Are you considering getting yourself a Costco membership in Canada?
There is a lot to consider when you decide to pay for a membership at Costco Canada. This post will give you an in-depth look at the Costco membership benefits in Canada and everything that it has to offer.
I will cover the types of membership available, Costco Online, Costco Travel, Pharmacy, Eye Care, and much more.
Understanding everything will help you make a better-informed decision on whether getting a Costco membership is worth it.
What’s So Great About Costco?
I am a big Costco fan because I get so much of my shopping done at the Costco location near my house. I have always found Costco useful because it allows you to buy high-quality items in bulk at reasonable prices. Buying in bulk generally gives you the best bang for your buck.
There is a reason why the warehouse store has an estimated 94.3 million members worldwide. By creating a place where people can buy premium items at significantly lower costs, Costco began encouraging its customers to buy in bulk. The result is a massive success story that occurred in just a few decades.
Costco offers an exclusive shopping experience where you can buy anything you need to live comfortably, all available in bulk. From groceries to engagement rings, you can find practically anything at Costco.
Costco is also a great place to find deals on computers, TVs, and even smartphones.
- Related Reading: Costco Pricing Codes (Save even more!)
Costco Membership Types and Costs
Costco offers several options when it comes to the type of membership you can get. Each membership type comes with an affordable annual fee.
Costco has divided its membership into two categories: Costco membership for individuals and Costco membership for business owners.
Costco Membership for Individuals
Costco membership for individuals comes in two types: Gold Star and Gold Star Executive. Each comes with a different annual fee:
- Costco Gold Star Membership – $60 per year
- Costco Executive Membership – $120 per year – comes with annual 2% rewards on most purchases. You would have to spend at least $3,000 to make it worth it over the Gold Star.
Costco Membership for Business Owners
Costco membership for business owners also comes in two types with different annual fees: Business and Business Executive.
- Costco Business Membership – $60 per year
- Costco Business Executive Membership – $120 per year – comes with annual 2% rewards on most purchases. You would have to spend at least $3,000 to make it worth it over the Gold Star.
All four Costco membership types offer different features, though they have a few things in common. Some of the common aspects include:
- The membership is valid online and at all Costco locations anywhere in the world, and
- The membership includes a free household card that your spouse or other adult family members can use.
I would like to mention that all the Costco membership prices I have mentioned in this section don’t include the tax. Depending on your province or region, you might expect to pay more for your Costco membership.
If you are considering getting a Costco membership but aren’t entirely sure about how much you might spend there, I would suggest starting with a $120 membership because of all the benefits and cashback offers that it provides.
Depending on how much cash back you get for all your purchases, you could decide if the $120 membership fee is worth it. You can always switch to the $60 membership type if you are not saving enough cash through cashback on your purchases.
How to Sign Up For a Costco Membership
Go to the Costco membership signup page here, which shows a clear message in its membership conditions and regulations section: “100% satisfaction guarantee. If you are not satisfied with your membership, you’ll get a full refund on your membership fee.”
Features and Benefits of Costco Membership
Costco benefits in Canada come in all shapes and sizes. The business offers a wide range of premium services that include Costco Gasoline, Costco Opticals, Costco Pharmacy, Costco Photo Center, Costco Travel, and many more.
What Are the Benefits and Features of Individual Costco Gold Star Membership?
As mentioned above, the Individual Costco Gold Star membership comes with the following benefits:
- The annual membership fee is just $60.
- You get an additional household card for your spouse or other family members of legal age, free of cost.
What Are the Benefits and Features of Individual Costco Gold Star Executive Membership?
Getting the Individual Costco Gold Star membership also has its own set of benefits, as follows:
- The annual membership fee costs $120.
- You get an additional household card for your spouse or other adult family members, free of cost.
- It entails an annual 2% cashback reward on most of your Costco purchases.
- You get access to offers and additional discounts available exclusively to members.
- You can get a copy of the Costco Connection magazine and Costco.ca insert via mail.
What Are the Benefits and Features of Costco Individual Business Membership?
Costco also offers a membership program for owners and operators of businesses who want to enjoy the Costco benefits in Canada. If you are a business owner who wants to purchase items from Costco for resale, you must provide Costco with adequate resale information.
Here are the benefits and features of getting an Individual Costco Business membership:
- The annual membership fee costs $60.
