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Perks that come with Costco, BJ’s Wholesale, Sam’s club memberships

Warehouse clubs like Costco, BJ’s Wholesale and Sam’s Club have become extremely popular over the years.

“This is really clubs’ time, right?” BJ’s Wholesale CEO Bob Eddy said recently. “You think about the shopping environment that’s out there where value is paramount, there’s no better value than the club business.”

Costco, BJ’s Wholesale and Sam’s Club all grant entry into their warehouse locations with their memberships. Here are the perks that come with membership.

Costco

Costco food court menu

Customers wait in line to order at a food court outside a Costco Wholesale Corp. store on June 14, 2022, in Hawthorne, California. (Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via / Getty Images)

Not only does having a Costco Gold Star or Executive card provide access to the company’s food court and famous $1.50 hot dog-soda combo, it also makes its roughly 4,000-item in-store selection and its various services available to members.

Examples of services Costco members can obtain through their memberships include bottled water delivery, auto maintenance discounts and optical centers. Costco also has pharmacy services.

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COSTCOSTCO WHOLESALE CORP.711.81-1.91-0.27%

In September, it partnered with a startup to provide “special discount pricing” for various medical care through an online health care marketplace.

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The Executive membership grants “additional benefits and greater savings” on Costco Services and certain travel-related offerings, Costco’s customer service site explained. It also makes available a 2% annual reward that can amount to up to $1,000 a year.

Both memberships also allow Costco cardholders to fill up at the company’s gas stations.

BJ’s Wholesale

Exterior of BJ's wholesale club

A BJ’s Wholesale Club on May 23, 2023, in Falls Church, Virginia. (Win McNamee / Getty Images)

BJ’s Wholesale, based in Massachusetts, has said its customers can “save up to 25% off grocery store prices” at its locations. 

It also touts itself as “the only club that accepts all manufacturers’ coupons.”

Both of its membership options also have free curbside pickup. Cardholders can also have items delivered to their home “within as little as 2 hours” if they live in certain ZIP codes and pay $14.99, according to the BJ’s Wholesale website.  

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BJBJS WHSL CLUB HLDGS INC76.53+0.62+0.82%

BJ’s Wholesale said its Club+ Card membership “offers all the rights and privileges of The Club Card Membership, plus the ability to earn 2% back in rewards on eligible purchases and receive an instant discount of 5¢ off each gallon of fuel purchased at BJ’s Gas” when scanned.

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Annual rewards can reach up to $500 for Club+ Card holders. 

Sam’s Club

Sam's Club

Customers wearing face masks wait in line to enter a Sam’s Club store on July 16, 2020, in Miramar, Florida. (Johnny Louis/Getty Images / Getty Images)

Walmart-owned Sam’s Club said on its website its memberships give access to “low member’s only prices with new Instant Savings offers throughout the year.” That includes cheap gas.

Club and Plus members can both utilize the retailer’s same-day and curbside pickup services. However, those with base memberships have to pay fees for both, costing $12 and $4, respectively, while the more expensive Plus provides free curbside and $8 for same-day delivery on orders, the retailer said.

Sam’s Club memberships come with a “Scan and Go” feature that enables customers to “scan the barcode of each item” while shopping and pay through the retailer’s app instead of a register. It can be used for Sam’s Club cafes too.

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There is an array of services through Sam’s Club for travel, health, cars, photos and other categories.

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With Plus, members can also score “extra optical and pharmacy discounts,” according to its website. The retailer also makes special auto-related perks like tire installation discounts available to them.

Sam’s Club similarly has a rewards program for its higher-level membership. Members can accumulate up to $500 worth of Sam’s Cash per year from purchases eligible for 2% back.

How do their membership fees stack up?

Of the three retailers, Sam’s Club sells its base membership for the least expensive annual price, $50. 

Costco currently has the annual cost of its Gold Star membership set at $60. Meanwhile, BJ’s Wholesale asks $55 per year for its Club Card option.

BJ’s and Sam’s Club both charge $110 for their respective higher-level memberships, the Club+ Card and Plus. For Costco, the executive membership is $120 on an annual basis.

Each of the retailers has said millions of people have memberships to their locations. Costco, for example, reported having a total of 132 million cardholders at the end of the second quarter, while BJ’s Wholesale said its member count includes over 7 million.

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