Costco Rewards | Program Details & Cash Back Calculators

Costco Rewards

Get the details on Costco membership as well as Costco Executive Membership. Calculate how much cash back you can earn with membership and the Costco Visa.


Program Details

Costco is an American membership-only warehouse club chain headquartered out of Issaquah, Washington. They have over 780 locations throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, United Kingdom, Japan, South Korea, and several other countries. Costco competes with Walmart's Sam's Club and BJ's Wholesale Club.

Costco Rewards

Costco has two ways you can earn cash back with them. One way is by having Costco Executive membership and the other is by having a Costco Visa Card. It is possible to accrue cash back with both and I would recommend such if you tend to spend a lot at Costco.

Costco Membership

Costco offers both a standard membership and an Executive membership. The standard Costco membership is called Gold Star and it grants you the ability to make purchases inside of Costco Wholesale Club locations as well as one free household card for anyone 18+ and living at the same address.

The Costco Gold Star Executive membership is a higher form of membership that grants the same privileges as the basic Gold Star membership along with the additional perks of 2% back on qualifying Costco purchases and extra benefits on various Costco services.

There is also a business version of both membership tiers which are called Business and Business Executive. They operate the same as the personal membership with the exception that the business versions allow you to add additional people to the membership for $60 each and allow you to purchase for resale. Members you add will have basic Business membership regardless of whether you have Business or Executive membership.

costo membership costs

Is Costco Executive Membership Worth It?

Regardless of whether you're picking up a personal or business Costco membership, basic Costco membership will cost you $60 per year and Costco Executive membership will cost you $120 per year which is a pretty big difference of $60. Since the Executive membership earns 2% back in rewards, it would take $3,000 in annual spend at Costco to make up that $60 difference. So if you spend $3,000 per year (or $250 per month) at Costco, the Costco Executive membership is the better idea and that's based on spend alone. Other benefits offered by the card should also be taken into consideration.

Earning Costco Rewards w/ Executive Membership

As an Executive member, you'll earn 2% in rewards on qualifying pre-tax purchases at Costco minus any refunds in-store and online with the ability to earn up to $1,000 during any 12-month period. This means you can earn rewards on up to $50,000 in rolling 12-month spend. Anything over $50,000 in spend during a 12-month period will earn you 0%.

Only the primary cardholder and the primary household cardholder on the account will be eligible to earn rewards on purchases.

As with most rewards programs, there are many exclusions when it comes to earning rewards. For Costco, you'll want to note that you will not earn rewards on the following purchases (pulled from terms & conditions):

  • Cigarettes or Tobacco-related Products
  • Gasoline
  • Costco Shop Cards
  • Postage Stamps
  • Alcoholic Beverages in certain states
    • (AL, CO, GA, KY, MI, OH, TN)
  • Prescription Purchases in certain states
    • (AK, NJ, NY)
  • Food Courts
  • Membership Fees
  • Online Photo Center
  • My Publisher Website
  • Miscellaneous Fees, Deposits, and Taxes
  • Certain Travel Purchases
    • Surcharges
    • Gratuities
    • Trip Protection
    • Travel w/ Third Parties
    • Upgrades
    • Rental Car Equipment
    • Resort Charges
    • Port Charges
  • Other Categories As Determined At Costco's Discretion

It looks like a lot, but it really consists of the basics for most rewards programs. Purchases for groceries, travel, electronics, and many other categories still apply, so I wouldn't put too much worry in that list.

costco travel
Don't forget that you can book travel through Costco as well!

Costco Executive Membership Earnings Calculator

If you want to estimate how much you can earn with Executive membership based on your spend at Costco, you can use the calculator listed below. Enter how much you spend at Costco per month and the calculator will output how much you can earn in a 12-month rolling period. Remember that you can only earn up to $1,000 in Rewards per 12-month rolling period which is hit at $50,000 in 12-month spend or around $4,167 per month.

Costco Executive Cash Rewards Calculator
Monthly Spend
Cash Rewards Earned
2% Back
$0 Annually

If you earn $60 or more annually, the Executive membership is the better option.

