Is the Costco Membership Fee a Bargain or a Scam?

Is the Costco Membership Fee Worth It?

Looking for a conversation starter for your next dinner party or family function?  Just ask everyone what they think of the Costco membership fee and then sit back and enjoy the show!

You might think I’m joking, but I’ve witnessed several arguments (both online and off) about Costco that quickly escalated beyond reason.

It seems half the population loves Costco and the other half despises it.  I’m not sure why people get so worked up when talking about warehouse club stores like Costco, Sam’s Club, and BJ’s but let’s try to figure it out together.

According to the Costco card in my wallet I’ve been a member since 2002.  Some quick math tells me that I’ve dropped over $500 on Costco membership fees since signing up.  The current price is $55 for Gold Star Members but I think it was around $45 when I first became a member.

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That’s a lot of money to spend just for the privilege of shopping and spending even more money at the store.  In fact, it sounds a lot like the personal seat licenses (PSLs) many sports teams force their fans to purchase just for the right to buy tickets.

Yet I and over 37 million other households happily pay our annual Costco membership fee and continue shopping there, so obviously a good portion of the population feels the value they receive is worth more than the cost of admission.

How Much Does the Costco Membership Fee Cost?

There are three different membership levels…Costco membership fee

Gold Star Membership ($55) is the basic household membership which is perfect for the average family to do their shopping.  You get two membership cards so you can keep one for yourself and give the other to your spouse.

Business Membership ($55) allows business owners and managers to purchase products for business, personal, or resale use.  This also comes with two cards so if you own a small business you can keep one card for yourself and let one of your employees use the other.  You also have the option of adding up to six additional cards if you need them.

Executive Membership ($110) is an upgraded version of either the Gold Star or Business membership levels.  It comes with two cards, and you will also earn a 2 percent reward on purchases.  Obviously, you’d have to spend enough money to make your rewards worth the added cost. To be precise, you’d need to spend at least $2,750 ($230 per month) to cover the added cost of executive membership.

That may sound like a lot but as a Costco member with a growing family I don’t think that’s much more than we currently spend.

Executive membership is a really good deal for small business owners who purchase products to resell them.  For example, there’s a hot dog stand not far from my office and the woman who owns it does much of her shopping at Costco.  She can purchase a 32-count package of Coca-Cola soda for just $7.99 (about a quarter a can) and then resell them for a dollar each.

The more you spend the more your two percent rewards will add up, but there is a limit.  The reward is capped at $750 per year.  Another thing to keep in mind is that the reward is in the form of a Costco reward certificate, not cash.  That means it can only be used inside Costco itself.  While that is certainly a great benefit to regular Costco shoppers, a cash reward that can be used anywhere would be more flexible.

Why Does Costco Charge a Membership Fee?

Costco follows a different business model than typical supermarkets and retail outlets.  While other stores earn all their revenue from the spread between their cost of goods sold and their sales, Costco relies on their membership fees to maintain profitability.

Costco’s goal is to provide the lowest price possible for their customers.  That means fewer sales people on the floor and no shopping bags to lug home your stuff.  But it also means prices that are often significantly lower than you’ll find elsewhere.  There are several items (paper plates and cups for parties, Premio sausage links, grated Parmesan cheese, GoGurts) that my family only purchases at Costco because they are so much cheaper than at other stores.

Costco does put their money where their mouth is and they are even willing to drop a product if they can’t provide the best possible price to their customers.  In 2009, they actually pulled Coca-Cola products off the shelves because they felt the wholesale prices were too high.  Within a month Coke was back on the shelves at a new lower price.

“Costco is able to offer lower prices and better values by eliminating virtually all the frills and costs historically associated with conventional wholesalers and retailers, including salespeople, fancy buildings, delivery, billing and accounts receivable. We run a tight operation with extremely low overhead which enables us to pass on dramatic savings to our members.”  -Jim Sinegal, Costco’s Co-Founder and Director

Common Costco Complaints

There are a handful of arguments that Costco haters like to use to criticize the company.  I’ll list some of the common complaints about Costco and my thoughts on each.

