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After Five Years, Costco Is Raising Its Membership Fees

A sign marks the location of a Costco store in Chicago, Illinois
Source: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Costco Wholesale is one of the most popular stores on the planet. The company prides itself on offering discounted prices on everything, including food, clothing, electronics, home decor, and so much more. In order to keep its prices as low as possible, Costco simplifies the shopping experience with a warehouse-style layout, which is only available to its members. 

Luckily, it’s always been fairly affordable to be a member at Costco, and with the significant discounts, most shoppers agree it pays for itself in no time. However, the conglomerate recently announced that for the first time in more than five years, it will be increasing its membership fees very soon. 

Last week, Costco executives announced that on a collective call, the group decided that membership fees will, in fact, increase in the near future, though they did not report the difference in cost. CFO of Costco Wholesale Corp., Richard Galanti told the press the membership fee increase is a “matter of when, not if.” And continued, “You’ll see it happen at some point, and we can’t really tell you if it’s in our plans or not. We’ll let you know when we know.”

While Galanti’s commenters weren’t particularly informative, he also explained that typically, Costco increases its membership fees every five years, and it has kept the same fee cost since 2017, so really, it shouldn’t come as a big surprise for its members. Galanti also expressed that the company takes its members’ satisfaction very seriously, and with this higher membership fee, they can also expect to see an improved shopping experience. 

For example, Costco will soon have an app that allows its shoppers to check prices and inventory before heading to their local store. As well, Costco plans to offer its members medical care in the very near future, including virtual primary-care visits for only $29 and in-person care for just $79. 

Richard Galanti also wants Costco members to understand that the company absolutely takes inflation into consideration when deciding on membership fees and price tags on its hundreds of products and gasoline. And although prices are obviously increasing in Costco stores and around the country, he and his team are working tirelessly to keep their products affordable for all members. 

As of May 2023, Costco has 124.7 million members around the world; each of these members currently pays anywhere between $60 and $120 annually, depending on their membership choice. For $60, a shopper can visit any Costco warehouse or gas station for personal use, whereas those who pay $120 for the Executive membership enjoy two household cards, 2$ back on all Costco purchases, and various other perks. 

It’s important to note that while no one yet knows how much the increase will be, historically, Costco has only raised the price about $5 every five years. In 2016, the membership fee was $55 before being raised to $60 in 2017, so Costco shoppers can assume the new additional cost will be about the same.


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