9 Critical Things To Know Before You Use Costco Same-Day Delivery

Don't hit checkout without knowing these facts about Costco's quick delivery.
Updated Feb. 21, 2024
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You’ve probably shopped at a local Costco before, but you might not realize that the retailer also has a service that delivers items the day you order them.

One of the great Costco hacks is to use the retailer’s Same-Day delivery service. However, like most things, this option comes with both pros and cons.

Before you order your next Costco run to be delivered to your house, here are some things to know about the retailer’s Same-Day delivery.

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You can order through Instacart without a membership

sdx15/Adobe Instacart logo on phone screen

Costco has partnered with Instacart to offer Same-Day delivery. You don’t need to be a Costco member if you order through Instacart.

Just be aware that when using Instacart, you might have to pay more for items than you would if you were a Costco member.

Pro tip: Before using Instacart for Costco goods, consider signing up for a Costco membership. A membership fee might be worth paying if Costco meets your shopping needs.

It can save you money

Данило Смик/Adobe old person holding money

Are you an impulse shopper who has trouble sticking to your shopping list? If so, you might be a good candidate for Same-Day service.

Letting someone else handle the physical shopping means you don’t have the opportunity to add things to your cart that you really don’t need.

Refunds with Instacart have restrictions

stokkete/Adobe women comparing grocery receipts

One of the great things about Costco is its generous return policy. You can return many items “at any time,” according to the retailer.

However, the policy is not as generous when you use the Same-Day delivery option through Instacart. In that case, you must request a refund within seven days of delivery. So pay attention and search your order for missing or damaged items.

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It’s convenient

Prostock-studio/Adobe Woman holding credit card

Convenience is one of the great things about using Costco’s Same-Day delivery.

The service is similar to delivery options from local grocery stores or websites such as Instacart or Shipt. You simply use a top cash back credit card or other payment option to order items and choose a delivery point.

That means you won’t have to stand in long lines or try to load big Costco purchases into your small car. Instead, a Costco employee will do all the hard work for you.

You can ask for substitutes

Courtesy of FinanceBuzz male shopper holding eco bag

When using Same-Day delivery, you can request substitutions for items that may be out of stock.

Simply indicate a specific substitute when you place your order or ask your Costco shopper to contact you about potential alternative items.

It can save you time


Costco’s Same-Day delivery service can save you time when you're busy getting the kids to sports or are tied down at work.

It is easy to set a window for delivery and have your groceries arrive without the need to drive to Costco and wander through the aisles.

Same-Day delivery might include alcohol

Viks_jin/Adobe A set of wine glasses

Costco and Instacart state you can get beer, wine, and liquor through Same-Day delivery. Typically, your ID must be verified to receive such service.

Also, note that not all states allow Same-Day delivery of alcohol.

It could cost you more

Prostock-studio/Adobe Mature man squinting using mobile phone

Costco’s Same-Day delivery service can come with a few drawbacks.

For example, products offered through Same-Day delivery may cost more than if you bought them in the store. So factor in these costs before ordering.

It can cut your gas costs

Pixel-Shot/Adobe woman drinking coffee

Costco has almost 600 locations, but what if you can't find one near you?

Instead of wasting time and gas traveling to a far-flung Costco location, you might come out ahead by ordering through Same-Day delivery and waiting for items to arrive at your door.

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Bottom line

Courtney Haas/peopleimages.com/Adobe family unpacking the groceries

Using Costco’s Same-Day delivery can be a smart shopping hack. So give it a try if you think it could work for you.

It’s important to factor in any additional costs with the service, such as delivery charges or markups. Of course, you'll save money on gas and time using Same-Day delivery.

Order directly from Costco’s website or the Instacart website to see which option makes the most sense.

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Annual Fee


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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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