Is Costco worth the $120 membership?

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sabhen
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Is Costco worth the $120 membership?

Post by sabhen »

After joining and signing for the "executive" membership with their Citi Visa CC, I am finding it less and less appealing. We don't buy usually in bulk and tend to prefer more regular trips to Aldi or occasionally to Traders Joe's for groceries. The only compelling reason for us is the cheaper gas combined with 4% discount. I admit that I don't really find big box retailers exciting. What is the big deal about Costco?

Per this article, the main way Costco makes its money: membership fees.

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/09/15/how-cos ... there.html
Last edited by sabhen on Sat Sep 19, 2020 11:44 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Gnirk
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Re: Is Costco worth the $120 membership?

Post by Gnirk »

Personally, I love Costco, but that doesn't mean it works well for everyone.

I buy chicken, steak, and other foods in bulk and then repackage into smaller portions, and freeze them. For paper goods, zip-lock bags, etc I often share these with my daughters. We also buy quite a few of our clothes at Costco. I've purchased name brand clothing for a quarter of the price it sells for elsewhere, and my DH likes the Kirkland brand men's clothing. And it's the only place we buy gas.

I find their Kirkland brand to be of very good quality.

We also have the Costco credit card. Our cash rebates more than pay for our membership.
DSInvestor
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Re: Is Costco worth the $120 membership?

Post by DSInvestor »

I find that my executive membership rewards gives me back more than the $120/yr fee, then the costco visa card gives me back even more.

$120 is the annual cost of the executive membership which gives you 2% back. The regular membership is $60/yr. If you spend at least $3000/yr then you'd make back the cost difference between the regular and executive memberships.

If you buy your tires or computers there, then the rewards will add up fast and make the executive membership more attractive.
Last edited by DSInvestor on Sat Sep 19, 2020 1:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Luckywon
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Re: Is Costco worth the $120 membership?

Post by Luckywon »

Huge Costco fan here. More than any other retailer, I believe they deliver quality at a good price. Whatever I need that they have, I buy there-everything from groceries to household supplies to electronics. And of course, their return policy is the best.
mbres60
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Re: Is Costco worth the $120 membership?

Post by mbres60 »

We have the lower membership and the Costco credit card. We save a lot buying gas there. Do you really need the executive level? We found we didn’t spend enough for that.
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Watty
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Re: Is Costco worth the $120 membership?

Post by Watty »

sabhen wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 1:11 pm What is the big deal about Costco?
It sounds like you are not using the membership enough to make it worthwhile. You can either downgrade your membership or cancel it to get a refund.

If you find that you miss it you can always rejoin.

If there are a few things that you still want to get at Costco then one option is it just go there once or twice a year with a friend who has a membership.
DoctorPhysics
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Re: Is Costco worth the $120 membership?

Post by DoctorPhysics »

I use the Costo Exec Membership and Citi Card with cash back 4/3/2/1% on gas, resturants/travel, costco, all other purchases

Reward is stackable at Costco Travel and the Costo 2% Reward for Exec membership, making 5% back on Costco Travel and 4% on Costco in-store and online purchases. Other benefits - no foreign transaction fees, extended warranties and purchase protection.

I generally like it, I run all gas, eating out and costco purchases through this card. Everything else I run through the Amex cash back.

Only thing I don't like is the reward certificate for Costco - a paper check every Feburary - wish it was electronic and not limited to Costco.. but there is an easy work around - just go to the customer service and ask for cash value. No hassles.

If your gas spend is at least $3k/year or $250/month, you will make the $120 membership fee back. It makes a lot of sense if you do a big Costco run every month or two.
Mr.BB
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Re: Is Costco worth the $120 membership?

Post by Mr.BB »

We used to be executive membership but unless you are spending X amount it is not worth an extra $60 dollars a year. The 4% gas benefit is it for the first year; I rather get my hotel points.
There's a guy at our Costco employee at ch clout who always tries to upsell everyone it's actually fun to have a discussion about the numbers with him, and of course he loses every time.
Last edited by Mr.BB on Sat Sep 19, 2020 1:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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sailaway
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Re: Is Costco worth the $120 membership?

