Stepping into the vast world of Costco can be a little overwhelming, especially if you’re a newbie. The warehouse giant offers a treasure trove of savings and benefits, but it comes with its own set of rules and quirks. In this guide, we’ll take you through essential tips to make your Costco journey smooth and cost-effective.
01. Choose the Right Membership
Choose the right membership for you: Costco offers two membership tiers: Gold Star ($60) and Executive Club ($120). Executive Club members earn 2% in rewards, which can be worth it if you spend $3,000 or more annually. Assess your shopping habits and decide which membership suits your needs best.
02. Follow the Rules—or Else
Follow the rules—or else: Costco has rules for a reason. Always bring your membership card, as you’ll need it for entry and purchases. Don’t let anyone else use your card, and maintain respectful behavior while shopping. Violating these rules could lead to being asked to leave.
03. Consider Your Commute Time
Consider your commute time: Ensure there’s a Costco nearby that you can easily access. Having a store within a reasonable distance increases the likelihood of you making the most of your membership.
04. Avoid the Crowds
Avoid the crowds: Costco tends to get crowded on weekends, especially between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. For a more peaceful shopping experience, visit during the week, preferably during the day.
05. Consider Your Storage Capabilities
Consider your storage capabilities: Costco specializes in selling items in bulk. Before you load up on goods, make sure you have sufficient storage space at home. This precaution prevents food waste and clutter.
06. Explore Additional Benefits
Explore additional benefits: Costco memberships extend beyond shopping. You can enjoy discounts on travel, home improvement, insurance, and even car purchases. Don’t miss out on these extra perks.
07. Bring Your Own Bags
Bring your own bags: Unlike many stores, Costco doesn’t provide shopping bags. Remember to bring your reusable bags or utilize boxes available in the store.
08. Be Mindful of Payment Options
Be mindful of payment options: Costco only accepts Visa credit cards, but you can also pay with cash, check, debit cards, or mobile payment methods. Additionally, Costco offers its own credit card with cash-back rewards for members.
09. Know You Can Cancel Anytime
Know you can cancel anytime: Costco stands by its satisfaction guarantee. If you ever decide the membership isn’t for you, you can cancel it or return items at any time.
10. Explore the Variety
Explore the variety: Costco is more than just groceries. They offer a wide range of items, including electronics, furniture, and more. Many locations even have additional services like a gas station, pharmacy, optical center, and tire service center.