Costco May Not Have Cheaper Gas After All, New Data Shows
One of the big perks of a Costco membership has always been the access it grants to Costco Gas Stations. known to offer cheap gallon prices and has lured quite a few new fans over the last few months as inflation has driven costs for divers higher and higher. As it continues to climb to the current rate of about $4.60 a gallon, Costco has not been a source of relief for members in many of the country's major cities.
Drivers in California are seeing some of the highest prices of any U.S. state, with one gallon reportedly costing above $8 at one station. Hawaii residents are seeing similar trends, but as Beat of Hawaii explains, going to Costco to fill up isn't saving anyone much money—and this is true in other areas, too.
There are six Costco gas stations on various islands that make up The Aloha State, the website says, and usually offers around $0.75 less per gallon compared to other stations…but not anymore.
"Even though Costco is generally a little cheaper than nearby stations, the big gap has evaporated," it explains. "Thus, while we aren't adverse to stopping at Costco, when it's convenient, we'll no longer seek out getting gas there. Furthermore, Costco isn't necessarily the best choice for visitors when buying gas in Hawaii."
It also cites the long lines, mandatory credit card payments, and inconvenient locations as other reasons drivers in Hawaii should avoid the wholesale chain. Beat of Hawaii credits GasBuddy for price data, and as of June 1, the Costco in Kahului on the island of Maui is charging $4.89 per gallon—which is the same as a Safeway about a mile away. Safeway does not require a membership to shop.
We looked at numbers for other major cities around the country on GasBuddy and found a similar trend.
- In Atlanta, Sam's Club is currently a few cents cheaper than its main rival Costco. It's the same in Houston and Orlando.
- In Los Angeles, the two wholesale chains are both tied for the cheapest gas at $5.49 per gallon.
- In the Chicagoland area, Costco is about $0.10 more than some other retailers like Gulf and Citgo.
- The New York area is seeing the cheapest gas at a BP, with the least expensive Costco gas station at $0.20 more per gallon.
- In Seattle, near the company's headquarters, Costco is only $0.02 more than two other local gas stations.
So although some investigations show that signing up for a $60 membership can save you $300 on gas each year, that isn't looking like it will be true if 2022 if gas prices keep going up or staying steady where they are now. This gives other grocery stores a chance to continue to try and pull in shoppers by offering their own incentives and savings like these.