Everyone knows that you can get groceries, prepared dinners and giant packages of toilet paper at Costco, but there are many member perks beyond buying in bulk. Low-cost prescriptions for your family (including for pets), identity protection, car, home and dental insurance, discounts on auto repairs and even help in buying a house are just a few of the lesser-known benefits that might surprise even the savviest Costco members.
Low-cost prescriptions delivered to your door
The Costco Member Prescription Program offers lower prices on meds at Costo pharmacies and partner pharmacies. You can even have your prescription delivered to your house for free. In a Consumer Reports secret shopper survey, Costco usually charged the lowest cash prices on prescription drugs.
Discounted gift cards
Gift cards at Costco are a bargain because they always sell for less than the value of the card — essentially making these discount vouchers. Costco gift cards are packaged in multiples, and they are generally priced 20–25 percent less than the face value. So, when you cruise by the gift card display on your next Costco visit, consider buying gift cards to use for your own family at your favorite restaurants and other venues to save some cash. This is also a great deal if you are buying multiple gift cards as teacher gifts.
Unfortunately, identity protection is something we all need to think about these days. When criminals use your identity to take out a credit card or even break the law, it can take a long time to restore your good name. The Complete ID service monitors your information across multiple areas, such as Social Security number identity, dark web surveillance and credit monitoring, and can even monitor your children’s information as well for an additional charge.
A new car
Costco can even help you buy a car. The Costco Auto Program offers members-only savings on both new and certified pre-owned vehicles. The program partners with auto dealerships to offer prearranged pricing for members. Start by visiting the Vehicle Research tab on the Costco Auto Program page to browse through new cars and reviews, then choose from a partner dealer to see the price. This program means no haggling and less time-wasting at the car dealership.
As of February 2021, Costco will have closed its photo department in all locations, but you can still get prints, greeting cards and photo gifts online. Put a favorite snapshot on a blanket, mug, canvas, metal, posters, calendars and more. Best of all, you can upload your photos and create your gift from your home. Choose to have your customized item shipped to you or pick it up. Costco guarantees your satisfaction or they will replace it or refund your money. Costco claims to be 30 percent cheaper than the leading competitor.
Not every employer offers dental insurance, leaving many to look for a policy or pay out of pocket. Costco offers dental insurance for members through DeltaCare U.S. Dental. Premiums start at $89 per year, with no annual deductible or calendar-year maximum. They’ll even help you find a dentist.
Moving? Costco members can save 25 percent just by being a member with Budget Truck Rental. Budget offers a variety of truck sizes and additional services to make your move a smooth experience.
Auto and home Insurance
Ameriprise Insurance offers a discount to Costco members. Additional benefits are available for safe driving and multiple policies. According to Simple Dollar, Costco members can save 5–10 percent on car insurance. Another perk is that members who get car insurance through Costco also receive free roadside assistance and towing up to $75 per occurrence.
Costco has a mortgage program? Who knew? Costco works with First Choice Loan Services Inc. and other providers to help you through the often daunting process of buying or refinancing a home. This program streamlines the process from start to finish and has low lender origination fees.
From cruises to safaris, Costco offers great deals on vacation packages. Their in-house travel department uses negotiated rates to provide deals on flights, hotels and tours at affordable prices. There are adventure packages for Costa Rica, Fiji and Denali; family trips such as Disney World and Universal Studios; weekend getaways and even safaris. Many of these include perks such as Costco shop cards.
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Editor’s note: This article was originally published in February 2020, and updated in January 2021.