14 Store Memberships That Will Actually Save You Money

Find out why these rewards programs are worth it, even if you have to pay to sign up.

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Updated July 18, 2024
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Sometimes, you have to spend a little to save a lot. Store memberships can be a great example of this truism.

Of course, not all memberships will cost you. There are plenty of ways to save money on everyday essentials just by signing up for a store’s free rewards program. But even for memberships that come with a fee, the savings can outweigh the costs.

Here are 14 store memberships that are worth your while.

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Costco

jetcityimage/Adobe Costco Wholesale Location from outside

A Costco membership isn’t cheap — the Gold Star version is $60 annually and the Executive membership is $120.

However, Executive members get 2% of their spending back as a reward certificate. If you make a few large purchases — such as booking vacations through Costco Travel — along with regular groceries, you could rather easily spend the $6,000 needed to make back the annual base fee.

One of the great Costco hacks is to buy gas from the retailer, as it often is cheaper than what you will find at gas stations. Even if you save 15 cents per gallon, you can quickly start to make back your membership costs.

Walmart Plus

Sundry Photography/Adobe mountain view california walmart store

A Walmart Plus membership is $98 annually, or $12.95 if you pay monthly. Membership entitles you to free grocery delivery, free delivery of other Walmart goods, and discounts on gas, among other perks.

The savings can add up quickly. For example, ordering groceries and having them delivered saves you money on gas. Ordering items online also keeps you from spending on impulse buys inside the store.

Amazon Prime

michelangeloop/Adobe Internet browser with amazon store page

An Amazon Prime membership costs $14.99 per month or $139 per year. For that cost, you get many benefits.

On top of free shipping on millions of Amazon items, you also get access to the Prime Video streaming service, Prime Gaming, unlimited photo storage, and more. If you make more than two or three Amazon purchases per month, it probably makes financial sense to invest in 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

Chewy Autoship

sharafmaksumov/Adobe homepage of chewy website

Chewy allows you to get pet food and supplies automatically shipped to your door on a regular schedule. You get a 35% discount on your first Autoship order, and also get 5% off select brands on future Autoship orders. Orders over $49 receive free shipping.

Chewy sends you an email 72 hours before your Autoship order goes out, giving you plenty of time to change or delay your order if you need to.

There is no charge to enroll in this service. So, if you’re already ordering pet food, this is a no-brainer.

BJ's Wholesale Club

JHVEPhoto/Adobe BJ's Wholesale Club Liquor Shop

BJ’s Wholesale Club doesn’t have the same footprint as Costco or Sam’s Club, but you can still find great deals. The base membership price is $55.

BJ’s is known for having good prices on gas, produce, and more. Members report that the retailer sometimes offers additional coupon savings in its app.

HelloFresh

David Peperkamp/Adobe hello fresh meal box

It’s no secret that meal subscriptions aren’t the cheapest way to buy groceries. But after a long day of work, these services can make cooking a viable alternative to the higher expense of ordering takeout. In this way, HelloFresh can save you money.

Currently, HelloFresh offers customizable meal plans, including healthy entrees and sides. Prices can vary, but the food quality can make a HelloFresh meal a better alternative than a cheap $5 burger combo at the drive-thru.

Target Circle

wolterke/Adobe target retail store

Membership in Target’s Circle rewards program is free. You can earn bonuses and cash-back rewards, and score exclusive deals.

If you apply for the Circle debit, credit, or reloadable card, you will also save 5% on everyday Target purchases. There is no annual fee for any of the cards.

CVS ExtraCare

JHVEPhoto/Adobe cvs sign on the building

CVS has two rewards programs: ExtraCare and ExtraCare Plus. ExtraCare is free and offers 2% cash back, a $3 birthday reward, and up to $50 off at the pharmacy.

ExtraCare Plus is a paid rewards plan at $5 monthly, or $48 for the year. It comes with all of the same benefits as ExtraCare, plus free shipping, same-day pharmacy delivery, 20% off CVS Health brand products, a 24/7 pharmacist help line, and a $10 monthly reward.

If you shop at CVS frequently, the ExtraCare Plus fee could pay for itself quickly.

MyMcDonald’s Rewards

Chatchai/Adobe McDonald's in Thailand

When you download the McDonald’s app and join the free MyMcDonald’s Rewards program, you can earn points toward free food and take advantage of deals.

To earn rewards, you need to scan your app’s barcode at the restaurant before ordering. Or, you can simply order from the app itself.

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myWalgreens

wolterke/Adobe Walgreens Store Exterior and Sign

After joining the free myWalgreens rewards program, you will earn 5% Walgreens Cash on Walgreens-brand products and 1% on other Walgreens purchases. You can redeem your rewards easily at checkout.

If you sign up for a Walgreens credit card, you can get even bigger rewards.

Kohl’s Rewards

Sundry Photography/Adobe kohls store

Join Kohl’s Rewards to earn 5% back in Kohl’s Cash, or 7.5% if you pay with a Kohl’s credit card.

Rewards are credited to your account at the beginning of each month. The program is free to join.

Shell Fuel Rewards

Björn Wylezich/Adobe shell sign against blue sky

Join the free Shell Fuel Rewards program and you will earn Gold status, which earns you 5 cents off each gallon of gas.

When you fill up 12 times in three months, you achieve Platinum status, which increases your savings to 10 cents per gallon. You will also earn discounts when shopping online with Shell partners.

Starbucks Rewards

wachiwit/Adobe Starbucks coffee bangkok thailand

There is no need to worry if you can’t shake your latte habit. Instead, join Starbucks Rewards to earn points toward free coffee and other extras in the Starbucks app.

You also get a birthday freebie. Earn one star per dollar spent when you “pay as you go” or two stars per dollar by preloading any payment option to your digital Starbucks Card.

Starbucks Rewards is free to join.

Sam's Club

wolterke/Adobe Sam's Club Exterior and Logo

Joining Sam’s Club offers many benefits. For starters, the base membership costs $50 annually, instead of the $60 you pay at Costco.

As with Costco, cheaper gas is one of the Sam’s Club membership perks. Sam’s Club’s gas can run even cheaper than Costco’s, so it might take less effort to recoup the cost of membership.

Sam’s Club also has great deals on groceries, car tires, over-the-counter medicine, and more.

Bottom line

bernardbodo/Adobe woman using smartphone at grocery store

Store memberships often offer an easy way to save. Even if you are not a big shopper, subscribing to the rewards program of the stores you frequent most can help you save on groceries, as well as earn cash back and other perks.

Usually, you can sign up on the store’s website or by downloading its app. In many cases, the membership fee is a small price to pay for big savings.

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

Jenni Sisson

Jenni Sisson is a freelance writer and editor who focuses on personal finance, real estate, and entrepreneurship. She has been published in Business Insider and The Ways to Wealth. In addition to writing, Jenni hosts the Mama's Money Map podcast to help fellow stay-at-home moms on their journey to financial freedom.