What Is Costco?
We are a membership warehouse club, dedicated to bringing our members the best possible prices on quality brand-name merchandise. With hundreds of locations worldwide, Costco provides a wide selection of merchandise, plus the convenience of specialty departments and exclusive member services, all designed to make your shopping experience a pleasurable one.
The History of Costco
The company's first location, opened in 1976 under the Price Club name, was in a converted airplane hangar on Morena Boulevard in San Diego. Originally serving only small businesses, the company found it could achieve far greater buying clout by also serving a selected audience of non-business members. With that change, the growth of the warehouse club industry was off and running. In 1983, the first Costco warehouse location was opened in Seattle. Costco became the first company ever to grow from zero to $3 billion in sales in less than six years. When Costco and Price Club merged in 1993, the combined company, operating under the name PriceCostco, had 206 locations generating $16 billion in annual sales.
Our operating philosophy has been simple. Keep costs down and pass the savings on to our members. Our large membership base and tremendous buying power, combined with our never-ending quest for efficiency, result in the best possible prices for our members. Since resuming the Costco name in 1997, the company has grown worldwide with total sales in recent fiscal years exceeding $40 billion. For additional information about Costco, download the Costco Story in a PDF format to learn more.
Costco's Risk-Free 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
Membership: We will refund your membership fee in full at any time if you are dissatisfied.
Merchandise: We guarantee your satisfaction on every product we sell with a full refund. The following must be returned within 90 days of purchase for a refund: televisions, projectors, computers, cameras, camcorders, touch screen tablets, MP3 players and cellular phones.
Types of Membership
Costco has three types of membership: Executive, Business, and Gold Star. Executive Members earn a 2% Annual Reward on most Costco purchases, and receive additional benefits on our member services. For information on Costco's member services, visit the services section of this site or call 1-800-220-6000. See below for a detailed description of each membership.
Additional Membership Information
For additional information and to learn about the Privileges and Conditions of Membership, please select the following link to read our Member Benefits & Costco Services brochure.
How Do I Join?
Business Membership is available to all licensed businesses, nonprofit organizations, government agencies, farmers and ranchers. The $55.00 annual membership fee includes one household card per primary membership. Up to six additional Business Membership cards (add-ons) are available for $55.00 each, and include one household card per add on.
Gold Star Membership
Gold Star Membership is available to individuals who do not qualify for a Business Membership. Gold Star Membership is $55.00 per year, and includes one household card per primary membership. See the membership counter at your local Costco warehouse for additional information, or call us at 1-800-774-2678.
Executive Membership is our highest level of membership. Executive Members receive an annual 2% Reward on most Costco purchases, and extra benefits on member services, such as lower prices on check printing, auto financing and long-distance phone service; larger Costco Cash card amounts for mortgage, real estate and home equity transactions; one-year free roadside assistance for vehicles covered through the Auto Insurance Program; and extra travel benefits.
How do I become an Executive Member?
If you're a Costco member, you can upgrade to an Executive Membership by calling 1-800-220-6000, or by visiting your local Costco warehouse membership department. The Executive Membership upgrade is $55.00 for both Business and Gold Star primary members, but will be prorated based upon the months remaining in your current membership. Your new membership card will be sent to you, along with a packet explaining the entire menu of business and personal services available in your state. Your Executive Membership card is valid at any Costco warehouse worldwide.
Remember that Costco.com and Business Delivery maintain separate websites and shopping carts.Orders must be checked out separately.
Please note Costco.com and Business Delivery maintain separate websites and shopping carts.Orders must be checked out separately.