Post by sailaway »

The default membership is $60, the executive is $120, so if shopping at Costco is worth it for you, the next question is, do you spend enough to get at least $60 back.

We generally get back 60 something, which basically means we break even.

The 2% does not apply to gas, I can't find a solid answer on tires, but assume not.
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LiveSimple
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Re: Is Costco worth the $120 membership?

Post by LiveSimple »

We use Costco travels and it is worth it
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windaar
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Re: Is Costco worth the $120 membership?

Post by windaar »

We find it easier and more pleasant to just go to Target and use the Red Card for their 5% discount instead. Closer parking, no huge cart filled with heavy and bulky items, shorter and quicker checkout lines, no annual fee to wonder about.
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neilpilot
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Re: Is Costco worth the $120 membership?

Post by neilpilot »

After a 10yr laps we recently used a Groupon offer to rejoined Costco at the gold level. For $60 total cost, our membership came with a $40 instore credit and a $40 online credit. We've already used both credits.

I can say that the -$20 net cost of the 1-year membership seems worthwhile. :D
njdealguy
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Re: Is Costco worth the $120 membership?

Post by njdealguy »

I'm personally not a big fan of their gas station and tire services due to what is usually massive wait times in each. The Sams Club gas station nearby usually costs nearly the same or a few more cents per gallon but lines are usually way less at the times I pass by. Would probably cost more in wasted gas to wait for Costco gas than going somewhere quicker.
DSInvestor
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Re: Is Costco worth the $120 membership?

Post by DSInvestor »

sailaway wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 1:35 pm I can't find a solid answer on tires, but assume not.
From Costco page of Executive rewards:
https://www.costco.com/executive-rewards.html
Costco wrote: Calculation of 2% Reward

Reward is approximately 2% of pre-tax purchases (less refunds) of most merchandise purchased through: front-end registers, most ancillary business registers at Costco warehouses and Costco websites in both the U.S. and Canada by U.S. and Canadian residents and qualifying purchases made directly from Costco Travel once travel is completed. In the U.S., Rewards are not calculated: (i) on purchases of cigarettes or tobacco-related products, gasoline, Costco Shop Cards, postage stamps, alcoholic beverages in certain states (including Alabama, Connecticut, Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee), prescription purchases in certain states (including Arkansas, New Jersey, and New York), and at food courts; (ii) on membership fees; (iii) on purchases not recorded through Costco’s front-end registers and transactions done on or through websites not hosted by Costco even if accessed through Costco.com, including all business, consumer, and insurance services, the Online Photo Center, and the My Publisher website; (iv) on miscellaneous fees, deposits and taxes, including sales tax and shipping; (v) where prohibited by law or regulation; (vi) on purchases made by anyone other than the account’s Primary or Primary Household Cardholder; (vii) on travel purchases: surcharges, gratuities, trip protection, travel purchased through a third party, upgrades, rental car equipment, resort charges and port charges; and (viii) on certain other categories as determined at Costco’s discretion, which may change without notice.
Tires are not on the exclusion list.
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musicmom
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Re: Is Costco worth the $120 membership?

Post by musicmom »

How about downgrading to basic membership?

We use our costco visa for 3% back on restaurants, 2% on costco in store and online.
We dont travel much.
Still, we easily earn $150-200 per year back. More than makes sense. We just cash in our silly paper check each Feb.

Warranty and return policies cant be beat. We wouldnt buy computers, TVs anywhere else.
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crystalbank
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Re: Is Costco worth the $120 membership?

Post by crystalbank »

We signed up for Costco this year because we had family staying over for a few months and thought we could buy in bulk and try it out. But after this year, I won't renew my membership.

There's always lines (atleast where I live) and it's really difficult to find things in the warehouse. No signs anywhere and they really try to push the 'treasure hunt' model by changing locations frequently. Their gas is only a few cents cheaper than the closest Shell station.

I think Target + our neighboorhood grocery store is more than enough for our needs.
Ricola
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Re: Is Costco worth the $120 membership?

Post by Ricola »

I like doing business with a company that has this mission statement posted on their store wall:

What is Costco's Mission Statement and Code of Ethics?
Here at Costco, we have a very straightforward, but important mission: to continually provide our members with quality goods and services at the lowest possible prices.

