If you’re someone who likes to take the time to think through personal finance decisions, then it may be that you’ve been on the fence about joining Costco for a while. The upside of getting a Costco membership is gaining access to the store’s low-cost inventory, from groceries to household cleaners to apparel. The downside, of course, is having to shell out the money for a membership fee.
Right now, a basic Costco membership costs $60 a year. An upgraded Executive membership costs $120 a year, but then, you get 2% cash back on your Costco purchases.
You may be waiting to see if Costco runs a promotion that gives you access to a lower-cost membership before joining. But one thing you should know is that unlike Sam’s Club, which runs membership promotions somewhat frequently, Costco pretty much never discounts its membership fees. However, sometimes, there are a partner offers you can sign up for that effectively reduce the cost of your membership.
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Such is the case right now. If you buy your Costco membership through StackSocial, you can snag $20 back in Costco cash on a basic membership and $40 back on an Executive membership. And either one, frankly, is a pretty good deal.
Some fine print
If you’re a current Costco member, this promotion might sound appealing to you. But you can’t just cancel your membership, wait a few days, and then rejoin using this promotion. This offer is valid only for new Costco members. And your membership must be expired for a period of more than 18 months to qualify again as a new member.
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You should also know that you won’t get your Costco cash right away with this promotion. However, it should arrive within two weeks of activating your membership. That’s pretty reasonable.
Should you join Costco?
Costco gives you access to thousands of items on a regular basis. So if you have a larger family to feed or a home to maintain, you might easily reap enough savings to make your membership fee worth paying.
You should also know that even if you don’t live particularly close to a Costco store, your membership will work perfectly well on Costco.com. And while warehouse store prices tend to be cheaper than online prices, with Costco.com, you generally get access to a wider range of inventory. Plus, the online deals still tend to be pretty sweet in their own right.
Which membership should you get?
As far as which membership to choose, here’s an easy way to figure it out. If you think you’ll spend more than $3,000 a year at Costco, the Executive membership makes sense. That’s because 2% back on $3,000 is $60 — the cost of your upgrade. So once you spend a dollar more, you’re ahead financially with an Executive membership over a basic one.
Plus, here’s the nice thing about the Executive membership. If you don’t earn enough cash back after a year to make back your upgrade fee, just head to customer service and ask to downgrade to a basic membership. From there, Costco will refund whatever portion of your $60 upgrade fee you didn’t earn in cash back form. So if you only racked up $45 in cash back, for example, you’ll get $15 from Costco when you downgrade.
Of course, you might still be wondering whether a Costco membership is right for you altogether. And if you’re really struggling with the decision, you may want to buy a basic membership using the above promo to score $20 in Costco cash. That effectively whittles the cost of your membership down to $40, which isn’t a huge amount to shell out for the purpose of trying Costco out and seeing if it’s worth it.
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