5 Little-Known Perks of a Costco Membership

Jun 22, 2024

A man and woman using power tools to renovate a bathroom.

Image source: Getty Images

Shopping at Costco has many benefits. The warehouse store has high-quality products at competitive prices, so you could find deals every time you visit. The return policy is one of the most customer-friendly of any retailer. And don’t even get me started on the delicious (and absolutely enormous) muffins.

Lots of members already know about all that. But a Costco membership also gets you access to quite a few other perks that don’t receive nearly as much attention. Here are more benefits worth knowing about.

1. Vacation and travel booking

It may not be the first place you think of to book a trip, but Costco Travel gets high marks from members. You can book vacation packages, hotels, cruises, and rental cars.

People who have booked with Costco Travel report that prices are almost always competitive — often much less than what you’d pay elsewhere. If you want to save even more on a booking, make sure to pay with one of the best credit cards for Costco.

The vacation packages, in particular, are popular for honeymooners and families. Not only can you get a good deal, but these are also a convenient way to book a trip. Packages often include transportation, complimentary breakfast, and activities, so you save a lot of time on travel planning.

2. Affordable prescriptions

Since Costco buys prescription medications in bulk, it’s able to negotiate low prices. It passes those savings on to its shoppers.

While you don’t need a Costco membership to fill prescriptions at its pharmacy, members are eligible for discounts. The Costco Membership Prescription Program is available exclusively for members. It offers discounts of up to 80% or more on prescription drugs for people and pets, whether or not you have insurance.

3. Discounts on auto and home insurance

Insurance has gotten expensive lately. Car insurance premiums have gone up by an average of $682 just since last year.

If you’re looking for cheap auto insurance, your Costco membership could help out here, too. It offers auto insurance through CONNECT, powered by American Family Insurance. Costco members who switched reportedly saved an average of $595.86 on auto insurance in the first year. It also offers homeowners insurance, so you could bundle both of those and potentially get a discount.

4. Lower prices on non-Costco products with Costco Next

In 2017, Costco launched a direct-to-consumer service called Costco Next. It’s an online store managed by Costco and with Costco prices, but selling non-Costco products. The suppliers handle order fulfillment.

Many members still don’t know about Costco Next, but it’s an exciting service. You can get excellent deals with some popular brands. Here are a few examples of what you can find on Costco Next:

  • High-end luggage designer Briggs & Riley, known for luggage you can buy for life

  • MOST Inc., which offers popular Korean beauty products

  • Anker, which offers power banks, power stations, and chargers

  • Products from wine storage company Vinotemp

5. Home improvement products and services

Summer is a popular time for home improvement projects. If you have any you’d like to check off the list, you can most likely do it with Costco. It has a network of service providers for a wide range of projects, including:

  • Bath remodels

  • Flooring and carpet installation

  • Solar panel installation

  • Custom closet and storage design

  • Heating and air conditioning

To make it even better, qualifying home improvement purchases include a 10% Costco Shop Card. So if you spend $8,000, you’d get a card worth $800.

With all the ways you can save money at Costco, the yearly membership fee is a bargain. If you’re thinking about purchasing a membership, keep in mind that it’s effectively risk-free. You can cancel and get a full refund if you decide you don’t like it. But most Costco shoppers get their money’s worth from their memberships, especially the ones who take full advantage of all the benefits.

Top credit card to use at Costco (and everywhere else!)

If you’re shopping with a debit card, you could be missing out on hundreds or even thousands of dollars each year. These versatile credit cards offer huge rewards everywhere, including Costco, and are rated the best cards of 2024 by our experts because they offer hefty sign-up bonuses and outstanding cash rewards. Plus, you’ll save on credit card interest because all of these recommendations include a competitive 0% interest period.

Click here to read our expert recommendations for free!

We’re firm believers in the Golden Rule, which is why editorial opinions are ours alone and have not been previously reviewed, approved, or endorsed by included advertisers. The Ascent does not cover all offers on the market. Editorial content from The Ascent is separate from The Motley Fool editorial content and is created by a different analyst team.JPMorgan Chase is an advertising partner of The Ascent, a Motley Fool company. Lyle Daly has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Costco Wholesale and JPMorgan Chase. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

5 Little-Known Perks of a Costco Membership was originally published by The Motley Fool

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