In order to achieve our mission, we will conduct our business with the following Code of Ethics in mind:

Obey the law.
Take care of our members.
Take care of our employees.
Respect our suppliers.
If we do these four things throughout our organization, then we will achieve our ultimate goal, which is to reward our shareholders.
Kelrex
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Re: Is Costco worth the $120 membership?

Post by Kelrex »

It's worth it if you use it. If you don't use it enough, it isn't worth it, especially not the $120 level.

We keep our $55 level, which basically pays for itself in savings on kitty litter and dog food alone.

That said, you don't need a membership to shop there. You can shop there with a Costco gift card instead and avoid the membership fee if you don't shop there much.
EagertoLearnMore
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Re: Is Costco worth the $120 membership?

Post by EagertoLearnMore »

Costco Travel provides a very good deal with 2% back on the Executive Card as well as 4% back from the Citi Visa. Right now people aren't traveling, but just to let you know that their travel agency is reputable and the prices very competitive. They usually send Costco travel customers a Costco cash card when you return from particular vacations.
Freezing larger quantities works as well as sharing with family members. The tire department has very good values as are their car batteries, but they do not install them!
If you are not satisfied they even have a refund policy for your cost of membership. Did you see that?
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Stinky
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Re: Is Costco worth the $120 membership?

Post by Stinky »

We use Costco Travel for booking car rentals. We pay for our membership with the savings on car rentals.

Earlier this year before COVID, we took a cruise booked through Costco. It was the same price as the cheapest we could find for that itinerary on line, plus Costco sent us a $500 gift card.

Finally, their life insurance offering is through Protective Life. Cheaper than any other term life insurance I know of.
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Re: Is Costco worth the $120 membership?

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

I think it's worthwhile to do an actual "basket of goods" comparison with wherever else you'd buy the products. I've done this, bringing my list in to both Costco and Stop & Shop for groceries (not a low cost comparison by any means) and found that S&S for my list of groceries was actually cheaper. I have not taken the list to Market Basket (where we now buy the bulk of our groceries), but I know they're tons cheaper than S&S.

For tires, doing a little shopping around is absolutely worthwhile. I just bought snow tires for my wife's Legacy. 225-55-17 and ended up with a set of Federals for $83 each at Town Fair Tire. I don't know if Costco has them cheaper or not, but I'm not driving an hour to my nearest Costco anyways.

For gas, I play gift card shenanigans at S&S when they have promos, so I doubt my annual average cost of 85 cents a gallon is going to be beaten by Costco.

So for me, even if the membership at Costco were free, I wouldn't shop there.
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MikeG62
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Re: Is Costco worth the $120 membership?

Post by MikeG62 »

DSInvestor wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 1:22 pm I find that my executive membership rewards gives me back more than the $120/yr fee, then the Costco visa card gives me back even more.

$120 is the annual cost of the executive membership which gives you 2% back. The regular membership is $60/yr. If you spend at least $3000/yr then you'd make back the cost difference between the regular and executive memberships.

If you buy your tires or computers there, then the rewards will add up fast and make the executive membership more attractive.
I was told recently by a Costco Rep that if you don't spend enough to earn back the extra $60, they will refund you the difference at the end of the year.

We find Costco to be a great value (savings from buying in bulk offsets the $60 annual fee many times over). Just got my P&G $25 gift card for buying $100 worth of P&G products in our last visit. In March of this year, we were able to purchase gift cards for a Spa in Canada (Scandinave Spa) that saved us 20% off (savings exceeded $120). And two months ago I used the Costco car buying program to secure a 10% discount off the MSRP on the lease of a new 2021 Audi SUV (MSRP was a tad under $70K). I leased the same vehicle from the same dealer in 2017 and the best I was able to negotiate was 7% off MSRP. Incremental savings using the Costco program was nearly $3,000. As as I said, the $60 is covered many, many, many times over.

The trick is walking out of Costco without spending $300 or $400 or more per visit. We've spent $3,400 there through August of this year. However, that includes a large amount of pantry loading and stockpiling of items during the throws of the pandemic (for some single visits, spend was over $500). Our typical spend is much lower (for example, for all of 2019 we spent $3,000 at Costco).

