Costco Membership | Save Up to $20 With New Membership

Marx famously declared that he did not want to belong to any club that would accept him as a member, but we’re willing to bet he’d think differently about Costco Wholesale.

Since it opened in 1983 in Seattle, Costco has developed a cult following. Individual memberships cost $30 on those days, plus $15 for a spouse (quite a bargain compared to today’s prices! ). Still, anyone who has visited the warehouse club recently will recognize the same industrial shelving, oversized packages, cement floors, and crowds of eager shoppers scoring significant savings.

Save up to $20 with a new Costco membership.

Become a Costco Gold Star Member and receive a $10 Costco Shop Card. To qualify for the offer, make sure you sign up for automatic renewal of your Costco membership at the time of sign-up. 

You must sign up for automatic renewal of your Costco membership with a Visa® card when you sign up to receive the incentive.

You will not accept incentives if you choose not to enroll in auto-renewal at the time of sign-up.

Members can take advantage of this promotion when registered in auto-renewal at the time of sign-up. Existing members cannot renew or upgrade.

Prior Costco members may qualify as new members only if they have not paid membership fees for the past 30 months. Each household may only take part in one promotion. This promotion cannot be combined with any other offer.

Costco Shop Cards cannot be redeemed for cash, except where required by law. Successful sign-up and enrollment in auto-renewal, a Costco Shop Card incentive will be mailed to the address provided by the member within four to six weeks. Costco will not be liable for any incentives not received by entering an invalid address during sign-up.

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Costco has nearly 800 stores worldwide, and it is known for its food court with a $1.50 hot dog and soda combo, private-label wines that rival award-winning vintages, and its gigantic packages. Marx might even agree that this is one membership investment worth making.. anyone can join for $60.

Before you head to your local Costco, read on to find out everything you need to know about joining.

Before investing, you can check out the store for free.

Here’s a secret that might blow your mind: You don’t need a membership to attend. Find a friend who’s a member and tag along on their next shopping trip. Only members can make purchases, but if your friend lets you scan her card at the register, you’ll be able to buy your 30-pack of toilet paper. Nonmembers can also check out the fabled aisles of savings.

Costco Cash Cards are another way to get in. Using this gift card, you can shop without a membership and use the gift card’s value to purchase a gallon-sized bottle of maple syrup or a three-pound sack of lemons. Members can only purchase Costco Cash cards, so you’ll have to know someone who is a member to get the hookup. Once you have that gift card, you can give the store a natural spin – and even bring some of those bulk purchases home with you.

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Know that not everything at Costco is a deal

Costco is not much cheaper than a traditional grocery store if you’re simply looking to save money on everything you buy. Cheese and organic milk, for instance, don’t seem that great of a deal compared to buying them at your local supermarket. According to one report, certain produce, fresh chicken, and coffee were cheaper at regular stores

That’s why you should do a quick recon of the store before you sign up. Take a list of some of your most frequently purchased items and compare the Costco prices with what you usually pay. 

We’re not saying Costco memberships don’t have their benefits, but those benefits vary based on your regular purchases. Costco sells most of its products only in large packages, like any warehouse club. If you calculate the price per ounce, it might be cheaper, but with perishable items, if you don’t eat it all before it spoils, you’re actually losing money (not to mention wasting food).

Sometimes you can get a discount on a membership.

Is the $60 price tag too steep? Sometimes, Costco memberships are available at a discount or with a bonus for new members in the form of a gift card. One Living Social deal, priced at $60, included a membership, a $20 Costco Cash Card (hey, you could give it to a friend who wants to check out the store without a membership! ), and a slew of other goodies, including batteries, online shopping discounts, and meat discounts.

You can find these types of deals on Groupon and Living Social, and you should take advantage of them as soon as you see them, as they’re often in limited quantities. You can also find savings like these through banks and other organizations. In some cases, special deals are offered to teachers, such as a coupon booklet to purchase a new membership. This booklet entitles you to $60 worth of merchandise, offsetting your initial investment. 

Being patient could get you a cheaper membership to Costco – or at least a lower bill on your first shopping trip.

Costco only accepts these methods of payment.

You won’t be able to pay for your shopping with an American Express, MasterCard, Discover, or Diner’s Club Card. Costco only accepts Visa network cards. Other payment options include debit cards, cash, checks, and EBT cards. 

Since 1999, Costco has had a long-standing relationship with American Express. However, the relationship ended in 2016 after AmEx was no longer accepted in Costco’s warehouse stores. Visa was phased in. Although AmEx customers may be frustrated that they cannot use their cards at Costco, Visa charges a lower fee, and hopefully, that will be passed on to members.

Aditya Shukla

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