5 Things To Know Before You Buy a Cell Phone at Costco Wholesale

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If you’re thinking about upgrading to a new smartphone like the latest Samsung Galaxy or Apple iPhone, the best place to buy one may be at Costco Wholesale.

Never stopped by the cell phone kiosk? There’s a chance you could find a deal that the major wireless providers can’t beat.

Costco’s Best Cell Phone Plans and Deals

“If you’re a Costco member, don’t just go to your cell phone carrier. Compare the offer that Costco is making versus what you’d get from your cell phone carrier,” money expert Clark Howard says.

Before you head to your local Costco Wireless Center, here are five things you need to know.

1. You Can Get a Plan With Verizon, AT&T or T-Mobile 

Costco offers cell phone plans from Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile at the kiosks inside its warehouse clubs, which are operated by a company called Wireless Advocates.

The plans are identical to what the carriers offer, but the sales representative will work with you to find the best one.

Costco doesn’t partner with discount providers such as Cricket Wireless, Boost Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile, which typically have lower prices on unlimited and by-the-gigabyte data plans.

Read more about those options in Team Clark’s guide to the best cell phone plans and deals!

2. The Latest Smartphones Are Available for Sale 

You’ll also find the hottest smartphones at the Costco kiosk. We checked online and these are just a handful of the devices available in May 2021:

  • Apple iPhone 12
  • Apple iPhone SE
  • Samsung Galaxy S21 5G
  • Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G
  • Google Pixel 4
  • Google Pixel 4 XL

Many phones are for sale with device payment plans that allow qualified customers to make monthly payments with no interest charges until the phone is paid off.

Click here to browse available phones online before you hop in the car to visit the warehouse club.


3. You May Receive Perks the Cell Phone Carriers Don’t Offer 

If the cell phones and plans are the same as the wireless providers, what’s the big deal? That would be Costco’s member-only specials!

“In addition to whatever deal you might get from your cell phone carrier to trade in your old phone or buy a pair of phones, Costco will give you additional bonuses,” Clark says.

Those bonuses may include free or discounted phones, waived activation fees and even Costco Cash gift cards. See the latest offers here.

Costco Wireless Center - Phone deals from Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile
Costco Wireless Center – Miami, Florida

4. Prepare Yourself for the Paperwork

If you decide to sign up for a new cell phone plan at the Costco kiosk, be patient. Clark says the paperwork can take a little longer than if you just walked into your wireless provider’s retail store or ordered online.

5. Costco Has a 90-Day Cell Phone Return Policy 

Costco is known for its generous return policy on most merchandise, but things work differently for cell phones.

When you buy a cell phone through one of the kiosks operated by Wireless Advocates, you have 90 days from the original date of purchase to return it.

According to its FAQ page, you should contact Wireless Advocates and not return your phone to Costco:

Although you can get a refund on your phone within 90 days, you may still be responsible for early termination fees if you cancel your service after the trial period, which is typically 14 days.

The length of the trial period varies by carrier and state, so read the fine print carefully before signing up.

Have you taken advantage of the Costco Wireless Center? Let Team Clark know how it went in the comments section below! 


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