Are you considering joining Costco to save on gas? With gas prices consistently high, it’s understandable that we’re all looking for smart ways to save more when refueling our cars, from registering for fuel rewards programs to signing up for credit cards that offer cash back on gas purchases. Another major way to pay less? Join a warehouse membership club in order to save on gas.
Read on to find out how much Costco members save when refueling their vehicles and whether it’s worth it for your household to pay an annual fee for membership for access to Costco Gas.
How Does Costco Membership Work?
Costco is a membership warehouse club with over 800 locations around the world. Like other membership warehouse clubs, including Sam’s Club and BJ’s Wholesale Club, you pay an annual fee to belong to Costco, then receive substantial savings on the offerings in the club, as well as online at Costco.com. Unlike a supermarket, which might carry around 30,000 items, your local Costco has closer to 4,000 — a big way the company keeps costs down and passes them on to customers.
Costco membership offers shoppers other savings benefits and perks (we’re looking at you, delicious and affordable sheet cake!) including Costco grocery delivery and discounts while shopping with other brands via the Costco Next program, a legitimately good warranty program, and of course, reduced prices at Costco gas stations.
What Is the Costco Gas Discount and How Does It Work?
Current Costco members can fuel up at Costco gas stations for gas that costs less per gallon than what the competition charges. The prices will vary based both on where you live and when you’re filling up, but RetailMeNot’s Kristin McGrath reports that Costco’s prices on Kirkland Signature Fuel (for regular gas) are about 20 cents per gallon below the going rate. You must have a current, valid Costco membership in order to buy gas at a Costco fuel center.
Costco Gas Stations are located by Costco Warehouse clubs, and the reason the prices are cheaper than anywhere is that this isn’t a money-making offering for the company. Instead, they use their gas stations as another way to get you to shop in their stores. After all, if you’re already there, why not run in and hook yourself up with a few things you need?
How Much Does Costco Membership Cost?
To fill up at any Costco gas station, you have to be a current Costco member. There are two tiers of Costco membership:
- Costco Gold Star ($60/year plus tax). This includes two membership cards and allows you to shop in Costco Warehouse stores, get Costco gas and buy online at Costco.com. Costco offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee on your membership and your merchandise, and they’re known for excellent customer service.
- Costco Executive ($120/year plus tax). All the benefits of a Gold Star membership, plus 2% annual rewards up to $1,000 on eligible Costco and Costco Travel purchases and discounts on Costco services (Costco services include auto and home insurance, pet insurance, bottled water delivery, payment processing and more).
How Much Does Costco Gas Cost?
As noted above, Costco is about $0.20/gallon less than other gas, but it really varies depending on where you are.
For example, a recent search using GasBuddy of three locations across the U.S. shows that in ZIP code 33759, Costco gas is $3.29 per gallon while the next cheapest location was $3.58 (a savings of $.29/gallon). Over in 02026, Costco is $4.09 per gallon, while the competition nearby starts at $4.17 (Costco is ringing up at $0.08 less per gallon). Finally, in 85050, regular fuel at Costco is $4.09 while the next best price in that ZIP code is $4.37 (a savings of $0.18/gallon). As you can see, it’s very different depending on where you are!
How Much Will You Save Annually on Costco Gas?
This is tricky to figure out, since it depends on how big your tank is and how much gas you use, along with other factors, but assuming that you have a 15-gallon gas tank and fill up once a week at one of the three locations above where savings are currently $0.08 to $0.29 per gallon, you could save anywhere from $62.40 to $226.20 annually. That’s a big chunk of change, and even on the low end, more than the cost of annual membership.
If you are using less gas than that or will most only occasionally use Costco gas and visit other gas stations instead, that $ number, obviously, goes down.
Where Do You Find a Costco Gas Station?
Search for a Costco Warehouse at Costco.com:
- Locate a Costco Warehouse near you by entering a ZIP code or the city and state you’re searching for.
- Before you hit the “Find” button, refine your search by choosing “Show Filter Options” and selecting the “Gas Station” option on the top left-hand side of the list of filters.
- Enter “Find” to find a Costco Warehouse near you that has a gas station.
What Hours Are Costco Gas Stations Open?
Prices do vary by location, but typically, Costco Gas Stations are not open late at night or on certain holidays. For example, in both 33759 and 85050, Costco Gas is available Monday to Friday, 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Meanwhile, in 02026, the weekday hours and Sunday hours are the same, but on Saturday the gas station is open
7 a.m. to 8 p.m. All three locations are closed on Labor Day and other major holidays.
To find out the hours your nearby Costco Gas Station is open, find the store you want, then go to “Store Details” and select the “+” next to “Gas Station” to see the specifics of your club’s hours and current gas prices.
Do You Need a Costco Credit Card to Buy Gas at Costco Gas Stations?
You do not. Any Costco member, with or without a credit card, can get Costco gas. However, if you have a Costco credit card, you receive an impressive 4% cash back on eligible gasoline, up to $7,000 (!!) per year as well as 3% back on restaurants and eligible travel, 2% back on other Costco purchases and 1% on all other purchases, no matter where you shop.
Is Costco Membership Worth It for Gas Savings if You Aren’t Shopping at Costco?
If you shop at Costco anyway, the added perk of gas savings is a huge one, but if you’re trying to decide whether to spend $60 to $120 a year on a Costco membership just for gas savings, that becomes very much about your specific driving and automotive needs. A few questions to ask yourself:
- Do you live or work near a Costco gas station that you can use almost exclusively? Or is there no Costco near you, or are you often on the road and need more flexibility in your fuel options?
- Will you be filling up during typical Costo gas station hours of operation, or do you often fill up late at night, very early in the mornings or on holidays?
- How often do you refill your car? Check out GasBuddy to see what the prices are for your local Costco gas vs. other local spots, then do some basic calculations to see if you can expect to break even — at the very least — over the course of a year. If it’s very close, it isn’t worth it.
- This is a big one: Can you handle waiting? Though Costco has designed their gas stations for one-way traffic and extra-long hoses to make it easy to fill up and then get in and out as quickly as possible, you may need to wait in lines since everyone else is also trying to save on their gas bill. If that’s going to be an inconvenience for you, it may not be worth it, cost savings aside.
The Bottom Line
Having a membership to Costco has all sorts of great benefits, including major discounts on gas. If you can handle the drawbacks, like waiting on longer lines to fuel up or having to find a Costco gas station rather than stopping into whatever station is nearby, it is a smart way to save money.
The post The Costco Gas Discount: Literally Everything You Need to Know appeared first on The Real Deal by RetailMeNot.