- You get an additional household card that your spouse or other family members can use, free of charge.
- You can add at most six people to your membership.
- You can purchase Costco products for resale.
What Are the Benefits and Features of Costco Business Star Executive Membership?
Below are the benefits and features of becoming a Costco Business Star Executive member:
- The annual membership fee costs $120.
- You can get an additional household card for your family members free of charge.
- It comes with an annual 2% cashback reward on qualified warehouse, online, and Costco Travel purchases.
- You get access to offers and additional discounts available exclusively to members.
- You can add up to six people to your membership.
- You can purchase Costco products for resale.
Costco Travel Benefits
When you think of grocery shopping, the last thing that probably crosses your mind is going on a cruise. However, Costco has some incredible travel benefits.
Costco Travel can help you save money on vacations for yourself or the whole family. Members can enjoy access to exclusive discounts on a wide range of vacations, from theme parks to tropical getaways.
With Costco Travel, you can also find excellent discounts on hotels, airfare, cruises, vacation packages, and rental cars.
Another advantage of Costco Travel is that Costco members often have the opportunity to receive special incentives like Costco gift cards or onboard cruise credits.
Costco Membership Promo Code
Costco already offers significant benefits when you become a member. To make things even better, Costco offers promo codes for its gold and executive memberships.
If you are a new member or have a membership that expired for more than 18 months, and you want to sign up for the Costco Executive membership, you can get a voucher for $40 off on a $200 purchase at Costco.ca. Use the Promo Code “COSTCO40” to get this offer.
If you sign up for the Costco Gold Star membership, you can get a voucher for $20 off on a $100 purchase at Costco.ca. Use the Promo Code “COSTCO20” to get the offer.
Pros and Cons of Getting a Costco Membership
Pros of Getting a Costco Membership
- Costco offers high-quality food items. Everything from the meat and prewashed salads taste amazing and last much longer than what you can get from some other popular stores like Loblaws. Costco also offers a fantastic variety of food.
- Going to a local Costco store is exciting for many people because of the sample tasking kiosks available at each location.
- You can buy items for a significant discount in bulk and separate them into individual portions for later use.
- Costco has an excellent return policy.
- You get treated like royalty at any Costco store if you’re a member.
- Costco sells amazing hot dogs for an excellent price.
- You get excellent prices on several items that are expensive elsewhere.
- The pharmacy at Costco typically offers lower dispensing fees than any standard pharmacy in Canada.
- They provide high-quality printing services at the Costco Photo Center for a great price.
- You can save a significant amount of money through exclusive discounts for Costco members and cashback rewards for Executive membership.
Cons of Getting a Costco Membership
- Costco only accepts Mastercard cards, debit, or cash. If you don’t already have a Mastercard card, signing up for one just to get a Costco membership may or may not be worth it, depending on how much you expect to spend at the store.
- Sometimes, you might not get that much of a good deal on prices. For instance, Costco toilet paper could be more expensive than toilet paper on sale at any other local grocery store.
- You might end up wasting many food items if you simply buy them in bulk without the need to eat so much. The food can end up lying in your freezer for a long time, depending on how much you bought to get a good bulk discount.
How to Get Vouchers for Costco Membership Promotion
Depending on the membership type you’re planning to get, you can enter the corresponding promo codes at checkout while paying for your membership. Costco will send you an email that includes your membership number.
You can bring the email to a Membership Counter at any Costco location throughout Canada so that you can pick up your membership card.
Once you have your membership card, Costco will send you an email within a week or two to give you the corresponding voucher that you can use while purchasing something online from Costco.ca.
Costco Digital Membership Card
You can also get a digital membership card free of cost from Costco after becoming a member. It means that you don’t have to carry a physical Costco membership card while visiting any Costco location throughout Canada.
You can simply enjoy Costco benefits in Canada by presenting the digital card through your phone.
How to Get the Costco Digital Membership Card
There are several steps you should follow if you want to get a digital membership card from Costco. I will walk you through these steps in this section of my guide.
- The first step is to download and install the Costco Mobile App. It is available on Google’s Play Store and Apple’s App Store. Once you’ve installed the app, you need to launch and tap on the Membership Card icon on the screen.
- Use your credentials from your Costco membership to sign in to your account on the Costco Mobile App. Follow the instructions you see on the login screen to sign in to the app or create an account if you use it for the first time.