  • Membership Fee.  Yes, I wish I didn’t have to pay Costco’s membership fee but when I add up all the money I save throughout the year I still come out way ahead.  How much you save depends on how much you spend.  Large families and small businesses can really take advantage of the low prices, while single shoppers may not see as much benefit.
  • No bags to carry stuff home.  This doesn’t bother me at all.  Many of the packages are too big for bags anyway and it is easy enough to bring along a few reusable bags for the smaller stuff.   Not providing shopping bags helps keep prices down and it is environmentally friendly too.
  • Lack of employees on the floor…good luck finding help if you need it.  If you’re looking for someone to walk around and show you where to find everything, Costco isn’t for you.  But personally I don’t like being bugged every 15 seconds by someone asking if I need help.  I just want to get in, grab what I need, and get the hell out as fast as possible.
  • You’re forced to buy in bulk.  Savvy shoppers know that buying in bulk is usually cheaper than purchasing smaller versions of the same item.  Of course, you won’t save any money if products go bad before you have a chance to use them.  Larger families have an advantage here since they’re more likely to use their entire purchases.  But smaller families and individuals can always shop with a friend or neighbor and then split up the bulk packages at home.
  • Prices are not always better than other stores.  In my experience, the everyday prices at Costco are better than regular prices at other stores.  Of course, there are times when another store could have the same item at a cheaper price.  This is especially true if the item is on sale and you have a coupon.  It’s always good to consider the per unit price when shopping and compare prices before just assuming Costco is cheaper.

What’s your opinion?  Are you a Costco member?  Do you think the Costco membership fee is worth it?

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Mike is a freelance writer and blogger who specializes in finance and parenting topics. He is a dedicated husband and father of three who is obsessed with creating multiple streams of income and building wealth so he can achieve true financial freedom for his family. Like what you're reading? Subscribe to our free RSS feed and follow us on Twitter.

Comments

  1. I love Costco and I’ll fist fight anyone who says otherwise! haha

  2. Why does a store want me charge me for the pleasure of going to shop there! Doesn’t make sense – plenty of stores that don’t charge me to just walk through their door!

    • Costco’s membership fee helps them keep the prices of their merchandise down. People who shop there a lot get a great deal, while people who only go a few times a year don’t make out so well.

    • Tiffany says:

      It’s a good thing you actually read through the whole article.. That’s why you must be asking such a question. ;)

  3. We used to have a BJ’s membership. When we moved we were close to Costco so we gave it a try. We like Costco so much better!

    As for the fees it comes down to this – Are you using Costco enough to justify the fee and are you spending wisely? If you don’t shop enough or if you go crazy on items you don’t need then it’s a waste.

    One place you can add the savings on is through their online store. You can find discounts to all sorts of other products. For example we got discounts for Tiny Prints to make cards and I get a nice discount on Quickbooks Online and Payroll through Costco.

    AND their Kirkland products are nice quality too.

    • You’ve got it exactly right Glen. If you don’t buy much or shop there very often the membership fee is a waste. But if you buy enough than you can really come out ahead of the game.

  4. I’ve been a Costco member for almost 10 years. Last year I signed up for the Executive Membership because I’ve been spending $300 to $400 a month at Costco.

    I hate the line-ups but I love the prices. You can’t beat the price per unit on most of the items, and if you’re smart and buy non-perishable stuff, your money can go a long way.

    The quality of most items is top notch. Well worth the membership fee, IMO.

    • Hey Robb, comparing price per unit is key because the sizes are usually different than other stores. But of course it only makes sense if you actually use everything you buy!

    • I agree…avoid the place on weekends, shop mid week during the evening. You won’t EVER wait in line :)

  5. I just love the fresh bakery products at our local costco on this side of the pond, not really sure that justifies my membership fee though!

  6. These “low” prices I see everyone raving about are nonexistent at my local Costco. Four packs of Kirkland bacon go for $14, the same price at any local grocery store where one pack is about $3.50 and all the items are priced so you save oh, maybe 3 pennies or so per item.

    The savings only really add up if you eat like a pig, or have a very large family or a business to run. The fact that the saving is so minimal means there should be no further charge to be able to purchase them, UNLESS you are a business owner and are buying in very large quantities. For the common single child family, though, all I see is a waste. I would not pay $60 if I wasn’t sure I’d save more than my money’s worth in return, and today that means one trip a month wouldn’t be cutting it(but that’s all most people need!).

    Perhaps it was a deal in the past, but now with prices basically matching everywhere else here I just don’t get it. I let my mother keep paying her membership and reimburse her for picking me up a few items here and there because bulk is just nice. Which is why I think they jacked up prices, AND kept their membership fee. Much better profit that way, no?

