Compare perks, fees and more


Shaunl/Getty Images

Shaunl/Getty Images

Costco is basically a club. This warehouse, which requires membership, sells goods in bulk to allow for cheaper prices and discounts across the board.

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Costco Membership Prices in 2023

Costco offers both personal and business memberships, and membership prices are divided into two tiers per category. Members may enroll in any of the following membership programs:

  • Gold Star Membership: $60 per year

  • Business Membership: $60 per year

  • Executive Membership: $120 per year

  • Membership in the board of directors: $120 per year

Costco’s membership prices haven’t increased in 2023, and the last time the company increased its membership fees was in 2017.

Can I get a free Costco membership?

Costco does not offer free or discounted memberships. This is because the membership fees cover the overhead of its business and allow the company to offer products and services at competitively lower prices compared to other retailers. However, experienced shoppers can enjoy Costco deals without paying a membership fee, although there are limitations.

Once inside, there are many ways to pay less at Costco such as: B. Costco coupons, Costco secret rate codes, and sharing bulk purchases with friends and family.

Even without free Costco membership opportunities, customers can save big. A Costco membership pays for itself relatively quickly.

What to Consider Before Getting a Costco Membership

There are a few things to consider before becoming a Costco member. First and foremost, it matters if there is a Costco warehouse nearby.

While the company invests in providing low-cost goods and services online, those who shop from one of its many locations around the world benefit most from their membership.

Here are some additional considerations buyers should make before purchasing a Costco membership:

  • Most items are sold in bulk.

  • Total purchase amounts are often high due to bulk items.

  • Membership fees are offset by taking full advantage of Costco members. [/tipquote]

What types of Costco memberships are there?

Costco has two types of memberships: personal and business. Once a buyer has determined what Costco membership type they want, they can select either a standard membership or an executive membership. Here are the details of each type and their tiers.

Personal Memberships

Individual or personal memberships are available for those who wish to shop at Costco. The default tier for this membership type is called Gold Star Membership. Here’s what it includes:

On the other hand, the Executive tier offers the same benefits and more. Here’s what the higher tier offers in addition to the standard benefits:

  • 2% Annual Bonus on eligible purchases at Costco and Costco Travel

  • Additional benefits and discounts on Costco services

  • A free monthly subscription to Costco Connection magazine

Business Memberships

The Business Memberships are for individuals and businesses who wish to purchase Costco products for business or personal use and commercial resale. The standard tier is called Business Membership. It includes the following:

  • Access to Costco warehouses and online shopping

  • Two membership cards

  • Additional cards can be added for $60 each

  • Bulk resale products available for purchase

The Business Executive tier includes the same benefits as the Standard Business tier, in addition to those of the Personal Executive tier:

  • 2% Annual Bonus on eligible purchases at Costco and Costco Travel

  • Additional benefits and discounts on Costco services

  • A free monthly subscription to Costco Connection magazine

Costco Membership Benefits

In addition to the unique benefits of Costco Executive Membership, there are additional benefits that all members receive, as well as some benefits that are specific to business members. Here are the main benefits that all members can enjoy:

Benefits for all members

  • Low Prices and Big Savings: Members take advantage of huge savings on Costco’s competitively priced products and services. This offers a wide range of groceries and groceries discounts, as well as discounts on clothing and home goods.

  • Costco Gas: Several Costco locations have members-only gas stations with much cheaper gas prices at Kirkland Signature Gasoline. If you want these gas discounts, you can check the Costco website to see if there is a Costco with a gas station near you.

  • Grocery delivery: Depending on their location, members can order their groceries online and have them delivered through Costco Grocery or Instacart.

  • Discounts for installing home products: When you work with a participating Costco partner, you’ll receive a Costco Shop Card worth 10% of the cost of the service.

  • Travel offers: Members have access to exclusive travel deals and discounts through Costco Travel.

  • Car Offers: Through the Costco Auto program and car buying service, people can buy new and used vehicles at discounted member prices. Costco members can also take advantage of a 15% discount on parts and services at participating service centers and other auto discounts.

  • Pharmacy and drug discounts: Although the Costco pharmacy is open to the public, members receive discounts on medications through the Costco membership prescription program.

  • Costco Anywhere Visa Card: Costco members get exclusive access to the Costco Anywhere Visa card, which comes with its own set of benefits:

    • 4% off eligible gas and electric vehicle loads worldwide

    • 3% off dining and eligible travel purchases worldwide

    • 2% off all other purchases at Costco and

    • 1% on all other purchases

Benefits for Business Members

  • Cheaper payment processing: Members receive special pricing and discounts when they enroll their business with Elavon, a payment processing service.

  • Business Center Deliveries: The Costco Business Center offers members unique inventory and specialized shipping direct to trading addresses.

  • Company health insurance: Costco offers business health and eye insurance plans through the CBC Health Insurance Marketplace and MESVision.

  • Water delivery service: Business Members receive exclusive pricing for bottled water delivery to their office or facility.

  • Business photo printing: Members receive reduced prices for printed products such as banners, business cards, flyers, brochures, calendars and photo books.

Costco’s competitors

Costco has strong competitors in the retail warehouse club market. The two main alternatives are Sam’s Club and BJ’s, both of which also have membership fees and extensive benefits. Here are the details of what members receive from each competitor.

Sam’s club

Like Costco, Sam’s Club offers membership tiers. However, Sam’s Club membership options are slightly cheaper overall and differ in a few ways:

  • Club Membership: For $50 per year, members of this tier receive free curbside pickup, a Sam’s Club Mastercard that offers additional rewards, gas savings at select locations, access to the Sam’s Club Tire and Battery Center, and savings on additional memberships.

  • Plus Membership: For $110 per year, members of this tier receive the same benefits as club members, plus free shipping on online orders, savings at the store pharmacy and optical center, 2% refunds in Sam’s Cash on qualifying purchases, and 3% cashback on qualifying purchases from their Sam’s Club Mastercard.


BJ’s also has a tiered membership program for individuals and corporations. Here’s a look at what members get with the Personal Standard and Premium memberships:

  • Membership in the inner circle: For $55 per year, BJ members receive exclusive coupons and a free membership for another household member.

  • Perks Rewards Membership: For $110 per year, BJ members receive all Standard tier benefits plus 2% cashback on eligible purchases, double or triple cashback on special events, and unique travel benefits.

The company also offers a specific corporate membership, with the same benefits split between the Inner Circle and Perks Rewards tiers, along with some benefits reserved for them:

Costco Membership: Pros and Cons

The decision to join Costco or not is a personal choice, but the fact of the matter is that it doesn’t take much for membership to pay off.


Costco has a large selection of discounted items. When you get the Costco app, you can increase those savings, along with the ability to stock up, save, and enjoy big discounts on groceries, diapers, and everything else you need in your home. Costco customers can also enjoy savings on cars, travel, and many other things that people don’t typically associate with club purchases.


You must pay for a membership to shop at Costco. So if you don’t go enough, it might not be worth the monthly fee. Since Costco only sells in bulk, a Costco membership may not be the way to go if you live alone or don’t have storage space.

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Caitlyn Moorhead contributed coverage for this article.

Information is correct as of February 10, 2023.

Editor’s note: This content is not provided by any of the organizations discussed in this article. Any opinion, analysis, review, rating, or recommendation expressed in this article is solely that of the author and has not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any entity named in this article.

This article originally appeared on Costco Membership Pricing: Comparing Perks, Fees, and More

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