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How Much is a Costco Membership, and is it Worth It?

This morning we delved into CAA memberships, what they cost, and if they’re worth it to the average consumer. We thought as a follow-up to that, we’d delve into Costco memberships too, and see if those are also worth it to the average consumer. With so many people seeing those huge bulk bags of cookies and gallons upon gallons of bottled water that all “came from Costco,” one certainly has to wonder. Especially if you’ve never stepped into one of these mega-stores before.

Just like CAA, with Costco there are three different types of memberships you can choose from: Executive Membership, which is $110 a year; a Business Membership, which is $55 a year; and a Gold Star Membership, which is also $55 a year. For the purpose of this post, we’ll focus on the two different types meant for consumers – the Executive and the Gold Star.

If you want to even step foot inside Costco, or at least if you want to purchase anything while you’re there, you’re going to need to sign up for the Gold Star Membership. This will get you in the door, and make special discounts available to you. Other than the privilege of shopping at Costco, the Gold Star membership really won’t get you very much.

That’s not to say that the Gold Star membership is useless. Costco has amazing discounts on all the time. If you have a large family, use a lot of things in bulk, or are simply looking for a department store that has everything and that you can go to often, $55 a year for this membership isn’t really that much. However, if you purchase this membership and find yourself going to Costco only a few times a year, it’s probably not worth the price.

The Executive Membership will give you all the same access to Costco, and their discounts, that the Gold Star membership will give you. However, in addition to that members in this category receive a 2 per cent reward back (up to a maximum of $750 a year,) that you can in turn spend in-store. This alone can make it worth the price of membership, but remember that you’ll still need to shop here often in order to make it worth it. Also remember that Costco will not send ¬†you a cheque; but a certificate that can only be used in that store. So you shouldn’t consider it as “found money.”

Costco memberships are typically worth it, but not if you’re not planning on shopping there at least once every two weeks or more. If you do on the other hand, Costco can be a great way to save money and even discount on future items at the same time.

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