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Save Time & Money With Costco Travel Part 1: Introduction

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Save Time & Money With Costco Travel Part 1: Introduction

Million Mile SecretsSave Time & Money With Costco Travel Part 1: IntroductionMillion Mile Secrets Team

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Did you know Costco members can save money booking car rentals, vacation packages, and cruises?

The Costco Travel program can be a great option for folks who book paid travel instead of redeeming miles & points.  Because you might save lots of money compared to booking through an online travel agency like OrbitzExpedia, or Priceline.

For example, team members Jasmin and Harlan each booked week-long car rentals through Costco Travel and saved $100 off the prices shown on other sites.  And you can potentially save much more or get extra perks with other travel packages!

Is Costco Travel A Good Deal
Planning a Cruise? Costco Members Might Save Money or Get Extra Perks Booking Through Costco Travel

I’ll share details about the Costco Travel program.  And explain why some folks might benefit from booking a trip with the warehouse club!

Save Time & Money With Costco Travel Index:

What Is the Costco Travel Program?

Link:   Costco Travel 

To help folks save on travel, Costco takes advantage of the same bulk buying methods it uses for other products it sells in their warehouse clubs.

Costco negotiates prices with hotels and travel destinations around the world to arrange packages and rental car discounts for members.  And many times, you can book a vacation getaway that includes extra perks like:

  • Free breakfast
  • Resort credits
  • Room upgrades
  • Shuttle transportation
  • Costco cash card
Is Costco Travel A Good Deal
Costco Travel Packages Might Include a Resort Credit, Which You Can Use for Spa Treatments at Certain Hotels!

But to use the Costco Travel program, you must be a Costco member, which costs:

  • $55 per year for an individual membership
  • $110 per year for an executive membership

Note:   Starting June 1, 2017, an individual membership will cost $60 and an executive membership will cost $120.  So if you’ve been thinking of becoming a member, now is a good time before membership fees increase!

One of the perks of an executive membership is earning 2% cash back annually on eligible Costco purchases.  Unfortunately, Costco Travel purchases do NOT qualify for this benefit.

Is Costco Travel A Good Deal
To Use Costco Travel You Must Have a Costco Membership

You do NOT have to be a member to browse travel packages on the Costco Travel website.  So you can explore to find travel inspiration or see if there are any good deals.

Book Travel With Costco

Through Costco, you can book lots of different types of travel, including:

  • Car rentals
  • Cruises
  • Vacation packages (including flights)

And a Costco membership can also save you 10% off nightly room rates at Best Western and Hyatt hotels.

Keep in mind, you can NOT just book airfare through Costco Travel.  The airfare is added as part of a larger vacation package.

I’ll have more detailed posts about booking different types of travel with Costco in the future.  But here are 3 examples.

1.   Vacation Packages

I like that Costco Travel can be a one-stop tool to book an entire vacation.  And they provide upfront pricing, which includes all of the taxes & fees.  So you won’t get hit with unexpected charges after you book.

With Costco vacation packages, you can select a destination, your travel dates, and your departure city.  And Costco will quickly show you all of the available packages and prices.

Is Costco Travel A Good Deal
Pick a Travel Destination to See the Vacation Packages That Are Available

I searched a sample family vacation to Maui for 2 adults and 2 children departing from Phoenix.

The results show 23 available packages, which include different price points and hotel options.

Is Costco Travel A Good Deal
A Sample Search for Vacation Packages to Maui Includes 23 Different Available Packages

The great part is selecting one of these packages will get you the flights, hotel, and rental car for your trip.  And certain packages include extras like dining credits, room upgrades, or Costco cash cards.

You also have the option to customize your trip by adding excursions, changing the flight times, and much more.

If you’d like, you can also book your trip without a flight.  This means you can use miles for an award flight.  And use Costco Travel to book the hotel and rental car.

Is Costco Travel A Good Deal
Redeem Miles for an Award Flight to Maui and Use Costco Travel to Book the Hotel!

I compared one of the Costco Maui vacation packages, which costs ~$5,908, to the cost of booking each item individually.  And I found there was nearly a $2,000 savings with the Costco package!

With Costco Travel, you can also book Disney World packages and guided tour vacations.

