Maybe you've been a Costco member for a few months or even a few years, and you may be thinking to yourself, why does everyone think this is so great?
It could be the crowded weekends, massive quantities, or the distance you have to drive to the warehouse that has you second-guessing.
Or maybe you're questioning the upfront fee of $60 (or $120 if you are an executive member) just to step foot into the warehouse.
Whatever the reason you may be weighing the pros and cons of your membership, it's important to know that a Costco membership has many benefits far beyond just bulk groceries and all the toilet paper you'll ever need.
In fact, many of these perks are underutilized by even the most avid Costco shopper and some of them can save you some serious cash.
Before you cut-up your membership card, here are seven things to know about your Costco membership.
Great prices on gas
This perk isn't so secretive but it's one that can save you some serious cash over time. Many Costco locations have gas stations with pretty competitive gas prices. Check apps like Gas Buddy and you'll find that Costco is often much cheaper per gallon, often by around 25 cents (in my area, it's currently 40 cents less per gallon, compared to Shell and BP). When gas prices are nationally really high, Yahoo Finance estimates that a Costco membership can save you as much as $300 annually in gas alone.
Your membership allows you access to any Costco gas station across the country, and there are 586 in the United States, so it's great for road trips, too.
There are huge savings to be had with prescriptions at Costco, no matter where you fill them. One customer on Reddit reported paying just $30 at Costco for a regular prescription that cost $140 elsewhere. Others have reported access to prescription drugs that were difficult to find elsewhere because of national shortages. Costco also has a mail-order prescription program that can help you save additional money. Although you don't have to be a Costco member to fill your prescriptions through Costco, members often get additional savings.
Now this may seem obvious, but without a Costco membership, you can't get Costco pricing. You can wade in the waters of Costco with the delivery app Instacart without a membership, but expect quite a few dollars tacked onto your bill. Instacart adds about 15% or more per item, according to one Reddit user, and that's not including the service fee, tip, and other charges that come with using Instacart. The same goes for Costco.com. There are ways to shop the site as a non-member, but when you go to check-out there will be a 5% surcharge tacked onto your bill. There are also online deals exclusive to members only.
Extended warranties and tech support
It's hard to avoid seeing all of the big televisions and other major appliances the minute you set foot in a Costco. But did you know if you purchase a major appliance at Costco you aren't only getting a good deal, you are also getting a two-year extended warranty with your membership? Not only that, Costco also offers free expert-level tech support.
Although Costco no longer has its own photo center, it now offers a massive discount on any Shutterfly order. So, you can still order mugs for Mother's Day, personalized phone cases, and Christmas cards, saving some serious cash in the process. Costco members get 51% off plus free shipping over $49, which beats any online code you'll find, at least by a percentage point or two.
Home improvement deals
Costco has quite a few preferred vendors that offer stellar rates on everything from garage door installation to HVAC and even closet organizing. But perhaps one of the biggest perks is that many of these services also come with a 10% to 20% kickback in the form of a Costco shop card that can be used on anything at Costco, including gas and food court purchases.
The unbeatable return policy
One of the best parts about being a Costco member is the club's stellar return policy. Aside from a few exceptions (like tobacco, alcohol, and diamonds) and a limited 90-day window on electronics, you can return anything you want to Costco at any time. Used your new air fryer once and hated it? Costco will take it back. That Christmas present Aunt Sue bought last year that's still sitting in the corner? You can return that, too.
This same satisfaction policy applies to your membership. If you are unhappy for any reason, Costco will prorate your membership and refund the rest.