We have the regular membership as the upside from the executive membership seems like peanuts (the upside from each $1,000 above $3,000 is only $20). Now if they offered early access for the executive membership (which I think they used to do) that would be a different story. Might actually then be able to find some Lysol spray :wink:
Last edited by MikeG62 on Sun Sep 20, 2020 6:23 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Doctor Rhythm
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Re: Is Costco worth the $120 membership?

Post by Doctor Rhythm »

I adore Costco and could go broke saving money there, which is its main hazard. Costco is our primary grocery; we go there at least 3 times a month. As others said, the quality is better than what I buy from the grocery store - especially meat, where Costco’s USDA Choice looks like Safeway’s Prime. They have an outstanding no hassle return policy. We easily come out ahead with lower prices, discounts, and rebates to justify the “executive” membership fee.

Obviously not for everyone though. It works out better for higher income, multigenerational households. If cost containment is paramount, you can get lower quality goods at lower prices elsewhere. If you’re willing to wait for a sale and do some research, you can find better deals on specific items elsewhere, so probably not worth it if you only plan to buy big-ticket items like a TV. You need to be okay with the warehouse and crowds.
Last edited by Doctor Rhythm on Sat Sep 19, 2020 2:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Is Costco worth the $120 membership?

Post by nisiprius »

We have the basic ("Goldstar") membership and no Costco credit card.

We don't go there primarily for cost savings. I'm virtually certain that we do break even. The main thing is that we get access to a nice store, with product offerings we like, that aren't exactly what we can find elsewhere.

We tend to go perhaps 6-12 times a year, we probably spend $100-$200 every time. in my personal opinion its a good place for digital electronics. It gives us access to quite a lot of decent products more or less unique to Costco. We generally like the "Kirkland" house brand products. Their clothing selection is tiny but it seems like better quality than Walmart.

It's a little like Trader Joe's in the sense that the actual selection, number of SKUs, is limited, but what's there is good.

If it's a food product we buy anyway and the size is appropriate to our rate of consumption, there is a cost savings--not huge but noticeable. Like a bottle of 325 vitamins for $20 instead of finding that the biggest bottle they have at CVS is 90 for $10; that kind of thing. They consistently have biggish packages of AA and AAA batteries in stock at good prices. And so on.

Provided it's at a reasonably convenient location, it's worth trying for a year.
Last edited by nisiprius on Sat Sep 19, 2020 2:20 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Is Costco worth the $120 membership?

Post by z3r0c00l »

Useful for a large family for sure, but in our case we don't buy in bulk more than a few times a year and mostly things other than food. So, in this case the major other benefit is buying big items like a TV, computer, etc. Got a nice watch too. Not for nothing, all things being equal, I like to support a company with better work conditions for its staff too, and Costco certainly has that.
Last edited by z3r0c00l on Sat Sep 19, 2020 2:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
MikeG62
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Re: Is Costco worth the $120 membership?

Post by MikeG62 »

Doctor Rhythm wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 2:11 pm As others said, the quality is better than what I buy from the grocery store - especially meat, where Costco’s USDA Choice looks like Safeway’s Prime.
+1. Their meats are fantastic. We buy our steaks almost exclusively from Costco. Quality is excellent (and less than half what you'd pay in a high end grocer or butcher). You can also often get Prime quality, but honestly their Choice is so good that we rarely pay up for Prime.
Last edited by MikeG62 on Sat Sep 19, 2020 2:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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khram
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Re: Is Costco worth the $120 membership?

Post by khram »

No. I can't remember how much my membership is. $60 maybe? I probably bought some chicken at a cheaper price once and that's it. I never go there.

I did actually get tires there. Not sure if it was more or less expensive than other places, but it was at least a reasonably smooth experience.

I did get a nice desk there for a great price a few years ago. For me, it's not worth maintaining a membership, but every now and then signing up for a year is not bad.
runner3081
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Re: Is Costco worth the $120 membership?

Post by runner3081 »

All depends. We are frugal and despise having to pay for the privilege to wait in line.

With some good comparison shopping, we can always find better deals.

We dropped it nearly 7-years ago.

