10 Costco Member Benefits You Might Not Know About (But Should)

Your Costco card has more perks than just big savings on bulk items. Here are 10 little-known Costco member benefits you should learn about before your next visit to the popular wholesale store.

Any savvy spender can find a lot of value at their local Costco store. But being a Costco member comes with more perks than scoring big savings on bulk items or buying a $1.50 Costco hot dog after checkout. Here are 10 Costco member benefits you should know about so you don’t miss out.

1. Costco Store Brand

Store brand products are often dismissed as lower quality goods that can disappoint compared to their name brand counterparts, making shoppers wonder if the cheaper prices are worth it. But one Costco member benefit is the ability to purchase Kirkland Signature items. These Costco store brand products are often better than name brand equivalents. And despite the high quantity of rave reviews that Kirkland products receive, they generally cost less than similar products sold by national brands.

2. Discount Gift Cards

When it comes to gift cards, what you pay for is usually what you get. But that’s not always the case at Costco. The warehouse store sells gift cards to restaurants, movie theaters and more for less than their face value. We’ve spotted deals such as five $20 gift cards to Peet’s Coffee or four $25 gift cards to Domino’s for $79.99.

3. Vacation Savings

Another Costco member benefit is the potential to save on your next vacation. Costco has partnerships with companies like Best Western and Hyatt, which means access to bulk group discounts you might not be able to find elsewhere. With deals on cruises, theme parks and more, all you need to do is start packing your bags.

4. Lower Car Costs

Costco probably isn’t the first name that comes to mind when you need to purchase a car. But Costco’s Auto Program is a membership benefit that might help you the next time you’re shopping for a new set of wheels. The store works with more than 3,000 dealerships where your Costco membership might get you discounts. Of course, when it comes to a major purchase like a car (and an auto loan), it’s important to shop around and make sure you’re getting the best deal.

5. Water Delivery

Man delivering large bottles with drinking waterLightFieldStudios/Getty Images

Not a fan of tap water? Forget filling (and refilling) your Brita pitcher; Costco will help you stay hydrated. Once you choose spring or purified, Costco will deliver bulk bottles to your front door for as little as $6.99 per 5 gallon bottle.

6. Insurance Coverage

As a Costco member, you have access to Costco’s Health Insurance Marketplace, where you can shop for health, dental and vision plans. If you’re buying a home or getting a new car, you can look into Costco’s partnership with Ameriprise. However, it’s always wise to shop around with any insurance policy to make sure you’re getting the best rate and coverage options available.

7. Pharmacy Discounts

Prescriptions are one of the products you can buy at Costco without a membership. If you do have a membership, one of your Costco member benefits is the Costco Member Prescription Program, which gives you access to member-only prices at thousands of network pharmacies. Savings could range from 2% to 40% depending on the medication. You can even list eligible dependents and pets under your plan at no additional cost and save on their eligible medications as well.

8. Tire Discounts

Another Costco member benefit is the ability to buy tires for your vehicle at a discount. Plus, at certain times of the year, Costco offers discounts on select brands of tires that could amplify your potential savings even more. The tire installation package from Costco also includes lifetime maintenance services—so you can bring your car in to have your tires balanced and rotated and get pressure checks and flat repairs as well.

9. Cheaper Wine and Spirits

Costco WinesSmith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

Depending on your location, members and non-members alike can score deep discounts when buying alcohol at Costco. In fact, you might be surprised to learn that Costco is the largest wine retailer in the United States. According to some experts, you could save as much as 10% to 20% per bottle when you purchase your wine at Costco compared to other wine retailers.

10. Costco’s Legendary Return Policy

One of the best Costco membership benefits is the warehouse’s generous return policy. With a few exceptions, Costco offers a risk-free 100% satisfaction guarantee. You can even return an opened food item if you don’t like how it tastes. The warehouse store also lets you submit a request for a credit if you purchase an item and the price drops within 30 days.

Our list doesn’t even cover all of the perks Costco offers its members. Memberships start at $60 (plus tax) per year, and you can cancel membership and request a refund if you change your mind. That’s not it; you can use these Costco tips to save more money.

Michelle L. Black
Michelle Black is a credit expert with over 16 years of experience in the industry and a freelance writer. She specializes in credit reporting, credit scoring, financing (mortgages, credit cards, loans), debt eradication, budgeting, saving, and identity theft. Michelle is also the founder of CreditWriter.com and HerCreditMatters.com—a blog aimed at helping women support each other as they take charge of credit, money, family, and parenting issues in a safe, judgment-free space. She holds a Bachelor's of Arts in Spanish and French from Winthrop University. When she isn't writing about credit and money, Michelle enjoys traveling with her family and taking Tae Kwon Do classes with her two young children. She and her son currently hold first-degree black belts and her daughter is scheduled to join them, earning her black belt as well within the year.