Costco Membership Prices: Is It Worth It?

April 17, 2020 - Halifax, Canada - Costco Wholesale warehouse store located in the Bayers Lake retail park.
shaunl / Getty Images

As a wholesale club, Costco charges club members annual fees to maintain their memberships. In exchange for the fee, you can access high-quality products at wholesale prices plus additional perks. 

Read: How To Get Cash Back on Your Everyday Purchases 

But how much does a Costco membership cost? Moreover, are the discounts and perks you get with a membership worth the price? Keep reading to learn more.

How Much Is a Costco Membership?

Costco has a tiered fee structure based on the type of membership you decide to purchase. 

The prices for each consumer tier are as follows:

  • Executive Membership: $120 per year 
  • Gold Star Membership: $60 per year 

Business owners can also choose between two types of memberships:

  • Business Executive Membership: $120 per year
  • Business Membership: $60 per year 

Before You Sign Up

Costco is an excellent way to save on groceries and other essentials, but not everyone will find the benefits as rewarding as others. Here are a few things you should consider before you sign up:

  • Costco packages typically include large quantities, which may not work well for smaller households. 
  • Total purchase amounts can be significantly higher than average grocery bills since you must buy in bulk, though you’ll also generally have fewer shopping trips. 
  • You must take advantage of Costco benefits to offset membership fees.

What Types of Costco Memberships Are There?

Costco offers four membership tiers, but they all fall into one of two categories — personal and business memberships. Read on to learn how they differ. 

Make Your Money Work for You

Personal Memberships

Personal memberships include Gold Star memberships and Executive memberships. Here are the perks of each:

Gold Star Membership

  • Access to Costco wholesale warehouses and Costco online. 
  • Two Costco membership cards, one for yourself and one for another household member. 

Executive Membership

  • Everything the Gold Star membership offers. 
  • 2% cash back on qualified purchases.
  • Extra benefit on select Costco Travel purchases. 
  • Greater savings on Costco services. 

Business Memberships

Business memberships also come in two tiers: Business and Business Executive. They provide the following perks:

Business Membership

  • Access to all Costco locations and online shopping. 
  • Two cards with the ability to add cardholders for $60 each. 
  • Ability to purchase items for resale — business owners must provide resale information.

Business Executive Membership

  • Everything included in the Business Membership.
  • 2% cash back on qualified purchases.
  • Extra benefit for select Costco Travel purchases.
  • Save additional money through Costco services, such as business checks, payment processing and health insurance.

Perks of a Costco Membership

There are several perks to having a Costco membership. Business members get additional perks. 

Benefits for All Members

  • Savings: Costco sells in bulk and offers low prices on everything in its stores, from home goods to electronics and appliances.
  • Gas savings: You can also save on gas by filling up at one of the company’s members-only gas stations.  
  • Delivery: If you live in a qualifying zip code, you can take advantage of grocery delivery.
  • Travel deals: Save money by booking with Costco Travel
  • Auto savings: Save money on your next new or pre-owned vehicle with the Costco Auto Program.  
  • Medications: Access the medications you need at deep discounts at the Costco Pharmacy. 
Make Your Money Work for You

Benefits for Business Members

  • Low-cost payment processing: Access low-cost payment processing through Elavon.
  • Deliveries: Receive specialized business deliveries.
  • Business health insurance: Access low-cost health insurance for all your employees.   

Costco’s Competitors

Costco isn’t the only wholesale club on the block. Its two largest competitors are Sam’s Club and BJ’s. Find out how they compare below. 

Sam’s Club

Like Costco, Sam’s Club offers access to an extensive network of members-only wholesale warehouses. Their membership fees are slightly lower and perks are somewhat different. Their membership options are as follows:

  • Club: A Club membership costs $50 annually and grants you access to members-only stores and gas stations. You also get a complimentary membership for a household member and access to the Sam’s Club Mastercard.
  • Plus: A Plus membership costs $110 per year and comes with all Club perks plus pharmacy savings, 2% cash back up to $500 a year, free curbside pickup, free shipping and optical savings. 


BJ’s is another American wholesale club with a large network of discount warehouses. The company offers personal and business versions of the following memberships:

  • Club Card: The Club Card membership costs $55 per year and comes with access to all BJ’s warehouses, the ability to shop online and free membership for a household member. 
  • Club+ Card: The Club+ membership costs $110 per year and comes with everything included in the Club Card membership. Club+ members also receive 2% rewards, gas savings of $0.05 per gallon and access to exclusive events. 

Costco Membership Pros and Cons

The pros and cons of a Costco membership are as follows. 


  • Large selection of items 
  • Lower prices than most retail stores 
  • Exclusive members-only perks 
  • Savings on cars, travel and other things you likely don’t associate with wholesale clubs 
Make Your Money Work for You


  • Have to pay at least $60 per year for membership 
  • Need to buy items in bulk, which is unsuitable for some shoppers 

Final Take

Costco is a great place to save money on day-to-day necessities, especially if you have multiple people in your household. If that’s the case, consider signing up for a membership to start saving on groceries, home goods and more today. 

Costco Membership FAQ

Find the answers to the most common questions about Costco memberships below.
  • How much does it cost to get a Costco membership card?
    • There are different tiers of membership for Costco. The price points are as follows:
      • Executive Membership: $120 per year
      • Gold Star Membership: $60 per year
      • Business Executive Membership: $120 per year
      • Business Membership: $60 per year
  • Is the $120 Costco membership worth it?
    • The Executive or Business Executive Costco membership is only worth it if you plan on shopping at Costco often and use its additional perks. If you don't shop at Costco regularly, you may not save enough to justify the $120 annual fee.
  • What is the cheapest Costco membership you can get?
    • The cheapest Costco membership is the Gold Star or Business membership. The annual fee for both membership types is $60.
  • Can I get a Costco membership for free?
    • Costco doesn't offer free or discounted memberships, but there's a good reason for that. Membership fees help cover the overhead costs associated with operating the club. This allows the company to keep prices low and continue offering meaningful perks.

Virginia Anderson and Moubin Ghafoory contributed to the reporting for this article.

Information is accurate as of Oct. 24, 2023. 

Editorial Note: This content is not provided by any entity covered in this article. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, ratings or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any entity named in this article.

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