Costco Membership Benefits in Canada 2022: Is It Worth The Fee?

Photo of author

by Enoch Omololu

Updated

Advertiser Disclosure

Costco Wholesale is a membership-only retail chain with over 800 warehouses in Canada, the US, and Mexico.

To shop at Costco, you must buy a yearly membership card, which gives you access to all locations worldwide and Costco Canada online shopping.

So, what are the different Costco memberships, and should you get one? This article covers the different types of Costco memberships, how much they cost, the benefits, a few disadvantages, and ultimately if getting a Costco membership is worth it.

What is Costco?

Costco is an exclusive member’s warehouse club where you can find tons of high-quality and brand name merchandise at discounted prices. They are known for selling brand-name products in bulk at prices you won’t likely find anywhere else.

Costco has over 10 million members across Canada and averages $25 billion in sales each year. This retailer is similar to Walmart or Target in that it sells a wide range of products.

You can find almost anything at Costco, from groceries to electronics to household to apparel items. It also has its own private-label brand, called Kirkland Signature.

To shop at Costco, you must purchase a yearly Costco membership card. The standard membership is $60, though other memberships are available.

Types of Costco Membership

At Costco, you can get either a personal or business membership.

Personal

There are two types of personal membership cards.

Gold Star: $60 per year. You get two membership cards and can shop at all Costco locations worldwide and online.

Executive: $120 per year. You get the same benefits as Gold Star plus a few additional perks.

Business

There are two types of business membership cards.

Business: $60 per year. You can shop at all Costco locations worldwide, online, and at Costco Business Centre. You get two membership cards and can add up to six additional people to your membership.

Business Executive: $120 per year. You get the same benefits as Business but with a few additional benefits.

Related: Amazon Canada Prime Membership Review.

Costco Gold Star Membership Benefits

The Costco Gold membership benefits include:

  • The ability to shop at all Costco locations worldwide and online
  • Two membership cards (one for you and one for someone in your household)

Costco Executive Membership Benefits

The Costco Executive Membership benefits include:

  • The ability to shop at all Costco locations worldwide and online
  • Two membership cards (one for you and one for someone in your household)
  • Exclusive offers and discounts
  • Get a copy of Costco Connection magazine plus Costco.ca insert by mail

With the Executive Membership, you also get an annual 2% cashback reward on most Costco purchases (up to a maximum of $1,000). You must remain an Executive Member and redeem it at a Costco location in Canada to get this cashback offer. 

Costco Business Membership Benefits

Costco Business has additional perks for business owners, like larger quantities of food and grocery items, useful business items, and more opportunities to save.

Despite the name, you don’t need to own a business to get a Business Membership.

Costco Business Membership

The Costco Business Membership benefits include:

  • The ability to shop at Costco Business Centre and Costcobusinesscentre.ca, plus all Costco locations worldwide and online
  • Two membership cards (one for you and one for someone in your household)
  • Add up to six additional membership cards ($60 each per year)
  • Purchase for resale
  • Get a copy of Costco Connection magazine plus Costco.ca insert by mail

Costco Business Executive Membership

The Costco Business Executive Membership benefits include:

  • The ability to shop at Costco Business Centre and Costcobusinesscentre.ca, plus all Costco locations worldwide and online
  • Two membership cards (one for you and one for someone in your household)
  • Exclusive offers and discounts
  • Annual 2% cashback reward (up to $1,000)
  • Add up to six additional membership cards ($60 each per year)
  • Purchase for resale
  • Get a copy of Costco Connection magazine plus Costco.ca insert by mail

How Much Does Costco Membership Cost?

For individuals, the Gold Star membership costs $60 per year, and the Executive membership costs $120 per year.

For businesses, the Business membership costs $60 per year, and the Business Executive membership costs $120 per year.

Pros of a Costco Membership

The pros of having a Costco card include:

  • With any membership, you can shop at all Costco locations worldwide and online
  • Costco offers a huge selection of items at discounted prices
  • You can buy many products in bulk
  • With the $120 membership, you get exclusive offers and discounts plus a yearly 2% cashback reward
  • You get a free additional card for the household or your spouse
  • The Costco return policy is very lenient. You can return most items for any reason with no time limit

Cons of a Costco Membership

A few cons of having a Costco membership include:

  • Costco only carries a limited number of brands
  • You need a lot of storage space if you buy in bulk
  • There are often very long lines, and stores are crowded during peak shopping times
  • They only accept Mastercard, Visa cards, cash, or debit cards (acceptance varies depending on whether you are shopping online at Costco.ca, shopping at a warehouse, or buying gas)
Costco Membership Benefits in Canada

How To Renew Your Costco Membership

To renew your Costco membership online, follow the steps below.

  1. Sign in to your Costco.ca account or create one with your membership number.
  2. Go to the “My Account” drop-down menu and select “Renew Membership.”
  3. Go to the “Set Up Auto-Renew Payment” section and type in your last name and postal code.
  4. Add your credit card details and press submit. Your credit card will be charged on the next renewal date.

Optionally, you can set up auto-renewal (either online or in-person), so you don’t have to worry about your membership expiring.

Related: Best Meal Kit Services in Canada.

Costco Gold Star vs Executive Membership

The Costco Gold Star membership costs $60 per year and has two main benefits: you can shop at all Costco locations worldwide and online, and you get an extra household card.

