5 Reasons Costco Has Always Been My Favorite Store

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photo of tori dunlap

The author, Tori Dunlap, a lifelong Costco enthusiast.

Courtesy of Tori Dunlap

  • I’ve been a Costco devotee all my life – I was practically brought up on weekend trips to the bulk retailer.
  • I still do a ton of my shopping at Costco, and there are five reasons why I particularly love the store.
  • Costco has great travel deals, stylish clothing, affordable vaccines, and delicious ready-meal options. And the Costco Anywhere Visa is also my favorite cashback card.
  • You can use the Citi Costco Anywhere Visa® Card to earn 2% back on eligible Costco purchases in-store and online.

If you know anything about me, you know I’ll bleed for Costco.

As a native of the Pacific Northwest (the home of Costco), I grew up on Costco pizza and Saturday sampling days. My parents always go to Costco for no particular reason, but more to browse (and maybe buy some bananas for my dad’s protein shakes). Were a Costco familyand the price of a $60 annual subscription (which I share with my grandmother) is totally worth it.

Beyond giant packets of

toilet paper

huge bagged salads and oversized boxes from La Croix, here are five things you might not know you can use your Costco membership for.

(Grab your samples and let’s go.)

Costco has some of the best travel deals

For a very long time, I didn’t pay enough attention to the lines at Costco Travel Desk. You probably know what I’m talking about – the office with giant photos of beautiful yachts, fancy cars and smiling families at Disneyland. That’s exactly the smile I get on my face when I use Costco will book travel deals.

My absolute favorite Costco Travel Benefits is its car rental packages. Costco partners with reputable brands (including Hertz, Avis, Alamo, etc.) and offers deep discounts (up to 25% off).

If you do not want to go through an in-store salesperson, it is easy to book online to compare companies and offers. Costco is also forgoing the second free driver, which is great if you have a travel buddy.

Costco Anywhere Visa Cash Back Program

I signed up for the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card from Citi almost two years ago and it changed my shopping game while putting money in my pocket. Here is the breakdown of cashback:

  • 4% cash back on qualifying gas purchases up to $7,000 per year (1% cash back thereafter)
  • 3% cash back on eligible restaurants and travel purchases
  • 2% cash back on Costco and Costco.com purchases
  • 1% cash back on all other qualifying purchases

Citi’s Costco Anywhere Visa® Card has no annual fee with a paid Costco membership. See Business Insider’s Costco Anywhere Visa Card review to learn more. »

Stylish and affordable clothes

If I had a dime for every time someone complimented me on my leggings in barre class, I could afford five workout sets from Costco.

Costco has high-quality leggings, loungewear, and tank tops that I like to wear to the gym (or, let’s be honest, at home while I watch


). I love buying the matching sets from Costco or having them shipped to my door.

Some of my others favorite clothes shopping from Costco are socks (great for stocking stuffers), winter wear, and even jeans. If they don’t fit, I’ll pick them up in person next time. Costco has great customer service and I’ve never had a problem returning an item that didn’t meet my needs.

Delicious cooked food options

I’m referring to Costco chickens, pizza slices and hot dogs. Prices for most Costco food court options (salads, pizzas, hot dogs, etc.) have barely increased since the 1980s. (Hot dogs held steady at $1.50.)

The idea behind the low prices is to encourage shoppers to buy more expensive items as they browse the aisles with full stomachs – no one likes to shop hungry.

At my Costco, people line up for rotisserie chickens because they’re only $4.99. Big enough for dinner that night — plus a side salad the next day — it’s one of Costco’s best and most convenient deals.

Free health checks and low cost vaccinations

You probably know that Costco has a pharmacy and an eyewear department, but you might not know that it also offers free health exams for diseases such as


and osteoporosis.

Different locations are also hosting screening events, so if you’re interested, be sure to contact your local Costco location to see what’s available near you.

Another good tip about the Costco pharmacy: they offer competitive and inexpensive vaccines. Although the Affordable Care Act may require health insurance to cover your basic vaccinations, not all vaccinations are considered mandatory. Check with your insurance company for your options (Costco may be your best bet).

As you can see, Costco is my favorite store. Check your local Costco for all the best deals and stock up on this freezer!

Regular APR

15.99% (Variables)

Recommended credit score


Regular APR

15.99% (Variable)

Recommended credit score


More information
  • Check out one of Citi’s best cash back cards designed exclusively for Costco members
  • 4% cash back on qualifying gas for the first $7,000 per year, then 1% thereafter
  • 3% cash back on eligible restaurants and travel purchases
  • 2% cash back on all other purchases at Costco and Costco.com
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • No annual fees with your paid Costco membership and enjoy no foreign transaction fees on purchases
  • Receive an annual credit card reward certificate, which is redeemable for cash or merchandise at Costco warehouses in the United States, including Puerto Rico
  • The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 15.99%. Citi Flex Plan offerings are available at Citi’s discretion.

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