- You will need to be verified at any of the Costco locations near you. You can visit the Membership Counter at your local Costco Warehouse if you want to get your account verified physically. If you prefer getting your account verified over the phone, you can simply call Costco at 1-800-463-3783, and they will guide you through the process.
- Once you get your account verified, close the app and relaunch it. Your digital membership card should now be visible on the screen.
Benefits of Using the Costco Mobile App
The digital membership card is just one of the many benefits you can enjoy by creating an account using the Costco Mobile App. You can download and install the app to save time and money on the go.
People can forget their physical membership card while they head out to shop, but they seldom leave without their mobile phones. So, having a digital membership card can also be a convenient tool.
Here are some of the benefits that you can expect from using the Costco Mobile App.
Costco Digital Membership
You can use the digital membership card available on the Costco Mobile App as proof of your Costco membership in Canada when you enter any Costco location and during checkout after purchasing something from the store.
Exclusive Mobile Offers for Costco
Becoming a Costco member and having an account on the Costco Mobile App entitles you to become one of the first people to access the latest Costco savings from the comfort of your mobile. You can also use the app to easily find the most suitable deals and offers available at Costco.
Online Shopping at Costco.ca
You can enjoy the same benefits and features of Costco membership while buying online through the Costco app or on the Costco Canada website at Costco.ca. You will find thousands of items available through the app that you might not find at your local warehouse. Order them online, and you can get the items shipped to your house for free.
You can get the opportunity to take photos from your Android or iOS device and upload them straight to the Costco Photo Center. You can then share, format, and order prints for pickup.
How Do I Sign Up for a New Costco Membership?
Signing up for a new membership at Costco is an easy affair. With a growing community of over 90 million members, Costco is always happy to invite new members.
Becoming a Costco member is a straightforward process. I will walk you through it in this section.
Visit Any Local Costco Wholesale Location
The easiest way to sign up for a Costco membership is to visit your nearest Costco Wholesale location and go to the Membership Counter in the location. They will set everything up for you, and you can receive your membership card immediately to begin shopping at Costco as a member on the same day.
Get a Costco Membership Online
You can also sign up for a Costco membership online by visiting its website at Costco.ca. Here are the steps you need to follow to get a Costco membership online:
- Go to the home page and click on the “Membership” option available at the top of the page.
- Click on your preferred Costco membership type.
- Add the membership type to the Shopping Cart.
- Carefully read and understand the Conditions and Regulations to become a Costco member. Click “Accept” once you have thoroughly read the terms and conditions.
Once you accept the terms and conditions, Costco.ca will direct you to the checkout page and request information for verification. If all the information is correct, you can get your membership by completing the purchase via clicking on the “Shopping Cart.”
What Is Costco’s Membership Sharing Policy?
Thinking of using your roommate’s Costco card to take advantage of deals? Unfortunately, I have some bad news for you.
Costco’s membership card is non-transferable and cannot be used by individuals other than the primary cardholder.
That being said, the cardholder may bring two guests on their shopping trip. The only stipulation is that the cardholder must be the one paying.
So, technically you can take advantage of your roommate’s Costco membership, but you’ll need to go when they go and pay them in advance for whatever you’re buying.
As far as the free household card goes, the Primary Member or Account Manager can assign their free household card to one other person in their home, granting them the benefits of a Costco membership.
Costco has been tightening its membership policies recently due to the misuse of self-checkout lanes.
It noticed that non-members were using borrowed membership cards to make purchases, which goes against the company’s policy.
Now, Costco employees may ask members to show their cards when using self-checkout. If the card doesn’t have a picture, they may also need to show a photo ID.
Violations could result in a permanent ban for members.
How to Renew Your Costco Membership Online
You can easily renew your Costco membership without having to visit any Costco location by going to Costco.ca and following these steps:
- Sign in to your account.
- Click on “Membership”.
- Enter your Costco membership credentials (i.e., your membership number and last name).
- Click on “Proceed to Checkout”.
And you’re good to go, and can continue making Costco purchases.
Be sure to verify your online account with Costco before making any changes, though. Going to the Membership Counter at any Costco location and asking them to verify your online account is all it takes to have a verified account with Costco.
Costco will send you an email valid only for 48 hours once you get your verification done. If you have several cards on your membership, you need to renew all of them when you renew your Costco membership. Costco will send you an email to confirm the completion of the renewal process.
