular vacation packages.

Discounts on groceries and food

The best-known feature of Costco may be its bulk discounts on household goods and groceries, with offers ranging from a two-pack of Listerine 1 12-liter bottles to a 30-pack of Lorna Doone Shortbread Cookies.

Kirkland Signature, another well-liked internal brand at Costco, is also available. Costco offers some of the best discounts on Kirkland Signature products: For instance, a 48-pack of Folgers K-Cup Pods costs $32.99 while a 120-pack of Breakfast Blend K-Cup Pods costs $37.99. Beyond food and groceries, Costco also sells clothing, vitamins, cosmetics, skin care products, pet food, pans, and other items under the Kirkland brand.

Perishables can be delivered to your door the same day via Instacart for Costco members in some areas. However, you must bring your own bags if you are bringing home your own groceries (or anything, really). Because they are simpler to carry up the stairs to my condo, I personally prefer to bring large boxes.

Discounts on gas

Costco is renowned for its reasonably low gas prices in addition to its selection of groceries and house necessities. According to the corporation, its Kirkland Signature Gasoline is formulated with deposit control additives to help clean your car’s engine and keep it operating smoothly. The Costco website allows you to search for nearby locations with gas stations.

Discounts on clothing and household items

Costco has a huge selection of clothing, furniture, and other home necessities from well-known brands like Adidas, Casper, and LG, whether you need a couch, an air fryer, a TV, or running shoes. Additionally, major appliance in-home delivery and installation and a two-year Costco extended warranty are included with a Costco membership. Always check Costco’s website for promotions as it frequently runs additional markdowns on specific brands and products.

Travel savings

Members of Costco Travel can reserve hotels, cruises, car rentals, vacation packages, and more, but only through Costco’s travel partners. For example, when reserving a car, you can only choose between Alamo, Avis, Budget, and Enterprise. Additionally, Costco’s rates aren’t always the most affordable options, so shop around on different booking websites before making reservations.

Auto reductions

You can get discounts on new and used cars with a Costco membership. The Costco Auto Program will put members in touch with nearby, pre-screened used car dealerships that have special pricing for Costco members. If you already own a vehicle, Costco also offers discounted batteries, rotations, balances, nitrogen tire inflation, and more. These tires also come with a five-year Road Hazard Warranty.

Discounts on insurance, eye care, and other health issues

Through CONNECT, powered by American Family Insurance, Costco offers members discounted home and car insurance. CONNECT offers additional discounts for students, safe drivers, and more, similar to other insurance companies. Additionally, Costco offers a variety of insurance products, including life, health, and pet insurance. Some of these plans are also available to business owners.

Discounts for pharmacies and medications

At a Costco Pharmacy, anyone can fill their prescriptions, frequently for a price that is competitive with other pharmacies. The Costco Membership Prescription Program, which gives members access to savings on prescriptions but cannot be used in addition to health insurance, is also available to members at no additional cost from Costco.

Discounts for home product installations

Members can reserve these and other home services through Costco, including remodeling your home, redoing the floors, and installing new shelves. You get a Costco Shop Card worth 10% of the service’s cost when you work with one of Costco’s partners. For instance, I installed new shelves with the help of Costco and received a $350 gift card that covered a month’s worth of groceries.

Cheap photo printing

You can print posters, photo books, calendars, cards, and more at Costco’s Photo Center.

Visa Costco Anywhere card

The Costco Anywhere Visa card, a Citi credit card with a robust rewards program, is only available to Costco members. In addition to receiving 2% cash back on approved Costco purchases, cardholders also receive 4% cash back on approved gas purchases up to $7,000 annually, 3% cash back on approved dining and travel expenses, and 1% cash back on all other purchases. These rewards are distributed annually.

Remember that in order to use the rewards, your Costco membership must be active. You can also exchange them for cash at a warehouse. Consider other credit cards like the Chase Freedom Unlimited card and the Wells Fargo Active Cash Card, both of which offer excellent rewards for Costco purchases.

How does the membership at Costco stack up against those at other wholesale distribution centers?

You probably already have other warehouse clubs like BJ’s and Sam’s Club in mind if you’re weighing the benefits and drawbacks of a Costco membership. There are two key distinctions to take into account:

At $55 per year, the BJ’s Inner Circle Membership is comparable in cost to Costco’s Gold Star Membership. However, unlike Costco, BJ’s accepts manufacturer’s coupons, and you can combine them with the store’s existing discounts.

The basic membership at Sam’s Club costs $50 per year, which is also comparable. However, it offers fewer services than Costco; for instance, it doesn’t offer pharmacy discounts, optical discounts, or free online shipping.

Read more at News Intercept

Costco Membership’s 9 Free Perks

Costco Travel: How a vacation package deal might strand you

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