Costco Membership Benefits in Canada

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Costco membership benefits in Canada aren’t always obvious. Some people assume Costco only sells groceries and items in bulk. While it’s true that Costco is a bulk purchase store, they sell much more than groceries. You can also get things like housewares, over-the-counter drugs, cleaning supplies, and more.

The idea of paying an annual fee to a store may seem silly to some people, but once you understand the Costco membership benefits in Canada you get, you may quickly decide that it’s worth it to sign up.

What is Costco?

Costco is a member-only warehouse club that sells just about everything such as, grocery items, clothing, household appliances, electronics, gift cards, and vacation packages. They carry their own brand (Kirkland Signature) as well as high-end brand name items, often for much cheaper than you would find elsewhere since you buy in bulk. In order to shop at Costco, you will need to pay an annual fee for a membership.   

Types of Costco membership

There are two different types of Costco memberships: personal and business. There are also two different card options for each, which will be discussed in more detail below. 

While each card has different perks and benefits, all four types of Costco membership have the following features in common:

  • Membership is valid in all locations around the world
  • Membership is valid online
  • Membership includes an extra household card that another individual in your household (spouse or adult family member) can use.  

Costco membership fees in Canada

How much is a Costco membership in Canada? Well, that depends on the type of membership. Here’s a breakdown of the different Costco membership costs for the various Costco membership types.

Personal Costco membership fees 

  • Costco Gold Star Membership: $60 + tax per year
  • Costco Executive Membership: $120 + tax per year 

Business Costco membership fees

  • Business member: $60 + tax per year
  • Executive member: $120 + tax per year 

Costco membership benefits in Canada

The main draw for many Costco members is the ability to buy groceries and brand-name products in bulk and at a discounted price. However, there are more Costco membership benefits to be aware of, including the premium services such as Costco gas station, Costco travel for cruises and vacation packages, Shutterfly discounts for photos, the Costco pharmacy (available to people without a membership), where you can fill any prescription drugs, the tire centre, as well as the Costco optical centre and Costco hearing aid centre. All of these services are available to Costco members, and fees are cheaper than you will find at other similar businesses in your community. 

On top of the benefits listed above, you will have additional benefits depending on your membership type. 

Costco Gold Star membership benefits 

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

Costco Executive membership benefits 

  • All benefits of the Gold Star membership 
  • Costco connection magazine & Costco.ca insert by mail to your home address
  • Individual executive Costco members will also earn 2% cash back on most Costco purchases (up to a maximum of $1,000). This cash back reward is given annually, however, you have to remain an executive member to get the cash back offer and it has to be redeemed at a Costco location within Canada.

Costco Business membership nenefits

  • Ability to shop at Costco Business Centre, Costcobusinesscentre.ca, plus all Costco locations worldwide and online
  • Two membership cards (one for you, one for someone else in your household)
  • Ability to add up to 6 additional membership cards (for a $60 fee each)
  • Ability to purchase for resale
  • Costco Connection magazine plus the Costco.ca insert mailed to your home address

Business Executive membership benefits 

  • All benefits of the Business membership
  • Business executive Costco members will also earn 2% cash back on most Costco purchases (up to a maximum of $1,000). This cash back reward is given annually, however, you have to remain an executive member to get the cash back offer and it has to be redeemed at a Costco location within Canada.

Pros and cons of Costco membership

Pros

  • Good quality food and items
  • One-stop-shop for many items and services
  • Costco return policy is very generous 
  • Cheaper pricing than elsewhere
  • Good benefits for members

Cons

  • Costco only accepts cash, debit, or Mastercard brand credit cards
  • Costco prices aren’t always the best deal out there. Some sales at other stores may be cheaper
  • Costco sells in bulk, so if you can’t get through any food items fast enough its waste

Are Costco benefits worth it?

So, the big question is: are Costco membership benefits in Canada worth it? 

Well, it depends.  

If you are shopping for a family, then chances are yes. Costco sells lots of grocery products in bulk for much cheaper than you would find at Loblaws or other grocery stores. However, the deal is because these items are sold in bulk. So, when it comes to fresh groceries such as fruit and vegetables, you need to ensure you can use them up before they go bad. A family likely can, but an individual may not be able to. 

Premium Costco services such as the pharmacy and Costco gasoline are both good for saving money. Both are cheaper than what you will find elsewhere in your community. However, these services are only beneficial if you use them. If you don’t have a car or you don’t have any prescription medication, then there is no added value.  

As for which type of membership to choose, well, that depends on your spending habits. You can learn more about Costco executive membership to see if it’s worth the additional annual membership fee here.

How to Sign up for Costco Membership 

You can sign up for a Costco membership in person at a Costco location or online at Costco.ca.  

Once you become a member, you can also get a digital membership for free. This is handy because it means you can have a copy of your membership on your phone rather than always making sure you have the physical card on you. You can get a digital membership by downloading the Costco App and signing up with your membership account. You will then need to visit your local Costco to be verified, or you can call Costco at 1-800-463-3783, and they will help you register. 

Keep in mind that membership does need to be renewed annually. You will be reminded when it’s time to renew and can do so in person or online. 

FAQ

Is there a free Costco Membership?

No, there is no free membership option. However, if you have the Executive membership you may earn enough in cash back rewards to offset the fee for the following year. 

Can I shop with someone who has a Costco card?

A Costco member can bring a guest; however, the member has to be the one who pays for any purchases.

Does Costco.ca have different products?

Costco.ca does have different and more products available than the Costco warehouses. Your membership allows you to purchase online and have the products shipped to your home. You can also shop via the Costco app which sometimes offers different deals and discounts. 

Does Costco Price Match?

No, they do not.

Does Costco have a credit card?

Yes, the CIBC Costco Mastercard is the official Costco credit card. In addition, you can read my list of the best Costco credit cards in Canada

About Hannah Logan

Hannah Logan is a freelance writer based in Ottawa, Canada. She specializes in finance and travel writing and has bylines at Fodor's Travel, O Magazine, and more. She also runs two travel blogs, Eat Sleep Breathe Travel and Ireland Stole My Heart. You can find her on Instagram and Twitter @hannahlogan21.

3 Comments

  1. Deborah S on July 3, 2023 at 8:23 PM

    You don’t need a Costco membership to use the pharmacy. Depending on the province, you may be able to access the optical department as well
    That said, we’re a retired couple with an Executive membership. Pays for itself every year!

  2. Neil S on July 31, 2023 at 10:18 AM

    Our Costco membership pays for itself in savings on Coffee and Cheese alone.

  3. SUSAN on July 31, 2023 at 12:34 PM

    You also don’t need a membership to access the food court. We like the wings but only a select few locations have them. Pizza is good if you’re looking for a huge pepperoni pizza. And we can’t forget about the $1.50 Hot Dog and drink.

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