Costco Cash Back Rewards: What You Need To Know
Two important things happen to me in February. First, it’s the month in which I receive my Costco membership renewal notification, which means I also receive my Executive Membership Costco cashback rewards check. Second, it’s the month I receive the annual cashback rewards from my Costco Anywhereby Citi. While both of these may be described as cashback rewards, they are two separate rebates from very different programs available to Costco members.
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Let’s examine, compare, and contrast both programs.
Executive Membership Costco Cash Back Rewards
The standard $60 Gold Star membership gets you in the door to shop at Costco but executive members earn 2% cashback, up to $1,000, for qualifying Costco, Costco.com and Costco travel purchases. The executive membership costs an extra $60 for a total of $120.
Two months before your membership renewal date, Costco sends out a renewal notification along with a rebate check for the cashback earned the previous year. This rebate check can be used at Costco registers for the purchase of merchandise. It cannot be used for the purchase of alcohol, tobacco, or at their food court.
An interesting fact some people don’t know is while the Costco Executive Membership rebate check can’t be cashed at your bank, it CAN be cashed at the Costco customer service counter.
Costco members who have acan earn cashback throughout the year by purchasing goods and services using the card. The breakdown of the cashback rewards cardholders can earn is as follows:
- 4% cashback on gasoline purchases (for the first $7000 per year, 1% thereafter)
- 3% cashback at eligible restaurant and travel purchases
- 2% cashback on purchases made at Costco, or Costco.com
- 1% cashback on other purchases
The rewards come in the form of a voucher with the February statement. As with the executive membership Costco cash back rewards, you can use the voucher at the register to pay for a purchase or you can exchange it for cash at the customer service desk.
Get The Most Cash Back From Your Costco Membership
- Recoup Your Executive Membership Fee: To recoup the $60 fee to upgrade to the executive membership, you’ll have to spend $3,000 annually at Costco. If your rewards check doesn’t exceed $60, you can go to customer service and receive the difference. This makes upgrading to the executive membership a can’t lose proposition.
- Use Your Costco Anywhere You earn cashback using your Costco Anywhere : . Use it for every purchase possible, earn cash back, and pay the bill as soon as you get home.
- Double Up Rewards By Shopping At Costco: Purchase as much of your necessities as possible at Costco using the Costco Anywhere . You’ll earn the 2% Executive Membership rewards AND the 2% cashback from the credit card cashback program. That’s a total of 4% cashback for everyday items you buy anyway!
- Know What Costco Sells: Consider Costco when you’re looking for computers, small appliances, water heaters, indoor and outdoor furniture, mattresses, and even carpeting!
- Don’t Forget Costco.com: Costco warehouses are huge, but they don’t contain everything Costco sells. You may be surprised at what else you can find at Costco.com that can help boost your rewards checks.
Last year I earned an Executive Membership rebate of $64, barely exceeding the $60 membership upgrade cost. It’s just too convenient to stop at the much closer Walmart to pick up necessities. I was much more successful with the Costco Anywhere Visa By Citi cash back, earning $364.
Joining the Costco club may make you feel special, like you’re part of an exclusive group. This is due to the ingroup bias, which psychologists say is an evolutionary advantage to help our communities thrive. In fact, you can even find Costco memes being shared among groups who share the membership.
These two programs provide an opportunity to earn Costco cash back rewards simply by changing where I buy my day-to-day necessities. I’m looking forward to earning as much cashback as possible using my Costco membership next year!
Learn more about how you can use your Costco rewards with these additional articles about Costco:
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And if you’re reading this because you’re a Costco member, here are a couple of handy articles to read from around the web:
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Jim Wang’s Ways To Get Paid Shopping at Costco, You’ve Never Heard Of
Brock is a software engineer by day and personal finance blogger at night. He is a fitness junkie and enjoys grilling and smoking meat. Married with two children, Brock strives to improve his skills as a husband and father, and is always on the lookout to stretch his family’s budget as far as he can.
Money Beagle says
The credit card offers 2% back on travel, and since we put every penny of our Disney World trip on there, our reward will be pretty substantial this year. A small benefit but better than nothing!
We have an Executive Membership to get the 2% back then use the Fidelity Amex card that gives another 2% cash back. BAM!!!
Our local Costco in Canada allows us to receive cash for our rebate cheques. At the cash register we pay for our purchase as normal, and just ask for the rebate in cash. It was a Costco cashier who suggested it!
