What is Costco Executive Membership?

What is Costco Executive Membership?

What is Costco Executive Membership?

Costco Executive Membership: Executive Members earn an annual 2% Reward on qualifying purchases at Costco, Costco.com, and Costco Travel. Plus, additional benefits are available on our suite of Costco Services. We offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee and will cancel and refund membership fees in full at any time if a member is dissatisfied.

Additional values are available to Executive Members such as lower prices on check printing, auto buying, one-year free roadside assistance for vehicles covered through the Auto Insurance program and additional travel benefits. View our full list of Costco Services. Executive Members also receive a monthly edition of The Costco Connection magazine.

What is Costco’s Executive Membership?

Costco membership is $60 a year. An Executive Membership is an additional $60 upgrade fee a year. Each includes a free Household Card. Please include sales tax in all applicable states. (Business Members also pay an additional $60 for each additional cardholder.) Members who upgrade for a partial year will be charged a prorated upgrade fee.

The Primary Member or Account Manager of an existing membership may upgrade to the Executive membership one of the following ways:

  • Online – Sign In or Register on Costco.com, then visit Account Details. Once your membership has been verified, you may upgrade your membership.
  • In-Person – Visit any Costco membership counter.
  • By Phone – Call Member Services at 1-800-774-2678.

Costco Executive Membership Benefits

How to qualify for the annual 2% Reward and other Executive Member privileges:

Upgrade to an Executive Membership and receive an annual 2% Reward. The Executive Membership upgrade fee is an additional $60 a year for Business or Gold Star Members (plus sales tax where applicable). We will prorate the upgrade amount based on the months remaining in your current membership. Purchases made prior to upgrading are not eligible for the Executive Membership 2% Reward. At your next renewal, you will be billed a total of $120 for your Executive Membership. To upgrade, visit the membership counter at any Costco warehouse.

Paid Executive Membership 2% Reward
Monthly Purchases

$250
$500
$800
$1,250
$2,500
$4,170

Yearly Purchases

$3,000
$6,000
$9,600
$15,000
$30,000
$50,040

Approximate Annual Reward

$60
$120
$192
$300
$600
$1,000 max.

Terms and Conditions

*Executive Membership 2% Reward

Costco Executive Members receive a 2% Reward on qualified purchases (see the calculation of 2% Reward below). The reward is capped at, and will not exceed $1,000 for any 12-month period. Only purchases made by the Primary and active Primary Household Cardholder on the account will apply toward the Reward. The Reward is not guaranteed to be equal to or greater than the Executive upgrade fee paid. Limit one Executive Membership per household or business. Purchases made prior to upgrade do not qualify for the 2% Reward. If at any time, the Primary Household Cardholder is removed from the account, their purchases will not apply toward the Reward.

The Reward is issued approximately 3 months prior to the member’s renewal date in a Renewal Statement and reflects rewards earned up until the issue date. A member must be an active, paid Executive Member when the Reward is earned and issued to receive the Reward. To receive a refund for the Executive upgrade fee the membership must be canceled or downgraded to a Gold Star or Business Membership and any 2% Reward issued or accrued will be forfeited. Any additional savings and services exclusively for Executive Members will be rescinded.

Calculation of 2% Reward

The reward is approximately 2% of pre-tax purchases (fewer refunds) of most merchandise purchased through front-end registers, most ancillary business registers at Costco warehouses and Costco websites in both the U.S. and Canada by U.S. and Canadian residents and qualifying purchases made directly from Costco Travel once travel is completed. In the U.S., Rewards are not calculated: (i) on purchases of cigarettes or tobacco-related products, gasoline, Costco Shop Cards, postage stamps, alcoholic beverages in certain states (including Alabama, Connecticut, Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee), and at food courts; (ii) on membership fees; (iii) on purchases not recorded through Costco’s front-end registers and transactions done on or through websites not hosted by Costco even if accessed through Costco.com, including all business, consumer, and insurance services, the Online Photo Center, and the My Publisher website; (iv) on miscellaneous fees, deposits and taxes, including sales tax and shipping; (v) where prohibited by law or regulation; (vi) on purchases made by anyone other than the account’s Primary or Primary Household Cardholder; (vii) on travel purchases: surcharges, gratuities, trip protection, travel purchased through a third party, upgrades, rental car equipment, resort charges and port charges; and (viii) on certain other categories as determined at Costco’s discretion, which may change without notice.

Using The 2% Reward Certificate

The Reward certificate is mailed with the Executive Member’s annual renewal notice. Rewards totaling less than $1 will not be sent. The Reward may be used toward purchases of most merchandise through the front-end registers at Costco warehouses in the U.S. Reward certificates may not be used: (i) toward purchases of certain merchandise such as alcohol, cigarettes or tobacco-related products; (ii) toward purchases that are not recorded through Costco’s front-end registers, such as purchases at gas stations, Food Courts, and online at Costco.com; (iii) as payment on credit card accounts; (iv) on purchases of services, such as travel and auto; (v) where prohibited by law or regulation; or (vi) on certain other categories as determined at Costco’s discretion. Reward certificates may be redeemed for cash. Reward certificates will not be replaced if lost or stolen. Reward coupons will be mailed with membership renewal notices. Reward coupons may be redeemed by the Primary Member toward purchases of most merchandise through the front-end registers at Costco warehouses throughout the United States only.

