Responding to Clark’s article on comparisons of Costco to BJ’s Wholesale, we found that for certain items, one was better over the other. We were members of both clubs for many years, but dropped Costco recently for two reasons:
- They only accept Visa. We used to use American Express with them, but they switched to Visa. We use mostly MasterCard. Why in this day and age would you limit your customer’s payment choices?
- Their parking situation!! Most times, there is so much traffic around their clubs, we find it difficult to find a parking space. Granted, it’s maybe due to their popularity or perhaps the time of day or day we choose to go, but for some reason, the way they lay out their parking, there’s always congestion, to the point where we have just chosen not to shop there and moved on to BJ’s. Has anyone else experienced this?
Costco dropped Amex because they were not as good a deal as Visa was (at the time), both for Costco and the consumers. It is the same reason that Costco dropped Coke and went with Pepsi. Coke want to raise its price and Pepsi agreed to be cheaper. The dropping of the Hebrew National hot dogs was reported to be because Hebrew National was selling so many hot dogs through Costco that they didn’t have enough for their own customers.
As for parking at Costco, some days are better than others. For us here in a tourist location, the weekends are horrible because many people arrive for the week vacation on Saturday and either check into a condo and shop right away, or go out for dinenr and come to Costco Sunday. Locals shop Saturday and Sunday as some dribe hours to get there and the weekend makes the most sense.
You can check on Google (on a cell search for Costco) and scroll down to see a barchart like this:
You can change days to see what the busy times are. I often arrive just before they open and can get in and out very quickly. I also do self-checkout which many people avoid but my wait is quite faster than standing in line.
I don’t find the credit card to be an issue. I only go during the week so don’t deal with the crazy weekends. I usually find the first “ring” of parking nearest the building to be a bit congested so I just park, usually in the first or second spot, in the deserted second “ring”.
I belong to Sam’s and Costco. I too wish Costco would take Amex and/or Mastercard as I have a Delta Amex and a 2% Mastercard. My VISA is only 1 1/2 % and I just don’t feel like getting another card just for Costco.
In general, I think the Costco branded products are superior to Sam’s - especially the food. And Costco has more organic meats, fruits and vegetables. Sam’s is closer and that is the only reason I haven’t dropped Sam’s as it is easier to just pop in for a few things.
I do like the Sam’s app as you can check out right from the app and skip the checkout line. I wish Costco would do that with their app.
I used to use Sam’s gas until I just recently saw Clarks article about Costco’s gas being Top Tier.
The costco closest to me always has horrible parking. The one that is a bit farther has much better parking.