Costco offers discounted gym memberships — here's how much you can save

 

  • Costco members can buy a two-year, all-club, 24 Hour Fitness membership package for $399.99.
  • According to Reader's Digest, the same membership purchased directly through the gym chain would cost more than $800 if paid over a two-year period.
  • Costco's membership perks help the warehouse chain to attract and retain members. 

Costco is known for its membership perks, many of which extend beyond the four walls of the store, like cheap gas, vacation deals, and insurance policy discounts.

It turns out, a cheap gym membership is another. 

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7 secrets about Costco items
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7 secrets about Costco items

1. EMPLOYEES ENJOY PLENTY OF BENEFITS

Costco now sets its minimum wage for hourly employees at $14 an hour. That’s in addition to offering benefits like healthcare for all employees, regardless of part-time vs. full-time status.

While I was at Costco, they gave employees complimentary memberships to the store. Each employee also got a free turkey to enjoy with their families on Thanksgiving. And to top things off, Costco paid employees time and a half just for working on Sundays.

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2. COSTCO IS A GREAT DESTINATION FOR HEALTH FOOD

People who haven’t shopped at warehouse clubs might expect the “buy in bulk” mentality to mean the aisles are lined with junk food. While Costco does sell things like cookies and candy bars, there are plenty of healthy options, if that’s what you’re looking for. Greek yogurt, coconut water, protein powder, and lean meats are just some of the things that line the shelves at Costco. And the produce section is filled with delicious apples, bananas, berries, salads and more.

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3. IT’S NOT JUST FOR BIG FAMILIES, EITHER

When I tell friends I still shop at Costco, they don’t understand what my husband and I buy there, since we don’t have kids and live in a small New York apartment. But there are plenty of options for any family size, and it doesn’t mean you have to keep ten spare jars of tomato sauce in your pantry. Things like Kirkland Signature protein bars and olive oil are shelf stable for our small household. Cleaning supplies like kitchen sponges are sold in reasonably sized packages, too. It just depends what you’re looking for—but there’s no one demographic that’s more suited to shop there. These Costco shopping tips will save you a ton.

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4. COSTCO’S PIZZA IS THE REAL DEAL

If you find yourself eating at Costco’s food court, you’ll probably be pleasantly surprised by how great the food is. The pizzas are baked fresh in store with Kirkland Signature ingredients, and they don’t skimp on cheese and other toppings. The hot dog combo—just $1.50 for a hot dog and a soda—is also superb. The food court even offers fresh diced onions, in addition to mustard and ketchup, to top your dog. 

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5. PEOPLE REALLY DO BUY THAT FAMOUS GIANT BEAR

The giant teddy may seem like an Internet novelty, and plenty of people (myself included) have stopped to take photos with the 8-foot-tall friend. But I saw more than one person buy the giant stuffed animal—usually grandparents purchasing it as a gift for their grandkids. (I do wonder how they stuffed it into a car/cab to get home.)

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6. YOU CAN GO TO THE PHARMACY AS A NON-MEMBER

If you live near Costco and want to pick up your prescriptions there, you can do so without buying an annual membership to the club. But don’t think you can pull a fast one on the employee checking membership cards at the entrance—you can’t check out at Costco without a membership in your name. 

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7. COSTCO IS SELLING BLUE APRON MEAL KITS

I didn’t learn this one working at Costco—it’s a new initiative—but if you’re looking to save time on meal prep, this is worth knowing about. A handful of Costco stores on the West Coast are selling the Blue Apron kits, which make weeknight dinner prep way easier. Don’t miss the details! Plus, check out even more insider secrets Costco employees won’t tell you.

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Costco members can buy a two-year, all-club, 24 Hour Fitness membership package for $399.99, according to Reader's DigestThe same membership purchased directly through the gym chain would cost over $800 if paid over a two-year period. 24 Hour Fitness has more than 400 locations in 13 states. 

The membership works in much the same way as the other products Costco sells in-store: members buy in bulk to get the savings. By paying the lump sum for two years, you save 50%.

A Costco spokesperson did not immediately return Business Insider's request for more details on the deal. 

These membership perks are one way that Costco attracts and retains members. Cheap gas and travel deals are used in a similar way. 

The store offers two types of gas that are exclusive to its members or anyone with a Costco gift card: premium, top-tier gas and standard gas from its signature label, Kirkland. Diesel is also available at some locations. According to a survey done by Oil Price Information Service (OPIS) in March 2017, Costco beat out major gas chains, as well as warehouse-club rivals such as Walmart-owned Sam's Club and BJ's, to rank as the cheapest place to buy gas in the US.

As gas is a recurring purchase, it's also an effective way to drive foot traffic to stores.

Its travel service has also become one of its biggest assets. During a quarterly earnings call in March, Costco CFO Richard Galanti said that the travel business is a big growth area for the company because there are few administrative costs associated with it, keeping margins high.

While it might not sound like the most glamorous way to book a trip, Costco members can't get enough of it

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SEE ALSO: People are obsessed with booking their vacations through Costco — and now there are even more benefits

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