If you’re anything like money expert Clark Howard, you’re probably used to getting almost everything — from clothes to food to tires and home goods — at Costco. But have you ever thought about booking your getaways through Costco Travel?
In this article, we’ll take a look at how Costco Travel works and talk about the pros and cons of booking your trips through the warehouse giant.
Costco Travel: What You Need To Know About Travel Packages, Car Rentals, Cruises and More
Costco uses its bulk-buying power to negotiate discounted rates for its members on travel packages (including airfare and hotel), car rentals, cruises and more for members at CostcoTravel.com. You can also access the service by phone at 866-921-7925.
So just how much can the warehouse club save you on your trip?
Our in-house travel expert Clara Bosonetto compares Costco Travel to the AAA discount you may be familiar with. Members may see a 10% savings overall through booking with Costco.
With that in mind, here are some other things you need to know before booking a trip through Costco Travel.
1. Costco Travel Packages Offer a One-Stop Shopping Experience
Just like many other travel websites, Costco lets you book an entire vacation online. This appeals to people who like to have all the moving parts of planning a trip (airfare, accommodations, activities, etc.) handled in a neat, organized way.
But the cookie-cutter approach can have its downsides.
“Costco hotels and resorts tend to be the big box type vs. boutique or off-the-beaten-tracks properties,” Clara says. “Due to volume bookings, these preferred hotels often throw in a dining credit, an activity or a room upgrade: small perks that can mean a big difference to some.”
Clara also notes that you’ll probably never get the same Costco Travel representative twice if you’re booking over the phone. “Customers can call to speak with a rep, but they will get a different one each time versus working with a local agent,” she says.
Check out Costco Travel packages here.
2. Booking a Hotel With Costco Travel Is Easy
All the hotel prices at CostcoTravel.com provide upfront pricing — including taxes.
Costco works with a variety of brand-name hotels including:
- Fairmont Hotels and Resorts
- Hyatt Hotels and Resorts
- IHG Hotels and Resorts
- Swissôtel Hotels and Resorts
Book a hotel through Costco here.
3. Here’s What You Need To Know About Costco Travel Car Rental
You can rent a car through Costco Travel. The site works with popular rental car brands including:
In addition booking a car in the United States, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, you can rent a car through Costco Travel for use in Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Spain, and the United Kingdom.
One of the nice features of renting a car through Costco is that the additional driver fee is waived.
While Costco Travel is a great resource to shop for deals, make sure you follow our step-by-step guide to finding a deal on a rental car.
4. Costco Travel Offers Great Last-Minute Deals on Cruises
Costco partners with a variety of mainstream cruise lines to offer deals to members. They include:
- Celebrity X
- Crystal Cruises
- Disney Cruise Line
- Holland America Line
- Norwegian Cruise Line
- Princess Cruises
- Regent Seven Seas Cruises
- Royal Caribbean International
- Uniworld Boutique River Cruises
According to Clara, Costco is a great place to book last-minute cruises because you’ll often get perks such as onboard credits.
And, here’s another nice feature: If you don’t use all the onboard credit you’re given, you can get a partial refund before disembarking.
Book Costco cruises here.
5. You Can Earn 5% Back on Costco Travel
On top of this 2%, you can earn 3% back on travel expenses if you use the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi. So as both an Executive Member and Costco Anywhere Visa® Card-holder you could earn 5% back on purchases made through Costco Travel!
However, certain expenditures are excluded from this offer:
- Trip protection
- Travel purchased through a third-party such as activities and tours
- Rental car equipment
- Resort charges
- Port charges
- Resort and cruise line fees
If convenience is king for you, you may want to give Costco’s travel offerings a try.
However, if you’re the kind of person who enjoys boutique travel or hunting for travel bargains, you’re likely to be better off booking without the help of the warehouse club.
“I still believe in booking airfare and accommodations separately for the lowest vacation price,” Clara tells us. “But again, some don’t want to spend the time to do this. As you know, it’s a lot of work!”
Have you used Costco Travel to plan your vacation? Tell us about your experience in our Clark.com Community!