@MoneyBeagle – cash back on purchase you’d make anyway is always a smart move – but a trip to Disney should rack up some dollars pretty quick!
@ESI – Stacking the rewards….we do that too – LOVE It!
@Alex – I wonder if that’s just a trick that the cashier figured out, or if it’s really meant to work like that….in any case, cash in your hand is a GOOD thing!
Yufeng Song says
I never received any check of the cash back from costco. Might be caused that I moved to a new place. I remembered I updated my location. But, I’m not sure. It is a long time. I’ve received the check of cash back from Sam’s club. Just reminder me that I should received a check of cash back from costco. But the products in costco are better than most stores. Cheaper and fresh.
Well, it depends upon your membership, Yufeng Song……if you didn’t get the executive membership, you wouldn’t get cash back.
You can cash out the check at the customer service desk. They prefer you to use it in store, but it can be cashed!
Thanks for reiterating that point, F.B.!
When should I expect the check? I’m thinking mine got thrown away. Did everyone on this thread already get theirs? Early Feb?
Hey Skyler, I got my 2% executive membership rewards check a few weeks ago, and just got my check in my Feburary statement from the credit card last week. You might want to contact Costco….
Be aware: WHENEVER you close your citi Costco VISA account any remaining dollars are forfeited.
We use the Costco Citibank credit card for all purchases at Costco as well as Amazon, gas, hotels, dining, stores etc. The cash rewards add up quickly.
Mike Sloan says
Has anyone checked their Citibank Costco Visa statement to be sure the rewards are correct? I just checked the last 16 month’s statements and 13 of them were incorrect. I am still auditing the rewards, but there is a huge difference between what I should have gotten and what I actually earned.
Last year 2019 in Feb. got 300+ $$ back. Surprise this year Jan. checked rewards have 32$. What a change that is with the executive card.
janet Brown says
My daughter is on my Costco executive membership… will my check include 2% of what she spends ?
Marilyn Barry says
I received email said I have a 250 gift card reward from Costco never received a card in the mai! So I go to service desk to get the card please email me on how to revive it
Alice Yokoyama says
Is there any way to use the Rebate as part payment of my home delivery?
Can I use the rebate as part of the payment for the next year’s membership?
William T Hayes says
I cash my Costco rebate check, then use the cash to buy Costco Stock which pays dividends. It’s an endless loop of money from Costco
chris paynter says
Costco Executive membership rewards checks are no longer redeemable for cash starting this year.
In previous years, you could apply your annual rewards check for merchandise or redeem the check at the service desk (or supervisor station) for cash. When I went to redeem my check today, I was informed that as of 2021, Costco has eliminated the cash option. I could put it toward my next year’s membership, use it on merchandise, or receive a Costco gift card for the balance. As my rewards certificate this year is $184, I see that as a decrease in value of $9, as any spending I would end up putting on that gift card is spending that I would otherwise be putting on a credit card and earning 5% on. Not a huge change, but certainly a downgrade, especially for those who spend a lot at Costco.
Interesting. The email I just received today said that I could cash out my rewards certificate.
Do you know if you can earn more rewards on the reward voucher when you use it to purchase items at Costco? Wondering if it is better to receive the cash instead of using the reward to make more purchases.
Darlene Lucacel says
Does purchasing gift cards add rewards to my rebates?
Can anyone tell me if the voucher needs to be used in one trip? Say your voucher is $200 and you spend $100 does it carry a balance or can you get the difference back in cash or costco gift card?
No, you do not need to use it one trip. But how do you manage to spend less than $200 in a visit to Costco? 🙂
Some years they give me cash for the difference, others I ask for a Costco cash card/gift card which I can then use at costco.com
Tip for online shopping:
For a year I was using instacart+ and selecting Costco, then I realized I was missing out on the Executive rebate! If you go to sameday.costco.com “powered by Instacart” purchases count towards your Executive rebate. This was not clear to me from the Costco website.
Lewis ngahfoong says
i have not received my cash back yey.
Beulah Carter says
I have not received my Rward ck yet
Peiman taherkhani says
I changed my address from Montreal to Vancouver and also i informed the costco desk that i changed my address.but unfortunately i didn’t receive my costco reward check still.!!
Please follow-up and send it to my new address.All The Best