Posted by William Charles on March 4, 2017
Misc

Published on March 4th, 2017 | by William Charles

38

Costco To Raise Membership Prices By $5/$10 On June 1st

Costco have announced that they will be increasing their membership fees on June 1st, 2017. The increases will be as follows:

  • Individual & business memberships will increase by $5 to $60 per year
  • Executive memberships will increase by $10 to $120 per year

The last time Costco increased membership fees was in November, 2011. They increased the membership fees by the same amounts (Executive went from $100 to $110 and regular memberships went from $50 to $55). They seem to increase these fees every 5-6 years, so this price rise shouldn’t be that unexpected. For anyone who has a membership expiring in June through August, you can renew online up to 3 months early and save $5 (hat tip to reader Brad).

Will you keep or cancel your Costco memberships? Let me know in the comments below.



38 Responses to Costco To Raise Membership Prices By $5/$10 On June 1st

  1. icemule1 says:

    Costco membership fee history

    $25 – 1983
    $30 – 1992
    $35 – 1995
    $40 – 1998
    $45 – 2000
    $50 – May 2006
    $55 – Nov 2011
    $60 – June 2017

  2. anthonyjh21 says:

    A $10 increase isn’t going to make or break myself or the majority of the 91% who renew annually. Seriously, if you’re benefiting from a membership and you’re willing to cancel over $5/$10 then you’re probably doing it wrong anyways and need to reconsider where you shop.

    It’s crazy to think that Costco is the #1 seller in items like organics, tv’s and wine. They have the basic deals like $4.99 chickens and $1.50 hot dogs too. Throw in 1+ years of 5%/5x warehouse category and I’m a happy camper.

    Worth throwing out there that anyone who doesn’t earn enough rewards to offset their membership can easily get back the difference, in many cases not requiring you to even cancel.

    • Niladri says:

      You can’t get the difference back if you have ever used costcotravel, for instance, a fine detail unknown to many- even to costco associates.

  3. Mike says:

    1.57% compounding annual increase; if anything that’s just an inflation adjustment.

  4. calwatch says:

    There is the hack to buy Costco Cash cards and use that to buy things at Costco, although you would need to obtain a day pass every time you purchase. While I don’t buy everything at Costco I do it to help support an ethical, quality business. The return policy is second to none and sometimes having a limited selection makes it easier to ship.

    • Sam says:

      I don’t know why everyone points to Costco as being so ethical (I’m assuming this in reference to their hourly wage). What you should do is familiarize yourself with the difference between a business that operates on a bulk warehouse model vs a typical retail store. Walmart for instance doesn’t pay its workers as high of an hourly rate, but provides significantly more jobs than Costco does. The same line of thinking would apply if McDonald’s found a way to be more automated/efficient and could reduce its workforce by 75% at each location. You could then have a smaller group of employees earning much higher wages, but you also have to consider those jobs that would be lost. For this reason, I don’t consider Costco more ethical, it’s just an alternative.

      • anthonyjh21 says:

        Don’t know how you read the calwatch post to be about pay. Ethics is obviously wide reaching.

        How about Costco being the largest organics seller in the country? They literally are the reason organic farms exist where they’re the sole buyer.

        We won’t even get into the peace of mind you have when buying anything from Costco. Only other major business that is in their league is Amazon.

        • Austin says:

          I love Costco and I also believe they are a relatively ethical company. However, my understanding (explained by a Costco employee) is that they are never the sole buyer of anything. In fact, they specifically disallow buying from vendors who do not have other existing business trade lines. I believe they cap their buying at like 40% of the supplier’s business, because they don’t want to crush a company if they pull the plug for whatever reason.

    • Eric says:

      It’s a little odd to me that you mention supporting an “ethical” business but in the same post mention how to exploit them to avoid paying the annual fee by using a “hack”.

      • calwatch says:

        I support a business which I feel is doing the right thing, but for those who feel that their $60 per year is better spent elsewhere, I’m telling them of the workaround which has been routinely discussed at places including this blog. Since I share the membership with my dad, even though I am a single person I still make good use of it. It helps that I live in an area with a reasonable density of Costcos so lines are not excessive, even on weekends. If you lived in a more urban area where there is one Costco serving a million people, then your time waiting for bread that is a dollar a loaf cheaper may not be as worthwhile.

  5. PedroNY says:

    Great post, good question in the end, I had to respond.

    Keeping it!

    Cheers,

    PedroNY

  6. Dan says:

    Probably canceling

  7. Ray says:

    If I didn’t get my membership free through work, I wouldn’t be a Costco member. I say that as someone who is a huge fan of Costco, though I paid for Sam’s membership during one of their half off deals and before I got a free Costco membership. Sam’s Club is 75% of the way there and now only 75% of the price. There are almost enough Member’s Mark items to rival Kirkland Signature. Club pickup, Scan and Go, more convenient locations (in Texas) and Discover’s 5% on warehouse clubs really seals the deal for me.

  8. Brad says:

    For anyone who has a membership expiring in June through August, you can renew online up to 3 months early and save $5.

    • Thanks, Brad! Updated post.