The Costco Executive membership costs $120 per year. It has the same benefits as the Gold Star membership plus a few extras, like the annual 2% cashback reward, additional benefits, and greater savings on Costco services. You’ll get a copy of Costco Connection magazine plus Costco.ca insert by mail.

You’ll need to spend at least $3,000 yearly to absorb the $60 fee of the Gold Star membership and $6,000 yearly to absorb the fee $120 fee of the executive membership.

Costco Membership Promo Codes

Costco offers two promo codes for new members who sign up for an Executive or Gold Star membership.

If you sign up as an Executive member, you’ll get a voucher for $40 off a $100 purchase on Costco.ca. Promo code: COSTCO40.

If you sign up as a Gold Star member, you’ll get a voucher for $20 off a $100 purchase on Costco.ca. Promo code: COSTCO20.

Is a Costco Membership Worth It?

Costco warehouses have a huge selection of high-quality branded products in many different categories, like groceries, appliances, electronics, and more, often at a lower price than you would find anywhere else.

Costco memberships cover discounted purchases at the warehouse, online, Costco Gas, Pharmacy, Travel, and more. You can shop at over 800 locations in Canada and get free shipping at Costco.ca.

To absorb the $60 annual fee of the Gold Star and Business memberships, you’d need to spend at least $3,000 yearly. To absorb the $120 annual fee of the Executive and Business Executive memberships, you’d need to spend at least $6,000 yearly.

With the Executive memberships, you get a 2% cashback reward every year. Depending on how much you spend or how much cashback you get, the $120 membership can be worth it.

A Costco membership may be worth it if you like to buy products in bulk or have a large family. If you have a business, Costco offers prices for bulk items you likely won’t find anywhere else.

However, if you live alone, drive a small vehicle with limited trunk space, have limited storage space in your home, and spend less than $2,000 annually, a Costco membership is probably not worth spending money on.

Related: CIBC Costco Mastercard Review.

Costco Canada Membership FAQs

Which Costco membership is best in Canada?

If you are using Costco for business, you should get either the Business or Business Executive memberships. Otherwise, the Gold Star or Executive memberships should work for you. Overall, the Executive membership is the most popular and provides the best deal.

What discounts do Costco members get?

If you have an Executive membership, you’ll get an annual 2% cashback reward (up to $1,000) on eligible Costco, Costco.ca, and Costco Travel purchases. Executive members also have access to exclusive deals and discounts.

Can I get free Costco membership?

No, you cannot get a free Costco membership. However, if you spend enough and get cashback at the end of each year, you may offset your membership cost.

Can I borrow a friend’s Costco card?

You can borrow a friend’s Costco card, but they must be present at checkout as their name is on the card. Alternatively, if you live in the same household as someone with a Costco card, you can use the second additional card.

Can I bring a guest to Costco?

Yes, anyone with a Costco card can bring up to two guests during each visit. However, purchasing items is exclusive to the member.

Is Costco cheaper than Walmart?

For bulk items, Costco is generally cheaper than Walmart. However, if you want to purchase single items, you may be better off shopping at Walmart.

Costco Membership Benefits in Canada 2022: Is It Worth The Fee?

Best Promotions & Deals this month

Get a $20 welcome bonus with the KOHO app and up to 10% cash back

Free reloadable prepaid card (use CASHBACK referral code).

Earn 0.50% cash back on all purchases and up to 10% at select partners.

Save automatically and earn 1.20% interest on your balance.

Get 3-day early access to $100 of your paycheque for free.

Increase your credit score fast with Credit Building.

Best FREE chequing account offer in Canada with $350 cash bonus

$350 cash bonus when you deposit $100 for 3 months.

Unlimited free debits and Interac e-Transfer transactions.

No monthly account fees or minimum balance required.

Earn high interest rates on a free savings account.

Get your FREE updated credit score weekly

Free credit scores and reports are updated weekly.

No monthly fees or obligations.

Access to DIY credit monitoring to check for identity fraud.

First Canadian company to offer free credit scores.

Earn up to 10% cash back for a limited time ($100 bonus)

One of the best no-fee credit cards in Canada.

Get 2% unlimited cash back on up to 3 purchase categories; 0.50% everything else.

Get 10% bonus cash back in the first 2 months ($100 value).

1.95% balance transfer offer for 6 months.

Retirement 101 eBook - 3D

Author

Photo of author
Enoch Omololu

Enoch Omololu is a personal finance expert and a veterinarian. He has a master’s degree in Finance and Investment Management from the University of Aberdeen Business School (Scotland) and has completed several courses and certificates in finance, including the Canadian Securities Course. He also has an MSc. in Agricultural Economics from the University of Manitoba and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Ibadan. Enoch has a passion for helping others win with their personal finances and has been writing about money matters for over a decade. He has been featured or quoted in The Globe and Mail, Winnipeg Free Press, Wealthsimple, Financial Post, Toronto Star, CTV News, Canadian Securities Exchange, Credit Canada, National Post, CIBC, and many other personal finance publications.

His top investment tools include Wealthsimple and Questrade. He earns cash back on purchases using KOHO, monitors his credit score for free using Borrowell, and earns interest on savings through EQ Bank.

3 thoughts on “Costco Membership Benefits in Canada 2022: Is It Worth The Fee?”

  1. American Express hasn’t been accepted in Canadian Costco’s for years

    • @sailedaway: That was an error. Thanks for pointing it out.

  2. We shop at Costco in Canada frequently and always pay with a MasterCard.

    I believe the VISA-only rule applies in the USA.

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Share
Pin
Tweet
WhatsApp
Reddit