3 Signs You Should Cancel Your Costco Membership

A man pushing a shopping cart through the aisles of a warehouse store.

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Paying for Costco isn’t the right move for everyone.


Key points

  • Costco offers members numerous savings opportunities, as long as you don’t overspend.
  • In some cases, that membership fee isn’t worth paying.

When I first joined Costco years ago, I was skeptical about paying the annual membership fee that granted me access to those giant warehouse stores. But having been a member for over a decade, I can say with confidence that those annual fees have, through the years, more than paid for themselves.

But while I happen to be a huge fan of Costco, a membership isn’t right for everyone. And if these factors apply to you, it may be time to cancel.

1. You rarely use your membership

A standard Costco membership costs $60 a year, but if you shop there a lot, you can easily recoup that cost and then some via the savings you reap on groceries and household essentials. In fact, buying my produce at Costco easily saves me $30 a week, so for me, that membership fee is a no-brainer.

But if you find that you don’t make it to Costco all that often, or that Costco doesn’t stock many of the items you buy regularly, then it may not be worth paying that fee. Comb through your credit card statements from the past six months and see how much Costco shopping you’ve done. If it’s not a lot, that fee may not be worth paying.

2. You’re moving someplace where there’s no Costco nearby

I happen to live in an area where there’s not just one, but two Costco warehouses within a 15-minute drive. But not everyone has such easy Costco access. And if you’re moving someplace that will put you 30 minutes or more from the nearest Costco location, then you may not want to pay for a membership.

Even if the idea of ​​shopping at Costco still appeals to you, the amount of time and money you spend to get there could make it a glaringly inconvenient option — despite the potential savings. In that case, you may be better off seeking out sales at a supermarket that’s much closer to where you live.

3. You tend to overspend whenever you visit Costco

Although Costco only offers a limited selection of food items and goods, it can easily open the door to overspending. When you shop for food at the supermarket, for example, you might give into the occasional impulse buy and purchase ice cream or cookies on a whim. At Costco, you might run in for milk and other household staples only to emerge with a kayak, a new winter jacket, or a giant stuffed giraffe.

If you’ve been known to go overboard at Costco, to the point where you’ve run up credit card debt, then you may want to cancel your membership if you’re not confident you can break that habit. That said, before going that route, you could try bringing only cash to Costco so you’re forced to stick to a preset shopping list. But if that doesn’t work, you may need to take Costco access off the table.

There are numerous benefits to being a Costco member. But if these factors apply to you, you may want to cancel your membership and save yourself that money.

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