2.   Car Rentals

If you’re booking a rental car, you can use Costco Travel to quickly compare prices across these 4 major rental car companies:

  • Alamo
  • Avis
  • Budget
  • Enterprise

For example, I searched a sample 2-day rental in Baltimore.

Is Costco Travel A Good Deal
Costco Travel Quickly Shows You Prices for Different Vehicle Types Across 4 Major Rental Car Companies

I compared prices with online travel agency sites like Orbitz and Priceline.  In this case, the prices were similar.

But sometimes you can get a nice savings booking through Costco.  And Costco members get a free additional driver.

3.   Cruises

I know lots of folks who book cruises through Costco.

The prices might be similar to those available directly with the cruise line.  But booking with Costco can get you hundreds of dollars back on a Costco cash card.

For example, I searched a sample Disney Cruise.  And you’ll get a Costco cash card just for booking with the warehouse club.  You can use the cash cards just like a gift card to pay for merchandise or fuel at Costco.

Is Costco Travel A Good Deal
Costco Travel Cruise Prices Can Be Similar to the Prices You’ll Get Booking Directly With the Cruise Line. But You Can Earn a Costco Cash Card.

And the amount on the Costco cash card can be significant.  For example, with the sample Disney Cruise I found, you can get $235+ back on a Costco cash card.  That’s a nice way to save the next time you shop!

Is Costco Travel A Good Deal
For a Sample Cruise, You Can Earn $235+ on a Costco Cash Card Depending on the Type of Room You Book for Your Cruise

You typically get the Costco cash card back a few weeks after returning from the trip.

Pay for Costco Travel Package With a Visa OR MasterCard

Link:   Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi

Link:   My Review of the Citi Costco Visa

Link:   Best Travel Insurance Credit Cards

Link:   Which Has Better Travel Protection:  Chase Sapphire Reserve Or Citi Prestige?

Costco only accepts Visa cards for in-store purchases.  But you can use a Visa OR MasterCard when paying for a Costco Travel package.

This means you have the option to pay with the Citi Prestige, which is a MasterCard and has terrific travel protection benefits for mishaps like:

  • Lost luggage
  • Trip cancellation & interruption
  • Trip delay
Is Costco Travel A Good Deal
You Don’t Have to Purchase Extra Insurance for Things Like Trip Delays or Interruptions When You Pay for a Costco Travel Package With the Citi Prestige Card

Or you can pay with the Chase Sapphire Reserve and get similar coverage.

Folks looking to earn cash back on their Costco Travel purchase might consider using the Citi Costco Visa card.

Because Costco Travel purchases qualify for 3% cash back.  And remember, this card has no annual fee if you have a paid Costco membership.

Bottom Line

Folks with Costco memberships can use Costco Travel as a one-stop tool to book great vacation packages to places like Europe, Las Vegas, Hawaii, and many other destinations.

Certain packages can include thousands of dollars in savings compared to booking each part of the trip individually.  Even if prices are similar, Costco might offer extra perks like resort credits and room upgrades.

You can also use Costco Travel to find and book cruises and rental cars.

I’ll have more upcoming posts about how you can save time and money with Costco Travel.

Have you booked with Costco Travel?  I’d love to hear your experience!

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • No delivery fees for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with a DashPass subscription from DoorDash -over a $100 value. Activate with your Chase Sapphire card by December 31, 2021.
  • Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That’s 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.

More Info

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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If you book travel through Costco and use chase reserve do you get 3x

I would also like to know. thanks

Just got back from the Big Island. We saved $40 each for 6 adults on the BodyGlove snorkeling trip. It was fantastic! All top notch equipment, great food breakfast and lunch, and the nicest crew ever! Can’t wait to do it again!,

Me too

I have been a Costco member for 12 years, and my only issue is the increase in membership price each year. The increases are not on balance IMO, but as these travel perks are a part of why I keep the membership rolling. The cruises are the best return for the spend IMO. Also, you forgot to add that Costco is great option for pass port pics –

Costco Visa give 3% back for travel purchases.

You’re correct! Thank you for pointing that out.

if you book all of the trip thru costco do you getall your miles and MQM’s???? since thru a third party!!!

You should earn airline miles. But the number of miles can vary depending on how the ticket is classified. So I recommend checking the airline rules. For example, here are the earning rates for Delta:

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