This past year, my Executive rebate at Costco wasn’t quite enough to make up the difference between regular and executive level memberships. I figured I’d just downgrade at renewal, so I stopped by the membership desk today. I asked them to cash my rebate “check” at the same time, but was told that wasn’t allowed anymore. OK, whatever. I’m going to buy some stuff anyway. So she downgrades my account and gives me the difference between $60 and my rebate.
After lunch, I went though the store and then headed to self check-out. After I scanned everything, I scanned my paper rebate, and the machine said I needed assistance for that. No problem, the guy was there in 2 seconds. But he told me I can’t use it at self check-out. I had to go to a regular line to use my rebate. Luckily, they didn’t have to re-scan everything, but it was still a pain.
Even if I hadn’t already downgraded my membership, the experience of dealing with a paper rebate (which we forgot to even use on a prior Costco trip), which can be lost and that only works at certain lanes, would have led me to downgrade. Even if the rebate was $20 or $30 more than the membership difference, it’s simply not worth the hassle of dealing with a paper “check” that isn’t even a check.
Everyone I dealt with was nice about it, but Costco has designed the executive rebate to be as customer-unfriendly as possible. That’s quite out of character for Costco.
I’ll also be canceling my Costco Citibank Visa in February after my next rebate check for the same reason.
I could never figure out what the big benefit was for buying the executive membership. I find it easier just to use the Fidelity 2% Rewards Visa Card and not have to play all the games.
I did get a $2200 electronic rebate from Costco for buying a mini split A/C unit. Costco transferred it on a gift card for me so I could use it at self check out, gas station and food court. It took about 6 months to spend it all.
We don’t spend as much at Costco as we used to a couple of years back. But last year we spent enough on the card with Costco purchases and gas that we paid for the executive membership and had a few bucks left over. So for us, it’s still worth it.
The executive rebate is additive to whatever credit card rewards you may get.
It thought the email with the executive membership check said that it couldn’t be used at self check out but maybe I read that somewhere else. Mine is usually the cost of membership plus or minus a small amount. I use it to pay for a small order and get the majority back in cash. You can present the Citi Visa certificate on your phone, no paper required, and it can be used for purchase or just cashed at customer service.
I just checked the paperwork that came with my executive rebate. It says nothing about self-checkout. In any event, none of the points you mentioned make up for the ridiculous dance of keeping track of and remembering to use a rebate “check.”
When we take the bonus “check” to Costco my wife goes thru regular check-out with a single cheap item when we first arrive, gets the change in cash and then finishes her shopping and uses the Costco CC at self-checkout. I either grab a snack and wait for her or take the item out to the car.
I don’t know, my check for over $300 is usually folded and stuck in my wallet and used the next Costco trip. Your mileage appears to differ.
The checks can not be used at self-checkout because there can be no money given back. I asked at my Costco when the self-checkouts first came. It doesn’t matter if the check will be all used up or not. I don’t think that has changed, but I could be wrong.
Thanks for your explanation, now I finally understand it after all these years. I am curious on how you redeem your costco city bank rebate? Thanks for the info.
You take it to a Costco store, pick an item you want to buy, take it to a check-out cashier, then hand the rebate check you get in the mail once a year to the cashier and ask for the change in cash.
You got a $2,200.00 rebate from Costco? That sounds a tad high to me.
It was for spending about $16K on a mini split A/C unit. It was a certain % of the total price.
What I meant to say was " how do you redeem your Costco city bank rewards card?
You don’t “redeem” a credit card. You redeem the “rewards certificate” the credit card company will send you in the mail. It’s a piece of paper.
So you basically get 2 reward certificates, one from Citi Bank if you have their card and one from Costco if you have the executive membership.
No, all the cash-back money is on the one certificate you take to Costco to redeem.
Sure, they should come up with a better process, but our check is always $150-$250, so the Executive Membership still makes sense. Heck, I’d deal with the paper check for $20.
What? These issues must be instituted by the manager at your specific Costco. I can use my rebate at any check stand, but after hearing someone say on the podcast that you’d forfeit the Citi 2% rebate on that next purchase by doing so, I chose to cash it instead. I was directed by the customer service desk to a person at the desk across from the checkers [where you pick up items sometimes] and they cashed the check on the spot. I do agree it is a hassle, though. Plus, paying an extra $60 to upgrade to executive is only feasible if you spend a lot more than I do at Costco.
Citicard gives you 2% back on Costco warehouse and Costco online purchases [4 for gas] in a once a year paper rebate check. My Costco does not have self check out; You can redeem the check at any register against your purchase; Or, you can get cash from the reps at the desk outside the Costco office [not the customer service desk].
The Citi rebate check can a) be cashed at customer service (I do it every year), b) used at the register for any size purchase and change will be given as cash, or c) if over $300 it can be direct deposited from the Citi site. None of these options seem particularly difficult.
The Costco rebate check can be used at a register for any size purchase and the change will be given as cash. If you want to maximize your Citi rebate then the use of the Costco check needs to be on a small purchase. Again, not particularly difficult.