6 Lesser-Known Perks of Your Costco Subscription

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KEY POINTS

  • Costco is known as a source for low-cost staples you can buy in bulk.
  • There's more to a Costco membership than just savings on groceries and household staples.
  • You can save on all sorts of things, from gas to travel discounts.

Thinking of joining Costco? You may benefit in more ways than one.

If you're on the fence about joining Costco, you're probably in good company. The upside of getting a Costco membership is reaping big savings on your grocery and household purchases by stocking up on items in bulk. With a basic Costco membership costing just $60 a year, it's easy to recoup that investment by saving money on food and essentials throughout the year.

But getting access to affordable groceries and staples isn't the only reason to join Costco. Here are six lesser-known benefits you can enjoy when you sign up for a membership.

1. Lower-priced gas

Though not every Costco features a gas station, many do. You can expect to enjoy savings in the course of filling up your car, as Costco's gas prices tend to be cheaper than the prices you'll see around your neighborhood.

2. Savings on prescriptions

Costco stocks a range of over-the-counter medications you can score at a discount. But Costco locations also generally have an in-house pharmacy where you can fill prescriptions at a lower cost than what you might pay elsewhere.

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3. Discounts on travel

Booking travel through Costco could result in you paying a lot less. Costco partners with different cruise lines and resorts to offer discounted rates for a wide range of getaways and destinations. You can even connect with a travel specialist for help with booking your plans. And if something goes awry, such as your itinerary being changed or canceled, Costco specialists are on hand to help you navigate your options.

4. Cheap food on the go

Many people buy lunch out even though preparing it at home is cheaper. But if you buy your lunch at your local Costco food court, that may not be the case. Though Costco doesn't have the widest selection at its food courts, it's hard to beat its $1.50-hot-dog-and-soda deal (and to be clear, that's a massive hot dog you're getting, because everything is bigger at Costco).

5. Underpriced gift cards

Gift cards are a great solution during the holidays or when birthday gift obligations arise. The great thing about Costco is that it allows you to buy underpriced gift cards to reap savings. You may, for example, be able to purchase a pack of two $50 gift cards to a well-known restaurant chain for just $80.

6. Extended warranties

Buying electronics through Costco could score you not just a lower price, but better protection. Costco tends to throw in an extended warranty on electronics like cellphones and laptops, and that alone could spare you hundreds of dollars in repair costs.

Joining Costco isn't the right move for everyone. If you don't have a Costco nearby or have limited room in your home for storage, then a membership could end up being a waste of money. But there's a lot of hidden value in a Costco membership, especially if you combine it with the right credit card. It pays to consider joining if you've been toying with the idea.

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