How to Apply for a Costco Membership

Costco requires a membership before you can purchase from their warehouses.

Costco requires a membership before you can purchase from their warehouses.

Costco is a warehouse club renowned for low prices and bulk items available for purchase to members. Costco has more than 200 locations across the United States and worldwide. Over 4 million businesses and 61 million people have Costco memberships, buying more than $64 billion worth of products every year. Before shopping at Costco, you need a membership. The fastest and easiest way to apply for a membership is to do so in the store the day you plan to start shopping there.

Decide which of the three membership levels is best for you. If you do not own your own business, you can select a Gold Star Membership for $55 annually, which gives you a household card for shopping at the Costco warehouse. Business owners can select a Business Membership, which costs the same and gives you the ability to resell products you purchase there and discounts on check printing and other business services. An Executive Membership costs $110, which gives you additional discounts and perks, such as free roadside assistance on auto insurance plans.

Gather your business identification before going to Costco if you intend to apply for a Business Membership. You will be asked for your business license, resale certificate or three pieces of business ID. For a Gold Membership, just bring your usual personal identification, such as your driver's license.

Go to any Costco warehouse location. Before entering the warehouse, an employee will ask you to produce your membership card. Simply tell the greeter you want to apply for a membership card. The greeter will direct you to the membership service desk.

Tell the service desk staff which membership you want to apply for. You will be handed an application form. Read the application carefully and provide the required information including your name, address, phone number and signature.

Hand the completed application form back to the service desk staff. You will be asked to pay for the membership and to have your picture taken while you stand at the counter. The entire process should take between 4 to 7 minutes.


  • You can also apply for a membership card online by going to and clicking the membership link. Once your application is complete, your membership card will be sent to you by mail within 10 days.
  • You can apply for a membership card by mail by calling Costco at 1-800-774-2678 and asking them to fax you a membership form. You can then mail the form with your membership payment to their Seattle office.

About the Author

A published author and professional speaker, David Weedmark has advised businesses and governments on technology, media and marketing for more than 20 years. He has taught computer science at Algonquin College, has started three successful businesses, and has written hundreds of articles for newspapers and magazines throughout Canada and the United States.

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