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Costco to raise membership fees in September

A view of people queueing outside Costco in Queens, New York. (Erik Pendzich/Shutterstock)

ISSAQUAH, Washington (WISH) — Costco will raise its membership fees on Sept. 1, the retailer announced Wednesday.

In the United States and Canada, membership fees for Gold Star members and Business members will rise to $65 from $60. Executive memberships will rise to $130 from $120.

Also, the maximum annual “2% Reward” associated with the Executive membership will increase to $1,250 from $1,000.

“The fee increases will impact around 52 million memberships, a little over half of which are Executive,” the company said in a news release.

It’s the first increase in membership fees since 2017.

Costco’s hikes come more than two years after key rivals Sam’s Club and Amazon raised their membership fees. CNN reports annual fees have been one of the biggest profit-generating areas for Costco, helping it offset expenses to keep its prices down. Last year, Costco earned $4.6 billion in revenue from membership fees, an 8% increase from 2022.

The fee hikes are also happening as Costco, just like streaming companies, has been taking more measures to ensure fewer people are hitching a ride on other customers’ memberships, CNN reported.

Costco calls its members-only stores “warehouses.” Indiana has nine warehouses: three in Indianapolis, and others in Avon, Evansville, Fort Wayne, Granger, Merrillville and Noblesville.

Also on Wednesday, Costco announced that net sales were up 7.4% for the five weeks ended on July 7 compared to the same period in 2023.

Shares of Costco jumped over 2% in after-hours trading following the news.