8 Secrets All Shoppers Need To Know About Costco

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If you love to save a buck, then learning about new ways to save at Costco, or any other store for that matter, just never gets old.

We’ve got some tips and tricks to help you save even more!

Money-Saving Secrets at Costco

1. Costco Has a Generous Price Adjustment Policy

A hand holding Costco receipt
Costco receipt (Dreamstime)

If you buy something at Costco and then it goes on sale within 30 days, you can take your receipt back and get refunded the difference. If for some reason the store won’t give you the price adjustment, just return the item and buy it at the cheaper price.

2. The Store Also Has a Very Generous Return Policy

For electronics, it’s 90 days, but for everything else, it’s pretty much whenever you want to return the item. We’ve got a complete rundown of the return policy here.

3. You Can Get Cash Back on Your Purchases

Costco’s Executive Membership is the more expensive option — $120 per year versus the standard $60 per year — but it comes with some pretty great additional perks including 2% cash back on purchases. You can get up to $1,000 back each year, so if you’re doing a lot of shopping for your home or business, then the upgraded membership is probably worth it.

4. You Can Get Your Membership Fee Refunded

Costco membership prices
Costco membership counter (Dreamstime)

If you want to try out a membership and then decide that the savings just don’t add up for you, Costco will refund your membership fee. But don’t try to get sneaky: They’ll take your card back from you when you cancel.

5. Know How the Pricing Works To Get a Better Deal

At Costco, look for anything with a price tag that ends in 97 cents. That means it’s being sold below cost (i.e., you won’t find it cheaper anywhere else). 

6. A Price Tag With an Asterisk Means the Product Is Going Away

Price tags with asterisks mean an item will not be reordered. If you see the asterisk and there are a lot of the items in stock, wait until the price gets marked down to a 97 and then buy. (You’ll find most of the 97s and asterisks in the seasonal section in the back third of the middle of the store.)

7. Costco Accepts More Types of Credit Cards Online

costco website

Costco accepts only Visa at the store. However, you can also use Mastercard, Discover, JCB or Diners Club if you’re doing your Costco shopping online. But note, if you aren’t a member, you may be charged an extra fee at checkout.

8. You Can Get Costco Prices With a Gift Card

You don’t necessarily have to be a member to enjoy Costco’s great savings!


If you have a friend or family member who has a membership to Costco, ask them to buy you a gift card. You can then use it to try out the store and decide if you want to purchase your own membership.

Meanwhile, there are also several other ways you can shop at Costco without being a member. We’ve got a rundown of them here.

See all of the best deals at Costco here.

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