Now Is the Best Time to Sign Up for a Costco Membership
We've already done the math and determined a $60 Costco Gold Star membership is worth the cash--but it's an even better deal when you get money back for joining. For a limited time, when you sign up for Costco's basic membership, you'll receive a $30 "Digital Costco Shop Card," which is a fancier way of saying $30 to spend on whatever you want at Costco.
To get the digital gift card with your membership, sign up at this link. (And if you're wondering if you'd be better off at Sam's Club, we're generally team Costco.)
Is the Gold Star Membership worth it over the other options?
Costco offers four different memberships: the Executive, Gold Star, Business Executive, and Everyday Value Business memberships. If you don't have a business, you really only have the Executive or Gold Star options, since the latter two requires some form of business identification, such as a business license.
The Executive and Gold Star memberships both give you an additional Household Card that you can give to someone over 18 and who lives at your address. They both also allow you to use Costco gas stations (where you'll be able to save money on every gallon as a member) and access to some Costco services like their hearing aid and optical clinics and pharmacy.
But the Executive Membership offers some extra perks for an additional $60 annually ($120 total). It gives you 2% cash back rewards that you'll receive as a check at the end of the year, access to additional services like discounted auto and home insurance, membership in their Auto Program offering discounts on car maintenance and repair, and extra benefits on some Costco travel products. (Their FAQ has more detail.)
If you're wondering whether it's worth paying an extra $30 to get the Executive membership, consider that you'll also be giving up the $30 digital gift card, as that offer only applies to Gold Membership signups. But if you think you'll be spending enough at Costco over the next 12 months that the 2% reward will come out to more than $60 (or around $3,000 on most items, excluding gas, cigarettes, and a few other exceptions), you'll still come out ahead.
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The fine print
You'll need to either be a new member to get this deal, or have been a previous member whose membership expired over 18 months ago (that's September 2021 as of this writing). You can only get one $30 digital gift cards per household. It will be emailed to you within two weeks of your joining, does not expire, is not redeemable for cash, and can be used in the store or online.