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Costco's Membership Fees Will Increase in June 2017

Costco's Membership Fees Will Increase in June 2017

By Kate Musgrove

Costco has announced that they are increasing their membership prices in the US and Canada effective June 1, 2017. After the increase, an Individual membership will cost $60 a year (up from $55 a year) and an Executive membership will cost $120 a year (up from $110 a year). This is their first membership price increase since 2011.

Costco generates about 75% of its operating income from membership fees.

If you're a current Costco shopper, is the fee increase a dealbreaker for you? If you're not a current Costco shopper, you've still got several months to get a membership before the price increase takes place on June 1, 2017.

39 Comments

    • Thanks for the heads up. That's too bad. They already charge a "fee" to shop there yet I still pay due to the value and quality of some items.
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    • Costco generates roughly three-fourths of its operating income from membership fees, according to UBS.
      Well no wonder!
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    • It's not exactly unexpected going by the dates in the article.
      Last raised 2011..
      6 years, 9% increase, essentially tracking inflation.
      If anything, below inflation.
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    • $5 is reasonable. It's still worth it for the gas savings and grocery savings.
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    • I save way more than that just in the peanut butter I buy there every year! No biggie.
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    • aqnd wrote:
      Mar 3rd, 2017 2:00 am
      It's not exactly unexpected going by the dates in the article.
      Last raised 2011..
      6 years, 9% increase, essentially tracking inflation.
      If anything, below inflation.
      That was gonna be my question.

      It sucks, but at least they're not raising prices like the TTC.
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    • pete_rfd wrote:
      Mar 3rd, 2017 3:10 am
      It sucks, but at least they're not raising prices like the TTC.
      A big factor in this is the erosion of TTC subsidies, a process which began in 1996 with the termination of the provincial subsidy under Mike Harris.


      "In other words, from 1990 to 2017, the cost of a TTC token will have increased from $1 to $3, which is 200 per cent, a rate that way outpaces that of inflation. There are obviously many factors at play here, but the big one is the erosion of TTC subsidies, a process which began in 1996 with the termination of the provincial subsidy under Mike Harris."
      from http://www.blogto.com/city/2016/11/how_ ... _25_years/
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    • It would help keeping the membership fees down if degenerates don't leave their shopping carts all over the place in the parking lots and actually do the right thing and return them where they belong.
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    • Oh man... that means they'll only pay me $40 next year instead of $50.
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    • It would be nice if Costco would fire some of their customers by weeding out those who blatantly abuse the overly generous return policies. I wonder if an increase would even be necessary.
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    • The lucky bunch that have memberships expiring in May. :twisted:
      I do not see any requirement for anyone to pay $5 to continue an existing membership.
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    • ilove wrote:
      Mar 3rd, 2017 3:50 am
      It would help keeping the membership fees down if degenerates don't leave their shopping carts all over the place in the parking lots and actually do the right thing and return them where they belong.
      Totally agree. It would also help if other degenerates didn't leave raw meat and other refrigerated products lying around the store. They all go to the garbage once found by a Costco employee.
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    • woof wrote:
      Mar 3rd, 2017 4:19 am
      It would be nice if Costco would fire some of their customers by weeding out those who blatantly abuse the overly generous return policies. I wonder if an increase would even be necessary.
      This has been beaten to death here already. Costco doesn't take a hit. The vendor does. You bring back a broken whatever after you've abused it for 5 years, say "not satisfied", you get 100% refund, then Costco sends the rubble back to that vendor and expects the full original price to be credited.

      They have "fired" such a member... no shock where it happened:
      http://www.taiwannews.com.tw/en/news/3034015

      I'm amazed Costco didn't just go on and make all memberships "executive" at $120 since they have no competition. I'm curious, how high would the membership fee have to be before you'd consider not renewing? $200? $500? $1000?
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    • It will help Costco cover the cost of when people return products after using them for a year(s).
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    • EastGTARedFlagger wrote:
      Mar 3rd, 2017 7:00 am
      I'm amazed Costco didn't just go on and make all memberships "executive" at $120 since they have no competition. I'm curious, how high would the membership fee have to be before you'd consider not renewing? $200? $500? $1000?
      A grand would be kind of hard to swallow but I'd probably still pay it.
      I easily save that over the year. Although this would make it a wash so maybe I wouldn't renew at a grand.

      Also I wouldn't mind if forced executive was a thing.
      I already make $40/year shopping at Costco.
      If anything it's stupid to pay the (now) $60/year for zero return.
      Spend more than $3000/year or $250/month and you have the difference paid for.
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    • Lucky us, our Membership comes up this Spring, so still at the $ 55 rate.

