What Deal Seekers Should Know About Costco's 2024 Membership Cost

A Costco membership might not be for everyone, but we have the breakdown to help you decide if the cost is worth it.
Costco storefront in daylight.

As the cost of goods increase, consumers are more incentivized to find the best deals from their local retailers. Costco is looking to increase their membership totals in 2024 with exclusive offerings and discounts. With a vast array of inventory such as food, clothing and electronics, the average consumer can find value at Costco.

Great Costco Deals to Shop Now

Why Shop at Costco?

Costco is an American multinational corporation operating a chain of club retail stores. It is currently the largest retailer of beef, organic foods, rotisserie chicken and wine. They are known for their bulk items, competitive prices, and diverse inventory, making their brand attractive to consumers with families of all sizes. Their memberships offer exclusive savings to regular customers. This has played a pivotal role in their success against competing retailers.

SEE ALSO: What Deal Seekers Should Know About Sam's Club's 2024 Membership Cost

Costco Travel is a subsidiary of the main company. It focuses on providing affordable travel to its members. They provide several travel options including cruises, rental cars, and hotels. The travel program offers vacations to various destinations including the Caribbean, Europe, and the South Pacific.

Costco is the third largest retailer in the world behind Walmart and Amazon. They have stayed competitive in the industry with their commitment to low-cost alternatives to mainstream brands. Kirkland, a subsidiary of Costco is America's biggest consumer packaged goods brand measured in sales. The company has received praise for their quality products and excellent customer service. This good word of mouth directly translates into continued membership growth.

Costco's biggest strength is the consumer trust built in over 40 years of business. This was displayed during the Covid-19 pandemic as Costco was a brand that emerged stronger after the lockdowns. Adapting to the global shift towards E-commerce has allowed Costco to retain its membership base while also drawing in new customers.

The future of Costco shows continued signs of growth and expansion. In 2024 Costco plans to open new stores globally. The Costco app has seen major improvements such as their digital membership card feature. There are also talks to add barcode scanning and online inventory lookup in the near future. With both the physical and digital storefront enhancing their services, Costco is sure to see continued success.

How Much Does a Costco Membership Cost?

Costco offers two membership classes within their club subscription model: Personal and Business. Personal membership is aimed towards individual consumers while companies and organizations are eligible for Business memberships. Each class of membership has two tiers, a standard offering for $60 a year and executive package for $120 a year. Below is a list of benefits for each of the four subscriptions.

Personal Membership

Gold Star Member $60 annually.

  • Shop online or in any Costco warehouse
  • A second membership card for someone in your household
  • Guaranteed refund on membership if not satisfied with offerings
  • Get $20 Costco Shop Card with 1 year gold star subscription for new members only (Offer valid until June 16, 2024)

Executive Member $120 annually.

  • All benefits in the standard subscription
  • Up to $1000 on eligible Costco and Costco travel purchases
  • Additional discounts and benefits on many Costco services
  • Get $40 Costco Shop Card with 1-year executive subscription for new members only (Offer valid until June 16, 2024)

Business Membership

Business Member $60 annually.

  • Shop online or in any Costco warehouse
  • Purchase for resale (Resale of liquor is prohibited except where allowed by state law)
  • Two membership cards
  • Add additional people for $60 each
  • Guaranteed refund on membership if not satisfied with offerings

Executive Member $120 annually.

  • All benefits in the standard subscription
  • Up to $1000 on eligible Costco and Costco travel purchases
  • Additional discounts and benefits on various Costco services

Important Information

  • This offer is only available for new members and those whose previous memberships (Primary and Household) have been expired for at least 18 months or more.
  • Please allow up to two hours to receive your confirmation email from Costco after signing up. You must have your Costco or confirmation email to receive your physical membership card at any Costco location.
  • Digital Costco Shop Card will be emailed within 2 weeks after sign-up to qualifying members.
  • Digital Costco Shop Card will be emailed to the email address provided by the Primary Member at time of sign-up.
  • Must be 16 years of age or over to sign up for the subscription
  • Must agree to Costco's Membership Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy
  • $40 Costco gift card does not expire
  • $40 Costco gift card not redeemable for cash

How Much Can I Save On a Costco Membership in 2024?

Costco's bulk style of pricing is one of the company's biggest advantages among competing retailers. Customers can save money by buying large quantities of products as opposed to individual or smaller bundles. Buying store brands as opposed to their mainstream competitors is another way to cut back on spending. Costco's store brand, Kirkland is compared favorably to other store brands. Below is a comparison of commercial items and their Kirkland counterparts:

  • Nutiva Organic Virgin Coconut Oil (54oz) $21.99 vs Kirkland Signature Organic Coconut Oil (56 oz) - $14.99 - Approximately 32% savings
  • Bertolli Extra Virgin Olive Oil (1 L) - $12.99 vs. Kirkland Signature Extra Virgin Olive Oil (2) - $9 - Approximately 30% savings
  • Justin's Classic Almond Butter (16 oz) - $10.99 vs. Kirkland Signature Almond Butter (27 oz) - $7.99 - Approximately 27% savings
  • Ancient Harvest Organic Quinoa (12 oz) - $6.99 vs. Kirkland Signature Organic Quinoa (4.5 lbs.) - $9.99 - Approximately 30% savings
  • Quest Nutrition Protein Bars (12 pack) - $24.99 vs. Kirkland Signature Protein Bars (20 pack) - $17.99 -Approximately 28% savings
  • Charmin Ultra Soft Toilet Paper (12 mega rolls) - $18.99 vs. Kirkland Signature Toilet Paper (30 rolls) - $15.99 -Approximately 16% savings
  • Planters Mixed Nuts (27 oz) - $24.99 vs. Kirkland Signature Mixed Nuts (40 oz) - $19.99 -Approximately 20% savings
  • Tide Original Liquid Laundry Detergent (100 oz) - $16.99 vs. Kirkland Signature Laundry Detergent (194 oz) - $12.99- Approximately 24% savings

While the amount of savings may vary due to fluctuating prices and availability, the Kirkland brand overall will offer more value for the customer at a significantly lower price than the commercial brand.

