Costco Membership Benefits

Warehouse club memberships are usually presented as a frugal choice for everyone. Joining Costco, Sam’s Club, or BJ’s is always the smart choice, but is it really? Can you save money with it? Can everyone find it worthwhile for their budget.

I decided to share my take on our Costco membership and how it has worked out for us. Maybe it can help you to decide if a warehouse club is the right choice for you.

Types of Membership

One of the first things you have to decide with Costco is the which membership you want to sign up for. As you can see below, being a member of Costco is a bit more expensive than other clubs. Upfront cost is just one factor in deciding what to get. It’s more important to look at the overall value of what you’re getting.

  • Gold Star Member ship ($50/year)
  • Business Membership ($50/year)
  • Executive Gold Star Membership ($100/year)

Each one has its pros and cons. We definitely didn’t fit into the business membership, so we were left to choose either the basic Gold Star or the Executive Gold Star.

We decided to sign up for the Executive membership to take advantage of the cash back option. After the first year, we saved enough that it paid for itself several times over.

Getting a Costco Membership at a Discount

If you can, try getting a discount on your membership fee. Believe it or not, you can lower the cost to yourself.

  • Professional Associations: You may be able to get a lower membership fee if you’re a part of an association.
  • Web Deals – Survey sites, like My Points, can sometimes
  • Costco Direct Deals: If you check on the web, you can sometimes find a deal on their memberships.

If you have any other ways to get a discount, please leave a tip in the comments.

Gasoline Savings – Money Back in Our Wallet

Costco’s gasoline has been considerably cents cheaper per gallon then other gas stations on my side of town. I’ve noticed a difference of 10-15 cents, which is a nice bit of savings. Whenever I’m right by Costco, I try to fill up. Not only am I getting a discount on my gasonline, but I’m also earning 2% with our Executive Membership.

Shopping Deals

As many people are aware, you can get some great deals shopping at Costco. When looking at flat screen TVs, my husband was able to get one much cheaper than the next choice. If you’re looking for good warranties, Costco has some of the best. Unlike some retailers, they have a generous return policy.

Costco’s pharmacy offer some wonderful deals on prescriptions. You may also want to check if there is an optometrist at your local store. Take advantage of any deals they have.

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Even though they typically have lower prices for great quality products and items, you should still price check.

Saving Money From Membership Deals

There are added benefits to Costco membership including discounts on certain services.

Car Insurance – We’ve managed to cut our insurance bill by switching to Amerprise through Costco. Our bill used to be almost $120/month and now it’s $80/month for more coverage.

Towing/ Roadside Assistance – Executive members have towing and assistance included for free with their insurance policy.

Some other deals Costco offers that we haven’t taken advantage of are:

  • Event Tickets
  • Sharebuilder Bonus
  • Travel Deals

Thoughts on Saving with a Warehouse Club Membership

I shared my experience, I’d love to hear your take on warehouse clubs. Have you been able to recoup your membership costs? Is your warehouse club a great deal for you?

Photo Credit: greenwenvy08
Elle Martinez helps families achieve financial freedom by sharing tips for reducing debt and building freelance income over at Couple Money.

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Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.
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