Costco Membership Cost Is Due to Rise

If Costco stays true to form, a rise in membership dues could come as soon as this summer.

Exterior of Costco store as seen through a Costco shopping cart
(Image credit: Getty Image)

Costco hasn’t raised its membership dues in five years, but if the giant warehouse club chain stays true to form, expect an increase in late summer.

That’s because Costco has increased its membership fees by $5 to $10 every five-and-a-half years. That cycle kicks in this summer.

Currently, Costco has two levels of membership: Gold Star, which is $60 annually; and Executive, which is $120 each year.

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One analyst who covers Costco has projected Costco will raise Gold Star membership to $65 and Executive membership to $130. John Heinbockel, an executive analyst with Guggenheim Securities in New York, wrote in a research note that the price increase would occur in August or September, based on Costco’s track record, according to Yahoo Finance.

Track Record of Costco Membership Increases

The last time Costco increased membership fees was in 2017. Gold Star membership, at the time $55, went to $60. Executive membership went from $110 to $120. Previous Costco membership raises were in 2006 and 2011.

Costco has more reasons to pad its bottom line with a membership dues increase other than it fits in the timing. Like other retailers, Costco has seen waves of rising costs since the start of the pandemic. Supply chain nightmares, inflation, runs on COVID-related goods, more people voluntarily or otherwise homebound, and an unprecedented labor shortage are forcing retailers to find ways to boost profits. A chain whose retail model includes membership dues for its customers has to look toward raising membership fees as an option.

A Costco membership price raise this year is doubly bad news for Amazon Prime members. Amazon is also due to raise its Amazon Prime membership fees in 2022.

Bob Niedt
Online Editor, Kiplinger.com

Bob is a Senior Online Editor at Kiplinger.com. He has more than 40 years of experience in online, print and visual journalism. Bob has worked as an award-winning writer and editor in the Washington, D.C., market as well as at news organizations in New York, Michigan and California. Bob joined Kiplinger in 2016, bringing a wealth of expertise covering retail, entertainment, and money-saving trends and topics. He was one of the first journalists at a daily news organization to aggressively cover retail as a specialty, and has been lauded in the retail industry for his expertise. Bob has also been an adjunct and associate professor of print, online and visual journalism at Syracuse University and Ithaca College. He has a master’s degree from Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and a bachelor’s degree in communications and theater from Hope College.