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Costco Membership Discount and Deals

Costco Membership Discount and Deals

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Are you looking for a way to get into Costco for less? Our family has been Executive Costco member for over ten years, so we know a thing or two about Costco. If you are not sure if the $60 or $120 membership fee is worth it (psst…it is!), we have a couple of methods that you can use to try out Costco. Keep reading below, and we will share with you a couple of current deals and hacks to get you into Costco for less…or even free.

Costco Membership Discount

Costco rarely offers a discount for becoming a member, but it does happen occasionally. Your best bet is to head over Groupon or LivingSocial to see if there is an active promotion. We regularly check and update our list below (updated 7-24-2019)

Current Deals

  • Costco Teacher Discount – receive over $60 in savings when you join Costco as a new member. Exclusive to teachers only.
  • Costco Military Discount – receive over $60 in savings when you join Costco as a new member. Exclusive to Military members and Veterans only.
  • Citi.com is offering Costco Cash Card when you purchase a new membership. This promotion expires 12/31/2019:
    • Gold Star Members – receive a $10 Costco Cash Card
    • Executive Members – receive a $20 Costco Cash Card

Other Methods

There are some different ways to get a membership at a discounted price if you wish to join the club and are eligible for the following offers that can save you money. These are very rare:

  • 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. This is similar to the Citi’s offer above where you pay full price for the membership, but get a Costco Cash Card in return.
  • 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.

Common Membership Questions

Can I Get a Free Costco Membership?

There is no free membership, BUT Costco does have a very generous refund policy — 100% risk-free satisfaction guarantee. They will cancel and refund your membership fee in full at any time if you are dissatisfied.

If you become a member and you can’t make it worth the $60 or $120 you spent for membership, canceling and getting a refund is an option.

Can I Get a Day Pass to Costco?

There is no day pass, BUT if you have a friend who is willing to buy a Costco Cash Card for you, you technically have an Any Day Pass. According to Costco:

Available in denominations from $25 to $1,000. Members and non-members may use the Costco Cash Cards to shop at any Costco location in the United States, Puerto Rico, Canada and online at Costco.com.

How Much are Costco Memberships?

Costco membership comes in three flavors:

Costco Executive Member

Costco Membership Discount and Deals 1Executive 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

Costco Membership Discount and Deals 2Business 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

Costco Membership Discount and Deals 3Gold 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.

Is Costco Membership Worth It?

The answer depends on how much you buy from Costco. For our family of five, our Executive membership of $120 per year pays for itself many times over.  It would be even better if our local Costco has a gas station — unfortunately, it doesn’t.

Does Costco Offer Senior Discount on Membership?

No. Unfortunately, there is no senior discount for Costco membership. However, there are currently offers for teachers, military members, and veterans that you might qualify for.

For single seniors, you might be able to partner up with your friend and chip in half since each membership comes with 2 cards.

Does Costco Membership Pay for Itself?

If your family spends more than $6,000 a year and you are an Executive Member, the 2% cashback will pay for the $120 fee. Not to mention the Costco Anywhere Visa® gives you another 2% cashback on top of the membership reward. On top of that, you can enjoy free food while shopping and save money on many products.

Can You Go to Costco Without a Membership?

Yes, you can, but you will be limited to what you can purchase and the services you can receive. Several Costco services are open to all. They cannot refuse service to non-members.

These include:

  • Eye Exam– You can get healthcare services as a non-member, but you cannot buy eyeglasses or contact lens there.
  • Prescription Drugs – Costco’s pharmacies are open to non-members where required by state law.
  • Alcohol & Cigarettes – In some states, it is illegal to require a membership for alcohol and cigarette purchases, so it is open access to all non-members.
  • Food Court – If you can get to the food court (i.e., on your way to get a prescription), you can buy food without using a Costco card.

Is It Really Cheaper to Shop at Costco?

For our local market and the products that we usually buy, the answer is YES. According to Business Insider’s Study, they compared hundreds of items at Amazon and Costco. They found that Costco was the less expensive option.

Besides, where else can you buy a whole cooked rotisserie chicken for $5 and feed the entire family.

Costco Money Hacks

If you’re looking for more ways to save at Costco, here’s a few things you may not know about:

1. Use Any VISA Card

Costco accepts any VISA card, not just their Costco Anywhere Visa®. This means that there might be a chance to get a 3% extra cashback reward when you show with one of the 5% cashback credit cards.

2. Be an Executive Member

If you spend more than $3,000 a year at Costco, the extra $60 you pay for an Executive Membership (see below) will pay for itself through the 2% reward.

3. Always Cash the Reward Check

When Costco sends you a reward check (for Executive Member), don’t use it at the counter. Go to customer service and ask for cash. This way, you can rack up more cashback rewards with your credit card.

4. Non-Members Shop with Costco Cash Card

If you have a friend who is willing to buy a Costco Cash Card for you, you are golden. According to Costco:

Available in denominations from $25 to $1,000. Members and non-members may use the Costco Cash Cards to shop at any Costco location in the United States, Puerto Rico, Canada and online at Costco.com.

 5. Leverage Price Match

Many retailers offer a price match. You can check online for store policy and see when info they need to match Costco pricing. This is easier if you have a friend who is a Costco member that is willing to provide you with the Costco Coupon Book.

