Tag: gold star

20 Ways To Pay Less at Costco

Trong Nguyen / Shutterstock.com

Trong Nguyen / Shutterstock.com

Shopping at Costco can be a great way to save money, but you might not be maximizing your savings. Imagine how much extra cash could be in your wallet if you optimized your buying strategy.

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With a little extra effort, you can fine-tune the way you shop at the bulk retailer and find unique Costco deals. Learn 20 ways to pay less at Costco.



Split Bulk Items With a Friend

If you’re single or live in a small space, it’s probably hard to justify purchasing and storing a package of 30 rolls of toilet paper — even if it is only $19.99. However, that item can be seriously expensive at regular market or big-box stores.

You can save money at Costco with a friend by splitting up bulk packages of essentials and even non-essentials, like snacks. If you split a $16.59, 42-pack of Chex Mix with three friends, for example, you’ll only pay $5.53.

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Know the Secret Costco Price Codes

Costco’s pricing codes indicate whether an item is specially priced, discounted or will not be restocked. Here is a general breakdown of the codes, according to ToughNickel:

  • Prices that end in $0.97 have been marked down from their original rates, which usually end in $0.99.

  • Other odd pricing, like $0.49, $0.79 or $0.89, typically means the product is regular-priced merchandise.

  • An asterisk (*) in the upper-right corner of the pricing sign means the item won’t be restocked. So, if it’s a favorite, you should stock up.

  • Prices ending in $0.88 or $0.00 typically indicate a manager markdown on returned merchandise still in good condition.

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How to Save Money When Booking a Vacation

Bulk shoppers who buy groceries and household supplies at their local Costco store have access to another savings tool many don’t even know about. With Costco Travel, you can secure deep discounts on hotels, airfare, cruises, vacation packages and rental cars. Better yet, you can qualify for special incentives like Costco gift cards or onboard cruise credits.

Before diving in, it’s important to note that you do have to be a Costco member to use the Costco Travel website. There are four membership options to choose from: two for individuals and two for businesses.

The basic Gold Star membership costs $60 annually and it’s available at all Costco locations. You can pay more for a Gold Star Executive membership for $120 that comes with an annual 2% reward on qualified Costco and Costco Travel purchases, as well as extra benefits on select Costco services.

The two Costco business memberships are also $60 and $120, with tiered benefits set up to appeal to businesses instead of families. The $60 Business membership comes with the same benefits as the personal Gold star membership, but you can also pay to add additional members to your account, and you can purchase items for resale.

The Business Executive membership, on the other hand, allows those benefits plus the annual 2% reward on qualified Costco purchases and Costco Travel, as well as special benefits on select Costco services.

The Best Ways to Save with Costco Travel

While you have to pay for a Costco membership to take advantage of travel perks, this may not matter if you shop at Costco anyway. And really, the $60 membership fee could be worth it if you travel a lot and know how to leverage this travel savings site to the hilt.

So, how can you make the most

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Is It Worth It to Upgrade to a Costco Executive Membership? We Do the Math

Buying wholesale or bulk groceries is a good way to save money on those receipts over the course of the year, provided you have the storage space in your home for a little bit of casual stockpiling. We previously examined the potential size of those savings when we broke down if Costco is really cheaper than a grocery store (spoiler alert, it was — majorly).

We Do the Math badge

Costco, as well as other wholesale retailers such as Sam’s Club and BJ’s, offer tremendous savings on groceries and other household staples when purchased in bulk. However, there’s a price for admission and basic membership fees range between $50 and $60 annually depending on your retailer of choice. If you’re already a convert to the ways of wholesale grocery shopping, here we take a look at the potential benefit of upgrading your basic Costco Gold Membership to its Executive Membership level. We also calculated how much you would need to spend per month to make the Executive Membership worth it. 

Previously we tallied up which food delivery app is cheapest and how much you’ll save shopping at Trader Joe’s versus a typical grocery store. In this latest installment of We Do the Math, find out if Costco’s Executive Membership is really worth it.

Costco Membership Options

Costco offers three levels of membership: Gold Star, Business, and Executive. Business Membership only applies to — you guessed it — businesses, so here we will concern ourselves with the Gold Star and Executive Membership tiers. 

Costo Gold Star Membership

Costco Gold Star membership costs $60 per year and is the minimum cost for access to any Costco store worldwide. In our previous post breaking down Costco prices versus a traditional supermarket, we calculated about $1,000 in savings annually for a household of two for

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Is Costco’s Executive Membership Worth $120 a Year?

Costco is a shopping safe haven for many families all across the world because of its incredible deals and no-frills warehouse environment. Many Costco shoppers spend tons of money buying products through the standard Costco Gold Star Membership card, so you may wonder if the Costco Executive Membership is worth it.

That’s why Slickdeals is breaking down exactly what perks come with the Executive status and if it’s worth it for you to shell out the extra cash.

How much does the Costco Executive Membership cost?

costco membership cards
Credit: Slickdeals/Costco

First, let’s compare the Gold Star and Executive costs in order to see what it’ll cost you if you do decide to upgrade or flat-out get a Costco card as a non-member.

Standard Gold Star membership is priced at $60 per year. You will need to be a Costco member in order to shop inside the warehouse, but there are ways to circumvent that and shop as a non-member if you’re going to the pharmacy, buying alcohol, grabbing a pizza or a hot dog at the food court. We have a handy guide on how to shop at Costco without a membership.

A Costco Executive membership is double the standard Gold Star price at $120 per year. But there are multiple ways to make sure you’re getting your money’s worth.

  • Money Back Satisfaction Guarantee: If you’re unhappy or not taking enough advantage of the benefits, there is a “risk-free 100% satisfaction guarantee” so that you can get a refund on your membership fee at any time. Simply go to the membership counter or call 1-800-774-2678. However, any rewards you’ve accumulated will be subtracted from the refund.
  • Prorated Price for Upgrades: If you’re already a Gold Star member and you upgrade to Executive, the price of the upgrade
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