11 Ways Costco Pays You To Be a Member

MANAGE MONEY - SHOPPING
Uncover the surprising perks that make Costco membership a financial win-win.
Updated Feb. 21, 2024
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holding costco membership card

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Some people are reluctant to pay for a Costco membership. They wonder if they will save enough to make the membership cost worthwhile.

It’s true that a Gold Star membership costs $60, while an Executive membership costs $120. However, the savings you get could actually help you keep more money in your wallet.

Check out these reasons why paying for a Costco membership could result in feeling like the retailer is paying you to shop.

Earn 2% cash rewards at grocery stores and Costco

The Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card(Rates and fees) is a powerful rewards card that allows you to earn unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases — including on groceries, even at warehouse stores like Costco.

New cardholders can also earn a one-time cash rewards bonus — $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $500 in purchases in the first 3 months!

If you’re looking for a powerful rewards card that offers an extended intro APR period, look no further, the Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card checks that box too!

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.

The best part? There's no annual fee.

Click here to apply for the Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card now.

Discounts on gift cards

Dontree/Adobe Close up of Krispy Kreme donuts with chocolate glaze and colorful sprinkles.

One of the best Costco hacks when shopping at the warehouse retailer is that you can grab discounted gift cards that save you cash on meals or treats.

The retailer sells gift cards at less than face value. For example, $60 worth of Krispy Kreme gift cards will only cost you $44.99.

And remember that you don’t have to “gift” your gift cards, so go ahead and buy them for yourself.

Cheaper gas

Refrina/Adobe Front view of Costco Gasoline Gas Station, Manassas, VA, USA with a number of trees in the background.

Costco locations typically have gas stations, so check your local gas stations and see how the gas price compares to your favorite Costco.

In many cases, fueling up at Costco will save you a few cents less per gallon. Those savings add up, especially if you have a vehicle with a large gas tank.

Extended warrantes

Aquir/Adobe extended warranty gold badge with red ribbon

Buying electronics and other items from Costco can give you additional protection in case something goes wrong with the product.

Costco will automatically enroll you in a two-year extended warranty on applicable items. Check with Costco when you buy a product to see if it qualifies for extended warranty coverage.

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Travel discounts

kwanchaichaiudom/Adobe top view of young couple planning vacation trip with map sitting on a table.

Costco Travel allows you to book vacations and trips at a discount. You can also qualify for additional benefits when you book a vacation through Costco, including waived resort fees, resort credits, and other perks.

Check the Costco Travel website or call Costco’s travel office to learn more.

Affordable Food Court meals

Eric BVD/Adobe Menu cards of costco food court with variety of food and deals

Costco’s CEO is on record saying the retailer has no plans to raise the cost of Costco’s hot dog and drink combo deal, which has remained at $1.50 for years.

The Food Court also has plenty of other fare that sells for affordable prices. A meal or treat here can be a great deal.

If you are looking for a great Costco hack, stop by the Food Court before you start shopping and order a pizza. Then, pick up your hot pizza on the way out the door.

Kirkland Signature products

John Mantell Photo/Adobe A can of Kirkland Signature Premium Chunk Chicken Breasts with many blurred cans in the background

Like other retailers, Costco has its own store brand: Kirkland Signature.

Kirkland Signature items are often cheaper than name-brand versions of the same product, and the quality is typically just as good or better than the better-known products.

Lower prices on prescription drugs

Adriana/Adobe influenza vaccines

Shopping at Costco can help you save money on prescription drugs. The Costco Member Prescription Program offers deals on common prescriptions at participating pharmacies.

And don’t forget your furry friends, as your membership can also get you discounts on medication for your pets.

Free technical support

mandritoiu/Adobe LED TV's of diiferent sizes and specifications in costco stock

Costco has some great deals on electronics, and you can get additional technical support on these products with your Costco membership.

This includes free concierge services for technical support on products such as computers, televisions, cameras, printers, and more.

Affordable wine and liquor

Adriana/Adobe Numerous Jack Daniels brand Bourbon whiskey bottles for sale at a local costco warehouse

You may be surprised to find well-known wine and liquor brands on sale at Costco for an affordable price.

Check your local Costco regularly, as items go on sale at different times.

You may still have the option to buy alcohol at Costco even if you don’t have a membership. Several states prohibit retailers from restricting alcohol sales to members only. In these places, you can buy liquor at Costco without a membership.

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.

Get a free quote

Bulk discounts

Sarah Rypma/Adobe Grocery cart with toliet paper and some food items  with other grocery items in background at a Costco in Kalamazoo, Michigan

When you compare the per-unit cost of some items, you might find that they cost less when you buy them in bulk at Costco than if you bought them elsewhere.

Buying in bulk can be particularly helpful if you’re stocking up on staples such as canned goods, pasta, and other pantry staples. Paper goods such as toilet paper and paper towels also can be a good deal.

Pre-made meals

Andriy Blokhin/Adobe Rotisserie chicken with a sign of limit to avoid hoarding inside Costco club store

When it comes to meals, Costco can save you both time and money. The retailer has all kinds of pre-made meals that you can pick up to make easy, affordable dinners.

Costco is also well-known for its cheap rotisserie chicken, which can be eaten on its own or used as an ingredient in other recipes.

Bottom line

Rafael Henrique/Adobe logo of Costco Wholesale Corporation displayed on a smartphone along with a shopping cart in the background

Yes, you have to pay for a membership at Costco. But the savings can be so significant that shopping here can actually provide a boost to your bank account.

So, make sure you compare prices to those of other retailers. You might find that shopping at Costco is like putting money back into your wallet.

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 2% cash rewards on purchases

Benefits and Drawbacks
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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.

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