Costco May Be Raising Membership Prices Soon

Costco May Be Raising Membership Prices Soon

It seems inflation is also taking a toll on Costco membership prices, or at least it could in the near future.

Costco has always been known for providing customers with strikingly low prices. Those shocking Costco deals are certainly a big reason why 92% of their members renew their membership each year, along with low prices on particular customer favorites, like the Costco food court hot dog and soda combo for just $1.50, or a rotisserie chicken for $4.99.

And yet, due to inflation and the rise in demand for particular products post-pandemic, the grocery industry has certainly taken a hit—and Costco is no exception. Some financial experts are saying that a Costco membership price increase will likely occur soon.

Costco’s Membership Prices Might Be Going Up—But Not Yet

In December 2022, Costco’s Chief Financial Officer Richard Galanti confirmed in an earnings call that membership prices for the popular warehouse will increase, saying “it’s a question of when, not if.” This means that Costco customers can expect the prices of their membership to increase sometime soon.

According to a food retail analyst Michael Lasser who spoke with Yahoo Finance, those rising prices may be happening rather soon, stating that right now is an opportune time for Costco to increase their prices to make up for other rising costs.

The reason behind rising membership prices is to ultimately keep prices low within the store. Their hot ticket items—like the $4.99 rotisserie chicken—are what drives many customers back to Costco, so raising prices on those beloved staples would likely seem like more of a hit compared to a rise in membership cost that will only take place once during the year.

Lasser suspects that these raises will likely happen later this spring or early in the summer. So if you’ve been toying with the idea of purchasing a Costco membership, now may be the time before prices increase for good.

What Should I Do?

Shopping carts are lined up in front of a Costco storeMario Tama/Getty Images

As of now, a Costco membership costs $60 for a Gold Star membership or $120 for an Executive membership. A Gold Star membership gives you access to shopping in-store and online, along with their infamous 100% satisfaction guarantee, meaning you can cancel and refund your membership whenever. The Executive membership includes the same benefits, as well as 2% back on all purchases and discounts on other Costco services.

While the amount that these prices will increase is still unclear, if these membership prices sound reasonable to you now, you may want to hop on purchasing one now before it’s too late.

Nevertheless, if you miss the opportunity to grab a Costco membership before the prices increase, there are still a few clever ways you can try and save at Costco to make up for the cost.

Keep an eye out for sales

Fortunately, most items at Costco eventually go on sale; it’s one of the best-kept secrets Costco employees won’t tell. So if you’re a regular at your local Costco and you’ve been looking to make a bulk purchase of your favorite snack or frozen food, keep your eyes peeled for future price drops. Plus, if you missed a sale, you can make a request online to get a refund of that sale difference within 30 days of purchase.

Check the price tags

If you’re new to Costco, you may not know that their price tags actually have hidden symbols and codes to let regulars know if it is a sale price or full price. If a price ends in .99, it means the item is at the wholesale price. However, if the price ends in .97, that means a discount has been added, making it a great time to buy. Lastly, if you see an asterisk on a price tag, that means the particular item will likely not be restocked after they sell out, so buy now before it’s too late.

Shop the perimeter

Costco is clever in trying to get you to buy things, especially the items in their “center court.” You may have noticed it; when you walk into Costco, there is a large selection of items on display in the center, also known as the center court. Because these items are popular, they are typically higher in price and on display in order to get you to buy. If you’re really looking to save money at Costco, start in the back and shop the perimeter of the store where the bulk items are—you’ll likely find the most bang for your buck.

Don’t feel like splurging on a membership? While a Costco membership won’t pay off for some (especially if you live by yourself or with a partner), you can still buy these items at Costco without a membership.

Read More

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Kraken Onion Market