10 Things You Didn't Know About Your Costco Membership

Costco members can benefit from more than just buying groceries in bulk. Here are the 10 best perks of being a Costco member.

May 20, 2022
By: Taylor Murray

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Photo by: Tim Boyle/Getty Images

Tim Boyle/Getty Images

Since 1976, Costco has been one of the great American retail stores. They operate with a unique membership-only model that brings consumers bulk groceries, clothing, and other household goods at a fraction of the cost. Thousands of Americans have memberships to take advantage of these savings, which greatly outweigh the cost of a membership. The standard Gold membership will run you $60 a year, and includes two cards per family. The upgraded Executive membership is $120 a year and offers a 2% reward bonus on all purchases (up to $1,000 a year). For anyone likely to spend more than $250 a month at Costco (or around $3,000 a year), this upgrade is well worth it.

So how can you make sure to make the most of these savings? There are tons of products and services that Costco offers for their members beyond just groceries that many people might not know about. Whether you are considering joining for the first time, or maybe just interested in learning more about the card you already have, read on to see some surprising things that come with membership.


Costco has a pharmacy right in the store that offers extremely competitive prices when stacked against other pharmacies. Depending on your insurance plan, it could even be cheaper to buy your prescription out of pocket at Costco than at your regular pharmacy using insurance. It always pays to shop around to find the best deal.


Photo by: ELIJAH NOUVELAGE/Getty Images


Costco Gas Perks

The cost of gas varies from state to state depending on all kinds of things, from transportation costs to taxes. Typically, Costco gas can be anywhere from 20 to 30 cents less per gallon than other stores in a given area, and it’s only available to Costco membership holders. They also have a unique, one-way, drive through system, which cuts down on time spent at the pump and gets more people through faster.

Optical Services

Whether you need prescription eye ware, or just a killer new pair of sunglasses, Costco has you covered. Most Costco locations have an Independent Doctor of Optometry in or near the store, ready to offer optical services and get you fitted for the right pair of glasses or contact lenses right there.



Grocery Delivery

Costco offers free same-day local delivery at almost all their locations nationwide. This great time-saving option is perfect for those who want to take a little more time to think about what they are stocking up on, or just want to beat the crowds. Almost all of the products available in-store are also available online for delivery, so there’s really no reason not to try it.

Non-Costco members can still shop at Costco using Instacart's grocery delivery services. While non-members can't reap these other benefits, it can be helpful when shopping for a crowd even if you're not a member.

Discounted Travel Packages

One of the most amazing secrets of the Costco membership is the access to discounted travel booking. Costco Travel offers vacation packages, hotel and flight combinations, cruises, rental cars and more. The best way to go is to choose a destination and select from their wide range of great packages that usually include special perks, such as free valet parking and breakfast. If you signed up for the expanded Executive membership, you also earn a 2% reward on every penny you spend on travel purchases.

Photo Services

Did you know Costco has a photo center for their members? Yes, Costco shoppers can get everything from photo books to canvas prints for up to 50% less than leading competitor photo service centers. The photo center can digitize old home movies and you can even upload photos straight from your phone through the app to get high quality prints. If you own a business, the photo center offers a full range of business printing, like banners, brochures and flyers.


Costco offers an impressive range of insurance coverage options that come loaded with extra features unique to Costco membership holders. For example, home and condo insurance purchased through Costco comes with food spoilage protection- your groceries are covered in the event that a power outage spoils the food in your fridge. Executive members can get extra special perks, like free home lockout assistance and glass repair reimbursement. Costco members can save 15% on life and pet insurance, as well.


Photo by: VCG/Getty Images

VCG/Getty Images

Wine and Liquor Shop

Depending on the laws in your state, your Costco may have a solid selection of beer, wine, and hard liquor. This section of the store has a cult following and there are tons of theories over which Kirkland brand liquor is secretly a pricey name-brand in disguise. Besides liquor, Costco is also the largest wine retailer in the nation, and offers great bottles at every price point.

Home Product Installation

It’s easy to walk right by the display for these products on your way out of the store. Costco offers installation of carpet and flooring, countertop, custom blinds and shutters, garage doors, HVAC systems, solar panels, even water treatment services. Costco members can save money on services they were already considering for their home. Most home product installations offer a 10% Costco shop card, which can be used to get 10% anything you buy from the regular Costco store with no limitations.

Budget Truck Rental

A super surprising perk of membership that even hardcore members often don’t know about is a steep discount on truck rentals through Budget. Costco members can save up to 25% on all the regular services provided by Budget Truck like boxes, moving supplies, towing equipment.

So What’s The Catch?

With all these amazing perks, some people might wonder what the drawbacks are. A Costco membership is ideal for consumers who anticipate spending at least $2,000 a year in store and on services for the membership to be worth it. For others, like city-dwellers, for example, a Costco membership might not be worth the fee. A Costco membership may not be worth it if you don’t have the space to store bulk items until needed. These parks may also not be worth it for those who lack a car, both to save on gas and to haul the bulk items home in. And plenty of people don’t live near enough to a Costco to make regular shopping a reality.

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