The Surprising Things You Never Knew You Could Do at Costco
If there's one place we love to buy up big, it's Costco. We know all their shopping secrets, including their best-kept one—the amazing organic food section—but the popular discount retailer is so much more than just bulk grocery items and household goods. It's also an incredible resource for a range of essential services, both personal and professional. If you haven't heard about them yet, then it's time you made that membership work hard for the money.
It’s safe to say buying a home for the first time is a pretty stressful process. Not only do you have to find the right house at a price you can afford, but there’s a whole host of things you need to know first, from understanding the market to real estate jargon and how to get a loan. If you have a Costco membership, you’re in luck. The mega-retailer has an impressive mortgage services department that can help you find the right loan and secure it. They also promise to save their members thousands thanks to low rates and lender fees. If you’re already a homeowner, Costco can help you refinance too.
Insurance is a necessary evil. We all need to have it, but it can take its toll on your wallet, especially if you sign up with the wrong plan. It pays to look around and do your research. If you want competitive rates then Costco could be worth a look. More than 375,000 members are insured under their auto and home programs, but that’s not the only product they offer. Members can also sign up for life insurance, health insurance, and even vision insurance for both individuals and business. If you’re unsure if it’s the right fit, they all offer free quotes online.
If there’s one thing we can’t seem to get enough of at MyDomaine HQ, it’s travel. When we’re not writing about it, we’re dreaming of it—let’s just say we’re pretty much in a constant state of wanderlust. When you’ve finally saved enough money for your dream vacation, you could buy a plane ticket, hotel room, and car rentals yourself online or save yourself the hassle and have Costco’s travel team do it all for you. They have an intuitive “build your trip” form on their website including a wide range of packages from vacations to cruises and even theme parks. Book an all-inclusive trip to Puerto Vallarta for around $379 per person or a Bahamas Cruise at $279 per person for four nights.
When you do eventually turn those fantasies into reality, there’s more than just a plane ticket to buy and bags to be packed. In order to be really ready for any trip, you need to protect yourself against potential health risks. Before you leave, members can head into any Costco pharmacy (another surprising in-house service they offer) and take advantage of their full-service travel consultation and immunization program. You’ll receive a thorough evaluation by a qualified travel medicine physician for the insanely affordable price of $40.
Eyesight is something we often take for granted, so when our vision is impacted, it can be a shock to the system and to your wallet. Prescription eyewear doesn’t come cheap. Costco members can rejoice once again with access to a team of trained optical professionals in their Costco Optical department. Have an exam to determine your eye health, then select from their affordable range of lenses, including ones specifically designed for up-close viewing on your computer, and a wide range of reading glasses. Not sure what frame will complement your face? Try out their super-cute face shape guide.
If you thought that being a first-time homebuyer was hard, add purchasing a car to that list too. Navigating the dealerships, negotiating a deal on Craigslist, and finding out what forms need to be signed at the DMV can be hellish, let alone inking a loan. So when we discovered that a Costco membership can help secure an auto loan, we were sold. The retailer has an entire auto program with trained authorized dealers that can help you find new and pre-owned vehicles, motorcycles, and RVs without the hassle. Browse thousands of vehicles by make, body type, and price. Too easy.
If you’re anything like us, you’re a fan of traveling, but the flying part you could give or take—we all know what it does to our body. What if you could fly in your own private jet and avoid the hassle of fellow passengers, and their lack of hygiene habits. Well, the Costco Wheels Up private aviation membership can do just that. For the cost of a one-year membership, you’ll be guaranteed availability on their private fleet with only 24-hours of advance notice required before booking. There’s even a bonus $3500 Costco cash card included in the cost. So how much will it set you back to fly like Rhianna? A cool $17,500, but who can put a price on that kind of service?
Since the onset of digital, there are more people taking photos than ever before, but less of us are printing them out. If you miss the photo albums of your childhood, then preserve your memories in a photo book or personalized frame. Costco’s photo center can print your beloved snaps on everything from paper to mugs and even mouse pads. So what are you waiting for?
With so much of our personal lives lived out online, including our banking and finances, we need to be smarter about who sees it and how to protect it. You might think it’ll never happen to you, but identity theft is real and it claims a new victim every second. While there is no way to stop it, you can make moves to minimize the risk. Costco offers a premium identity protection service that notifies you of suspicious activity, monitors your personal data, and even covers you when it does happen for as little as $9 a month.
Convinced yet? Shop the Costco Gold membership below and start saving.
What's the best thing you've ever bought at Costco?