Close this search box.

Costco Executive Membership: Is It Worth the Upgrade?


If you’re a regular at Costco, chances are you’ve been approached with the tantalizing offer of the Executive Membership. Ah, the allure of 2% cash back on your Costco hauls — it sounds like a dream come true for anyone who’s ever felt a thrill buying in bulk. But is this $120 membership really a bargain, or just a clever way to make you part with more of your hard-earned cash?

The Executive Membership Dilemma

Picture this: You’re standing in line at Costco, your cart overflowing with everything from giant packs of toilet paper to enough snacks to survive a zombie apocalypse. An employee, armed with a tablet, approaches you with an offer to upgrade your membership on the spot. Tempting, right?

The Math Behind the Membership

Let’s break it down with some good old-fashioned math. The Executive Membership offers you 2% cash back, but it costs $60 more per year than the standard Gold Star membership. To make this upgrade worthwhile, you need to spend at least $3,000 a year at Costco. Hit that mark, and voilà, your effective membership cost drops back to $60, thanks to the cash back.

To Upgrade or Not to Upgrade

If your annual Costco expenditure is less than $3,000, sticking with the Gold Star membership is probably your best bet. Otherwise, you’d be shelling out more for the privilege of being an ‘Executive’ without reaping the benefits. But if you’re a Costco super-shopper, spending well over $3,000 a year, congratulations – you’ve just found yourself a deal!

My Personal Costco Conundrum

Here’s a little story from my own Costco adventures. The friendly employee with the tablet assured me that, based on my past spending, the Executive Membership was a no-brainer. But, plot twist: my spending was artificially inflated by some one-off purchases for my new apartment. Unless I plan to buy a new mattress and 4K TV every year (which, let’s be honest, sounds both luxurious and slightly impractical), I’m better off with the Gold Star membership.

Extra Perks: More Than Just Cash Back

The Executive Membership isn’t just about the cash back; it’s like a backstage pass to Costco’s world of savings. Think discounts on bottled water delivery, pet insurance, and exclusive benefits for home and auto insurance. If you’re hovering around that $3,000 spending mark and use these services, the membership could be a win-win.

The Executive Test Drive

Still on the fence? Costco lets you take the Executive Membership for a trial run. If you find it’s not your cup of tea (or giant jar of pickles), you can get a refund on the difference in cost between the two memberships. But be warned: getting that refund means braving the membership line, which can often feel longer than waiting for a free sample on a busy Saturday.

The Verdict

In the end, whether the Executive Membership is worth it depends on your shopping habits and how much you love the Costco experience. If you’re a casual shopper, the standard membership might be your best bet. But if Costco is your go-to for everything from groceries to gadgets, the Executive Membership could be the cherry on top of your bulk-buying sundae.

So, next time you’re at Costco, navigating the aisles like a pro, take a moment to consider: Are you an Executive in the making, or is the Gold Star more your style? Whatever you choose, happy shopping – and may you always find a parking spot close to the entrance!