Is The Costco Membership Worth It? (2024)

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There are numerous reasons to shop at Costco, whether planning for the week ahead, buying toiletries in bulk, or searching for a great bargain on a TV. But unlike your neighborhood supermarkets, Costco requires a membership card before you can enter and explore in-store. So with that in mind, is it worthwhile to join Costco, considering the benefits, membership costs, and cancellation policy?


Costco is a membership-only retail chain that offers two types of membership. Various benefits apply to members, including Discounts, Gas, and more. A Costco membership may be worthwhile for individuals living close to a Costco warehouse and prefer bulk buying. However, the membership auto-renews.

As great as Costco may be for many, the membership fee may not be worth it for various individuals. That said, Costco specializes in bulk buying, which may not be an ideal location for impulsive buyers or those with smaller families. Furthermore, most shoppers may not be aware of Costco’s auto-renew policy, so you may want to know how to cancel. That said, this is what you need to know.

Is It Worth Getting A Costco Membership?

Costco has approximately 113 million members in 62 million homes and maintains 828 stores—or warehouses—in 14 countries, including the United States, Canada, Spain, Iceland, Japan, and France.

Unlike a typical supermarket or department store, you must have a membership to shop there (even simply to enter!). In addition, Costco has a carefully managed inventory of 4,000 SKUs, which it can offer at wholesale pricing.


Members of Costco get access to excellent discounts on the warehouse store’s products, but whether it’s worthwhile to pay for membership depends on a few considerations. As a result, If you’ve been wondering about shopping at Costco, you may want to consider if getting the membership is worthwhile for you and the family. Here’s what you need to know.

1. Costco Is a Membership Only Retail Chain That Offers Two Types Of Memberships

Costco has two membership rates per category and provides personal and business memberships. The cost of a Costco membership has not increased since 2022; the last time it increased was in 2017. That said, one of the following membership programs is available to members:

  • Personal Gold Star Membership – $60 per year
  • Personal Executive Membership – $120 per year
  • Business Membership – $60 per year
  • Business Executive Membership – $120 per year

Customers can choose between a basic membership and an executive membership once they’ve decided the form of Costco membership they want. The information about each category and its levels is provided below.

Personal Memberships

Regular shoppers who want to shop at Costco can purchase personal memberships. The Gold Star Membership is the entry-level rank for this membership category. However, Gold Star Memberships also come with:

  • You receive two membership cards which may be given to another relative
  • You gain access to online shopping and access to Costco warehouses
  • If one wishes to discontinue their subscription, they will receive a full refund

The Executive tier, on the other hand, provides the same advantages plus more. As a result, the higher tier provides the following in addition to the regular advantages:

  • On qualified Costco and Costco Travel purchases, there is a 2% yearly incentive
  • You receive additional advantages and price reductions for Costco services
  • A cost-free month-to-month subscription to Costco Connection magazine is also included

Business Memberships

The business memberships are intended for people and organizations that want to buy goods from Costco for personal and professional use and for commercial resale. Business Membership is the entry-level category; It includes:


  • Two membership cards are included
  • Online shopping and access to Costco warehouses
  • You can purchase additional cards under the same member details at the cost of $60
  • Products in bulk that can be bought for resale

The perks of the Personal Executive tier and those of the Standard Business tier are both included in the Business Executive tier.

2. Various Benefits Apply To Members, including Discounts, Gas, And More

There are other perks that all members enjoy, including those that are exclusive to Costco’s Executive tier membership and some that are tailored to business members. The following are the main advantages that all members may enjoy:

  • Low costs and significant savings

Members benefit from substantial discounts because of Costco’s affordable goods and services. It is true that if you purchase at Costco, you will instantly save up to 35 percent on retail items and about 10 percent on food.

Why? Because Costco doesn’t mark up Kirkland brand products by more than 15% and name brand items by no more than 14%. (In contrast to a 25% markup at grocery shops and a 50% markup at retail establishments!)

You must spend at least $600.00 a year at Costco (assuming a $60.00 membership fee) to break even. That amounts to $50 monthly.

  • Additional Credit Card Savings

The Citi Costco Anywhere Visa Card, which also serves as a membership ID, gives 4% back on qualifying gas expenditures, 3% on eligible restaurant and travel purchases, and 2% on all in-store and online transactions.

  • Save money on gas with Costco

With gas prices on the rise, the allure of Costco fuel might be a considerable incentive for signing up for a membership. Self-service gas stations near Costco warehouses provide Kirkland Signature gas and diesel at cheaper pricing than other pumps.


  • Same-day delivery

Same-day delivery powered by Instacart is available in most metropolitan regions for purchases of $35 or more.

  • Get deals on travel services

Costco Travel provides members with special travel packages and savings. You may explore Costco’s travel discounts, but to book one, you must supply your Costco membership number via the website or contact center.

  • Concierge services

If you buy electronics from Costco, such as a TV, camera, printer, or laptop, you may take advantage of complimentary concierge services to help you set up and set upyour new device.

  • Haul Away Services

Instead of moving and disposing of large goods like refrigerators and mattresses, use Costco’s Haul Away service, which is offered in specific locations. Then, when your new item is delivered, the delivery staff will remove your previous bulk item and recycle it.