Haven't regretted it since.
sandan
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Re: Is Costco worth the $120 membership?

Post by sandan »

Not $120, but $60 for my circumstance.

In the last 3 cities I've lived, costco has been close to my house and the lines are fast. I wouldn't sign up for it if it was out of my way or lines are too long.

Overall, I pay the $60 for access to convenience.

Product quality and price is very predictable. I probably buy $20 worth of berries and/or cherries each week. I also like their no hassle returns / selection of tech products, so its usually no big deal to pickup a tablet/pc/tv for myself or family member should someone need one in a pinch.
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Re: Is Costco worth the $120 membership?

Post by Doctor Rhythm »

$1.50 for a big hotdog and a refillable soda. Repeat twice a month and you’ll cover your basic membership fee. :P

More seriously though:
We don't buy usually in bulk and tend to prefer more regular trip to Aldi or occasionally to Traders Joe
Interestingly, there is a Trader Joe’s right next to our local Costco. Very different demographics among the shoppers with regards to age, race, couples/families vs. solo. There is definitely a market segment for each store chain.
Last edited by Doctor Rhythm on Sat Sep 19, 2020 3:02 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Is Costco worth the $120 membership?

Post by stoptothink »

It really depends on the area. When I was in California (slightly less so in Arizona and Texas), it was absolutely worth it, here in Utah it isn't. After about a decade of membership I did a cost comparo ~8yrs ago and there wasn't a single item I regularly purchase that was cheaper at Costco than other local options. My family has been big-time loyal Costco members for 20+ years, when they moved here I convinced my mom, brother, and sister to compare prices themselves. They all cancelled their membership.
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Re: Is Costco worth the $120 membership?

Post by Lee_WSP »

Not for most people, but the basic membership is worth it to a lot of families. Not a lot of single people though.
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Re: Is Costco worth the $120 membership?

Post by 123 »

sabhen wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 1:11 pm After joining and signing for the "executive" membership with their Citi Visa CC, I am finding it less and less appealing...
Just cancel the membership and ask for your money back. Just call them up, not even a need to visit a store. No fuss, no muss. Hardly worth thinking about. Costco makes everything very easy.
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Re: Is Costco worth the $120 membership?

Post by Elysium »

sabhen wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 1:11 pm What is the big deal about Costco?
It depends on how you use the store. You have to get smart about it and find out what products and services works best for you to get maximum value for money. We never had luck with it when we were younger and even stopped having membership, then later on in the last few years figured out how to get the best out of it by selecting the products and services we needed, and bingo it started giving back so much more. I now have executive membership that costs $120 but already got $74 back for last year which means the membership cost is now even lower than regular $60 for me. Gas is a big saver, I save anywhere from $8 to $12 for each fill in my large SUV (from .40c to .60c is on average savings per gallon, sometimes lower, but never had it lower than $5 worth savings). Gas itself pays for the membership and then some more. Printer ink refills are another, for $8 I can get refills for cartridges that otherwise cost $60 for original, my kids print a lot of paper and ink cost is a big saver. There are many other items like paper towels, toilet paper, kitchen trash bags, garden trash bags, cleaning liquids, cereal boxes, protein powder, on and on.. When it comes to Groceries we almost never buy anything from Costco, my wife is a big Whole Foods shopper and she spends all the grocery money there. Overall, we save a ton of money at Costco to get what we need and avoid getting anything we don't need. Did I mention Car Tires, that's another saving. What about Car rentals, you can't beat their prices. Never tried Travel or Appliances so far. Bottomline, you need to figure out how to best take advantage out of the membership to suit your lifestyle, and not to get suckered into buying bulk products you don't need. You can get back $120 worth very easily.
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Re: Is Costco worth the $120 membership?

Post by runner3081 »

Doctor Rhythm wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 2:36 pm $1.50 for a big hotdog and a refillable soda. Repeat twice a month and you’ll cover your basic membership fee.
Depending on the state, no membership may be required for food.
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Re: Is Costco worth the $120 membership?

Post by Flyer24 »

Topic moved to Personal Consumer Issues.
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Re: Is Costco worth the $120 membership?

