by: Alex Thomas Sadler Updated:
If you don’t already have a membership to Costco, you’re missing out on some serious money-saving opportunities! And even if you do have a membership, there are some perks that you may not realize come included with your annual fee.
For $55 a year, you get access to some great deals, including these nine items that will single-handedly pay for your membership. But what many people don’t realize is that you also get access to extra perks that can save you some big bucks!
RELATED: See all the latest Costco deals
11 secret perks of a Costco membership
1. Low-cost prescriptions (FYI: You don’t actually have to be a member to get these low prices!)
Yes, Costco has a pharmacy and it may be able to save you a lot of money — especially as prescription drug prices continue to rise.
According to a recent report from Consumer Reports, prescription prices can vary significantly even at retailers in the same area. A woman in Raleigh, N.C., found that one month’s worth of generic Cymbalta was going to cost her $249 at a Walgreens — and only $43 at Costco. CR says the pharmacist at Walgreens did suggest the woman sign up for the store’s discount program, which would have lowered the price to $220, but that program also comes with a $20 annual fee.
This is a great example of why you should always shop around for the best price. You may just find that getting your prescriptions at Costco can save you some serious cash over time.
RELATED: 4 ways to save on prescriptions
2. Discounted tickets, passes and gift cards
You don’t have to buy everything in bulk at Costco. A membership to the warehouse club comes with access to discounted theme park passes, movie tickets and a wide range of gift cards to local restaurants and more.
3. Cheap meals
Where else can you get a hot dog and refillable fountain drink for only $1.50? And we’re talking about good hot dogs! So if you want to save on a quick meal, just pop into Costco for lunch or dinner!
A membership to Costco gives you access to the company’s travel program, which offers discounts on flights, hotels, rental cars and even cruises!
Check it out at CostcoTravel.com.
5. Free health screenings
Costco also offers its members free health screenings! Here are a few that are included:
- Osteoporosis screening
- Healthy heart screening
- Lung health screening
- Diabetes screening
See more details and the full schedule of upcoming available screenings here.
6. Low-priced gas
Depending on the current price of gas, filling up at Costco could save you enough to cover your annual membership fee. And gas stations are now available at all Costco locations!
A lot of people don’t realize that Costco offers insurance options for things like life insurance, health insurance, dental, vision and even auto insurance.
Check out Costco’s insurance marketplace for more information on these services.
8. Great deals on tires
If you bought tires anywhere besides at a warehouse club, you probably paid too much. Costco offers great prices and services on tires that are hard to beat. Plus, Costco often discounts certain name brand tires by as much as $70 to $80 — which can easily cover your annual fee.
9. Payroll and accounting services
If you’re running a small business (or not) and need help with record keeping an even payroll, check out Costco’s services. It could save you big bucks on these expenses
Read more: 5 things to always buy at a warehouse club
10. Free tech support
A Costco membership comes with free tech support, so when you buy any electronics, appliances, cameras and other products that you may need help setting up or troubleshooting issues, Costco experts are standing by to provide free assistance!
On its website, Costco outlines a few of the services offered:
- Speak with expert level technicians
- Enjoy easy-to-understand answers to your set-up and product use questions
- Get troubleshooting assistance
- Receive assistance purchasing TV setup/installation at Costco.com.
- Obtain warranty information and assistance
11. Business & Personal Checks
Costco offers customized business and personal checks for about 50% of the cost at traditional banks.