what is a Costco membership
What is a Costco Membership
Table of Content

What is Costco?

Costco is a major wholesale brand in the US available to registered members only. The opposite of Walmart is the retail giant. Both of these brands are like an American specialty. You are in the US without knowing these two distributors, you probably live quite closed.

Costco Wholesale Corporation is headquartered in Issaquah, Washington state. The company was founded in 1976 in San Diego, California with its first warehouse in Seattle, Washington. In 2004 they became the 5th retailer in the US and 11th worldwide thanks to a unique business strategy.

Today, Costco has more than 113 million members over 62 million households, Costco operates 828 stores—or warehouses, as they're called—across 14 countries including the U.S. (nearly 500), Canada (100), Japan (30), Spain, Iceland and France.

Costco has a total of 705 locations in the UK (27), Australia (8), Canada - Canada (90), Mexico - Mexico (36), Taiwan - Taiwan (12), South Korea (12), Japan (25), Spain (2), Philippines (S&R store with shares of Costco) and the United States (490).

Visit Costco.com to shop, you can find here selling all kinds of products similar to Amazon including: Electronic items, cosmetics, functional foods, household appliances, etc.

In terms of size, this distribution giant is second only to Walmart.

What is A Costco Membership?

In the current fierce competition, especially in a market with great potential such as retail and record inflation, becoming a member of retailers like Costco to buy cheap goods is even more interested. . However, instead of focusing only on the competitor's strategy, Costco devotes all its attention to its members.

This is also the reason why they sell products at a cheaper price than the market and more and more members join the Costco "house".

Costco Membership Card: Registration Conditions

• Gold Star Membership and Business Membership both have an annual fee of 55 USD. Gold Star is for individuals, while Business Membership is for business owners.

• The Executive Membership card costs $110. With this card, you get up to 2% cash discount up to $750 off your next purchases here. In addition, Executive card members also receive discounts on travel services at Costco.

• Conditions for registering:

1.Members must be 18 years or older.

2. Only used for the cardholder himself, other people are not allowed to buy goods instead.

3. A photo is required when applying for a card, such as a portrait. This image protects you from the risk of unintended use by others. If you don't have a photo, the staff will take a picture of you and put it on the card.

4. Registered members can get a refund of their registration if they are not satisfied. Note that it's only within 6 months or has been discounted for orders 2 times.

5. Membership can be revoked without explanation.

6. The membership card is the property of Costco and will be refunded upon request.

7. Card must be presented before entering shopping. If it has expired, you must pay the renewal fee.

8. To make sure all cardholders make the right purchases and not confuse them with their companions. Invoices can be checked before leaving the Center (Warehouse).

Related: Top 10 Cheapest Supermarkets in the US

Costco's Unique Features and Benefits

Cheap Price

One of the main principles applied at Costco is that no product can be raised more than 14% in price when it is sold on the market. Meanwhile, supermarkets usually sell goods with a price increase of about 25%, while stores with a 50% increase can even be higher.

Gas Prices Are Cheaper

With gas prices skyrocketing, the draw of Costco gasoline might be a big sell for getting a membership. At the self-serve gas stations—which are located next to the Costco warehouses—you can fuel up with Kirkland Signature gas and diesel for lower prices than you'd pay at other pumps.

At Costco, in addition to buying goods, you can also refuel at a discount and more convenient. Gas stations are also a strong service of this brand. It can be said that the distributor has the most expensive gas station in the world.

In terms of product categories, it's probably hard to tell. They do not like to use the word supermarket (supermarket) but often use the word warehouse (warehouse) to position the brand. Although there are many fixed stores, transactions by e-commerce are not few.

People in countries that love American products also often go to Costco's website to find cheap goods and are ready to order in bulk.

Product Intentionally Lost

Discussing this issue, the CEO of Costco said: “We are known as a good retailer because we create real value. If a typical retailer sells a product for $10, with Costco we sell it for $9 or drop it to $8 if we find a new solution."

Same-day delivery

In most metropolitan areas, you can take advantage of same-day delivery powered by Instacart for purchases of $35 or more.

Concierge services

If you purchase electronics—like a TV, camera, printer or laptop—at Costco, you can take advantage of free concierge services to help set up and operate your new buy.

Free samples

Free samples have long been the cherry on top of shopping at Costco. The in-store shopping experience also includes demos of electronics. Plus, while not free, you can grab super cheap hot dogs, pizza and other goodies from the Costco food court.

Haul Away

Instead of having to move and discard bulk items like appliances and mattresses yourself, use Costco’s Haul Away service, which is available in select locations. Upon delivering your new item, the delivery team will remove your bulk item and recycle it.