3. Costco May Not Be For Everyone Depending On Location And Bulk Buying

If you like to purchase on impulse, Costco’s reputation for large quantities and higher pricing might result in a lengthy and expensive receipt.

Additionally, if you live far from one of Costco’s numerous sites, you can spend more on petrol getting there than you do in actual savings. Additionally, you might not buy there frequently enough to justify the membership expense if you travel far to get there.

The whole point of Costco is bulk purchasing, so unless you’re buying for a large number of people or you know you’ll be wolfing it, buying vegetables or meat in bulk won’t cut costs unless you can consume it before it goes bad.

Although Costco has a reputation for offering great prices, not all offers are as frugal as you might assume. Conventional grocery shops are typically more affordable for things like pasta and name-brand cereal.

Smaller households and very thrifty buyers are likewise unlikely to find a Costco membership to be worthwhile. Moreover, Costco does not accept manufacturer’s coupons, resulting in higher bulk volume costs. And last, you can encounter some problems if you choose to pay with a credit card.


There are various payment methods when making purchases in one of Costco’s warehouses; however, apart from a debit card and a Costco Shop Card, only a Visa card may be swiped. On its website, Costco accepts MasterCard and Discover as forms of payment, but it’s important to note that neither in-person nor online, the retailer does not take American Express.

4. Costco Memberships Auto-Renew, So Best Know How To Cancel

A Costco membership might be a terrific option for families wishing to save money on their purchases. However, you might have to go through a few hoops to terminate your membership if you ever feel that paying to shop at the warehouse is no longer sensible.

Customers are frequently shocked when they unknowingly get a $60 payment for another year of their Gold Star membership at Costco. In other situations, customers might not even get an email notifying them that their subscription was about to renew automatically or that Costco had already invoiced them (even though Costco states that they mail a renewal letter).

Most subscription memberships come with the potential to charge you for services you no longer desire, especially yearly memberships like Costco. That said, you have two choices if you wish to terminate your Costco membership:

1. Dial 1-800-774-2678 to reach Costco’s member services and request a membership cancelation.

2. To terminate your membership, go to a Costco warehouse and talk to a staff person at the membership counter.

Speaking with a staff member in-store is a convenient method to cancel your membership if you live close to a Costco warehouse. However, you can have long wait times if you moved and are no longer close to a Costco or would just prefer to phone.

What To Expect During The Cancellation Process

It’s important to note that some customers encountered an automated phone line that instructed them to call after the third of the month if they wanted to terminate their membership so that the payment would appear as reported on their account. So, if your payment is still outstanding, give them a call after waiting a day or two for it to post.

You must confirm the amount billed and give the account number of the credit card used to pay your membership fee to get a refund. You will get an email with the refund amount and the date as soon as it’s finished. Reviews indicate that while occasionally the cancellation procedure may not go seamlessly, most consumers are satisfied with the process.

However, I advise canceling your Costco membership the month before it is due to renew because you can be automatically renewed without your knowledge. On your online account, you might be able to see if you have auto-renewal enabled. However, users who have purchased their membership through Groupon could find it challenging to access that option.

If you believe it is too late to cancel your subscription, don’t panic. There are no limitations on when you may cancel your membership with Costco, which also claims on its website. According to Costco: “We are devoted to offering quality and value on the things we sell with a risk-free 100% satisfaction guarantee on both your membership and merchandise.”

Remember that if you have the Citi Costco Anywhere Visa Card and you terminate your membership, your credit card will also be canceled. This may impact your credit score in some way. However, it won’t be a significant problem because it will recover in a few months.

Can I Shop At Costco Without A Membership?

Costco’s online website,, allows nonmembers to purchase most household products. However, you should know two things:

1. You can’t enjoy “member exclusive” deals

2. You’ll pay more than you would in-store since nonmember orders incur a 5% fee

You must first obtain a Costco Shop Card to shop inside the warehouse; however, if you have an associate or relative that is a member, you can ask them to buy you a Costo Shop Card, and in your in. In addition, other than restricted access, nonmembers may still be able to access prescription meds from a Costco Pharmacy and can pay with a debit card, cash, Visa, or Costco Shop Cards.

Can I Get A Free Costco Membership?

There are no free or reduced memberships available at Costco. This is so that the company may provide goods and services at competitively cheaper rates compared to other merchants since membership fees pay its operating expenses. Savvy shoppers may still benefit from Costco discounts without joining, but certain restrictions exist.

Hacks To Get Into Costco Without A Membership?

One of the favorite ways to get into a Costco retailer without a membership is to go in with a relative or friend that has one.

Ask if you may go with someone you know who frequents Costco and has their own membership, such as a friend, parent, or sibling. Every time a member visits Costco, they can invite up to two visitors. It would be best to reimburse them for purchases you make because only members are permitted to make payments.

Cut The Costs With Costco

The decision to join Costco or not is entirely personal, but it doesn’t take much to make the membership pay for itself. People who live alone or in small flats and don’t have enough space to store large container items may not find the membership appealing.

Finally, Costco, on the other hand, allows you to stock up, save, and enjoy significant savings on food, diapers, and anything else you need in your household. Customers may also save money on automobiles, vacations, and other items that aren’t often associated with bulk club buying.

Is The Costco Membership Worth It? (2024)
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