9 Reasons To Buy Your Next iPhone at Costco (And Skip the Apple Store)

From price perks to unique offers, here's why your next iPhone belongs in your Costco cart.

A Costco storefront
Updated July 11, 2024
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You may love your Costco membership for bulk items. Perhaps you’ve even used it to book a vacation or get your car repaired.

The retailer also offers plenty of options when it comes to electronics, including iPhones. You can choose from several different models depending on your needs or preferences.

But why should you grab your favorite credit card and head to Costco for your next iPhone instead of your local Apple store? Costco offers plenty of perks for Apple purchases. Here are a few things to consider.

Earn 2% cash rewards at grocery stores and Costco

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This card also offers an intro APR of 0% for 15 months from account opening on purchases and qualifying balance transfers (then 20.24%, 25.24%, or 29.99% Variable). Which is great for someone who wants a break from high interest rates, while still earning rewards.

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You can save money if you’re an Executive member

dennizn/Adobe costco receipt and executive membership card

A great Costco hack is to upgrade your membership to an Executive membership for $120 a year instead of the basic Gold Star membership for $60 a year.

You can get extra benefits if you use your Executive membership to book your next vacation, but one of the best things about the Executive level is that you get 2% cash back on any of your purchases at Costco (up to $1,000 back each year).

So, use your Executive membership and buy your next iPhone at Costco instead of an Apple store to get 2% back, which you can then spend at Costco.

You can still get the latest models

Nicholas Felix/peopleimages.com/Adobe young woman using a smartphone

You may think that Costco doesn't carry the latest model of the iPhone you want, with Apple holding back products for exclusivity.

But you can get an iPhone 15, the latest model, from Costco. That could be a big deal if you’re someone who switches out their phone regularly or wants the newest product available.

Costco has plenty of options

Valerii/Adobe buying cellphone at gadget store

Although Costco may offer fewer models than Apple, it offers a wide selection, and you don’t have to settle on just one.

While looking through the options at Costco, check out the unique colors of an iPhone Pro compared to an iPhone Pro Max to see which one is right for you.

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AppleCare+ may cost less

fizkes/Adobe woman surfing internet using phone

AppleCare+ is a good investment if you’re prone to dropping your phone, getting scratched, or having issues with it breaking.

But compare prices to see if you can get AppleCare+ for less when it’s bundled with the purchase of your iPhone at Costco compared to paying for it separately through another retailer.

You may be surprised at the cost difference for this type of protection and the cost difference compared to having something fixed later without the protection.

It’s not as crowded as an Apple store

blackzheep/Adobe man using smartphone at work

Apple stores may be flashier and brighter than a Costco warehouse, but they can also be much more crowded.

You may end up waiting a long time to finally have someone help you or perhaps get bumped around by other customers before you can check out the phone section.

Skip the crowds and head to your local Costco instead for a quieter experience.

Costco has a great return policy

STOATPHOTO/Adobe wooden block having return words

Costco is well known for its return policy, and you can return almost anything at any time, even without a receipt.

There are some exceptions, and that includes iPhones. Electronics must be returned within 90 days; depending on your cellular carrier, you may have additional issues.

But compare that to the Apple return policy, which only allows you to return a product within 14 days of receiving it. Carriers like AT&T; also have a 14-day limit if you buy a phone through them.

You’re already at Costco for other things

Drazen/Adobe senior man doing grocery in market

Costco has plenty of items you may pick up regularly and special seasonal sales on things you need at certain times of the year.

If you're already at the store, check out its selection of iPhones. It will save you a trip to an Apple store or cellular carrier, and you can pick one up before you load your cart up with toilet paper and a rotisserie chicken.

It might have more inventory than an Apple store

ifeelstock/Adobe shopping at apple store

You may assume that Apple is well-stocked and has exactly what you’re looking for.

But you could be in for a surprise when you get to the store, and it doesn’t have what you need, especially if it’s a popular iPhone model that could be sold out.

Costco may have more options available than you think. It could have items in stock at its warehouse or online at Costco.com that may not be available through your local Apple store.

You don’t have to commit to a carrier

pikselstock/Adobe woman with smartphone in a car

One of the things to consider when buying an iPhone is whether to get a locked or unlocked phone. A locked phone may lock you into a specific cellular carrier, while an unlocked phone allows you to switch carriers if you don’t like the one you have.

Costco’s options include unlocked phones, allowing you to choose whatever carrier you want without restrictions.

Get a protection plan on all your appliances

Did you know if your air conditioner stops working, your homeowner’s insurance won’t cover it? Same with plumbing, electrical issues, appliances, and more.

Whether or not you’re a new homeowner, a home warranty from Choice Home Warranty could pick up the slack where insurance falls short and protect you against surprise expenses. If a covered system in your home breaks, you can call their hotline 24/7 to get it repaired.

For a limited time, you can get your first month free with a Single Payment home warranty plan.

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Bottom line

vladim_ka/Adobe apple products scattered on table

It may be time to upgrade your iPhone, so consider adding Costco to your shopping options.

Your Executive membership can earn you 2% cash back on purchases, and you can pair it with a rewards credit card to earn extra perks and points when you buy your next phone.

Another great Costco hack is to use your membership to save on other big-ticket items such as vacations or cars, so look into all the options available with your Costco membership.

Lucrative, Flat-Rate Cash Rewards

5.0

Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card

Current Offer

$200 cash rewards bonus after spending $500 in purchases in the first 3 months

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

Earn unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases

Benefits and Drawbacks
Card Details

Author Details

Jenny Cohen

Jenny Cohen is a freelance writer who has covered a bit of everything, from finance to sports to her favorite TV shows. Her work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and FoxSports.com.