How Does Getting Gas at Costco Work?

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Costco Wholesale is renowned for offering a wide range of products and services at competitive prices for its members, and one of the benefits includes access to Costco’s gas stations. But how exactly does getting gas at Costco work? What are the benefits, and are there any restrictions? In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore everything you need to know about filling up at Costco gas stations.


Getting gas at Costco works by using a Costco membership or a Costco Shop Card to activate the pump at one of their gas stations. These stations operate on a self-serve basis, accepting Visa-branded cards, most PIN-based debit cards, and Costco Shop Cards as forms of payment. Costco offers high-quality fuel at competitive prices, with operation hours typically from 6 AM to 9:30 PM. However, not all Costco locations have gas stations, and there may be a limit on the amount you can purchase in a single transaction.

Membership Requirement

The first thing to know is that Costco’s gas stations are exclusively for Costco members. To access this service, you need to purchase a Costco membership, starting with the Gold Star Membership, which is valid for one year at any Costco location worldwide. Membership cards are necessary to activate the pump. However, there is a loophole: if you possess a Costco Shop Card, you can use it to pay for gas even if you’re not a member.

Payment Process

Costco gas stations operate on a self-serve basis, using pay-at-the-pump technology. Accepted forms of payment include all Visa-branded cards, most PIN-based debit cards, and Costco Shop Cards. Cash, checks, or non-Visa credit cards are not accepted. For a smooth transaction process, Costco sends a “pre-authorization” request to the card issuer before the fueling process begins. This pre-authorized amount can be up to $150, but once the fuel is dispensed, the actual purchase amount is sent to the card issuer.

Quality and Price of Gas

Costco’s gas stations are known for offering high-quality fuel at lower prices compared to many other stations. The gasoline typically has an octane level of 87 for Regular and 91 for Premium. All Kirkland Signature Fuel is guaranteed to meet or exceed industry and regulatory standards. Costco’s low gas prices are part of their business model to attract customers to their stores. They offer low prices on gas and make up for the profits through the sale of other goods and membership fees.

Operation Hours and Locations

Operation hours for Costco gas stations typically start from 6 AM and end at 9:30 PM every day. However, this can vary depending on the location and season. Not all Costco locations have gas stations, so it’s advisable to check the availability of gas at your local Costco before you go.

Safety Measures

Costco gas stations prioritize the safety of their customers. They are equipped with automatic shut-off mechanisms both above and below ground. All stations have a phone for emergencies, conventional fire extinguishers on every fuel island, and automatic extinguishers below ground. Eye wash is always available as well.

Restrictions and Limitations

While Costco gas stations offer numerous benefits, there are a few restrictions. The primary limitation is the membership requirement. Also, there may be a limit on the amount you can purchase in a single transaction, as some Costco gas stations stop filling at $100.


Costco gas stations offer a convenient and cost-effective solution for Costco members. With competitive prices, high-quality fuel, and added safety measures, they provide significant value. However, potential long lines, membership requirements, and limited payment options could be downsides for some customers. Before making a decision, weigh the pros and cons and consider your specific needs and circumstances.

Remember, always stay safe at the pump, follow the guidelines, and happy fueling!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use a credit card other than Visa at Costco gas stations?

No, Costco gas stations only accept Visa-branded credit cards, most PIN-based debit cards, and Costco Shop Cards. Other credit cards are not accepted.

Can non-members use the Costco Shop Card to buy gas?

Yes, non-members can use a Costco Shop Card to purchase gas. However, the Shop Card needs to be purchased or reloaded by a Costco member.

What if I have issues with the gas pump or my transaction?

Costco gas stations have a phone for emergencies. If you encounter any issues, use the phone to contact the station attendant for assistance.

Does Costco offer diesel fuel at their gas stations?

Yes, some Costco locations do offer diesel fuel. However, it’s best to check with your local Costco to confirm.

Can I use my Costco membership from another country to buy gas in the US?

Yes, a Costco membership is valid at any Costco location worldwide, including gas stations.

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