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5 Underrated Perks of a Costco Membership

A multigenerational family loads items onto a moving truck.

Image source: Getty Images

Costco has practically unbeatable per-unit prices that can help you save when you buy in bulk, as well as discounts on one-off purchases (like electronics and mattresses) that can make them cheaper than at other retailers. Its Kirkland products are legendary and have amassed a loyal following, while its gas prices have helped many drivers get through hefty inflationary periods.

But Costco is more than just a grocery store (and gas station). In fact, it has several little-known services that could make even the most loyal Costco member think, “Wow, I didn’t know it had that, too!” Here are five.

1. Virtual care

Costco members get a big discount when they book virtual care appointments with its partners, Sesame. For example, you can currently get the following healthcare services at a low (Costco) price.

Service Price
Prescription refill $29
Virtual primary care $29
Virtual therapy $79
Health check-up (lab panel and consultation) $72
Data source: Sesamecare.com

These are pretty low prices to budget for, especially if you’re currently uninsured. And unlike many insurance plans, you don’t have to jump through any hoops to see a specialist. You just book an appointment online and get the virtual care you need.

2. Moving truck discounts

Moving gets pretty pricey, especially when moving long distances. But Costco can help you save by giving you a 25% discount on a Budget Truck Rental. The 25% discount applies to your retail rate (the per-day rate and mileage rate), but could save you hundreds — if not $1,000 or more — on your next relocation. In order to get the discount, you have to make your reservation through the Budget Truck and Costco partnership page.

3. Exclusive discounts on car insurance

Car insurance — I know, ugh.

If you’ve noticed your rates creeping up over the last year, you’re not alone. According to the March 2024 CPI report, car insurance increased 22.2% year-over-year. While different insurance companies may price premiums in their own way, the increase in car insurance is probably due to the linked increase in car prices and repairs.

Even so, there are ways to save on car insurance, like buying it through Costco. While Costco doesn’t underwrite insurance policies itself, it can give members an exclusive discount through its partner CONNECT, which is backed by American Family Auto.

According to Costco’s website, that extra discount can translate into $595.86 of savings for the first year members switched to CONNECT. This can also be combined with other traditional discounts, like safe driving, paperless billing, and bundling multiple policies, to help you save even more on your annual premiums. Costco Executive members can also get extra perks, like roadside assistance and lifetime renewability.

4. Gift cards

Costco gift cards are one of the warehouse’s best deals. In fact, Costco regularly adds about 10% to 30% of value into its gift card packages. In other words, if your gift card is worth $100, chances are Costco sold it to you for $70 to $90.

Currently, two of my favorite gift cards are for Instacart and Southwest Airlines. The Instacart gift card is worth $100 but sells for $79.99, while the Southwest gift card sells for $449.99 but is worth $500. Every now and then, Costco will even sell the Southwest gift card for $429.99 — giving you a 14% discount on the card’s face value.

To be fair, you won’t always find gift cards you like; many of its gift cards are for chain restaurants and gaming consoles. Likewise, you’re also exchanging dollars, which can be used everywhere, for gift cards that can be used only at one or a handful of stores. But if Costco sells gift cards for places you already shop, you could save money by buying them in advance.

5. Home improvement services

Costco offers a slew of home improvement services. While it doesn’t perform the services itself, it will connect you with home professionals who will give you a free consultation. Plus, Costco often gives you a Shop Card, typically worth a percentage of the service’s cost, if you go through with the purchase. Here are a few services it currently offers:

  • Bath remodeling
  • Blinds, shades, and shutters
  • Cabinet refacing
  • Custom closet and storage design
  • Flooring and carpet
  • Garage door and open installation
  • Generator installation
  • Gutter installation
  • Solar panel installation
  • Quartz and granite installation
  • Water treatment and softeners

All in all, your Costco membership does more than just let you shop in an airplane hangar of deals. In fact, these perks only scratch the surface of what your membership can unlock for you. My tip: Take a second to get lost on Costco’s site map. You might be surprised at what you find — and how much money your membership can save you.

Top credit card to use at Costco (and everywhere else!)

If you’re shopping with a debit card, you could be missing out on hundreds or even thousands of dollars each year. These versatile credit cards offer huge rewards everywhere, including Costco, and are rated the best cards of 2024 by our experts because they offer hefty sign-up bonuses and outstanding cash rewards. Plus, you’ll save on credit card interest because all of these recommendations include a competitive 0% interest period.

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We’re firm believers in the Golden Rule, which is why editorial opinions are ours alone and have not been previously reviewed, approved, or endorsed by included advertisers.
The Ascent does not cover all offers on the market. Editorial content from The Ascent is separate from The Motley Fool editorial content and is created by a different analyst team.The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Costco Wholesale. The Motley Fool recommends Southwest Airlines. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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