Post by Zonian59 »

For that $120 Executive membership to be worthwhile you have to spend at least $6,000/year.
In my case, I don't spend anywhere near that much at Costco so it isn't worthwhile for me.
The regular membership plus Costco Visa credit card suffices.

I do get annoyed at the hard sell from some of their people after I've paid for my groceries. Some of them just won't take "NO" for an answer. Gives me the impression they get a commission for every membership upgrade sale.
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Re: Is Costco worth the $120 membership?

Post by Lee_WSP »

Zonian59 wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 2:49 pm For that $120 Executive membership to be worthwhile you have to spend at least $6,000/year.
The math is actually $3,000 and change, the ~$60 difference between the basic and executive.
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Re: Is Costco worth the $120 membership?

Post by Elysium »

Zonian59 wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 2:49 pm For that $120 Executive membership to be worthwhile you have to spend at least $6,000/year.
It actually depends on your location. In my case, easily the whole membership is paid off with several Gas fills, with $8 to $12 per fill savings, all I need is ten visits, even once a month will do. I don't even need to step inside the store. But I do, and save on many more things.
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Re: Is Costco worth the $120 membership?

Post by CardinalRule »

For our two-person household, the basic Goldstar level makes the most sense; we downgraded a couple of years ago.

We would never cancel completely.
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Re: Is Costco worth the $120 membership?

Post by Lee_WSP »

Elysium wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 3:09 pm
Zonian59 wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 2:49 pm For that $120 Executive membership to be worthwhile you have to spend at least $6,000/year.
It actually depends on your location. In my case, easily the whole membership is paid off with several Gas fills, with $8 to $12 per fill savings, all I need is ten visits, even once a month will do. I don't even need to step inside the store. But I do, and save on many more things.
But you just need a basic one for gas
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Re: Is Costco worth the $120 membership?

Post by rockstar »

My cash back from the executive membership usually covers the cost of the membership and more.
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Re: Is Costco worth the $120 membership?

Post by squirm »

Sam's club is a better choice, way less people to get in the way and chance if getting sick. Otherwise they're pretty identical. Sam's club list what's in the aisle and doesn't move everything around all the time like Costco, which is to very annoying.
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Re: Is Costco worth the $120 membership?

Post by beyou »

Not to me since I already pay for Amazon Prime, and prefer to shop from home as much as possible. The
pandemic made me take shopping from home to another level. Yes I get I can’t buy gas online, but gas is a small budget item, don’t care.

I would not “join” unless it was free.
Last edited by beyou on Sat Sep 19, 2020 8:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Zonian59
Posts: 99
Joined: Fri Jul 14, 2017 4:12 pm
Location: California

Re: Is Costco worth the $120 membership?

Post by Zonian59 »

Lee_WSP wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 3:02 pm
Zonian59 wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 2:49 pm For that $120 Executive membership to be worthwhile you have to spend at least $6,000/year.
The math is actually $3,000 and change, the ~$60 difference between the basic and executive.
That's true for an upgrade DIFFERENCE and that's the sales pitch the Costco people uses to get you to upgrade.
But when you ask HOW MUCH DO YOU HAVE TO SPEND THE FOLLOWING YEAR when you pay the $120 membership, that's when they become "less enthusiastic and sheepishly admit you'll have to spend more than you're currently spending", to put it politely.

So you do have to spend $6,000 to make the $120 membership pay for itself.
$120 divided by 2% = $6,000.
Or looking at it another way: $6,000 x 2% = $120.
bhsince87
Posts: 2680
Joined: Thu Oct 03, 2013 1:08 pm

Re: Is Costco worth the $120 membership?

Post by bhsince87 »

Is anyone here a member at more than one wholesale club?

I've been a member at BJs for 20+ years. I used to work a couple blocks away from one, so it was a no brainer. We have been very happy with the quality of their products, but I hear better things about Costco meats. Also hear good things about their optical department and hearing aids.

My closest BJs is now about 25 minutes away, and they dropped their in-store optician. So I'm toying around with checking out other options.

The closest Costco is 45 minutes away, two others are about an hour. The nearest Sam's is 35 minutes with another one 45 minutes away.

