Costco is Raising Its Membership Fee — and You Probably Won’t Even Notice

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Costco is Raising Its Membership Fee — and You Probably Won’t Even Notice
AP Photo/Rick Bowmer

The happiest place on earth is about to get a little bit more expensive. And no, I’m not referring to the recent Disney ticket price hike.

I’m talking Costco, the other happiest place on earth.

(I mean, not many places let you munch your way around the free sample loop while you shop for jumbo-sized bags of chicken nuggets — and where else can you get a hot dog and soda combo for the famously low $1.50?)

It’s true, though: The annual Costco membership fee is going from $55 to $60 in June 2017.

But it’s really not a big deal.

A Whole $5?!

I know, it’s easy to freak out over $5.

That’s like, a whole Starbucks frappuccino. Do they expect you to just skip your coffee?

But listen: Tons of businesses raise their prices, even on membership fees — and most do it annually.

Costco hasn’t raised its membership fee since 2011 and likely won’t do so again for another five or six years.

And I would bet the whole $5 that you’re a Costco member because it saves you more than a few bucks throughout the year. If you were a loyal Costco shopper before, this price hike definitely shouldn’t deter you.

But Why the Costco Membership Fee Price Hike?

Because Costco makes three-quarters of its operating income from membership fees, that’s why.

The wholesale store didn’t quite measure up to predicted earnings estimates for the year, and that made Wall Street panic for a hot minute.

However, the price hike was more than likely already scheduled to happen, following preceding $5 increases in 2000, 2006, and 2011. (The Executive Membership has followed the same pattern, and will go from $110 to $120 in June as well.)

But Costco is here to stay, especially if everyone calms down and pays the extra $5.

Seriously, it works out to a little more than a penny a day over the course of a year — I think we can swing it.

And if you still can’t decide if renewing your membership is worth it, check out this guide on how to get your money’s worth at a warehouse store.

Your Turn: Will you renew your Costco membership this year?

Grace Schweizer is a junior writer at The Penny Hoarder. She grew up a Sam’s Club loyalist, but is willing to go whichever direction the cheap-food wind blows.