These Little-Known Costco Benefits May Surprise You


Costco has a reputation for offering low-cost groceries and household essentials. So if you commonly spend a lot of money in those categories, then it could make sense to join Costco for the savings involved.

But saving money on food and toilet paper isn’t the only reason to think about joining Costco. You should know that these are a few extra benefits that come with a membership.

1. You can return pretty much anything at any time

Most retailers have a return policy of some sort. You might get 30 days to take apparel back to a traditional clothing store. And some retailers even extend their return window during the holiday season. At that time of the year, you might get 45, 60, or even 90 days to make returns.

Costco, on the other hand, lets you bring back almost anything at any time with few exceptions. This means that if your child never wore the Halloween costume you bought them last October, guess what? You can take it back now, even though it may be nine months later.

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The only items you generally can’t take back to Costco are alcohol and cigarette purchases, special custom orders, and live event tickets. You also can’t return gold bars or silver coins, and you can’t take back gift cards or Costco Shop Cards (the store’s version of a gift card).

Certain Costco purchases also have a limited return window, like electronics, where you get 90 days. But for the most part, you don’t have to worry about exceeding a return window if you decide you need to take something back.

And if you’ve lost your receipt, there’s no need to panic. Costco can look up your purchases based on your membership ID and refund you that way.

2. Free tech support and extended warranties on electronics

As just mentioned, electronics are an exception to Costco’s generally unlimited return policy. But there are benefits to buying electronics at Costco beyond the potentially lower prices.

When you buy electronics through Costco, you’re eligible for free tech support if you need help figuring out how your purchases work or setting them up. You also get a free second-year warranty on electronics.

That’s huge, because when you’re taking a large chunk of money out of your savings account for a purchase like that, you want the peace of mind that it isn’t going to break on you after a year.

3. An amazing deal on tire purchases

Many people come to Costco to buy weekly essentials. Buying new tires may not be on your radar. But you should know that as is the case with electronics, there are perks of buying tires at Costco beyond a potentially lower price.

When you buy tires at Costco, they essentially come with free lifetime maintenance. You can go to Costco at any time for a free pressure check or rotation. And if you get a flat, you’ll generally be eligible for a free repair.

Plus, you can use Costco’s free pumps to put air into your tires as needed — though to be fair, that’s a perk that’s available to all Costco members, even if you don’t buy your tires there.

A basic membership at Costco costs $60 a year, while an Executive membership costs $120. But the more expensive membership also gives you 2% cash back on your purchases, so if you shop at the store often enough, the upgrade makes sense.

Either way, it pays to consider joining Costco for the perks involved. And in case you didn’t know, one additional lesser-known benefit is that Costco will let you cancel your membership for a full refund at any time. So if you’re on the fence about joining, there’s really very little to lose.

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