Joining a warehouse club is one of the best ways to save money when shopping, particularly if you buy in bulk. These clubs charge an annual membership fee in exchange for access to exclusive discounts on various goods — and even some services. One of the most popular wholesale stores is Costco.
Is Costco’s executive membership worth joining, though?
A basic Costco Gold Star Membership, which is required to shop in the warehouse store in most — but not all — cases costs $60 a year.
A Costco Gold Star Executive Membership costs twice as much, at $120 per year. Costco, on the other hand, can prorate the balance based on the number of months left on your existing membership. That means that if you are six months into your basic membership, you can upgrade to Executive for the rest of the year for just $30.
Costco claims that its 100% percent Satisfaction Guarantee extends to memberships and that it will refund your membership fee at any time if you are dissatisfied.
What Are the Advantages of Having an Executive Membership?
The most important benefit of upgrading to a Gold Star Executive Membership is that you can earn an annual 2% reward — up to $1,000 — for almost all you purchase from Costco.
This 2% is returned to you in the form of a rewards certificate, which Costco will mail to you along with your annual renewal notice. The certificate can be used to pay for the majority of goods purchased at the counter in a Costco warehouse.
It’s worth noting that, while travel purchased through Costco qualifies for the 2% reward, certain other costs associated with that travel do not. Surcharges, gratuities, trip protection, and resort fees are all included.
Costco also says that an Executive Membership qualifies you for discounts on Costco services like check printing and identity protection.
Is Costco Executive Membership Worth the Price?
Let’s be honest: there are a few drawbacks to shopping at Costco. To begin with, it often seems to be extremely crowded, and simply finding a parking space can be a hassle in and of itself. The thought of paying the expense of an annual membership can be vexing for the fee-averse.
But annoyances aside, the money-saving opportunities may be too tempting to pass up. As a reminder, here is a list of my favorite reasons to join a Costco executive membership.
- Leading prices for consumer goods like milk and bread.
- Bulk purchases result in wholesale savings.
- A near-legendary return policy.
- Members enjoy regular gasoline discounts.
- From food to clothes, there is a focus on high-quality items.
- A variety of additional services are available, including travel, optical, and pharmacy.
If you’re not a Costco member yet, it’s certainly a move worth considering.