    • Clearly you live in a very low cost area to begin with because I assure you, the rest of us aren’t paying $3.50 for a decent package of bacon, even on sale.

      It’s sad that your “common single family household” probably eats the common SAD (Standard American Diet) otherwise you’d realize that Costco is a treasure trove of savings in organic foods.

      • My local Walmart has packages of bacon 2 for $5.

        • I love it when people say that “packs” of bacon are $x.

          Are you not looking at the weight to compare? The % of water added? Whether water was added? The quality of the brands?

          It’s amazing when people are blind to the fact that, in dealing with processed foods, not all versions are (even remotely) equal in quality / nutritional value.

    • The clothing area alone will save you a load if you purchase there vs the dept stores. I picked up a U of A jacket for less than $30 and if I got it at the college, I’d have paid double or more. Jeans are a steal and if/when things go on sale in the clothing dept, you can get a great bargain!
      Spices are a huge savings for me too. I get my salad there and some fruit. I tried the pollo asodo the other day and it was delish. And I get my bread, sweets and Christmas presents there too! I love the holidays @ Costco! The bakery alone is worth it…unless you want to buy one danish…by all means shop elsewhere. I shop everywhere and get the bargains as I see them.
      You can also ask friends and family (as someone else mentioned) and split the cost and shop together. The member is the only one authorized to shop there but it’s totally worth it, even with the extras the offer-vacations, flooring, and blinds. You can get a great deal if you look and ask…
      I see TVs flying out the door for a huge bargain…70″ smart TV for less than $2k! WOW!

  7. Hey, Mike, your post just popped up with the Dividend Growth Investor’s carnival.

    Our Costco advantage is twofold: gas & American Express. Our local Costco is Oahu’s largest seller of gasoline, and most of the time their price is lower than the military base gas stations. It’s a fantastic loss leader for Costco, and they actually tore up parking spaces to put in more gas pumps.

    Second is our Amex credit card. I’m much happier using it in Costco (instead of cash, checks, or a debit card) and we spend enough there each year to earn a 2% rebate that exceeds the $55 cost of our gold membership. The gas purchase makes the difference.

    The food court pizza is just bonus…

    • FYI In my locale Costco’s gas is up to 15 cents less per gallon, but also has more ethanol which seems to give me poorer gas mileage. I don’t buy Costco gas any more.

  8. Glen has it right, you have to determine if the fee is worth the savings. I think we almost hit the savings in lower gas prices alone, if on average gas is $0.07 per gallon less, then using two gallons of gas a day will save me the cost of the membership. While we don’t use that much gas, my wife sure likes to try ;) Just between gas, milk, and savings on automobile tires, I have saved enough for the next 5 years of membership dues, at which time I will need more tires.

    I find it funny too how people talk about the bulk buying, well yes, you can get miracle whip in 5 gallon containers, but they also have a smaller 1 gallon size that I can use before it goes bad. I get two loaves of bread in a pack vs. one, but I can freeze the second if I can’t use it before it gets moldy, I can easily use the big block of cheese before it goes bad. I can’t find turkey bacon at as good a price even when on sale at the local grocery.

    Guess what? I can get Pepsi cheaper at the local grocery when they run 4-12 packs for $12, so I get it there. It is not hard to know where to get what without much effort.

    BTW, you can request your rewards certificate in cash at the membership desk if you ask.

  9. One other complaint often expressed by myself and others is the inability to use credit cards, unless you sign-up for the AMEX card. I have the executive membership and have had it for 3 years. We got our membership when we bought a small business. We purchase for the small business personal and cleaning supplies and computer paper. Personal items are mainly food with some clothes and household. Overall we usually spend enough to cover the membership fee. Just this past year we got the AMEX card, which aids in cash back with the additional percentages. Last year I did an analysis on milk alone for my family of 3. I saved $23 for the year by buying our milk at Costco over purchasing it at Walmart. We have been very happy with their quality of products offered. Over the counter drugs have also been another area of big savings for my allergy sufferers (2 of 3).

  10. The Costco Executive member 2% reward can be cashed in the same manner as a personal check by cashing the reward check at any check out register. Also by cashing the reward check and taking cash, a Costco member with an AMEX rewards card receives a 1% reward rather than having your reward check applied to your purchases and foregoing the AMEX reward.