6. Open Access to All

Several Costco services are open to all. They cannot refuse service to non-members. These include:

  • Eye Exam– You can get healthcare services as a non-member, but you cannot buy eyeglasses or contact lens there.
  • Prescription Drugs – Costco’s pharmacies are open to non-members where required by state law.
  • Alcohol & Cigarettes – In some states, it is illegal to require a membership for alcohol and cigarette purchases, so it is open access to all non-members.
  • Food Court – If you can get to the food court (i.e., on your way to get a prescription), you can buy food without using a Costco card.

7. Free Health Screenings

Costco offers free health screenings to its members. You can click here to see the current schedule. The list is sorted by State and City. The offer is on a specific date with a very limited time window.

Bottom Line

Costco has a lot to offer, and we have been loyal members for over ten years. My advice is to give membership a try and go for the Executive membership to get the most out of your experience. If you are unsatisfied, then go ahead and ask them for a refund. We have been delighted with our membership and the $120 fee we pay each year is more than pay for itself every single year.

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PinyoLarryNadya Wall-RossiMarianne SchwemLianna Levi Recent comment authors
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Y
Guest
Y

So, how exactly does one obtain a lifetime membership for Costco, without haveing ever worked there, or ever having been married to a top executive?? I have seen one!!!

Nadya Wall-Rossi
Guest
Nadya Wall-Rossi

I am a 74 disabled senior on SSI, $800+ a month fixed income, no EBT card. I would so appreciate a discount on a membership card. It’s more expensive to live in San Diego, but as with a lot of us seniors, cant afford to move.

Jessica Flax
Guest
Jessica Flax

We are senior citizens, that live on a very tight budget and find that the $50.00 membedrship fee does not fit into our budget. Why dont you give a senior discount or a aarp discount, or any other civic organizational discounts??? I would hate to not have the use of my Costco American Express card

David
Guest

Even if the membership comes at a discount, if you end up paying more overall than at the “regular” stores, is there any real savings?

So, the bottom line question is: Does Costco help a family’s household budget save money?

David

James
Guest
James

As a Costco Executive member, I have to say that in many cases Costco saves money. Milk is $2.79/gallon and much of the produce is about 40% less than the grocery store. Those two things alone save us enough to pay for the membership. There is a risk of overbuying since much of it comes in bulk. Also, you might be able to do better on some things by clipping coupons and tracking sales at other stores, but that was something we just don’t wish to spend our time doing, so I feel like it saves us money. One note… Read more »

David
Guest

Hmmm. Will have to do a price comparison. A challenge my readers might enjoy.

Robert
Guest

The Costco Executive Membership costs you $100 per year, but you get 2% back on purchases. But like James said, they guarantee you $50 minimum in cash back.

Also, it is a Costco cash check they send you, but you can take it to any Costco cashier and they will cash it out for you.

Bernz
Guest
Bernz

We have been a Costco regular shoppers for years. We are executive members who pays $100/year. We also get cash back for every purchase and we pretty much get the membership fee back every year. We are a family of four and we buy most of our home supplies from Costco plus other stuffs. We love Costco but you have to know what you are buying. If you do not have to buy a certain items in bulk then don’t, buy it somewhere else.

Jon
Guest
Jon

I am planning on buying the Motorola Atrix and found that I can get a $50 membership at Costco and get the phone from Costco at a discounted price… for a total of $180 which is $20 cheaper than if I were to walk into an AT&T store.

Bottom line: Phone I want, “free” Costco membership, and $20 extra $$$. Find something that makes the membership worth it, then the rest of the year you can save a lot on stuff you would buy anyway.

larry griffith
Guest
larry griffith

2/11/2014 we today stooped at Costco to view the new store in Sioux falls SD being members of Sam’s we wanted to look around, we were greeted by a young person at the door in a wheel chair and wow was he so nice hard to believe he made us feel very comfortable, we look around and were very impressed with the store. we will being buying a member ship soon.

Robert
Guest
Robert

I use target and have been told by several different folks that target prices are within 1 percent of Costco always found Costco way to pricey and must not forget to shop walmart they are always in play .

KATHRYN SWANK
Guest
KATHRYN SWANK

I am in my 80s and depend on someone driving me to your Costco store. I buy all my paper products, cleaning products, cereals, treats, cooking oils.a little meat, & a few other items. The person that drives me to your store buys much more, but she also comes only 3 or 4 times a year. Can I purchase one Costco membership with two cards, one in her name and one in my name.

Sharon Jenkins
Guest
Sharon Jenkins

Does Costco offer “free membership for the day” like its competitor? This would be ideal for empty nesters like me who are on a fixed income. Thank you so much!

David
Guest
David

I would like to know if there is a discount on the first year of membership when a new Costco store is open,thank you,Dave

Allen
Guest
Allen

I really gripes me to have to pay to shop at Costco. I let my card expire every year, but it has to go 2 months beyond expiration or the membership is retroactive. My card is expired at this writing and I do not intend to renew. I am 73 years old and almost all quantities are more than I need. Walmart and Albertsons are within block, BiMart close enough. Costco spent millions to get hard liquor in the stores in Washington State. I do not drink. No more Costco for me.

Joy St. John
Guest
Joy St. John

The small print in terms of membership for California residents: does the law here allow membership with no fee required?

Lianna Levi
Guest
Lianna Levi

I work as a vendor in the flower case at costco. Is there a chance I can get one free or discounted? If not then that’s complete bull!

Larry
Guest
Larry

Could you tell me that as a new executive member if i would be entitled to a 2% cash back on a hearing aid thanks

Costco Membership Discount and Deals

by Pinyo Bhulipongsanon time to read: 6 min
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