Credit card savings

The Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi, which doubles as a membership ID, offers 4% back on eligible gas purchases, 3% back on eligible restaurant and travel purchases and 2% back on all in-store and online purchases.

High Salary

What is A Costco Membership: Really Price Cheaper, Fee, Worth and Benefit
Costco employees have a pretty high salary

The CEO of Costco believes that a happy employee is an effective and long-term employee. Moreover, he also believes that paying high salaries to employees is a sign of good business.

Costco US employees receive an average of 17 USD / hour (42% higher than the average salary of competitors). And this helps Costco have a turnover rate much lower than the industry average because they are very satisfied with this salary.

Indeed, Costco's employee incentives boosted morale throughout the company. The Costco system always maintains labor productivity more than the "big man" Walmart

Poor Product Variety

In fact, a typical Costco warehouse has about 4,000 products. In which, there are only 4 brands of toothpaste. Restricting categories will help increase sales for each category, and also help Costco receive the best promotional prices from product suppliers.

Everything you need to know about Costco

♦ Visa card users are happy because since 2016, Costco has completely switched to accept Visa cards and parted ways with longtime partner Amex. In addition, they also cooperate with other banks to make their own payment cards called Costco Cash Card.

♦ Kirkland Signature is Costco's own brand that you can only buy at the best price here. But not everything with the word Kirkland Signature is good, the quality of some other popular product lines such as toilet paper is underestimated.

♦ Price is the strong weapon of this distributor. After the great crisis of 2008, many Americans still consider this as a savings shopping channel and buy regularly here.

♦ Easy return if not suitable, even ask for a refund of the membership fee if you feel uncomfortable shopping.

♦ One member can bring 2 people along. But online shopping is probably not possible, unless ordering together.

♦ As a wholesale center, if you want to buy, you have to choose to buy in bulk. Even though the price is cheap, it will be wasted if you don't use it all, so consider carefully when buying.

♦ Costco online limits the quantity of goods to non-members, and comes with a surcharge.

How much is a Costco membership and Type of Costco Membership?

There are two types of Costco membership: the Gold Star membership and the Executive membership. The Gold Star membership costs $60 per year and includes two cards—one for you and one for someone else in your household—that grant you access to all locations worldwide along with Costco online.

The Executive membership costs $120 and similarly includes two cards ard and access to all locations around the world and online. However, you also get an additional 2% savings on all qualifying purchases (with a maximum total of $1,000 in savings per year), along with savings on vacations booked through Costco Travel.

Executive Membership:

  • $120.00 Annual membership fee ($60 membership fee, plus $60 upgrade fee)
  • Includes a free Household Card
  • Valid at all Costco locations worldwide
  • Annual 2% Reward on qualified Costco purchases (terms and conditions apply)
  • Additional benefits and greater savings on Costco Services
  • Extra benefits on select Costco Travel products

Business Membership:

  • $60.00 Annual membership fee
  • Includes a free Household Card
  • Add Affiliate Cardholders for $60 each
  • Valid at all Costco locations worldwide
  • Purchase for resale
  • Business Members must provide Costco with the appropriate resale information

Gold Star Membership:

  • $60.00 Annual membership fee (Plus applicable sales tax)
  • Includes a free Household Card
  • Valid at all Costco locations worldwide

Please keep in mind that the Costco double guarantee applies to all membership levels. That means we guarantee both your membership and our products with a refund†, if they don’t meet your satisfaction.

Is a Costco membership worth it?

The brand claims that the $60 fee for the Gold Star membership ends up paying for itself if you shop at Costco frequently. Of course, this all depends on how much you buy and how often. If you're someone who likes to buy in bulk or who is shopping for a household, a Costco membership is a no-brainer. It's a great way to stock up on things you need—like a 12-pack of deodorant, 30 rolls of toilet paper and a 288-pound tub of macaroni and cheese—and spend a lot less than you would at a traditional grocery store or similar retailer like Target.

How many people can be on my Costco membership?

A total of two people can be on a Gold Star Membership (either regular or Executive): one Primary Member and one free household member who is over 18 and lives at the same address. If you are the Primary Member, we leave it up to you to decide who receives the second card—something you can change at any time by visiting your Account Details or the membership counter at your local Costco.

The notable difference between Gold Star Membership and Business Membership is that the Primary Member on a Business

Can other people use my membership card?

The Costco membership card is non-transferable, but there are several ways to share the experience with family and friends.

Anyone with a card can bring up to two guests to the Warehouse during each visit. Keep in mind that purchasing items is exclusive to Costco members.