Bj's has 2 other locations about a 45 minute drive away, so that's nice if my nearest store is out of stock. One of the 45 minute drive stores is also larger than my nearest store as well, so I've been going there more often during the pandemic.
"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace." Samuel Adams
MrDrinkingWater
Posts: 185
Joined: Tue Dec 23, 2014 11:30 am

Re: Is Costco worth the $120 membership?

Post by MrDrinkingWater »

I think Costco is worth it. I estimate I'd easily be spending 25% to 30% more for groceries at conventional grocery stores.

I will also say that my experience at nearly all the conventional grocery stores in the past decade or more has been fairly negative, especially in respect to how slow the checkout and payment process is. Maybe I just go to conventional grocery stores at the wrong time of day and the wrong day of the week. Invariably, at a conventional grocery store, there will only be one or two checkout lines open. Sometimes, other checkout lines open up, but only after the one or two lines that are open have had 6 or more customers in line for eight to ten minutes.

I feel as if I get in and out Costco quickly. Perhaps I am just more selective about the times of day and days of week that I go to Costco. I typically don't have the experience of ever being in long lines or seemingly being there when only one or two checkout lanes open. Yes, the experience was different during the first two months of the pandemic, but the shopping experience has returned closer to the "old normal" now. I would recommend not going to Costco on Saturday afternoons. I don't go to Costco in what would likely be "just after work" for many dayshift workers.

At the Costco warehouse stores that I've been to in many states, I have seen that most stores have many checkout lanes open, and are perhaps only three or four customers deep in each lane. Checkout always proceeds quickly. I'm sorry to read that so many others have to contend with crowded shopping experiences every time they go to their local Costco.
Helo80
Posts: 1762
Joined: Sat Apr 29, 2017 8:47 pm

Re: Is Costco worth the $120 membership?

Post by Helo80 »

Zonian59 wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 2:49 pm For that $120 Executive membership to be worthwhile you have to spend at least $6,000/year.
In my case, I don't spend anywhere near that much at Costco so it isn't worthwhile for me.
The regular membership plus Costco Visa credit card suffices.

I do get annoyed at the hard sell from some of their people after I've paid for my groceries. Some of them just won't take "NO" for an answer. Gives me the impression they get a commission for every membership upgrade sale.


Must be a California thing then. Sam's Club used to be far worse to the point where I contacted corporate and the club shaped up. Yes, I had my Karen moment.

Interesting enough, i don't get those surveys from Sam's Club asking how my most recent experience was in their club. (they used to arrive a few days after a trip every single time)
sailaway
Posts: 2223
Joined: Fri May 12, 2017 1:11 pm

Re: Is Costco worth the $120 membership?

Post by sailaway »

Zonian59 wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 4:07 pm
Lee_WSP wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 3:02 pm
Zonian59 wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 2:49 pm For that $120 Executive membership to be worthwhile you have to spend at least $6,000/year.
The math is actually $3,000 and change, the ~$60 difference between the basic and executive.
That's true for an upgrade DIFFERENCE and that's the sales pitch the Costco people uses to get you to upgrade.
But when you ask HOW MUCH DO YOU HAVE TO SPEND THE FOLLOWING YEAR when you pay the $120 membership, that's when they become "less enthusiastic and sheepishly admit you'll have to spend more than you're currently spending", to put it politely.

So you do have to spend $6,000 to make the $120 membership pay for itself.
$120 divided by 2% = $6,000.
Or looking at it another way: $6,000 x 2% = $120.
Why are you comparing the upgrade to not having a membership, rather than comparing a regular membership to the upgrade? If you are going to have a membership anyway, the upgrade just needs to pay for itself, not the entire fee.
atikovi
Posts: 942
Joined: Tue Sep 10, 2019 7:20 pm
Location: Suburban Washington DC

Re: Is Costco worth the $120 membership?

Post by atikovi »

Doctor Rhythm wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 2:36 pm $1.50 for a big hotdog and a refillable soda. Repeat twice a month and you’ll cover your basic membership fee. :P
You figure in a Jenny Craig membership to the equation?

A lot depends on the store's location and your family situation. My nearest Costco is 15 miles one way so add $3 for gas right from the getgo. Go every two weeks and my basic membership fee would more than double. And if it's just myself, I would never break even given how little I would buy.
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