Will Costco Membership Fees Go Up in 2023?

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  • It's been a long time since Costco has increased its membership fees.
  • Though the warehouse club giant has no plans to raise fees immediately, things could change next year.
  • If membership fees increase, it will likely be to a modest degree.

It's a possibility members should brace for.

Inflation has been wreaking havoc on consumers all year, to the point where many have had no choice but to dip into their savings to keep up with regular bills. But it's not just consumers who are getting hurt by inflation. Retailers are facing higher costs, too.

Costco is one of them. In its most recent September earnings report, the retail giant acknowledged that higher costs ate into its profits.

In spite of that, Costco managed to generate enough revenue and acquire enough members to avoid raising its membership fees. As such, Costco fans should not expect their costs to rise in that regard this year.

But things could change in 2023. And that's something members will need to gear up for.

A membership fee hike could be possible

Costco typically raises its membership fees every five years. The last time it did so was back in June of 2017, which means that if it sticks to that cycle, we could see a fee hike at some point in 2023 (which would actually be beyond the five-year mark).

Right now, a standard yearly membership at Costco costs $60, while an executive membership costs $120. Those with executive memberships get added perks, like cash back on their Costco purchases.

If Costco were to raise fees, there's a good chance they'd only increase modestly. We could, for example, see the cost of a standard membership go up to $65 and the cost of an executive membership rise to $125 or $130.

Why you shouldn't be upset about a Costco membership fee hike

At a time when everything has gotten so expensive, nobody wants to spend more money than they're used to. But if Costco does raise its fees in 2023, it's important to keep things in perspective.

First of all, it's been many years since Costco fees have gone up, so just as your other costs have probably risen during that time, it makes sense for Costco to follow suit. Secondly, as mentioned, any fee hike that comes down the pike is apt to be modest. Even if your membership fee goes up by $10 in 2023, that's less than $1 extra per month for the privilege of getting to shop at Costco.

Finally, it's those very fees that allow Costco to offer a wide variety of products at affordable price points. If Costco doesn't raise its fees, it might instead start raising prices on the things you buy every week. And in that scenario, you might end up spending even more.

To be clear, Costco fees aren't guaranteed to rise in 2023. But members should prepare for that to happen.

Now, if fees go up a lot, you may have to reconsider whether your Costco membership is worth paying for. But if you're a Costco regular who relies on your local warehouse club for discounted purchases and bulk grocery items, then you'll probably have a hard time parting with your membership -- even if it ends up costing you a bit more.

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