      We shop @ Costco maybe 1x every 4 to 6 weeks. As there is just 2 of us at home now (empty nesters) we don't have much need for the majority of food items that come in amounts too large for us, the exception is meat & paper products, which we easily separate & store in our Freezer & Pantry. We also use Costco for printer ink refills, some cleaning supples, household items, car tires, and some bigger seasonal items (garden furniture). And have found good deals there on books, magazines & odds & sods in clothing (socks, undies, etc)

      Do we actually save money? Yes & No. Yes we find things we NEED there are cheaper (saved $ 50 on our first visit when we bought a patio umbrella), but like many we have to be careful so as not to be seduced and buy MORE than we planned for, just because we found "a good deal". That's the thing with Costco, you can only plan so much... Never knowing what unadvertised items they'll be featuring in store for a limited time until they are sold out. Too easy to come in planning to spend $ 100, and leaving looking at your invoice that is now 2x that amount.

      Part of the reason I previously was not a fan of these Club Memberships...

      Still though, we will keep ours for another year. I would think that the closer Membership gets to $ 100, the less likely I would be to renew.
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    • On the negative side, this sucks.
      On the positive side, RFDers will become more wise about how they spend at Costco. Buy the value like

      * clearance ending in .97
      *the cheap gas
      * the cheap car rental/vacations on costco.com/ca: we got Christmas USA south rental car for $189/week and others paid $450
      * buy weekly sale items, and never pay the full price at Costco
      * buy seasonal clearance: we got garden bulbs online and in store for up to 70% off the regular price
      * get price adjustments when clearance items are reduced further
      * be patient and wait for the price to drop: we bought the winshield washer fluid and ice melt on clearance, in the past
      *by the Cash cards and use at the gas station
      *take CASH to the warehouse. When the cash in the pocket runs out, the spending ends
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    • i never had a costco membership, but bought one recently cus they opened one close to my house in Waterloo,ON which also has a gas station and premium gas is 8-10 cents cheaper then everyone else, so only the gas fillup will pay up for my membership.
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    • NoWynne2018 wrote:
      Mar 3rd, 2017 11:46 am
      On the negative side, this sucks.
      On the positive side, RFDers will become more wise about how they spend at Costco.
      And you forgot the most important one -- take FULL ADVANTAGE of the return policy. There is no such thing as "abuse" of a policy they set and enforce (and it's the vendor/manufacturer that takes the hit, not Costco...)

      Read other threads on some creative ways to get stuff for free...
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    • death_hawk wrote:
      Mar 3rd, 2017 8:20 am
      A grand would be kind of hard to swallow but I'd probably still pay it.
      I easily save that over the year. Although this would make it a wash so maybe I wouldn't renew at a grand.
      How about if they hiked the fee to $500 but removed the rebate program?

      I will say hiking the fee to $100+ would quickly eliminate the riffraff that make shopping there such a pain. I remember when you had to be a business owner or an employee of selected businesses/government (or family of such) to get a membership. Back then Costco Hell (Warden/Ellesmere) was a pleasant place to shop. It was less busy than a Walmart.
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    • Did you guys catch this article in the Post?

      Inside the ‘treasure hunt’: The five keys to Costco Canada’s success
      http://business.financialpost.com/news/ ... as-success
      Limit people’s choices
      Make money off memberships, not product sales
      Don’t advertise
      Offer value for the money
      Make nice with suppliers
      The warehouse retailer's annual membership fees amount to 2.3 per cent of sales, but account for 72 per cent of the company's operating profit.
      This article is more detailed and more interesting, same topic as the last:

      How Costco Canada breaks retail rules to win
      http://business.financialpost.com/news/ ... les-to-win
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    • dealseaker101 wrote:
      Mar 3rd, 2017 7:31 am
      It will help Costco cover the cost of when people return products after using them for a year(s).
      The vendor/manufacturer takes the hit on those returns, not Costco.
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    • I shop at Costco and have the executive membership for $110, so as long as I spend $2,750 or more per year it is better than the basic membership. To tell you the truth i dont' know what the big deal about Costco is for everyday items. Seems more expensive. Family is vegetarian so can't speak for the meat.

      - Gas --> I am in Edmonton and get 7 - 10 cents per litre off at Real Canadian Superstore plus another 3% using world elite mastercard. Better deal than Costco.
      - Milk -> Equivalent price to superstore
      - Eggs-> Organic eggs better deal at Costco
      - Bread --> Little better at Costco because i can buy the 3 pack dempsters and freeze it. But it only saves me about a 1.00-1.50 at the MOST
      - Paper towels/Bathroom Tissue - there are sales EVERY WEEK on these items at other stores and using the FLIPP app you can price match, and get way better deal than Costco
      - Laundry detergent - unless you are using the kirkland brand laundry detergent, you can find better prices on weekly sales
      - Pharmacy --> Costco can't be beat! But do you need a membership to use their pharmacy?
      - Big box of Oatmeal --> Equivalent price at Real Canadian Superstore
      - Fruit -> Better price per unit at Costco but don't really need a big bag of apples, there bananas are also HORRENDOUS they stay green never ripen to yellow. So weird. I never by fruit from Costco because i just can't consume that quantity (exceot blueberries which i do like ! )

      - I like Costco for their Kirkland brand and big ticket items. I bought a Vizio Tv from there on a cyber monday sale, as well as bar stools on costco online which was 1/2 the cost of other vendors for the same product. I also like the quality of their sheet sets and duvet's. Also their return policy is top notch and since you buy everything with a membership card you dont' even need the receipt.

