What Does a Costco Membership Do?

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Costco, a membership warehouse club, provides a wide array of merchandise. While anyone can shop at a Costco warehouse, being a member has its own perks. But what exactly does a Costco membership do? This article will delve into the benefits of a Costco membership, the costs, and how to maximize your membership.


A Costco membership offers a variety of benefits such as bulk savings on products, access to Costco Travel deals, vision and prescription services, discounts on gift cards and insurance, gas savings, extended warranties, and cashback rewards with the Costco Anywhere Visa Card. The membership also provides exclusive deals on a range of products and services. The type of membership you choose – Gold Star, Business, or Executive – determines the extent of these benefits.

Costco Membership Tiers: What’s Your Pick?

Costco offers three types of memberships: Gold Star Membership, Business Membership, and Executive Membership.

  • Gold Star Membership ($60/year): This includes a free Household Card and is valid at all Costco locations worldwide.
  • Business Membership ($60/year): This comes with a free Household Card, and you can add Affiliate Cardholders for $60 each. It’s valid at all Costco locations worldwide and is designed for business owners, allowing purchases for resale.
  • Executive Membership ($120/year): This includes all benefits of the Gold Star and Business Memberships, plus an annual 2% Reward on qualified Costco purchases. Executive Members also enjoy additional benefits and greater savings on many Costco Services.

Key Benefits of a Costco Membership

A Costco membership offers several benefits. Here are some notable ones:

  • Bulk Savings: Costco is known for offering discounted prices on a wide range of products when bought in bulk, from groceries to electronics.
  • Costco Travel: Costco Travel offers discounted vacation packages, hotels, and cruises for members. Executive Members can earn towards their annual 2% Reward on qualified purchases.
  • Costco Optical and Pharmacy: Members can access vision services at Costco Optical and enjoy prescription discounts through the Member Prescription Program.
  • Discounted Gift Cards: Costco offers deals on gift cards for various retailers and events, allowing members to save on gifts and experiences.
  • Insurance Discounts: Costco members can get discounted home and auto insurance through CONNECT, powered by American Family Insurance.
  • Gas Savings: Costco gas stations offer discounted fuel prices for members.
  • Extended Warranties: Costco Concierge Services provides extended warranties on various purchases.
  • Costco Anywhere Visa Card: This Citi credit card offers cashback rewards on eligible purchases, including 2% cashback on Costco and purchases.

Exclusive Services for Costco Members

Costco members can also enjoy exclusive deals on a wide range of products and services. These include:

  • Costco Travel: While all members can use Costco Travel, only Executive Members can earn towards their annual 2% Reward on qualified purchases.
  • Costco Services: Costco members can access additional service providers through Costco Services, which include Auto & Home Insurance, Costco Auto Program, Bottled Water Delivery, and more.
  • Costco Connection Magazine: Executive Members receive the Costco Connection magazine by mail each month.
  • Exclusive Discounts on Medications and Health-Related Services: Costco members can enjoy member-exclusive discounts on medications, supplies, and other health-related services.

Maximizing the Value of Your Costco Membership

To get the most out of your Costco membership, consider the following tips:

  • Fill up your gas tank at Costco, as they often offer cheaper gas than most local stations.
  • Upgrade to an Executive membership if you spend more than $3,001 annually at Costco, as it offers 2% cash back on all purchases.
  • Purchase discounted gift cards at Costco, which can be used for yourself or given as gifts.
  • Take advantage of Costco’s travel deals, vacation packages, and car rental discounts.
  • Check the Costco app for current deals and offers before shopping.

In conclusion, a Costco membership offers a wealth of benefits, from discounts on a wide range of products and services to exclusive deals and rewards. Whether you’re a regular shopper or a business owner, a Costco membership can be a great way to save money.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use my Costco membership in any country?

Yes, your Costco membership is valid at all Costco locations worldwide.

How can I add a secondary cardholder to my Costco membership?

When you purchase a Costco membership, you receive a free Household Card. This card can be used by anyone over the age of 18 who lives at the same address as the primary member.

Can I use my Costco membership to shop online?

Yes, you can use your Costco membership to shop on In fact, the Costco Anywhere Visa Card offers 2% cashback on all Costco and purchases.

Are there additional fees for the Costco Anywhere Visa Card?

The Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi has no annual fee with your paid Costco membership.

How much do I need to spend at Costco to make an Executive Membership worthwhile?

The Executive Membership costs $60 more than the standard Gold Star Membership. Since it offers 2% cash back on all purchases, you would need to spend $3,001 annually at Costco for the cash back to cover the extra cost of the membership.

Can I upgrade my membership to the Executive level at any time?

Yes, you can upgrade your Costco membership to the Executive level at any time.

Does Costco offer a student discount?

Currently, Costco does not offer a specific discount for students. However, all members can take advantage of Costco’s low prices and exclusive deals.

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