  11. I actually work at Costco and just wanted to point out a slight counterargument to one of the complaints. The reward coupon you receive as an executive member is technically a certificate you redeem for Costco merchandise. However, if your check is more than the total of your order that day, you get the rest in cash. So paying for a $2 gallon of milk with a $300 reward certificate will get you $298 cash in your pocket. And at my store, we’ll happily cash them out for people outright, no purchase necessary. I can’t speak for other stores as it’s probably up to management, but I assume most stores see the logic in that. So the executive check really is as good as cash :)

    • Hi Marissa,

      Thanks for sharing the insider’s scoop! Do you have any other input from an employee’s point of view? Is Costco a good company to work for like everyone says?

      • Costco is an awesome place to work for! Great pay and benefits plus they take care of you like family.

        • Dirk Shrek says:

          Great place to work. Top out at 20+ an hour base pay. Sundays are time and a half. 30+ an hour. Plus there’s 401k, yearly bonuses that start at 5000$ and top at 8000$ granted you have logged 9000 hours. It has since moved up to 13000 hours for new hires 2013 and later.

          Doesn’t matter what you do, pay is the same for the most part. More to cashier, cut meat, supervise, skilled jobs etc. But I could be pushing carts on Sunday and get paid over 30$ an hour to do it. Or watch people pump gas and do nothing for the same wage. I feel so overpaid many days to do mindless work. :D

          • Dirk Shrek says:

            Correction…. Semi-annual bonuses start at 2500$ and go up to 4000$ two times a year after you hit 20 years. Also profit sharing check!

    • I too work at Costco and I’m the membership manager and your 2% reward can be cashed at any register on the front end in any Costco. Update….. you can now get 2% rewards on pharmacy and tires. As well with the executive card you save alot more on Costco Services ( which you can check online at Costco.com this includes checks, travel, auto/home Insurance and much more). I work at Costco and have a family of four (2 adults 2 small children) and we spend over $9,000 a year with a 2% reward of 175 average a year. I Think Costco First before I do anything just to make sure I’m getting the lowest price possible with the greatest service ever!!!!!( ie; Allstate charged me $266 in NY for full coverage on my car…. Costco (Ameraprise) $180.) But that’s just my story

  12. Costco is the best! I don’t understand why people don’t love it. Great prices, good selection, and a fantastic bakery!

  13. Heather says:

    I’m a little late to the party (found this thru the Simple Dollar) but am glad you discussed this. Almost everyone I know has a Costco membership and loves it and the products. I had tried some of the Kirkland products and knew it was good. This year we used part of our income tax refund to “invest” in a Costco membership to see how we’d do banking on the money back guarantee if we weren’t happy. My initial reservations were the same as mentioned – saving enough to justify the membership fee.

    In two months, I have saved more than our $55 membership fee. I know I have to be careful though so my tactics are: to go in with a strict list; only get stuff I know I can use before it goes bad; keep a price book with the other places I regularly shop so I know if I am getting a good deal based on the unit pricing; and on the receipt, I am calculating my savings so I know we’re covering the membership fee. Plus, I am a sucker for those weird square gallons of milk (which are a full dollar cheaper than the grocery store)!

  14. I purchased a Costco membership in order to buy certain key items, like oysters, and in order to have access to the store. I’ve found out that Costco doesn’t carry oysters anymore, and have learned that the prices aren’t always the lowest at Costco. Especially when it comes to produce, and even electronic devices, Ive found the prices are higher at Costco.
    I am able to obtain food items I can’t locate elsewhere, but I’ve also noticed that even in the huge warehouse setting Costco is not a one stop shopping spot. I still need to resort to going to other stores to get exactly what I need. In the long run I imagine the membership fees are worthwhile, especially considering that it gives me access to the store…

  15. Dirk Shrek says:

    As an employee of Costco for several years…. small secret, you can cash out your 2% rewards check at the register if you ask to cash it out. If a cashier tells you otherwise they don’t know what they are talking about. Have them scan your membership card, hit ‘total’, and then scan your 2% check which will be money owned to you. Ta-da! I cashed my check out this week. 180 smackers. Gambling money yo!

  16. primate says:

    I purchase a minimum of 6,000 dollars worth of videos alone per year at Sam’s, on top of that a lot of dairy and some fruit and vegetables. I’m not getting any kind of deal at all, and when I return defective videos, I’ve been having to take a lot of crap from the service desk people, including the managers. The things I buy are the same price at Target, and when I go for tires, Sam’s doesn’t have what’s appropriate for either of my vehicles anymore. They try to push on me higher-end Michelins that I don’t need, then tell me it’s a 3-day wait for a special order, meaning I have to make a second trip back or get my tires elsewhere, which I’ve had to do. Where’s the convenience in that? Their annual membership appears lower than Costco’s, but I’m seriously considering switching since Costco is only half as far away as any Sam’s in my area and their customer service has become so anal and self-serving.

