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Costco raises its annual membership fees by 9%

Effective on June 1, 2017, Costco will be raising their annual membership fees for the first time in over five years.  The Gold Star, Business and Business Affiliate membership fees will go from $55 to $60 per year (+9%) and the Executive membership fees will go from $110 to $120 per year (+9%).  The annual 2% Executive Reward cap will increase from $750 to $1,000.

If you're not a Costco member yet but have considered becoming one, it would probably be a good idea to buy a membership now, or to buy a membership gift card now. I'm not sure about using those pre-paid gift cards to renew a membership; not sure if that is allowed, but it might be worth a shot.

Is membership at Costco still worth it?

Way back in 2011, I wrote a little case study on whether it pays to "spend to save" at Costco, and concluded that it did, because: 1) The amount you save/make on average exceeds the amount you pay and 2) There is no comparable program offering identical privileges for free.

For us, membership at Costco definitely pays, and unfortunately, we are on the Costco hook.  Living outside of the New York area means that our choices for kosher food are more limited and we rely heavily on Costco for our kosher fish, chicken and lots of other items. The truth is, we won't even feel the extra $10 hike on our Executive membership, but we would feel having to find other well-priced sources for our kosher salmon and tilapia, etc. The amount of money that we save at Costco on Passover shopping alone makes the membership worthwhile.

Is membership at Costco worthwhile for you personally?  That's a question only you can answer; do you save significantly more than it costs for membership?  That's The Big Question.

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