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Costco to Increase Membership Fees, First Hike in Seven Years

By Jake Beardslee · July 11, 2024

Costco Wholesale Corporation has announced plans to raise its membership fees in the United States and Canada, marking the first increase in seven years. The retail giant will implement a $5 hike for standard memberships, bringing the annual cost to $65, while the premium "Executive Membership" will see a $10 increase to $130 per year.  AMY NEWMAN / USA TODAY NETWORK

The fee adjustment, set to take effect on September 1, will impact an estimated 52 million memberships, with slightly over half being Executive members, according to Costco. As a silver lining for premium members, Costco is also increasing the maximum annual rewards from $1,000 to $1,250.  Curlyrnd / Wikimedia

This move comes as Costco seeks to bolster its revenue from membership fees, a crucial component of its profit strategy that helps offset expenses and maintain competitive pricing. In the previous fiscal year, the company reported $4.6 billion in membership fee revenue, representing an 8% increase from 2022, according to The Washington Post.  Curlyrnd / Wikimedia

The timing of Costco's decision follows similar fee hikes by competitors Sam's Club and Amazon over two years ago. It also coincides with efforts by the company to tighten control over membership sharing, mirroring strategies employed by streaming services.  Ambrosia LaFluer / Wikimedia

Despite the impending fee increase, Costco's iconic $1.50 hot dog combo remains unchanged for now.  GoToVan from Vancouver, Canada / Wikimedia

In related news, Costco reported a 7.4% increase in net sales for the five-week period ending July 7, compared to the same period last year, indicating continued growth for the retail giant.  Chasetheg / Wikimedia

As the implementation date approaches, consumers will need to weigh the value of their Costco memberships against the new fee structure, while the company aims to maintain its competitive edge in the wholesale retail market.  Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) / Wikimedia