What Is the Costco Gold Membership?
Most people prefer getting this Costco membership type. It offers the bare minimum of benefits, and you only need to pay $60 as an annual fee.
My experience with it has been fantastic because I don’t need to rely too much on discounts through a Costco membership. If you don’t tend to use the membership at all or don’t shop at Costco despite the savings you can get, there is always the option of opting out of getting a membership.
I strongly suggest trying the membership out for a while, though. My experience tells me that getting the membership is worth each penny.
It’s hard not to find the Costco Gold membership useful because the place has something for everyone. Even if you cannot find what you are looking for at a Costco location near you, you can always look for it online at Costco.ca and have it delivered to your home.
What Benefits Can I Enjoy With a Costco Business Executive Membership?
This section of my guide to Costco benefits in Canada will cover all the benefits you can get with the Costco Business membership. Some of the most prominent benefits and features include:
A Free Spouse Card
You can get a free household card or a free spouse card when you become a Costco Business Executive member. The free household card allows someone else from your household to enjoy the benefits of your membership perks at Costco without the need to get another membership.
Exclusive Discounts and Offers
Having a Costco Executive membership entitles you to several exclusive discounts and other offers available only to Business Executive members, along with the Costco Connection Magazine and Costco.ca insert via email.
An Annual 2% Reward
Another amazing benefit of getting the Costco Executive membership is the annual 2% reward you’ll get on most of your Costco purchases. The maximum refund you can get is $1,000. However, you need to retain your Executive membership with Costco to get the reward.
If you’ve held a Costco Executive membership most of the time but decided to switch to a Gold membership before you can redeem the annual 2% reward, you will no longer be eligible for it.
Costco Return Policy
I’ve returned items at Costco before, and in my opinion it has the best return policy I’ve ever seen. If you purchase anything from Costco that turns out to be unsuitable or faulty, you can bring it back to your closest Costco location to get a refund or replacement for that item. Costco also facilitates a pickup service for items you might want to return.
Depending on your location, the pickup service for refunds and replacements could take up to three to four weeks. Costco requires that you send your items back to them the same way you received them for them to qualify as valid returns. It is a good reason to preserve the product packaging when you get your products, just in case there might be a need to return them.
You can speed up the refund and replacement process by going directly to any Costco Warehouse location near you. Keep the confirmation email available on your phone when you go to get a return.
You can also email Costco to get a refund by writing “Costco.ca Returns” in the email subject line before sending it to Costco’s customer service team.
Costco typically never has problems with refunds, as long as you have a receipt that proves you purchased it from Costco (sometimes you don’t even need this!). Of course, it is essential to remember that Costco will not complete the return transaction “no-questions-asked.”
Costco has a few policies for returns on products you purchase from the store. Here are some of the exceptions you should be aware of before you request the return:
- Customer installation services do not qualify unless you are claiming a warranty.
- Make sure that you check the warranty on items that come with a limited lifespan, like tires and batteries, before you claim a return.
- You cannot return items like cigarettes and alcohol that you have purchased from Costco.
- Items with diamonds can be returned after getting verified. It can take longer to return them.
- Electronic items have a strict 90-day return policy that begins from the purchase date written on your receipt.
Services Available at Costco
Costco has come a long way from being a warehouse retail store that sells high-quality products at wholesale prices. I will list down all of the services available through Costco that convinced me to get a Costco membership myself:
- Fresh Produce
- Food Court
- Membership Services
- Fresh Meat
- Fresh Deli
- Tire Service Center
- Hearing Aids
- Optical Department
- Rotisserie Chicken
- Photo Center
- Gas Station
Yes, you read that right. Costco even has its own gas stations. As a Costco member, filling up your gas at a Costco gas station will save you a decent amount of money compared to the prices you will get at any other gas station in Canada.
You need to have your membership card or digital membership when you’re filling your gas.
Don’t try to cheat Costco by trying to use an expired card. They may be kind enough to let you fill your car as a courtesy, but attempting to get a Costco membership discount again will result in you getting blocked until you renew your Costco membership.
The price that Costco offers its members for gas is quite competitive, so it is worth it for me to have my membership.
Costco Next: Introducing More Ways To Save
The Costco Next program is an innovative initiative from Costco designed to simultaneously expand the wholesaler’s e-commerce business model and bring more value to its members.
