Costco Membership Benefits

We joined Costco in 2012 and as new Costco members, we wanted to share some of the benefits of a Costco membership.

Current Costco Membership Costs

Costco memberships are shown as a frugal choice but we wanted to show how much these benefits will cost you.

Gold Star Member ship ($55/year)

This membership allows you to purchase products for personal use at any Costco in the world. You also get an additional card for one member in your household included. The card can be for a son, daughter, spouse, partner, etc. They just need to have the same address.

Business Membership ($55/year)

In addition to the Gold Star membership benefits, you also purchase business products for use or resale and you can get to add 6 additional cardholders. This is the membership we purchased.

Executive Membership ($110/year)

Executive Members enjoy an annual 2% Reward on most Costco purchases, as well as additional values on member services, such as lower prices on check printing, payroll services and identity protection; an account bonus for money market and online investing accounts; free roadside assistance for vehicles covered through the auto insurance program; and extra travel benefits.

The problem with this type of account is that you need to pay in advance for the membership fee and the 2% cash back bonus makes consumers want to spend more money.

Now that we have seen the cost of the account we wanted to share the Costco membership benefits.

Can you save money with a Costco membership?

Food savings!

OK, my wife and I love to cook and eat and we have found dozens of great bulk buys on products like walnuts, organic quinoa, almonds, pine nuts (to make pesto), flour, vanilla, Maille Dijon Mustard, and even Frank’s Red Hot Sauce.

Costco has a generous return policy

Costco has one of the best return policies in Canadian retail. They guarantee your satisfaction with the merchandise you purchase from them. Costco.ca products may be returned to any Costco warehouse worldwide.

The main exceptions are Televisions, projectors, computers, cameras, camcorders, iPOD / MP3 players and cellular phones and these products must be returned within 90 days of purchase for a refund.

We have not used this membership bonus yet but we can see that heavy purchasers that have products break down or have a family (rough and tumble children) might take advantage of this. This applies to any product you purchase through them.

Bonus warranty provided

Costco also extends the original manufacturer’s warranty on televisions, projectors & computers (excluding tablets) to 2 years from the date of purchase if the manufacturer’s warranty is less than 2 years. This is an incredible bonus for these types of products.

For any family that purchases the latest gadgets, this is an incredible bonus considering that if you purchased an Apple iPad2 at Future Shop with a two-year warranty it would cost you $79.99.

Future Shop 2-year warranty

Free technical support

Free technical support and set-up help provided by Costco for any television, projector, computer, touch-screen tablet, camera, camcorder, MP3 player you purchase by calling 1-866-231-9731. This is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Another benefit is that you will receive in-home service when in-home service is covered under manufacturer’s warranty.

Additionally, all calls are handled in Canada and the United States and they have both english and french speaking agents available.

Some retailers provide great service in Canada but where they fail to deliver is after-purchase support and this is where they shine. I called as a test to the service with a sample question to fix my Apple iPad 2 and they were able to answer my question easily!

Unbeatable prices for Costco prescription dispensing fee

The Costco pharmacy beats the competition with very low dispensing fees, at just $4.49 a prescription. Costco’s fee is less than half of what London Drugs, Save-On Foods, Zellers, Walmart and Safeway charge – and three times cheaper than some Pharmasave locations, which charges as much as $13.99 at some outlets.

Many Canadians do not have insurance so we recommend to visit your Costco to take advantage of this offer they have.

Also, you do not need to be a member to have your prescription filled at Costco. Canadian pharmacists are required by law to dispense medications to everyone. If you do not have a Costco membership, just tell the Costco greeter that you are heading to the pharmacy.

A Costco non-members can ONLY buy prescriptions at Costco. Over-the-counter medications, vitamin supplements, beauty products, and other items in the pharmacy area are not able to be purchased.

Discounts on services

Mortgage Discounts

At the moment of writing this post the lowest 5-year fixed rate is 2.99% with BMO. Using Costco’s membership benefits we were able to find a rate that beat that by 2 basis points!

Let’s compare the difference in mortgage rates.

If we were getting a 15-year mortgage of $400,o00 with a down payment of $40,000, you would spend $86,610.56 in interest at a 2.99% rate.  At the Costco rate of 2.97% you would pay a total of $85,996.22 in interest.

You would save $614.34 in interest!

Emergency Roadside Assistance

This program is one of the most comprehensive on the market and includes a wide range of services that provide you with the help you need, when you need it.

Executive Member: $4.99/month or $55.95/year
Regular Member: $5.99/month or $69.95/year

The Costco Emergency Roadside Assistance Plan includes:

  • Towing: If your vehicle has a mechanical failure that is not the result of an accident, we will tow you to the closest authorized repair facility.
  • Jump Start: If your car will not start, we will send an authorized service provider to attempt to start the vehicle.
  • Tire Service: We will change a flat tire with your inflated spare tire provided that your spare is properly inflated and in safe operating condition.
  • Gas Delivery: If your car runs out of gasoline, a supply will be delivered to you totally free of charge.
  • Winching: We will provide winching service to extract your vehicle from mud, sand, snow or a ditch. To provide winching service, the vehicle must have become stuck in an area immediately adjacent to a regularly traveled road and can be safely retrieved with standard automobile servicing equipment.
  • Lost Keys or Lockout: If your ignition key is lost, broken or accidentally locked inside your car, we will provide a service operator to unlock your vehicle.
In comparing the prices to my province’s towing program with Costco it would be a major savings if I had this. It was difficult to compare programs but even their basic program was a savings of over $17 per year at my membership level.

Costco provides low gas prices

Costco forces other gas retailers in the region to reduce their gas prices. In our city (Victoria, BC), Costco opened a gas station six months ago and has been selling fuel at a loss in order to attract customers, according to Jason Toews of GasBuddy.com.

Our thoughts on Savings with a Costco Membership

We feel that it is a large cost for the year so we are trying it out to see if we will recoup our membership fee at the end of the year. I shared my families experience, I’d love to hear your take on Costco.

Have you been able to recoup your membership costs? Do you think it is a great deal?

Profile imageAuthor: Steven Zussino on April 24th, 2012. Steven Zussino is the co-founder of Grocery Alerts Canada. He loves to help Canadians save money on groceries. He also runs the blog, CanadianPersonalFinance.com.

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