How to Downgrade Costco Membership?

How to Downgrade Costco Membership?

Before explaining the ins and outs of how to downgrade Costco membership, I believe I should explain the benefits of being a Costco member, and what it is like to shop at Costco.  

I know people who first started shopping Costco when they lived in California, it is something they have continued to do when they arrived in South Korea.

After living, working, and shopping in South Korea, shopping at Costco is a bit like visiting Disneyland. 

Advantages to Costco Membership

Not only can you get almost everything at very low prices, you can find almost everything at very good quality, and generally shopping at Costco much less expensive than stores where everything seemed to be made in China and where the staff did not seem entirely happy.

Disadvantages to Costco Membership

The major downsides to shopping at Costco is that you wind up buying in bulk and you have to pay a membership fee, so you do not just a buy a few rolls of toilet paper or paper towels, you buy much more than you ever thought you would need.

How to Downgrade Costco Membership- Costco Wholesale store

Costco Basics

Costco enthusiasts praise its products and prices.  This warehouse superstore is open almost every day and it is only closed seven days a year.  In fact, when you go to Costco, there is a big sign telling you days it is closed.

In order to shop at Costco, you have to be a member.  You can be a Gold Star member for $60, a Gold Executive member for $120 and earn a cash back of 2% on purchase.  Both types of memberships give you a membership card and another card for your household.  You will almost always get free items when you sign up.

Upon entering the store, you should show your Costco card. The membership desk is at the front entrance and the staff are usually friendly and helpful.  Their return policy is extremely generous.

How to Downgrade Costco Membership- Costco Membership

As said, everything is bought in bulk, so this makes sense if you have a large family.  In general the membership fee more than pays for itself within the first month.  In fact, there are non-profit organizations that shop at Costco, because they save so much money.

Shopping at Costco takes a bit of getting used to.  Not only do you buy in bulk, but you can grab products directly off the pallets and you might even decide to grab a flatbed cart for the bulkier items.

Costco sells almost everything imaginable at such low prices that the local merchants protest in Korea when Costco opens a new store.  They protested when IKEA opened its doors, too.  

In general the stores are clean, its aisles wide, and the parking is ample.

The store layout is not intuitive, but after a few trips you understand it.  There are large signs, but the aisles are not marked.  The layout of the stores is similar with large and small appliance, cell phones, computers, jewelry, watches, and supplies to fit your home office and bedroom.

The size of pies and cakes are enormous, and the baked goods are made in the Costco store, as are the pizzas.  Once you look at the size of those items, you understand why Americans have a problem being overweight, a trait being passed onto the Koreans.

Everything is inexpensive, including the cheese, the chickens, the steaks, and the gourmet products.  If you really want to save money buy the store brand item – Kirkland, as it can be as good as the name brand products, but far less expensive.

It is a place to pick up a convenient dinner, get fresh family size salads, party trays, and liquor.  The middle of the store changes with the seasons.  Most Costco stores have a pharmacy, as well as over-the counter drugs.  You can get your car serviced.  At many Costcos, you can also buy gas.

Prior to Covid-19, Costco was a great place to sample the food and soon Covid-19 will soon be a thing of the past and the free samples will return.

Do you want to keep your Costco Membership or Downgrade It?

The are many reasons to shop at Costco, but there are occasions when you might want to re-evaluate your membership.  If you are not making the most from your membership, you can cancel and rejoin in the future.  You can do this by phoning customer service or by visiting your local store.

You might decide that the Gold Executive membership is not worth it and you want to downgrade to Gold Star membership.  

You can handle this at the customer service counter at the front of the store and it only takes a few minutes.  You will still get your yearly gift!

How to Downgrade Costco Membership- Get Cocsco Membership

However, let us assume that you really want to cancel your Costco membership.  This is what that involves:

You can cancel the card at the membership counter and get your refund immediately if you the main card owner.  

You can also call Cost at 1-800-774-2678 and their membership services center will help you do this, but you must have your membership card to verify your personal information.  Unfortunately, you cannot cancel your membership online.

In order to cancel your membership, remember only the person who opened the Costco account or the primary card holder can cancel the account. If you are canceling the card in person, bring a state issued photo ID, a passport, or your driver’s license for identification.

Costco has a flexible refund policy and you can use it whenever you are not satisfied.  They even give you a full membership refund, even if you have been using it using it for a while.  Costco does not prorate refunds for the canceled memberships and they give you the full amount.

So again you can downgrade your membership and not just cancel it and this can be done at the customer service counter in a Costco store.  

It can also be done by calling 1-800-774-2687.  For example, the difference between the cost of the Gold Star and Executive membership will be refunded minus any rewards you would have had under the Executive membership.


It is up to you whether you should renew, upgrade or cancel your membership.  

However, when making your decision you should weigh how often you shop there, how frequently use the Costco bulk items, whether you use the Costco travel benefits, its gasoline and other services, and whether you have acquired sufficient rewards to merit the Executive card 2% cash back reward.

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