Costco is a popular membership-only warehouse club that provides brand-named merchandise typically sold in bulk at a substantial discounted prices. They offer a large selection of products and departments in one location to make shopping cheaper and more convenient for consumers. Costco has been in business since 1976 when it started out as Price Club and operated out of a converted airplane hangar in California. It used to only provide sales to small business but soon changed protocol and began selling to the general public.
Photo by RodBegbie via Flickr
Should You Become a Costco Member?
Will a Costco membership be worth the membership fee? Will it benefit you to become a member? Well, it really depends on the individual and their shopping habits and needs. Explore the Costco website to see what kinds of products and services they offer and if there is a location convenient to you.
Costco membership comes in three flavors:
Costco Executive Member
Executive membership is the highest level a consumer can join. The cost is $120 per year. Executive members will receive in addition to access to the warehouse stores, a 2% reward on nearly all purchases made at Costco. Executive members also receive lower rates on check printing, payroll services and identity protection. Members also get free roadside assistance under the Costco auto insurance plan, and additional travel benefits.
Costco Business Member
Business membership is open to any licensed business, non profit organization, government agency, farmer, and rancher for a $60 membership fee. Business members will receive one card with up to 6 additional business cards for $60 each. Business identification is required when applying for membership and provide appropriate resale information is merchandise is purchased for that reason.
Costco Gold Star Member
Gold Star membership is open to any person not qualified for a Business Membership. Membership for individuals under the Gold Star program is $60 annually and includes one household card per membership.
For any member who is not satisfied with their membership at any time, Costco will refund your membership fee in full.
Costco Membership Discount
Currently, Citi.com is offering Costco Cash Card when you purchase new membership. Offer expires 12/31/2019. (see offer details)
- Gold Star Members – receive a $10 Costco Cash Card
- Executive Members – receive a $20 Costco Cash Card
There are some other ways ways to get membership at a discounted price if you wish to join the club and are eligible for the following offers that can save you money.
- Online Coupon Sites – there are some websites that specialize in online coupons and discount codes. Costco membership is often featured on these sites, e.g., check Groupon or LivingSocial and can save you a few bucks on your membership or even grant you a free membership with some deals.
- Direct Membership Discount – Occasionally Costco will offer special membership promotions directly to customers in-store or through their website.
- Costco Employer Discount – If you happen to work for a company associated with Costco, you may have the opportunity to save up to $20 on your membership fee. Typically, representatives of Costco will visit affiliate companies to sign up new members who must pay full price for the membership but will receive in turn a gift card for up to $20 as a gift.
- Costco Association Discount – As a member of some professional organizations, you may be entitled to a special discount. Costco uses this as a marketing technique for large companies and organizations to promote memberships so they do it at a reduced rate.