- Costco‘s Gold Star Executive Membership costs $US120 a year and an Amazon Prime subscription is $US119 annually.
- Both membership plans offer perks such as rewards and discounts exclusively for members.
- Costco has a $US60 membership that doesn’t have the same amount of benefits, and no payment is required to shop on Amazon.
- Choosing between a membership for Costco and Amazon Prime comes down to personal preference and which benefits you are more likely to use.
Costco and Amazon are two of the largest retailers and both have loyal user bases. Memberships for each company cost (just about) the same, so if you are deciding on one or the other, it is important to look at what each has to offer.
Costco’s Gold Star Executive Membership costs $US120 while Amazon Prime recently bumped its price up to $US119. Business Insider has previously looked into whether Amazon Prime is worth the price tag.
While you can shop at Costco with a cheaper membership (or no membership at all) and you can use Amazon without Prime, we will compare the two memberships that nearly have the same price.
Business Insider’s Hayley Peterson reported that prices tend to be cheaper at Costco than on Amazon Prime, but costs are a small part of the equation. If you favour convenience and efficiency over price, Prime will likely come out ahead.
Costco members receive annual 2% rewards, up to $US1,000, on qualified purchases at Costco, Costco.com, and Costco Travel when using the Gold Star Executive Membership. Not to be outdone, when using the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card, members get as much as 5% in rewards when shopping at Amazon.com or Whole Foods, as well as money back on other purchases.
Executive membership at Costco also entitles guests to discounts, including “lower prices on check printing and identity protection, and free roadside assistance for vehicles covered through the auto insurance program.” Prime has its own discounts, and members can see what is on sale without having to drive to the store.
Your openness to online purchases is one thing that can tilt the scales. If you love shopping from the comfort of your own home and getting getting free and fast shipping, you are probably better off with Prime. If you need to go to a physical store and see what you are purchasing in person, the Costco membership will likely be worth it.
Location can also come into play. If you live down the block from a Costco, it might make plenty of sense to become a member. If the nearest Costco is an hour drive away, maybe not so much. Amazon Prime, with its online shopping and free shipping will likely be the better option if you are not close to a Costco.
It is also worth paying attention to the extra benefits you plan on using. A Costco membership opens the door to using the chain’s gas stations, hearing aid center, Costco Optical, and Costco Pharmacy. If these don’t float your boat, maybe access to Prime Video, Prime Music, and Twitch Prime will persuade you to shop with Amazon.
If spending $US10 a month to use these services is too much for you, Costco offers a regular Gold Star Membership that is half the price but with fewer perks. And of course, anybody can buy items off of Amazon without paying for a Prime membership.
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