We have some potentially not-so-great news for Costco members. According to MarketWatch, experts from the Stifel Financial Corp. are predicting that the retailer will raise its membership prices by 8.3% within the next year. For more information about why and what exactly this increase will look like, we've got the details.
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Analysts led by Mark Astrachan, the managing director at Stifel, expect Costco membership prices to increase based on past patterns. In 2006, 2011, and 2017, in the 12 months leading up to a membership price increase, Costco shares outperformed the Standard & Poor's 500 Index. Also known as the S&P 500, the latter is "a market-capitalization-weighted index of the 500 largest U.S. publicly traded companies," per Investopedia.
Once again, Costco shares have been outperforming the S&P 500 for the past 12 months — specifically, they've been up 29.3%. So, based on what has happened in the past, it would be reasonable to expect a resulting membership fee increase. This is just another unfortunate case in which history might repeat itself.
How much will membership fees increase?
A Costco Gold Star membership is $60 annually. Since experts predict an 8.3% increase (about $5), that would make the new fee $65 per year. With this membership, you get two membership cards, to shop at all Costco warehouses and online, and the ability to cancel and get a refund for your membership at any time.
As for a Costco Gold Star Executive account, it costs $120 per year. When you add on 8.3% of that price, which is about $10, you get a total of $130 annually. If you choose this membership instead, you get the same perks as the Gold Star version — plus an annual 2% reward on eligible Costco and Costco Travel purchases, additional benefits and discounts, and a subscription to the Costco Connection magazine.
For more information about Costco memberships, and to experience the retailer before a possible price increase, more information can be found here.