5 Signs You're Not Using Your Costco Membership to the Fullest


Costco membership comes at a cost, with the price of joining the warehouse club starting at $60. If you’re spending this money out of your checking account each year, you’ll want to take full advantage of all that the store has to offer.

That’s why it’s important to watch out for these five signs that you aren’t getting the full value of your annual membership.

1. You aren’t buying Costco gas

Costco gas is one of the best deals around, with prices often coming in as much as $0.30 per gallon cheaper than at competing stations. If you’re not filling up when you visit the warehouse club, you’re missing out.

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If you’re able, try to time your trips to Costco for when your gas tank is close to empty (not too close, of course!). You’ll be able to get your tank filled up at a deep discount, and the savings on gas alone can often more than cover the cost of your membership.

2. You’re passing up the food court

Costco has some really amazing bargains at its food court. While eating at a warehouse club may not be your idea of a fine dining experience, the reality is that the eats are good and come at rock-bottom prices. In fact, you can get an all-beef hot dog and soda combination for just $1.50, or pay as little as $9.95 for an entire 18-inch pizza.

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The next time you’re planning to eat out, why not do it at Costco to take advantage of these great bargains. You’ll get some tasty treats and have lower credit card bills to show for it.

3. You’re not checking out the gift card section

Costco routinely offers discounts to other stores and restaurants at reduced prices. For example, as of January 2024, you can buy:

  • $100 worth of Domino’s Pizza gift cards for $79.99
  • $100 worth of Landry’s multi-brand gift cards for $74.99 (these can be used at many stores and restaurants, including Morton’s Steakhouse and Joe’s Crab Shack)
  • $100 worth of Chuck E. Cheese gift cards for $74.99

These are just a few of the many offers available. You should always check the gift card rack and the offerings online if you want to make the most of your membership.

4. You haven’t done the math to determine if Executive membership is worth it

Costcos’ Gold Star membership is $60 per year. That’s the entry level price. Its Executive Membership is $120. But Executive Membership comes with tons of bonus perks, including extra service discounts. Most importantly, it offers a 2% annual cash back reward up to $1,000.

If you regularly spend more than $3,000 a year at Costco — which is really easy to do — then the Executive membership would be the better deal. Be sure to look back at how much you typically spend at the warehouse club during the month to see if the upgraded membership will pay for itself and ideally leave you with more cash back than you’re paying in added membership fees.

5. You don’t know all the benefits your membership offers

Finally, if you’re just shopping for groceries and household items and not paying attention to other benefits, you’re missing out. Costco provides many more ways to save than you can imagine, including:

  • Discounted drugs at the pharmacy
  • Affordable tires
  • Optical services
  • Special prices on automobiles (including a $1,000 member only incentive on Cadillac sedans and SUVs)
  • Bottled water delivery
  • Discounted insurance
  • Cheap personalized photo products
  • Reduced-price truck rentals through Budget

Be sure to check the full list of membership benefits so you don’t miss out.

If you spot any of these signs you aren’t fully using your Costco membership, take action today to change that. You’re paying for your membership, so you may as well reap all the benefits to your personal finances that the warehouse club has to offer.

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