3 Big Mistakes You Might Make at Costco

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How many of them do you make?


the main points

  • Costco is a popular membership based retailer.
  • Many Costco members love their affordable prices and brand name products.
  • Unfortunately, some members shop with the wrong credit card or buy the wrong brands.

Costco is one of several membership-based retailers along with Sam’s Club and BJ’s. Many Costco members really like the store for the savings it offers and the wide variety of quality products it offers. But unfortunately, some Costco members end up making mistakes that cost them money or leave important benefits on the table.

You don’t want to be one of those members who lose out on savings. And if you make sure to avoid these 3 common mistakes, there’s no need for that.

1. Suboptimal payment by check, cash or credit card

Chances are, that one of the big reasons for joining Costco is to want to get the most out of the money you pay. But if you use wrong payment method, it will not happen.

You will have a number of options on how to cover the costs of shopping at Costco, including paying with cash or check. But choosing one of these payment methods means missing out on valuable credit card rewards that can effectively lower the cost of your purchases. This also means that you are less protected from fraud and you may miss out on other purchase protection cards that they can offer, such as extended warranties.

As long as you can pay your card balance on time and avoid paying credit card interest, it’s always a good idea to charge your Costco purchases.

Unfortunately, even people who use Costco credit cards often choose the wrong card. Look, Costco has its own branded credit card—the Citi’s Costco Anywhere ® Visa. It may seem counterintuitive to use it for purchases in the Warehouse Club. The problem is that while you get 4% return on gas (on your first $7,000 a year and 1% after that) and 3% on restaurants — you only get 2% on other Costco purchases and 1% everywhere else.

Since many of your purchases will come with a meager 1% cashback rate, you may be better off using a different card that offers better rewards on the bulk of your spending. For example, a Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card could be a better option. This card offers you unlimited cash back rewards of 2% on your purchases, plus you can easily earn $200 in cash rewards after spending $1,000 in purchases within 3 months of opening the card. This means you’ll get the same 2% as your Costco card when you shop at the membership club — but you also get the same cash back rewards on other purchases you make outside of Costco, in addition to the sign-up bonus.

2. Buying the wrong brands

One of the best perks of a Costco membership is access to Kirkland brand products. Kirkland is the home brand of Costco, but the products are often exactly the same as their name-brand counterparts, except that they come at a huge discount.

Often not always. Should Always Check the price of Kirkland products, but you don’t want to be left behind in every case. Instead, compare the unit cost or ounce of each item you buy to make sure you’re getting the best deal possible.

3. Relinquish the perks of lesser-known membership

Finally, failure to take advantage of All The perks your membership offers may mean that you’re not really getting the full value that Costco can offer.

There’s a very long list of special savings you can get as a result of your Costco membership, including discount insurance, affordable bottled water delivery, and prescriptions for less than most drugstores offer. Discounted restaurant gift cards are also sold at many stores, and traveling at Costco can help you save on your next trip.

Since you’re paying for membership, missing out on all the savings you might be eligible for is a huge mistake and one that many people make.

Fortunately, avoiding these mistakes is easy. Simply research all the different perks you can get with Costco on their membership page; Compare prices carefully when shopping; And make sure you have the appropriate credit card in your wallet when buying online or in-store.

Sure, that’s a little extra effort – but avoiding these mistakes could leave you with a lot of extra money in your pocket.

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