      SO costco can be a good deal, but not as good as people think, unless you buy exclusivily kirkland brand products.
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    • I don't mind paying the extra 10 dollars.. where i get pissed off is when you get people in front of you that want a separate total for purchases for non-members. They should stop this practice. If i going to dish out $120 so can the others.
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    • emale wrote:
      Mar 3rd, 2017 1:10 am
      Looks like Costco is increasing fees to $60 and $120 .

      http://www.cnbc.com/2017/03/02/costco-t ... short.html
      You all missed the most important part of the article -- the fees are going up because members didn't spend enough on merchandise... so this makes up the difference.

      OK, when sales go back up, will membership fee go down? Don't all hold your breaths on that one...
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    • death_hawk wrote:
      Mar 3rd, 2017 8:20 am
      A grand would be kind of hard to swallow but I'd probably still pay it.
      I easily save that over the year. Although this would make it a wash so maybe I wouldn't renew at a grand.

      Also I wouldn't mind if forced executive was a thing.
      I already make $40/year shopping at Costco.
      If anything it's stupid to pay the (now) $60/year for zero return.
      Spend more than $3000/year or $250/month and you have the difference paid for.
      I have a hard time believing Costco wouldn't lose anything by forcing Executive, let alone increasing fees to $500. Over 80% of current members are Gold and average spend is $1445 per year (US numbers, but I assume here is similar).

      I would expect an RFD veteran to know the calculations above are bogus marketing figures. Membership is taxed, and Executive pays 2% on before tax prices. Meaning you would have to spend at least $3390 (if you buy only tax-free items), up to a max of $3830 (if everything is taxed), or $282 to $319 per month, to break even. I'd also warn against including gas in Costco value calculations, because Executive doesn't rebate gas and the various gas station loyalty programs and gift card promos can almost match if not exceed the Costco discount.
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    • EastGTARedFlagger wrote:
      Mar 3rd, 2017 5:15 pm
      You all missed the most important part of the article -- the fees are going up because members didn't spend enough on merchandise... so this makes up the difference.

      OK, when sales go back up, will membership fee go down? Don't all hold your breaths on that one...
      But...sales are gangbusters in Canada...better than anywhere else
      Costco’s results have been particularly robust in the Canadian market, where it is building more stores this year. In fiscal 2014 through fiscal 2016, same-store sales excluding foreign exchange and gasoline averaged above 8 per cent, higher than all other regions where Costco operates, including the U.S.
      Costco misses second quarter estimates though sales up in Canada, U.S., hikes membership fees
      http://business.financialpost.com/news/ ... rship-fees
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    • lecale wrote:
      Mar 3rd, 2017 5:31 pm
      But...sales are gangbusters in Canada...better than anywhere els
      Costco misses second quarter estimates though sales up in Canada, U.S., hikes membership fees
      http://business.financialpost.com/news/ ... rship-fees
      Easy reason why. No competition. They're the Robelus of Canadian retail.
      In the USA they compete with Sam's Club (which has lower prices, lower membership fees, and possibly more locations) and BJ's (lower membership fee and takes all credit cards, focused on the northeast states only though).
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    • EastGTARedFlagger wrote:
      Mar 3rd, 2017 5:48 pm
      Easy reason why. No competition. They're the Robelus of Canadian retail.
      In the USA they compete with Sam's Club (which has lower prices and lower membership fees) and BJ's (lower membership fee and takes all credit cards).
      I miss Sam's Club; they had a regular needs kinda feel.

      Costco's collection is curated to be at a higher pricepoint than Sam's stuff was, IMO.
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    • lecale wrote:
      Mar 3rd, 2017 5:54 pm
      I miss Sam's Club; they had a regular needs kinda feel.