Essentially, it’s a network of partner merchants that provide exclusive discounts to Costco members. It was launched in 2017 as part of Costco’s efforts to expand its e-commerce business.
The Costco Next program works by allowing existing Costco members to buy directly from Costco suppliers.
This means that as long as you’re a Costco member, you’ll be able to access a greater variety of products available to them, including items that may not be in stock at Costco’s brick-and-mortar stores in Canada.
All Costco Next suppliers have been hand-selected by Costco buyers, and many actively supply Costco’s existing product line.
This means shoppers will never have to worry about the quality of what they’re buying, making it a more trustworthy option compared to shopping with overseas wholesalers.
The program is available to all current Costco members.
The only downside is that purchases from one of the Costco Next suppliers do not qualify for Costco Executive member benefits and are not included in the 2% reward calculation.
To take advantage of it, members need to visit Costco’s website and click through to the suppliers’ sites.
From there, they can purchase directly from the supplier, who will ship the product, provide customer service, and handle returns.
Access to Costco’s suppliers isn’t where it stops, though.
Costco members can expect to receive exclusive deals on a wide range of items, including:
- Protein bars
- Home goods
- Clothing and accessories
- Electric bikes
- Outdoor gear
- … and more!
This also provides an interesting opportunity for a side hustle.
For example, if you find a great deal on a top-performing item, you can purchase it in bulk and resell it using Amazon FBA. Alternatively, you could sell the items individually on Kijiji, Facebook Marketplace, or eBay.
Another interesting feature of Costco Next is that it has a rotating selection of goods that are available for a very limited time at crazy deals, making it a bargain-hunters paradise.
Here’s a quick breakdown of the innovative Costco next program:
- It operates as a network of partner merchants that provide exclusive discounts to Costco members.
- The program offers Costco members discounts from over 30 tech, home goods, and fashion brands.
- It is a direct-to-consumer shopping platform that provides a discounted selection of products from Costco’s most trusted suppliers, including Anker, Invicta, Mikasa, and Baggallini.
- When members navigate to one of the suppliers’ sites via Costco Next, they can purchase items directly from the supplier, which will then handle order fulfilment and returns.
Is A Costco Membership Worth It?
This section will give you a pretty decent idea of Costco benefits to help you decide whether it is worth it for you.
Costco Warehouses boast an enormous collection of different types of branded products. The store literally sells a little bit of everything you might need. The best part about Costco Warehouses is that it offers massive savings despite the products offering excellent quality.
Moreover, even the most basic Costco membership covers discounted purchases at Costco Gas, Pharmacy, Travel, Photo Center, and Opticals, among others. These are all services that work as Costco subsidiaries and offer discounts with primary membership.
As a Costco member, you can enjoy benefits in Canada and anywhere else worldwide. Costco has almost 800 locations, and membership in Canada is valid in all its stores.
You can also purchase products and services at discounted prices even outside of Canada. Additionally, Costco offers convenient payment options, including business check payments and Mastercard debit card payments.
Shopping online at costco.ca gives you access to items that might not be available at your local Costco location. You can get thousands of items that you cannot find at the local store and get free shipping on everything you purchase from Costco online.
You also get access to Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand, which contains an exclusive range of products that reassures customers of their commitment to offering high-quality products at bargain prices.
Costco membership also entitles you to shop at Costco’s travel site called CostcoTravel.ca so that you can enjoy an amazing experience while on vacation.
For the very low fee, I would say that it is worth the membership cost for most people, as you’ll likely save a lot on groceries, gasoline, and more.
- Related Reading: Is Bulk Barn Cheaper (Costco Competitor)
Costco is one of the best premium wholesale store chains in North America, and fortunately, it has plenty of locations in Canada. Costco benefits in Canada certainly have a pull to them because of all the value it adds for Costco customers.
For a small fee, you get access to incredible deals on pretty much everything with a Costco membership. Costco also prides itself on selling only genuine and high-quality products, so you can rest assured that you don’t just get a good price but an amazing bang for your buck.
Getting a Costco membership is definitely worth it, in my opinion, especially if you love saving money.
If you love saving money while shopping by using coupons, I have a list of the best Canadian coupon apps that you should check out.
And if you are looking for more ways to save money, you can check out my guide on How to Save Money in Canada.