  17. you can cash out that 2% reward check anytime you want. all you have to do is ask any cashier and they will gladly hand you the cash amount for that check. the reason that it comes to you as a check is because it is sent to you through the mail and it would be pretty stupid on costco’s part to send cash through the mail wouldn’t you think?

  18. At the end of the day it is really dependent on the amount you spend, the type of items you buy and the savings on them. Like any other financial decision if the numbers don’t add up right stop it!! Don’t you think?

  19. Mr Sparkle says:

    I’m from Australia and Costco has only fairly recently come to my area (about 3 years ago). Costco has some great products (love their curries and a few other things) but the rest is not really any better or worse than their compeditors so I can take them or leave them on other factors.

    BTW I am not a member of Costco (or any other store, you don’t pay for membership in Australian stores, that (was) “un-Australian”, until Costco entered the market) for the following reasons;

    Having to be “forced” to have and pay for a membership card or any type of loyalty card just erks me. By the time you add up all the annual fees from all your cards and accounts (membership cards / credit cards / savings accounts fees and the list goes on and on) that can run into many hundreds of dollars a year and for what? Just so you have the “previlege” to spend more money with them.

    Also this buying in bulk is discriminatory for economical shoppers, single shoppers and others who can’t / don’t want to spend a fortune on a grocery bill. Buying in bulk simply encourages over consumption and waste. I used to be married to a woman who would buy in bulk and then throw away literally half of all she purchased because it went off before it could be used and we had 3 kids at home at the time. That means in real terms the unit cost is actually twice the shelf price. And because I hated seeing the waste I would try to eat the (almost off) food rather than throw it away which meant I was overweight and unhappy. I am now single and don’t waste one ounce of food. And guess what, my grocery bills are a fraction of what they were before, I eat only food that’s fresh (not stuff going out of date all the time), I have lost a lot of weight because I’m not over consuming, i’m doing my bit for the environment and I’m feeling MUCH happier. I’m not poor (annual income is AUD $120k+) so i’m not doing this because I want to and not because I have to. The economics just makes sense (dollars – LOL). Living within your means is what it is all about for a stress free life and unfortunately the marketing strategy of ALL retailers is to get you to over consume while trying to make you think you are making a “saving”. Lokk through the BS people. Do what I do, lower your consumption, pay off your credit card to nil balance every single month to avoid interest charges which are just another thing that psuhes up the cost of consuming and start “living” and not simply “consuming”.

  20. I was a member of Costco for a few months and left because 99% of the prices are NOT less than other stores plus I was paying a fee to shop there.

    It would be an interesting study for one shopper to buy exclusively at Costco for a month and another to shop at the other stores for the same items and total them up. I bet the Costco bill is just as high or relatively close to the other bill. Totally not worth the membership.

  21. I have shopped at Costco for years, and really like the store. In 2007 I went to my local grocery stores and wrote down all the prices for all beef, pork, chicken, fish, and cheese. I went to Costco and compared – Costco was cheaper in price for pork, chicken, fish, and processed meats.

    Now, Costco is the same price as my local grocery stores on these items. The only difference is Costco sells one grade up in meats – same price, better quality of meat. But it’s the same price! And you are buying 3 times as much. My local grocery store sales prices beat Costco prices now. I haven’t seen any meat/fish savings in years. Cheese, eggs, dairy (milk, butter) are still a good buy (I freeze it). But not all of these can be readily frozen without changing the texture.

    Splitting the fees/cards among friends and family makes makes it affordable. If I pay 15 dollars for a card, then it saves me money.

  22. It’s hard to beat Walmart’s price matching, but then, here in Texas, there are a lot of Mexican markets with outrageously low prices. Walmart is irked over having to match those prices and tries to reign in their policy, but since it’s nationally advertised, they can’t change the policy too much. I can get 5 avocados for $1, 20 oranges or limes for $1, etc.

  23. BarginShoppa says:

    Costco is a rip off plain & simple. I don’t care if anyone disagrees. After all, you have the right to be wrong.

    I was a member for less than a year & after feeling like I didn’t get my $55 worth, I turned in my membership for a refund.