Canadian program rules are available at Canadian warehouses. Costco reserves the right in its discretion to discontinue or change the 2% Reward program at any time or to disqualify or cancel members’ participation.

Costco Executive Membership Cost

  • Is the standard Costco membership worth the cost to you? Why or why not?
  • Is the Costco Executive membership upgrade worth the cost to you? Why or why not?
    Costco Executive Membership Cost

    Executive Members earn an annual 2% Reward (up to $1,000) on qualified CostcoCostco.com and Costco Travel** purchases, as well as greater discounts on Costco Services, such as lower prices on check printing and identity protection, and free roadside assistance for vehicles covered through the auto insurance program.

    No, but sometimes location managers will open a little early. Try going to a Costco business center, they open early and cater to C-store and small business owners.

    For that fee, executive members get a 2% annual cashback reward on purchases, access to discounted rates on home, auto, life, dental, medical and vision insurance; pre-arranged automobile pricing through the Costco Auto Program; discounted business services like payroll, bookkeeping and payment processing;

Costco Executive Membership Hours

Each third-party tracker exposes some of your personal information to the company behind it. Further, when the same tracker is littered over many of the world’s websites, the company behind it can create a massive data collection by combining the data its tracker collects on each site. With so much data from so many websites, these widespread trackers (and the companies behind them) can develop extensive individual profiles, which can include browsing, location, search, and purchase history. Then, these profiles can be used for anything, including following you around the web with creepy advertising.

So, who are the three companies with the most extensive tracker networks? Princeton’s WebTAP privacy project looked at the top million websites and found:

  1. Google is far and away #1 with trackers installed on 75% of the top million Internet websites.
  2. Facebook is #2 at 25%.
  3. Twitter is #3 at 10%.

Most people think Google’s business is running a search engine and Facebook is running a social network, but actually Google and Facebook also operate the largest ad networks on the Internet, which millions of sites and apps use to serve ads.

Additionally, Google runs the largest analytics network (Google Analytics), and Facebook encourages sites to embed extra Facebook tracking code to feed more detailed tracking data back into its ad profiling system (called Facebook Audiences). Sites also embed Google, Facebook and Twitter trackers for login as well as Facebook and Twitter for social sharing, but these companies can use data from these embeds to hyper-target ads on their own platforms and ad networks.

Not only is all of this tracking and hyper-targeting super creepy, but it can also have unintended consequences. For example, bad actors can use these individual targeted ad systems to influence or manipulate people (e.g., impact political movements) or segment groups in a discriminatory way (e.g., restrict ads for jobs or housing).

Even worse, these companies can keep all this profile and tracking data forever — and combine it with other data that they buy from data brokers (like retail purchase records, magazine subscriptions, telephone records, etc.) to make individual profiles even more comprehensive. Government agencies, police, or anyone else can then require Facebook and Google to turn over these incredibly revealing profiles of you, your friends, or your family.

Can I protect myself from tracker networks?

While most tracker networks don’t have an easy or effective mechanism to opt-out, it’s pretty simple and seamless for you to surf the web with a tool that blocks many third-party trackers. Using a tool like this will not only improve your privacy but will also speed up your surfing and reduce your data usage. That’s because by blocking third-party trackers, you do not have to waste time or data loading them!

My company, DuckDuckGo, offers one of these tools, called DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials. It not only blocks third-party trackers; it also groups them to make it easier for you to understand which companies are most frequently trying to track you. So, instead of just seeing a total number of trackers found and blocked, you can discover exactly which tracker networks (and the companies behind them) have been blocked from tracking you by using the tool.

Costco Executive Membership Worth It

Putting membership levels aside, it’s worth asking the question: “Is Costco membership worth the cost?”.

And I’m not talking about the Executive membership here – I’m talking about ANY Costco membership.

This is one of those questions where the answer is going to be dependent on the purchasing habits of each individual consumer. I can tell you from my personal experience, that the savings in gasoline, dog and cat food (check out my Costco Kirkland dog food & cat food review), toilet paper, and Costco’s Kirkland alcohol offerings alone are easily in the hundreds of dollars per year versus other retailers.

There are some other nice benefits to Costco membership as well. The Costco appliance warranty (I was able to get a 4-year warranty on a dishwasher for no additional charge), as well as extended warranties on electronics and other goods, is as good as any retailer out there. And I’ve never had a challenge returning an item that I was not happy with.

If you’re not familiar with Costco’s offerings and item pricing, or even if you are, here are the steps I would recommend, to help you determine if a Costco membership is worth the cost for you:

  1. Research the cost of staple items you regularly purchase, on a per volume (not per unit) basis, versus comparable items at alternative stores (Costco often has larger volume units, so per unit is a necessity).
  2. Using a grocery cost spreadsheet and knowledge of your usage habits, calculate the potential savings per year.
  3. If savings are greater than the standard membership fee (currently $60), then the membership fee is worth it.

You can use a similar strategy to, for example, do a Costco versus Sam’s Club comparison. If you’re not sure what Costco has to offer, there are many ways to shop at Costco without a membership, in order to aid your research.

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