Monday, October 18, 2010

Reward Club Memberships

I'm sure you've heard of at least one of these wholesale clubs, Costco, BJ's, or Sam's Club. I hold memberships to both Costco and BJ's. With a family of five we shop at both clubs often. We have purchased just about everything from these clubs from milk, contact lenses, pet food, to furniture. We have a BJ's club right near our home and I'll run it on my way home from work just to pick up milk because of the saving they offer over a regular supermarket. Typically we save over 1 dollar per gallon. The way my 3 kids drink milk this adds up. We had to renew our membership to Costco this past weekend.

The standard membership is $50 for the year and $100 for the 2% rewards membership. The other clubs off rewards programs as well and are similar to the Costco program. Double your initial membership and you level up to a rewards membership. I'd like to think of it as a way of saving towards my next years membership fee. At 2% you would need to spend $2500 within the year to cover the cost of the extra $50 for the rewards membership. A total of $5000 to cover the total $100 fee.

$5000 x .02 = $100

$2500 x .02 - $50

In years past I have spent in the $2600 to $2700 range per year at Costco, which would earn me a $52-$54 reward check. Just enough to cover the additional $50 to get into the rewards program with a little extra. I renewed with the rewards membership. My dilemma is that there is no guarantee that I'll spend this amount of money this year. I'm still struggling with this decision and the additional $50 I spent. Do you think I did the right thing?

How do you handle club memberships? Did you own any club rewards memberships?


  1. Our costco (Dublin, CA) guarentees that the 2% reward will cover the additional $50 spent...i.e. if we only earn $35 in rewards, they will bump it up to $50. Not sure if this was because we are new members...but it may be worth checking into. It says it in the pamphlet they gave us with our membership

  2. We don't have a club membership. Personally, I think it encourages more consumption and spending, but it's only me and my wife right now. If I have 3 kids, I probably would get a Costco card.

  3. I'll have to check to see if it is guaranteed.

    @retirebyforty -The purpose going in is to save money, but certain seems like I can't walk out with spending at least $100

  4. We have a Costco membership, but haven't come close to spending $2,500 - I guess we'll stick to the regular membership.

  5. Costco, at least in the mid-Atlantic region, gives you the extra $50 back if you don't meet it at the end of the year. We actually just upgraded to the more expensive one, because we do get a lot of things there (paper towels, TP, cleaning supplies, etc.) and they definitely add up!