How Can I Earn Cash Back With a Costco Membership?

The standard Costco membership is worth it alone for the money you will save on food and everyday products. If you sign up for Costco's Executive Gold Star membership you can earn up to $1000 a year from Costco purchases. The upgrade will cost an additional $60 on top of the base subscription for a total cost of $120 a year. Two checks are mailed to the customer per year with varying amounts depending on your purchase history. The customer can also sign up for a Costco Anywhere Visa Card to earn more cash back from purchases even outside of the store.

Is a Costco Membership Worth It?

Costco has ramped up their membership offerings to make them more attractive to customers. If you are a frequent customer at Costco, it may be worth looking into, especially if you want to budget your expenses. The corporation's multitude of products such as grocery items, clothing, and electronics. The best way to decide if a membership is worth it is to sign up. Costco offers a 100% refund on subscription fees if not satisfied with the service so there is no harm in trying it out for yourself.

What if You Live in a Smaller Household?

With Costco's vast offerings, a customer of any size household would be able to find value in a membership. Even if you are not looking to stock up on food, you can find great deals on electronics and everyday items like paper towels. If you feel that you are not using the service to its full potential, consider splitting the costs with a friend or family member. As stated earlier, if you still are not satisfied with the service, Costco offers a full refund on your membership fee.

How Does Shopping Compare in Store vs Online?

Shopping online has numerous benefits such as delivery to your address, and certain products being exclusively sold on the website. The major drawback to online purchases is increased cost when compared to buying in store. While Costco's online store is a vital part of their success, the physical warehouses have always been the core of their business model. You must have an active membership or a Costco Gift Shop card to enter the warehouse. You can also be a guest of someone else who is a member. Inside the building there are several free sample tables for food items and demos of new products. Some discounts are only available in store and will not show up on the website. Each warehouse also has its own food court with alternating menu items.

The food courts are located conveniently near the check-out area after customers are done shopping. Many Costco warehouses even have their own gas stations with competitive prices as a further incentive to shop in person. Some would even argue that the savings on fuel alone justify a membership. For over 40 years, Costco has focused on maximizing their in-store experience to keep customers coming back. Of course, if you are looking to budget, shopping in store could increase the risk of impulse buying. With such a wide array of products, you can always find something you were not looking for.

Can You Shop at Costco Without a Membership?

A Costco membership is needed to purchase any store items or visit as a guest of an existing member. (Members can bring up to 2 guests with them) If you are not certain that you would want to commit to a yearly subscription, you can also visit the store with a Costco Shop Card. The only caveat is that only existing members can purchase these cards, so you will have to know someone with an active subscription.

How To Save the Most at Costco?

To get the maximum value out of a Costco membership you need to shop mindfully and be aware of your benefits. Below is a list of tips for you to get the most out of Costco's membership service.

  • Primarily shop in person at Costco. While using the Costco website might save you time but not money. Buying online will significantly increase the average spending total. Try to only buy items that are exclusively online.
  • Buying store brand products instead of their mainstream counterparts is an effective way to save money. The Kirkland brand owned by Costco is well respected, and they're products are known for their serviceable quality at a discounted price.
  • Utilize the Costco app to take advantage of upcoming sales. Enable notifications on your phone and subscribe to their email list to be notified of flash sales. The app is also useful for creating a shopping list before entering the store.
  • Make use of the Costco Gas Station. Costco gas by the gallon is priced cheaper when compared to local stations.
  • Costco is the world's largest retailer of rotisserie chicken, beef, organic foods, and wine. Customers could take advantage of any deals for these items and buy them in bulk. This would be a cheaper alternative to going to restaurants or ordering food from a delivery service.
  • Take advantage of after holiday sales. The day after a major holiday, items such as candy and decorations become heavily discounted.
  • If you are a traveler, look into Costco's travel agency. They have special vacation packages offered to existing members.
  • Buy your prescription drugs at Costco pharmacies. The in-warehouse pharmacies are sold at a competitive price.
  • The Costco Auto Program is a useful service if you are interested in purchasing new and preowned vehicles at a lower price.
  • Earn Cash back by becoming an Executive Gold Star member. You can also sign up for a Costco Anywhere Visa Card. You can earn money for gas, travel, and even dining. This card also doubles as a membership card and includes extra benefits such as travel insurance.

If you are looking to cut spending and get better deals on everyday items, consider subscribing to Costco's Gold Star Membership program. With their various offerings of goods and services, you are sure to find great value. It is made even more attractive by its low cost of $60 for a yearly subscription with a full refund if not satisfied. The Executive Gold Star Membership adds even more value with the potential to earn cash back on purchases. The $40 Costco Shop Card also gives you access to any warehouse even if you don't have a membership. You can download the official app or visit Costco.com to sign up for a subscription.

What Else Should I Consider When Shopping at Costco?

Fortunately you're on DealNews and we have a specific corner or the website carved out for the very purpose of finding the best deals from Costco. It's right here.

You can also consider signing up for the DealNews Select newsletter, which drops a bunch of handpicked top offers into your inbox every weekday. You can also set up a Deal Alert for more specific deal hunting purposes and don't forget about the DealNews app for your mobile deal needs.

DealNews may be compensated by companies mentioned in this article. Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).


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