Costco uses a paid membership model for their business. Their membership comes in two different types: personal and business membership.

The personal membership has 2 variations - the Gold Star and Gold Star Executive.

The Gold Star membership is priced at $60 and is suitable for customers looking for savings when shopping online or at their warehouses.

The Gold Star Executive comes at $120 and has slightly more perks like an annual 2% reward (up to $1,000) on eligible Costco and Costco Travel purchases. Members will also receive the Costco Connection magazine and other additional benefits.

In addition to that, Costco also has the option of members buying a membership and giving it to a friend. This is known as the Gift of Gold Star Membership.

There’s also the Costco Shop Card that works as a prepaid card for members. Members can store up to $2000 in the shop card and use it at warehouses or when shopping online.

The Costco Shop Card comes with a few other benefits:

  • A convenient payment option in our warehouses, gas stations, and on
  • Can be used as a supply card or gas card for businesses
  • Can be used as a means to provide students with money for food, gas, or school and dormitory necessities, while being able to limit their spending
  • Costco Shop Cards can be reloaded with value at any Costco Warehouse


College students will receive a $20 Costco Shop Card when they join as a new member.

Active duty, veteran and retired military get a Costco Shop Card2 when they join and enroll in auto renew.

The Costco membership also has various other perks like items will be delivered right to your door, same-day deliveries for groceries via InstaCart, savings on new and pre-owned vehicles, and more.