The Truth About the Costco Membership: Is It Worth the Cost?

Costco is a popular warehouse store that offers a variety of products and services to its members. But is a Costco membership worth it? Keep on reading to take a look at the pros and cons of being a Costco member and find out if you should sign up today.

Let’s jump in!

About Costco

Costco is a membership-only retail chain with warehouses in Canada, the United States, and Mexico. By 2020, Costco was the fifth largest retailer on the planet. The business has locations in 12 nations and has plans to open stores in two more over the next two years. After becoming a Costco member, you gain access to all locations worldwide.

The company got its start in Seattle in 1983, but it has gone through several corporate mergers since then, making its first official store a Price Club in San Diego in 1976. Costco offers its own proprietary brand, Kirkland Signature, which accounts for a large proportion of the company’s sales.

The objective of Kirkland Signature was to offer premium quality at an affordable price while also establishing a recognizable and trustworthy brand outside of the Costco name.

Costco Membership

How much is a Costco Membership?

When it comes to Costco membership types, the company offers several levels. Each membership tier has a low annual subscription cost. Depending on how much you shop at Costco and how much money you may spend there, the total cost of your membership might be different.

Membership tiers

You can choose from three Costco membership levels. Every tier comes with different prices and benefits.

Gold Star Membership

This is the standard membership and costs $60 annually. With this membership, you get a Costco Cash card which can be used at gas stations, restaurants, and online. 

You are also able to add additional family members to your account for an extra $60 each. After signing up, you’ll get a $10 Costco Shop Card as a thank-you gift, which can be used for purchases at the store.

A Gold Star Costco membership is a fantastic option for those who like to buy in bulk, and it’s almost certainly worth the annual expense.

Business Membership

The business membership is meant for, you guessed it, businesses. Just like with the Gold Star Membership, you get a Costco Cash card at a $60 annual fee. However, the Business plan has a few additional perks like a free Costco household card, purchase for resale, or an opportunity to add affiliate cardmembers for $60.

The Costco Business Membership might be a good choice if you buy items in bulk for a business or regularly purchase goods for resale.

Executive Membership

The Costco Executive Membership will cost you $120 per year. With this membership, you get all the benefits of a Gold Star and Business Membership, plus a few additional perks. 

One of the biggest advantages of signing up for an Executive Membership at Costco is that you receive a 2% yearly reward on qualified products. What’s more, customers can enjoy extra perks like dental plans or business health insurance.

Benefits of a Costco Membership

There are plenty of advantages that come with having a Costco membership. From a variety of payment options to discounts on items, the retail chain has it all. Let’s take a look at why shopping at Costco pays off:

High quality, low-price products

The biggest benefit of a Costco membership is the low prices of quality products. Many items are sold at cost or close to it, and members always receive discounts on gasoline.

In addition, Costco offers a wide variety of products that you might not be able to find at other stores, including clothing, appliances, food, and alcohol. And if you’re looking for a special gift, Costco is likely to have something that will fit the bill.

Buying in bulk

Another one of the Costco membership benefits is the opportunity to buy in bulk. This can be a great way to save money on groceries, household goods, and other items.

Of course, if you’re not going to use all of the products that you buy in bulk, then it’s not really saving. But for those who have the storage space and the inclination to buy in bulk, Costco can be a great deal.

Low theft and fraud rates

Costco has a low theft and fraud rate, which means that you’re less likely to lose money or have your identity stolen if you’re a Costco member. This is due to the company’s stringent security measures, including video surveillance and check-out procedures that require members to show their membership cards before they can leave the store.

Simple return policy

The company will refund your purchase price if you’re not satisfied with an item, no questions asked. This policy applies to both in-store and online purchases. You can also link your membership to your checking account, and it will monitor all of your purchases for you.

Costco Membership

Disadvantages of a Costco Membership

As much as it is rewarding, shopping at Costco has its cons. Here are some things to keep in mind before signing up for some of the different memberships at Costco:

A limited number of brands

One downside of Costco is that the company only carries a limited number of brands. This can be frustrating for consumers who are looking for specific products or who want more variety.

Long lines

Another downside of Costco is the long lines. The store can be very crowded, and the lines can be very long, especially during peak shopping times. This can be frustrating and time-consuming.

Storage is required for bulk buying

If you’re going to take advantage of the bulk-buying opportunities at Costco, then you need to have the storage space to store all of your purchases. This can be difficult for some people, especially those who live in small apartments or homes.

What Can you Save on as a Costco Member?

Still unsure if a Costco membership is worthwhile? Take a look at some examples that will pay off your membership:

Movie tickets: Costco offers two movie tickets for around half the price of two standard movie tickets. If you enjoy going to movie premieres, the reduced prices will add up to your membership cost.

Tires: Tire costs at Costco are incredibly low. Some Costco membership options offer discounts up to $80 on various tire brands, so you can easily pay off your membership.

Gas: Costco gasoline stations are another wonderful place to fill up your vehicle. Filling up at a Costco gas station on a few occasions each month might save you enough money to pay for your membership.

Is a Costco Membership Worth It?

For many people, a Costco membership is definitely worth the cost. The low prices of quality products, the opportunity to buy in bulk, and the simple return policy are just some of the reasons why Costco is so popular. Of course, there are some disadvantages to consider as well, but overall, a Costco membership can be a great value for your money.

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Do you need a membership to shop at Costco?

If you’re not a member, you can buy from However, you will be charged a 5% surcharge over posted prices (with the exception of prescription drugs).

How to cancel Costco membership?

To cancel your membership, you can return your membership card to any Costco warehouse or contact Member Services.



Mila is an English literature student and a devoted animal's rights advocate. Despite her love for the written word, she's a keen observer of the everyday world and an excellent researcher with a bright and fresh perspective. When she's not doing research, you're most likely to find her out for a walk with her dog or binge-watching a TV show.

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