Costco Wholesale Corporation, also renowned as Costco (Costco Canada), is a widely spread business that owns a series of warehouse clubs that run on a membership-only basis. It is one of the topmost retailers in the world. Costco’s first-ever warehouse was in the year 1983 in Seattle by James Sinegal and Jeffrey Brotman.
What are these membership-only warehouses? And how do they function?
A warehouse club, also known as a wholesale club, is nothing but a retail store that deals with merchandise sales that customers buy in huge wholesale quantities at low prices using the no-frills policy. All a customer has to do is to own an annual membership by paying a fee to shop.
After the United States, Costco Canada has its second-largest number of warehouses with a whooping 100 at work. Memberships are issued to the customers interested in being a part of the club. However, there are certain aspects to be well aware of the Costco Canada Membership.
A Brief Introduction on the Costco Canada Membership Criteria
Just like in a lavish nightclub, you can’t actually get in without a cover. Costco Canada holds a cover policy too, only it’s in the form of a membership fee and lets you shop all year long as you please.
Anyone who wishes to avail of a Costco Canada membership has to comply with certain rules and regulations that Costco may revise at any given point with the member’s consent and prior notice. Let’s take a look at the rules and regulations to avail of the membership.
- Any Individual aged 18 years or older are eligible.
- These memberships are non-transferrable, as it can be used only by the actual owner of the membership.
- Every Business/Household is limited to own only a single membership.
- A legal government-linked ID proof or a Canadian amalgamated document should be produced when applying for the membership.
- Should be a current or retired employee of
- Local Government
- Fire/Rescue Department
- Postal Department
- Education Department
- Police Force
- Civil Service or Armed Forces
- Medical Field
- Insurance Services
Or should be qualified as a Chartered Accountant, Chartered Architect, Doctor in various fields, Chartered Surveyor, Solicitor, Barrister, Magistrate, Advocate, Chartered Engineer, Civil, etc.
- A photo is to be submitted during registration that will be visible either on the back of the Costco membership card or the Capital One MasterCard.
- If a member fails to comply with any of the rules or abuses membership privileges at any point in time, Costco is entitled to cancel the applicant’s membership.
- If a primary card holder’s membership is terminated, it will lead to the termination of membership of the associate cardholder.
One other advantage of being a part of Costco Canada is that it provides a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. If you are not satisfied with the services, a full refund on the membership is provided. Benefits, Savings, a minimal fee of only $60 (CAD) and a whole year to make the most of it, seems like it’s time to make a little detour to your nearest Costco store.
The Different Types of Costco Canada Memberships
Talking about the types of Costco Canada memberships available, they are majorly divided into categories.
- Individual Costco Membership
- Business Membership
1. Individual Costco Membership
Costco Canada provides an Individual membership to employees of select groups and professions and is available to any individual above the age of 18 years and qualifies the requirements listed above. There are 2 types of Individual Costco Canada Memberships available
Gold Star Membership with an annual fee of CAD 60
Under the Gold Star Membership, an individual is allowed to purchase products for personal use. This can be done in any of their stores worldwide or online at costco.com. Once you apply for an individual gold star membership, an email with the membership number will be sent to you via email within 2 business days.
The application will be taken to a Costco Canada Membership Counter, where you will be issued your membership card. Further, a Canadian issued Government ID or a US Passport should be produced to complete the application process. (NOTE: Government ID Numbers are not recorded).
Gold Star Executive Membership with an annual fee of $120
A Gold Star Executive Membership Card comes with a free Household card that lets you shop for products for your home and family and is valid for a year and can be used at any Costco Canada location or any other Costco location worldwide or at costco.com. Like the Costco Gold Star Membership, the Costco Gold Star Executive Membership follows the same application process.
Once applied, the membership number will be emailed, and it has to be produced at a Costco Membership Counter where you are provided with a Membership Card. Also, a Canadian issued Government ID proof or a US Passport should be produced to complete the application process. (NOTE: Government ID Numbers are not recorded).
2. Business Membership
A Business Membership enables a Business to avail of the benefits of purchasing business needs, personal use, etc. A Business Membership is further classified as follows:
1.Individual Business Membership with an annual fee of $60 CAD annually.
2.Business Star Executive Membership with an annual fee of $120 CAD annually.
Both the Business Membership types have a validity of one year at any Costco Canada Store or any Costco Store worldwide or at costco.com. It possesses a similar application process to that of the Individual Membership types and has to be renewed annually.
All of the Memberships mentioned above, be it Individual or Business have two things in common.
- It includes a Household Card that your Spouse/Family Member can use.
- Their validity extends worldwide.
(NOTE: All the prices concerned with Memberships are pre-tax, and the actual price depends on the region of purchase)
Costco Digital Membership Card
Amidst the whole pandemic situation across the world where any form of social contact is fatal to life, what better than to have a Costco Canada card that exists digitally and lets you avail of all of the benefits without actually having to carry a copy of the card wherever you go. Sounds fascinating? Yes, Costco Canada provides you with the facility of a digital membership.
A digital version of the Costco Canada Membership can be accessed via the Costco app. This app also allows you to renew your membership and lets you check your reward balance. The Costco app is available on the Google Play-Store or the App Store. With the ease of having this digital membership, Costco has made shopping easier and fun and while running errands, forgetting your memberships card is one less concern.
Common FAQ’s About The Costco Memberships
Q1. How do you pay for your purchases?
Ans. Costco accepts only Visa Credits. If you do not own a Visa Credit Card, you can make payments via cash, debit card, or a check.
Q2. Is a Costco Membership a feasible option if you don’t shop in bulk?
Ans. As per the analysis, Costco’s main attraction is its savings on bulk shopping. Therefore, if you do not have the means to store in bulk or shop for more, the Costco Membership is not your most favorable option.
Q3. What services of a Costco Warehouse can you access as a non-member?
Ans. While most of the services are covered via memberships only, some parts of the store are accessible to non-members, like Pharmacy. The Food Court (condition apply*), The Liquor Department (conditions apply*).
Q4. Can you shop at Costco without actually being a member?
Ans. 1) Yes, it is possible. Tagging, along with a friend who is a member as members are allowed to bring along two guests. 2) Making use of Costco Shop cards. These cards are similar to Gift Cards and range from $10 to $100.
With its wide range of shopping options, right from basic amenities like oat milk to a diamond ring, is there anything that Costco Canada doesn’t have? Walking through those big bulky shopping aisles is a dream come true to shoppers and a realization of all the things you didn’t know you needed. From tech to apparel, they have everything in store for you with a big saving pool.
If you are someone who’s looking for grocery shopping in bulk, check out The Top 15 Canadian Grocery Stores with Chains.
Costco Wholesale Corporation is a lot more than just that. With Costco having many new stores opening frequently, you are just as lucky if you’re close to grabbing on to those grand opening discounts and newly arrived options to shop from. And with Canada being its second hot spot, there is just so much more awaiting its members.
With its widely spread stores, the employment opportunities are endless. With all that being said, if you have your Costco Membership already, Congratulations! You’ve made it as an adult, and if not, what are you waiting for?