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3 Good Reasons to Upgrade Your Costco Membership

Motley Fool - Sat May 27, 7:30AM CDT

A person picking up grocery bags that have been set in front of their front door.

Image source: Getty Images

For many people, a basic Costco membership with a $60 price point more than gets the job done. A basic membership gives you access to warehouse club stores, member exclusives online, and a host of other perks.

But if you're willing to spend $120 a year on a Costco membership rather than $60, you can upgrade from a basic membership to an executive membership and enjoy even more savings. With an executive membership, you get 2% back on all Costco purchases, including those you make online. And if you have a credit card that gives you cash back on your purchases and it's accepted at Costco, you can double up on those rewards and get even more money back on your purchases.

You may be wondering when it's a good time to upgrade your Costco membership. Here are a few signs you may be ready.

1. You've just moved from an apartment to a house

When you live in a relatively small home, it's important to limit the bulk buying you do at Costco. Otherwise, you might end up feeling like you're living among cases of food, and that's not necessarily a great feeling.

But if you recently bought a house, or started renting one, and you now have more space than you did in your last home, then a Costco membership upgrade could make sense. You're likely to buy more at Costco once your storage space increases. And that means your upgrade could easily pay for itself in cash back form.

2. Your kids are growing and eating more

When you have very young kids at home, they may not add to your grocery bills all that much. But as kids grow, they tend to eat more. So if your kids have reached the stage of adolescence where they're pretty much insatiable, then it may be a good time to upgrade to a Costco executive membership. If you expect to be buying more food, you might as well rack up cash back on it.

3. You finally have a car of your own

Shopping at Costco when you don't have a car can be a bit tortuous. After all, you might need to limit yourself to just a few items you can carry out with you, or otherwise get stuck with some very expensive Uber bills to shuttle your hauls home. But if you recently bought your own car, then that should give you the option to buy whatever you want at Costco (within reason, of course). And in that case, an executive membership upgrade could really pay off.

In a nutshell, an executive membership at Costco makes financial sense when you expect to spend more than $3,000 in a given year. That's because 2% back on $3,000 in purchases is $60, which represents the cost of the upgrade. Having a larger home, growing kids, and a vehicle of your own could easily lead to more Costco purchases. So any of these things could be a reason to pay for an executive membership.

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