      Costco's collection is curated to be at a higher pricepoint than Sam's stuff was, IMO.
      I definitely miss Sam's. When we had them I only carried their membership and ditched Costco because I frequently shopped at Sam's Clubs on my US trips (they have them in Niagara Falls, Buffalo, and Watertown, NY -- all close to the border crossings; back then the nearest US Costcos to me were Detroit, Cleveland, and NYC!). I certainly see a lot more Sam's than I do Costco when I'm in the US. I still carry a Sam's membership because I'm in the US on business often, and that is one place you can go in Buffalo on Black Friday weekend that isn't crushed with Canadians!
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    • abc123yyz wrote:
      Mar 3rd, 2017 5:04 pm
      (multiple examples of where Loblaws beats Costco)
      SO costco can be a good deal, but not as good as people think, unless you buy exclusivily kirkland brand products.
      I have one to add to this list. Twice a day our local Loblaws puts half price stickers on the hot prepared foods so they can move the stuff out. Best deal rotisserie chicken regularly $11, slashed to $5.50. Sure beats the $8 Costco charges, and I find the Loblaws chickens taste a lot better and are often larger. Costco's chickens just taste of salt because they overbrine them, and they certainly don't put half price stickers on them at the end of the day to move them out.

      Must be different out west but here in Ontario, Costco beats almost every other gas station by 8-10 cents consistently, other than the guys directly across the street. Here in Durham Region, Costco beats the stations near my house by 10 cents, but the Pioneer across the street from it charges just 0.5-2.0 cents more. So if you don't want to buy a membership, just buy your gas in the neighborhood and you'll almost get the same savings... and Pioneer also has a rebate program for fuel.

      (as an aside, when Sam's Club was around their rotisserie chickens were $5 all the time -- larger than Costco's, and weren't salt bombs.... Costco also charged $5. When Sam's Club closed, Costco jacked the price up to $8. Just another friendly reminder: Competition good monopoly bad...)
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    • EastGTARedFlagger wrote:
      Mar 3rd, 2017 6:20 pm
      I have one to add to this list. Twice a day our local Loblaws puts half price stickers on the hot prepared foods so they can move the stuff out. Best deal rotisserie chicken regularly $11, slashed to $5.50. Sure beats the $8 Costco charges, and I find the Loblaws chickens taste a lot better and are often larger. Costco's chickens just taste of salt because they overbrine them, and they certainly don't put half price stickers on them at the end of the day to move them out.

      (as an aside, when Sam's Club was around their rotisserie chickens were $5 all the time -- larger than Costco's, and weren't salt bombs.... Costco also charged $5. When Sam's Club closed, Costco jacked the price up to $8. Just another friendly reminder: Competition good monopoly bad...)
      Well, the Costco chicken is supposed to be 1.2kg and the Loblaws ones are listed as 900g. I think the largest supermarket chicken is Metro's Mammoth Chicken at 1kg and they occasionally go on for $8 ($3.63/lb). 1/2 price Loblaws squab is then $2.78/lb and Costco $3.03/lb.

      Cheapest raw whole chickkies these days are going for $1.77/lb, just add hydro :D
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    • lecale wrote:
      Mar 3rd, 2017 6:28 pm
      Well, the Costco chicken is supposed to be 1.2kg and the Loblaws ones are listed as 900g. I think the largest supermarket chicken is Metro's Mammoth Chicken at 1kg and they occasionally go on for $8 ($3.63/lb). 1/2 price Loblaws squab is then $2.78/lb and Costco $3.03/lb.
      Loblaws chickens are 900 grams of chicken meat; Costco chickens are 900 grams of chicken meat and 300 grams of salt 😃
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    • Meh - don't care that much. It's been the same since I joined so...
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    • lecale wrote:
      Mar 3rd, 2017 6:28 pm
      Well, the Costco chicken is supposed to be 1.2kg and the Loblaws ones are listed as 900g. I think the largest supermarket chicken is Metro's Mammoth Chicken at 1kg and they occasionally go on for $8 ($3.63/lb). 1/2 price Loblaws squab is then $2.78/lb and Costco $3.03/lb.

      Cheapest raw whole chickkies these days are going for $1.77/lb, just add hydro :D
      1kg chickens...these guys must be on steroids. 🐓
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    • Can you pay for more than one year membership? Has anybody done that here in the past?
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    • I used to renew in US as there is no tax on top of membership but our dollar in bad shape so won't make much difference.
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    • Costco doesn't lose any money on any returns. According to my friend who has been with Costco since 1999. Those companies that sell in Costco will have to take it back without Cost.

      Those companies usually sell millions of dollars at Costco.


      FYI: my friend gets paid $25 per hour with great benefits.
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    • EastGTARedFlagger wrote:
      Mar 3rd, 2017 4:31 pm
      How about if they hiked the fee to $500 but removed the rebate program?

      I will say hiking the fee to $100+ would quickly eliminate the riffraff that make shopping there such a pain. I remember when you had to be a business owner or an employee of selected businesses/government (or family of such) to get a membership. Back then Costco Hell (Warden/Ellesmere) was a pleasant place to shop. It was less busy than a Walmart.
      I agree. I would pay MUCH higher fees to shop in comfort and avoid the riffraff. Same reason my 407 bills are so high each month, and I gladly pay them.
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