If you’re the Primary Member or Account Manager, you can assign your free household card to one other person in your home. That way they'll also get the benefits of a Costco membership. To add someone, sign in and head to Account Details in your Costco.com Account. You can add a person to your household in your Account Details section, and they can pick up their card at the membership counter of your closest Costco.

What is A Costco Membership: Really Price Cheaper, Fee, Worth and Benefit
Price Really Cheaper At Costco

How can I add additional members to my Business Membership?

You can purchase additional Business Membership cards at any time during the renewal year. The annual cost is $60 per card (the additional Business Membership card plus one Household Member card, which can be assigned to anyone over 18 at the same address).

There are four ways to add a Business Membership card:

  1. Head to Costco.com and sign in to access your account details. Once your membership has been verified, select the Business Details section to manage your additional cardholders.
  2. Visit the membership counter at any Costco warehouse.
  3. Give Member Services a call at 1-800-774-2678.
  4. Fax your request to 425-313-6870 (Attn: Member Services) on company letterhead.

    If you're faxing a letter, be sure to include the names, addresses, and phone numbers for anyone you're adding, along with the signature of the Primary Member or Business Account Manager for authorization. Please also list a contact name and phone number—a representative will call to obtain a credit card number to charge any applicable fees.

What is an Executive Membership?

It pays to be a Costco Executive Member:

Executive Members earn an annual 2% Reward on qualifying purchases at Costco, Costco.com, and Costco Travel. Plus, additional benefits are available on our suite of Costco Services. We offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee and will cancel and refund membership fees at any time if a member is dissatisfied.

Additional values are available to Executive Members such as lower prices on check printing, auto buying, roadside assistance included at no charge for vehicles covered through the Auto Insurance program and additional travel benefits.

Costco membership is $60 a year. An Executive Membership is an additional $60 upgrade fee a year. Each includes a free Household Card. Please include sales tax in all applicable states. (Business Members also pay an additional $60 for each additional cardholder - purchases made by the additional cardholders do not contribute towards the 2% Reward.) Members who upgrade for a partial year will be charged a prorated upgrade fee.

The Primary Member or Account Manager of an existing membership may upgrade to the Executive membership one of the following ways:

  • Online – Sign In or Register on Costco.com, then visit Account Details. Once your membership has been verified, you may upgrade your membership.
  • In Person – Visit any Costco membership counter.
  • By Phone – Call Member Services at 1-800-774-2678.

When to expect a 2% Reward Certificate:

The 2% Reward Certificate is mailed with the renewal notice two months prior to the member's annual renewal date. A member must be a paid Executive Member at the time the Reward is issued to receive the certificate. Members who reverse their Executive status will lose all rewards accumulated. Rewards are not prorated.

Eligible purchases:

Only purchases made by the Primary and active Primary Household Cardholder on the account will apply toward the Reward. Most U.S. warehouse purchases apply to the 2% Reward. Please see below for a list of ineligible purchases. Eligible purchases made in Canada, Puerto Rico or on Costco.com also contribute to the annual 2% Reward. For eligible Costco Travel purchases, Executive Members will earn a 2% Reward after travel is completed (must be an Executive Member when travel starts).

In most cases, pharmacy and over the counter (OTC) purchases apply to the 2% Reward. Only the amount not covered by insurance (co-pay) is calculated as part of the 2% Reward.

Refunds of eligible purchases will be deducted from the 2% Reward.

Ineligible purchases:

Purchases made in Australia, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Spain, Taiwan, Iceland, China, France and the U.K. will not be applied to the 2% Reward.

The following purchases do not apply to the 2% Reward:

  • Alcohol in AL, AZ, AR, CA, CT, GA, HI, KS, KY, MA, MI, MN, MS, NH, NC, ND, OH, OK, RI, SD, TN, TX, UT, and VT
  • Auto Purchasing
  • Battery Fees
  • Bottle Deposit
  • Costco Shop Cards/Gift of Membership
  • Children’s Miracle Network Hospital Balloons and other charitable giving Costco.com
  • Shipping Fees
  • Costco Services
  • Food Court
  • Gasoline
  • Home Delivery Services (Delivery Charges, Installation)
  • Membership Fees
  • Misc. Taxes & Fees
  • Oil Disposal Fees
  • Optical Exams
  • Stamps
  • Tire Balance & Installation Fees
  • Tire Disposal Fees
  • Tobacco
  • Websites not hosted by Costco.com including online Costco Photo Center
  • 3rd Party Insurance Payments
  • Prescription drug purchases in certain states (including Arkansas, New Jersey, and New York)
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