Each year, millions of Americans are faced with the decision of whether they should renew their membership with Costco Wholesale Corporation (Nasdaq: COST), or join for the first time. The Inquisitr has previously featured discussions asking, Is a Costco membership worth it? For most people, a membership with Costco probably offers significant value. However, the warehouse retailer does not offer the lowest price on every item: those who must make the most out of every purchase still need to make price comparisons with other stores to make sure they are getting the best deal.
Costco, similar to BJ’s Wholesale Club and Sam’s Club, offers discounts to military members and veterans, as reported by Discounts & Deals 4 Military. One retired service member, Jason Gaddie, recently uploaded a video to YouTube where he discussed the discount, heaping praise on the employer of 126,000 worldwide, and listing the savings he gained on regular food purchases, including rib-eye steaks and egg whites.
“I don’t work for Costco,” Mr. Gaddie informed his YouTube viewers. “I’m a disabled veteran.”
He then described signing up for the $110 Executive Costco membership, which allows Stephanie, presumably Mr. Gaddie’s partner, to be included as a free member. In addition to the two memberships, Mr. Gaddie received a $20 gift card, will receive $55 worth of coupons in the mail, and then, at year’s end, he will receive 2 percent of his purchases back as a rebate, which is guaranteed to be at least $55.
“If it [the rebate] doesn’t total 55 bucks, they send you a check for $55 bucks,” Mr. Gaddie explained.
Listing all that was included with his new Costco membership, Mr. Gaddie included the $20 gift card, $55 in coupons, and a minimum $55 rebate at the end of the year: a total of $130 in value, from a $110 membership.
“They paid me 20 bucks to join,” Jason Gaddie concluded. “So, if you’re a veteran… then there you go.”
In addition to paying 2 percent back at the end of the year, Executive Costco memberships include extended benefits, including increased savings on some purchases, perhaps most notably those made with Costco’s travel service.
Different from BJ’s and Sam’s Club, which require that service members and vets present a military ID when signing up for a membership in a store, Costco has partnered with SheerID.com to verify the status of active service members and veterans. Members are required to upload proof of military membership, wait for verification on the website, and then pay the $55 fee for Gold Star and Business memberships, and the $110 fee for Executive memberships, online.
An activation card is then delivered in mail that can be taken to stores to complete the membership registration process, where veterans and those currently serving will receive their official Costco membership card. The SheerID online option is the only choice available for service members looking to claim the Costco veterans’ discount.
It appears that there may be some variation in the exact deal veterans and military service members receive, depending on the location of their local Costco. While Mr. Gaddie reported receiving $130 in value with the purchase of a $110 Executive membership, Discounts & Deals 4 Military reports that, with a $55 Gold Star membership, a writer with the site received $50 in coupons, bringing the effective cost to $5, instead of apparently being paid to join, as Mr. Gaddie reports he was.
Costco Wholesale is headquartered in Issaquah, Washington and headed by Chief Executive Officer Craig Jelinek, who has been with the warehouse discounter since 1984. Over the most recently reported 12-month period, Costco generated $119.6 billion in revenue, and a return on equity of 21.0 percent. Costco operates 715 warehouse in nine countries worldwide, including 501 in the United States.
[Featured Image by Alex Wong/Getty Images]