    Their prices on most items are usually not cheaper, if fact, they are higher. I’ve gone in the store many times & have compared their prices to other stores prices & I must say, I’m not impressed.

    They may have the occasional good deal every once in a while, but not enough to get your $55 worth. And sure, their gas prices are competitive some of the time, other times you can find gas prices that match Costco’s or find it a little cheaper (not much). After all, if I have to pay for a membership, I expect something in return for the money I’ve paid.

    They save a lot of money not having to hire people to help you (customer service), all their items are on pallets, your items don’t get bagged & their prices go up all the time.

    I understand that people buy the membership for various reasons. Some like getting specialty items at Costco that they don’t sell in other stores, some like the little food samples they hand out all over the store & some like the idea of belonging to a warehouse club (for some strange reason). And there’s nothing wrong with that. If you don’t buy the membership just for the sole purpose of saving money, then more power to you.

    But if you buy the membership for the purpose of saving money, then I suggest you think twice before buying a membership because they are not cheaper than other stores. Save your money.

  24. Sorry but you CAN absolutely cash your executive cash bonuses at the membership counter for COLD, HARD CASH! Not sure who told you otherwise but you can redeem it for cash. I am an employee and was injured while I was deployed…they kept my pay raises and hired me back after I rehabilitated. There are a lot of people working but in my warehouse, you’ll find them folding the wrecked clothing dept or assisting in the TV section. Most members need help with electronics. Not sure if anyone needs their hand held but I RARELY see associates walking around Fry’s food helping me shop. LOL
    Sorry you hate the membership but the AMEX is FREE, no annual fee and you can defititely earn rewards by shopping everywhere else BUT the warehouse…esp for gas purchases. Shop wisely and don’t charge your butt off, you’ll be fine.
    I love the place. Never been into Sam’s but they don’t pay as well or treat their employees half as good. Besides, we should be paid MORE because the members are so damn rude…we get run over collecting carts and shopping in the warehouse. And I help everyone who asks for it…regardless of what I’m doing. You probably had a bad experience in a warehouse. Sorry that happened. But we get jaded by the rudeness of people.
    I will only leave my job if I can find a full-time one. It’s a great place to work…but be prepared to WORK!

  25. katie larson says:

    really late to this conversation~ but got my check in the mail for being a ‘executive member’ and have to say I’m quite happy :) to think up front I had to pay $110, but my check is $103…. So I paid $7 basically for the entire years membership. Yes worth it. And that is with us not really shopping there the last few months(lazy, not as close as other stores) We defidently saved money on all bulk items and ‘name brand’ items like big cases of V8 and butter, cheese, ect~ I know before when I was buying diapers, wipes, formula~ I would have saved even more!! Love costco and very impresed with the kirkland brand, my only complaint is the food tasters~ always in a bad mood and mad if you dont buy whatever you sample(even if you dont like it) crotchity old ladies! Even had the gall to tell me that they make commission and I wasn’t helping her… rude. But the checkers/boxers are always super friendly and efficient(which I love:)

  26. I have this conversation with myself every year when my CostCo renewal comes up. In fact, the renewal forms are sitting on my desk this very moment. I keep doing it, year after year, because it seems to make financial sense. I usually buy gas there because it’s cheaper. I don’t buy everything there, but what I do buy there, I buy because I save money.

    So put me in the “love it, with annual twinges of regret” category.

  27. Living in NYC, Costco isn’t worth the added cost of taking a cab and taking time to find places to store those big bulk items, but I’ll definitely be a member again when I move back to the suburbs.

  28. I saw a coupon book come in the mail from Costco the other day…WHAT? Now, I have to clip coupons and pay an annual fee?

    • You don’t have to clip individual coupons, the Costco coupon booklet just has one master bar code you can bring to the register. Or, if you have the Costco smartphone app you don’t need the coupon booklet at all.

  29. One of my concern is why does Cosco does not let any one than the buyer to buy at the store I have a card an I got sick I sent my daughter to go buy the thing at Cosco an they did not let her because she was not the card holder she lives with me an I’m not going to buy another card if we both live in the same house hold that’s really rediculouse so what is Cosco going to do about that an my husband has the other card but he is out of town

    • Hi Laura,
      I agree that is a frustrating situation. I assume they have that policy so people don’t take advantage and share the card with all their friends to avoid the annual membership fee. Unfortunately, honest folks like you get mixed in with the bad apples.

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