Redeeming Costco Rewards

Costco will mail you your reward certificate approximately 3 months prior to your renewal date along with your annual renewal notice. You will receive your rewards as long as you've earned at least $1 as an Executive member. These rewards can be used most merchandise through the front-end registers at Costco warehouses in the United States. Costco rewards certificates can not be used for:

  • Alcohol
  • Cigarettes or Tobacco-related Products
  • Gas Stations
  • Food Courts
  • Costco.com
  • Payment on Credit Card Accounts
  • Services (such as Travel & Auto)

The big thing to note here is that you cannot use these on Costco.com which is a bummer. This also cancels out the ability to use them on the Costco Travel section of the website.

Costco Visa

Costco offers a personal and business Citi Costco Anywhere Visa Card that earns cash back per $1 spent on the card. Cash back earned with Costco Visa Cards are mailed out to you in the form of an annual reward certificate once your February billing statement closes. This means you'll get paid your rewards once per year.

The annual rewards certificate that you receive will be redeemable for cash or merchandise at U.S. Costco Warehouses.

The Costco Visa Card's are discussed more in the following section.

Credit Card Rewards Calculators

Costco offers a personal and business version of the Costco Anywhere Visa. Both cards are the same in terms of rewards and earns a great return on gas, restaurant, and travel purchases. The card also earns a decent return on Costco purchases which is separate from what you earn as an Costco Executive member. Your Costco membership is automatically charged to your Costco Visa Card and the card has no annual fee (outside of having a Costco membership).

Costco Compare
Compare credit cards side by side based on spend, benefits and fees.

You can click on any of the Costco credit cards below to learn about the bonus categories, perks & benefits, standard sign up bonus, and fees of the card. Each Costco credit card also has it's own Costco Rewards calculator. The calculator will calculate how much cash back you can earn and the cash value of the Costco credit card based on your monthly/yearly spend, how much each card benefit is worth to you, and the fees of the card. You can compare the results side by side any credit card featured on the site. Any spend you enter into the credit card calculator will carry over to all credit card calculators on the site, so there's no need to re-enter spend when jumping page to page.

Comparison Calculators

Comparison Calculators features side by side comparisons of frequently compared credit cards or comparisons requested through our YouTube channel. These calculators are already set up so you can immediately start calculating total rewards as well as the cash value of the compared cards based on your monthly/yearly spend, how much the card benefits are worth to you, and the annual fees. Comparison Calculators does not allow you to change the designated cards being compared. If you want to compare credit cards outside of the comparisons listed below, I recommend searching for the credit card you want to compare and then using its calculator to compare it against anything featured on the site.

Guides, Deals, and Useful Links

Listed below are guides, deals, and useful links. Do note that some of the links listed may be external links meaning they will take you outside of The Point Calculator website. These are indicated by a new window symbol () and will open in a new window/tab. These links are updated as needed.

FAQ

Listed below are some of the most common questions when it comes to Costco Rewards.

What are Costco cash rewards?

This is the cash back you'll earn with Costco using either a Citi Costco credit card or with Costco Executive membership.

How many family members can be on a Costco card?

A total of two people can be on a Costco Membership. One primary member and one free household member who is over 18 and lives at the same address.

How do you obtain your rewards earned with the Citi Costco credit cards?

Cash back rewards earned with a Citi Costco card will be mailed out to you in the form of an annual reward certificate once your statement closes in February.

How do you obtain your rewards earned with Costco Executive membership?

Cash back rewards earned with Costco Executive membership is mailed to you in the form of an annual reward certificate around three months prior to your membership renewal date.

What are the benefits of Costco Executive membership?

Costco Executive membership allows you to earn 2% cash back on eligible purchases made in-store and online with Costco. It also grants extra benefits on certain Costco services.

Is Costco Executive membership worth it?

If you spend more than $3,000 per year at Costco (or $250 per month), Costco Executive membership will be worth it. Don't forget it also comes with other small perks that should be taken into consideration as well.


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Article By: Robert Flowers III

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About These Calculators: These calculators are provided to help you estimate the value of points, miles, and cash back you can earn with various rewards programs and using reward earning credit cards. These calculators are meant to provide an estimate of rewards earned and are not meant to reflect the exact amount of points you may receive. Be sure to read the terms and conditions of any credit card before you apply as benefit and perk changes may not be reflected immediately on this website.

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