Comparing Costco to BJ's Wholesale article

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:

  1. 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?
  2. 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?
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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.



Costco return policy for online orders does not work. Returning something ordered online the procedure is NOT smooth. On several occasions, they could NOT find purchase the information. Example: Shirts purchased. Taken out of the plastic bag. Bag thrown away. Shirts still had tag on the shirts. That was of no help. On Costco Visa card had MULTIPLE Costco charges. That was of no help to them or me. They told me to hold onto the plastic bag. WHAT!
Now I order nothing that might be returned online.
The shirts were donated to a charity.

I agree and rarely shop at Costco anymore. Gas up regularly with my Costco Citibank card, however it only issues rewards once per year and it’s difficult to get them. Thanks to Clark’s article I’m getting my Sam’s Club credit card today! The 2% back on plus membership already pays my membership and now their credit card rewards are better and easier to get. Also a big plus at Sam’s is I can scan n go my cart, pay it and head straight to the exit with my cart, no checkout. Sam’s food court now exceeds choices and prices of Costco food court (i.e. Hot Dog and drink $1.36, full pizzas more selection and over a dollar cheaper, $1 froyo, etc.) Oh, and parking makes in and out much faster.

I don’t understand the comments about difficulties getting the Citi cash back. Yes it is only once a year so that may be a negative. However, if the cash is more than $400, if memory serves, you can request a direct deposit to your bank account. Otherwise, you just present the check or bar code they send at customer service and they’ll give you the cash. Takes about 30 seconds.