How Much Does a Costco Membership Cost?


Written by:  Howmuchisit.org Staff
Last Updated:  August 8, 2018

Considered to be the largest membership warehouse club chain in the United States, Costco memberships must be purchased in order to purchased items in the store.

Costco by JeepersMedia, on Flickr
Costco” (CC BY 2.0) by JeepersMedia

How much does a Costco membership cost?

Costco offers three types of membership options: Executive, Business, and Gold Star, and the cost of this membership will depend on which one you apply for.

A business Membership costs $60 for the year, and the same price applies for the Gold Star Membership as well.  The Executive Membership, on the other hand, is an upgrade option for those who initially had either of the two memberships.  The payment for the Executive upgrade will be $60 more, making the total $120 for the year; however, it will be prorated based on the months remaining on the current membership of the member.

Costco membership overview

As mentioned, there are three types of membership options:   Executive, Business, and Gold Star.  As for the Business Membership, it is available to all licensed businesses, nonprofit organizations, government agencies, farmers and ranchers.

Included in any annual membership fee is a household card per primary member and another for a member inside the same household.  This membership card will need to be shown at the door to get into the warehouse as well as shown to the cashier in order to make any purchases.

Those who are not eligible for the Business membership automatically fall into the Gold Star Membership category, unless you want to upgrade to the Executive Membership, which unlike the Gold Star, Executive members enjoy an annual two percent reward on most Costco purchases, up to $1,000, as well as additional perks such as lower prices on check printing, payroll services and identity protection, free roadside assistance for vehicles covered through the auto insurance program  and extra travel benefits.

Signing up for a Costco membership can be done either online or through the local Costco warehouses at the customer service desk.  If purchased online, membership cards will be mailed within 7 to 10 days.  If you opt to sign up for a membership in person, you can just drop by at the membership counter of any Costco warehouse and apply for a membership.  Membership cards will be issued immediately when you apply in person.  For more information, you can visit the Costco’s official site or call 1-800-774-2678.

A Costco membership is valid at all locations.

What are the extra costs?

For a business membership, you add additional members.  Up to six additional business membership cards (add-ons) are available for $60 each.

As mentioned, the validity of the membership is good for a year only. That means that it must be renewed once it expires. The costs for renewal will be the same with having it purchased brand new.

Tips to know:

Memberships must be purchased in advance for one year.  Purchases made at Costco’s website do not require a membership; however, a 5% surcharge is added to purchases made by non-members.

If you wish to apply for the business membership, you will be required to have business identification.  That could be business license, resale certificate, or three pieces of business ID.

How can I save money?

Consider signing up for the Costco credit card.  By signing up, you automatically get a membership included with your card, but you will still have to pay an annual fee that’s equivalent to the annual fee.

On occasions, while rare, you can find discounts online.  For example, in the past, LivingSocial.com had a deal available where you could receive freebies if you were new members.

Check with your employer as many do offer discounts for its employees, oftentimes, allowing you to save up to $20.  The same can be said about those who belong to associations.


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