Is Costco Executive Membership Worth It?

The value of Costco membership may be contentious, but what about a Costco Executive Membership? The upper echelon offers 2% Cash Back, as well as a slew of discounts on insurance, small business services, check printing, and more. Here’s MyMoneyBlog’s take:

    “Executive membership costs $100, regular is $50. At 2% back, basic math says you’ll need to spend $2,500 a year to break even. I probably don’t spend that much. Then I remembered a rumor I kept hearing and was reminded of recently at HustlerMoneyBlog. I asked customer service and… it was true! If you don’t profit with the Executive Membership, Costco will give you back the difference. Say you only get $20 in rebates. Bring in your rewards check at the end of the year and they’ll give you $30. So there is no risk.”

No risk, as long as you don’t forget to keep track of all your receipts and ping customer service at the end of the year. For those low on organization and grocery expenditure, the Costco Executive Membership may not be a good choice. — BEN POPKEN

Is Costco Executive Membership Worth It? [My Money Blog]

UPDATE: Several commenters have noted that Costo keeps track of all your purchases and makes it easy to pull up your purchase record. So perhaps this membership is worth, as long as you make sure to check after a year.


Edit Your Comment

  1. gundan says:

    I recently enrolled in the Executive membership programme and I was told that the rebate of $50 back again is applicable only the first year.

  2. schvitzatura says:

    Costco knows exactly how much you spend, down to the cent…this is how they pitch the Executive level Card. Probably all you would ahve to do is ask the cashier or their customer service what your running totoal for the year is, at any time.

    I’m sure they would be more than able to let one know what that is, again, down to the last decimal.

  3. DAK says:

    I have the Executive Membership, and it’s worth the money 1,000 times over. There are certain offers you can only get if you have the Executive Membership. We got our car insurance through Costco, and our bill went down by 35-40%, with better coverage. Their American Express card is pretty nice too…

    If you go to Costco once or twice a year, then you could probably save the $50, otherwise, it’s almost a no-brainer.

  4. Joe Hass says:

    FYI: You don’t have to keep track of your receipts. They keep track of the eligible purchases for you (it’s how they calculate the 2%). If you’ve ever been to Costco and see people with what appears to be an electronic pricing gun on steriods shooting at the barcode on the back of your card, they’re pulling up your spending habits to see if it makes sense.

    (Disclaimer: I’m both a Costco Executive Member [$128 back last year] and a Costco shareholder)

  5. infinitysnake says:

    Yes, they do keep track. Another benefit is that if you need to return something you’ve lost the receipt for, they have a record of your purchase. (You may have to bitch to get them to look it up.) I buy my gas at costco, so the return after the fee for us is pretty decent- in the neighborhood of $200 a year.

  6. Diggin the bunny slippers in the photo.

  7. Magister says:

    They offered this to my dad just a couple days ago. The only benefit touted by the Customer Service Desk was the 2% back.

    This Costco is about 20 minutes from my parents house. They are also members of BJ’s. There is no forseeable way they will be busting $2500 at this one club.

    No risk? They are forking over $50 bucks to be held by Costco for a year. Since they won’t make it all back, why in the world should they let Costco keep it in thier pockets for a year.

    Are the affinity programs (insurance and such) any better than any other groups? AAA, AARP, NRA or whatever?

    Costco seems to be just about the exact same place as Sam’s Club. BJ’s is a little different.

  8. Charles Duffy says:

    Buying gas at Costco doesn’t qualify for the 2% — if you read the fine print, it’s only for purchases made at the store’s front-end registers; this also excludes the food court, pharmacy, and optical center. That said, I spend enough there that my rebates from the Executive membership have consistently exceeded my full membership cost — it’s my 3-adult household’s primary source for groceries.

    Since they obviously distinguish between front-end and other purchases, I’d hope that customer service could retrieve the breakdown for you to be better equipped to make an informed decision on whether the Executive Membership makes sense.

  9. Antediluvian says:

    Does the 2% rebate apply to beer/wine/liquor sales? Because I could drop $2.5k on Maddog 20/20 in like a 2-3 months.

  10. Karl says:

    You don’t even have to get Costco to check your spending — if the rebate is less than $50, just bring it by Customer Service. Of course, you still have to remember to do that.

  11. Susan_55 says:

    These things I know, specifically for Costco in Washington State, but I believe it applies nationwide:

    1. The only purchases NOT included in the 2% rebate are for gas, tobacco, stamps and services such as check printing and car buying that are provided by other companies. Pharmacy and liquor purchases ARE included, as well as purchases.

    2. You can check at the Membership desk at any time to see how much rebate you have accrued. Gold Star members can also ask the Membership desk people to look up their spending and see if it’s worth their money to upgrade. The Membership people know that if you’re not satisfied with the upgrade you’ll be back for a refund, so they won’t recommend it unless they’re pretty darned sure it will be worth it to you.

    3. Like everything else Costco sells, it can be returned. So… you can change your mind about having the Executive membership at any time during your membership year and get a full refund of whatever you paid to upgrade. If you have already received the rebate check and it is not enough to cover the cost of the upgrade, Costco will still refund the difference, but you don’t get to keep your rebate check.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Oh My goodness. I have been hammered by these AGGRESSIVE Upsell Membership people. 1 out of 5 visits. Today a supervisor -nice guy and great salesmanship- hit me hard. To the point that it ruined my day, shopping experience, and left me paranoid to checkout!!

    Why can you not just tell these people you’re not interested? They don’t call you because you can ‘Don’t Call list’. They SPAM a bit, Snail Mail a bit..

    I am begining to feel afraid to go to Costco anymore.
    I am about ready to cancel our membership. The prices are beginning to get higher than Safeway, Albertson’s, FGM. And the product size = too..
    Now the Meat doesn’t come close- I love Costco meats..

    Writing this has helped me decide to reduce my expenditures and stops at COSTCO..

  13. Anonymous says:

    Every time i go to costco i get hammered at the cashier to upgrade to exec. They are persistent too and dont take no for answer so I snapped the last time and yelled at the super that was buggin me. I also wrote a nasty email to the customer service people. Haven’t been bothered sense.