      • Julien says:

        That does not seem to work for me. I know my renewal is in July. But when I login to to Costco.com, it shows my expiration date as “NA”.
        And the option to renew is unavailable.

        That may be because I have the Citi Costco card, and the membership fee is normally scheduled to be auto-paid from that card when you have it.

        • Possibly, not 100% sure as I don’t have Costco membership anymore or the card.

          • RF says:

            It works for me. Just renewed mine. Note then when I first when to the Account Information page there was a red “Not Verified” or something on there, and most of the member info was XXXXX out. I had to click the link to verify, and basically go through one of those credit report checks (ex: which of these streets have you lived on). After doing that, I was able to renew my executive membership for another year for $110.

  9. Curmudgeon says:

    I’ve had an Executive membership for years. Don’t plan to cancel. I always get more back in my annual rebate than the $110 membership fee.

    I’d probably keep the membership just for the meat counter – good quality and prices. Buying toilet paper 200 rolls at a time is just a bonus.

  10. PD says:

    What we save by getting car and homeowner’s insurance through Costco (Ameriprise) is worth way more than the price increase. We’re members because of this, and we don’t even live near a Costco. Every time I do a price comparison and get other quotes /reevaluate, they are significantly ahead of other companies.

    • Austin says:

      I looked into Ameriprise and they did have good rates, and I almost fell into the “Costco partnered with them, so they must be decent” trap. Turns out, based on online reviews and research I’ve done, they are perhaps the worst insurance provider out there. Just look at Consumer Affairs: https://www.consumeraffairs.com/finance/ameriprise.html

      • PD says:

        Our experience has been fine thus far. Pretty much every insurance company has people complaining about it online, and my husband is of the opinion that you always need to be prepared to hold insurers accountable and argue your case. I was hit by another vehicle and it was utterly ridiculous the lengths we and the body shop had to go to dealing with the other driver’s insurer, who was notorious for not paying up in situations like mine.

        Ameriprise is “low cost” for specific reasons. We had one expensive item we had to insure separately through a smaller item-specific company because it was above a threshold they would add riders for, and we had to send proof once that we fixed a car correctly and brought a fender back to original condition (to maintain our rate).

  11. Yaoyu Yang says:

    Costco’s return policy is probably one of the best perks of being a member. You don’t have to keep any receipts since they can just loop up all your history through the membership card. The products Costco have are usually quite good in quality but still you have a peace of mind when you buy something from Costco. I’ll definitely keep the membership despite the $10 increase.

    • Ian Pearson says:

      You don’t have to keep receipts, but the in-store purchase history system can only search transactions through a limited window of time. Last year, I tried to return a duffel bag that I purchased 2007 only to find that the staff member could only search transactions dating back to 2009. I couldn’t prove the purchase, but the would have gladly accepted the return with a receipt.

      • TomT says:

        I hope you’re kidding that only eight years of purchase history is a problem. How about throwing that duffel bag away since you got 10 years of use out of it?

      • Eric says:

        Are you actually complaining that Costco wouldn’t accept your 9 year old duffle bag? What happened, did it finally rip from the 9 years of use?

    • Carlos says:

      So is just about everyone elses if you can remmeber what CC you put it on.

    • VJ says:

      Does Anyone ever get a warning for returning too much and got banned? I heard stories that returns of over 5k gets you banned?

  12. Harv says:

    I became a Costco member last June primarily to get good prices for 2 eyeglasses. I don’t normally believe in paying money to have the privilege of buying there, but tried it out at the recommendation of Clark Howard. Since I live alone, I rarely feel a need to shop there, and will Not be renewing. I also took advantage of the 3 month free membership at BJ’s, and did not feel the need to renew or return there.

  13. dan says:

    with an upcoming rate increase, when will costco offer a deal similar to BJ’s or Sam’s?

  14. henry says:

    I shop often at Costco and won’t cancelling because of price increase.

    A side question, is there an easy way to track the spending amount (hence the cashback amount) from Costco? Wish there online website can show the cumulative cashback amount since last payout.

  15. Alexander Gavrilov says:

    Definitely won’t be cancelling, though it does suck a bit. I shop at Costco every week. If nothing else, the $5 chickens alone are worth the membership price. They cost twice as much and are twice as little in every other grocer store in the area. Plus their car rental deals are excellent. Their return policy is still great (I know it’s 90 days on electronics now, but great otherwise). Eye glasses/contact lenses are also great places and often have rebates. Tires. Many other things.

    So it’s just a minor annoyance, but not horrible. BTW, about Costco being ethical. Once they accidentally gave us 4 instead of 5 gift cards that we purchased. We realized it and called them. They immediately told us to come over and pick up the missing card. I was surprised the lady working there didn’t even us for our name or membership. Next week I was stopped at the cash register because my account had a “block” on it. Turned out they independently realized they didn’t give me enough gift cards and had a note in their system that they owed me a gift card. I was honest about it though and told them I already picked it up but they must’ve not marked it in their system. I thought it was crazy nice customer service. They made sure I couldn’t have possibly missed out on that gift card, going as far as blocking my account to make sure I got that missing gift card.

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