Surprise, I don't miss Costco

Old Jun 17, 18, 5:24 pm
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Wink Surprise, I don't miss Costco

I used to purchase quite a bit from Costco. When they stopped taking American Express I didn't renew my Executive, or any other level, of membership. Guess what? It's been about a year ??? and I don't miss them a bit. I get whatever I need on line, mostly now at Amazon, it's cheaper and delivered. I say this as I happened to drive by Costco yesterday and stopped in to check the prices and look at 4K TV's. it was nice to look at the inventory but I got a much better deal on line.

Who do I love more? Costco or American Express. Definitively, American Express.
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Old Jun 17, 18, 6:44 pm
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Ok.

Welcome to Flyertalk
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Old Jun 17, 18, 7:04 pm
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You are the customer American Express wants!

I like American Express too, but I have a tough time in Asia with them. The best was I called concierge to get tickets to a show in Manila. The concierge came back on the line and said "the box office doesn't accept American Express". He seemed surprised
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Old Jun 17, 18, 7:22 pm
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Originally Posted by LeonardR View Post
I used to purchase quite a bit from Costco. When they stopped taking American Express I didn't renew my Executive, or any other level, of membership. Guess what? It's been about a year ??? and I don't miss them a bit. I get whatever I need on line, mostly now at Amazon, it's cheaper and delivered. I say this as I happened to drive by Costco yesterday and stopped in to check the prices and look at 4K TV's. it was nice to look at the inventory but I got a much better deal on line.

Who do I love more? Costco or American Express. Definitively, American Express.
Something's fishy here. You can't get into Costco without a valid membership. OP let membership lapse, yet went into the warehouse to browse for TVs? This story doesn't add up.
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Old Jun 17, 18, 7:24 pm
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Originally Posted by transportprof View Post
Something's fishy here. You can't get into Costco without a valid membership. OP let membership lapse, yet went into the warehouse to browse for TVs? This story doesn't add up.
Flashed an expired membership card? Those front door people aren't really checking.
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Old Jun 17, 18, 7:26 pm
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I'm not sure the competition is really between Amex and Costco, but in our case, Costco is much stickier than Amex. The food portion of our wallet gets shared by Costco, local farms during the spring/summer/fall, Amazon and Whole Foods. Whole Foods has declined steadily over the last decade and Costco and Amazon have increased. Costco has increased its share the most as we started only purchasing bulk products and then realized that the produce, the fish and the meat were often excellent and because they have increased their offerings of organicky things. Costco's per unit prices are almost always less than Amazon's for the food items we buy -- not necessarily for electronics. When Costco discontinues an item we like, I often can buy it from Amazon -- but at significantly higher per unit prices. Where Costco does not compete effectively is with delivery of items -- they have free delivery for some things (though that delivery is not two-day) but they charge for two-day delivery if your order is small (not crazy but not competitive with Amazon Prime).

Your mix of products purchased may be quite different from ours. But for the grocery items that we buy, neither Amazon nor Whole Foods is competitive with Costco. I think Amex took a significant hit from a revenue and earnings standpoint when the shift to Visa occurred so many Costco members were more like us.

With respect to Amex, I sense it is becoming less competitive. My Costco Visa and my Barclay Jet Blue Visa extend warranties for two years versus one for Amex. I believe the purchase protection on those two cards is better than that available on Amex Plat. Amex Plat has an excellent program where one can pay $20 or something like that to cover all car rental insurance. But, I believe Chase Sapphire Reserve has equivalent or better coverage and is free.

We remain significant purchasers at Amazon. Electronics, art supplies, hundreds of books (my firm supplies them with certain seminars and Amazon's price is actually lower than what we can get as authors from our publishers), audible, cosmetics, clothes, Lavazza coffee, earbuds, car parts -- many thousands of dollars annually. I think Costco and Amazon have both been brilliant retailers with very different strategies. I think Amazon will be hard to compete with in the long run for almost anyone.
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Old Jun 17, 18, 8:26 pm
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Originally Posted by LeonardR View Post
I used to purchase quite a bit from Costco. When they stopped taking American Express I didn't renew my Executive, or any other level, of membership. Guess what? It's been about a year ??? and I don't miss them a bit. I get whatever I need on line, mostly now at Amazon, it's cheaper and delivered. I say this as I happened to drive by Costco yesterday and stopped in to check the prices and look at 4K TV's. it was nice to look at the inventory but I got a much better deal on line.

Who do I love more? Costco or American Express. Definitively, American Express.
How nice for you. There are many variables at play with respect to finding value at Costco, but apparently for you Amazon is fulfilling your needs. Just one fill of one of my dog's prescription medications at Costco nets more in savings (compared to the vet or other pharmacies) than a couple of years of the annual Costco membership fee. Really. While many (or most?) states in the US require that Costco allow customers to visit the pharmacy without membership, membership is required to partake of Costco's Member Prescription Program, a benefit that can yield significant savings on medications including those for pets.
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Old Jun 17, 18, 8:28 pm
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Costco memberships are essentially "free" since they give a yearly rebate check based on what you spend.
American Express card membership always has an annual fee.
I am keeping both memberships though
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Old Jun 17, 18, 8:51 pm
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Originally Posted by sweetsleep View Post
....
American Express card membership always has an annual fee.
....
American Express issues many card with no annual fee.
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Old Jun 17, 18, 8:55 pm
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Originally Posted by transportprof View Post
Something's fishy here. You can't get into Costco without a valid membership
No. I believe the food court doesn't require a membership in all 50 states. Alcohol doesn't require a membership in some states. Anyone can get in with a Cash Card. You can just say you're going to customer service or you're with someone else and went in first. You can enter through the automotive dept door or just simply walk in through the exit doors.
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Old Jun 17, 18, 9:23 pm
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Originally Posted by LeonardR View Post
I used to purchase quite a bit from Costco. When they stopped taking American Express I didn't renew my Executive, or any other level, of membership. Guess what? It's been about a year ??? and I don't miss them a bit. I get whatever I need on line, mostly now at Amazon, it's cheaper and delivered. I say this as I happened to drive by Costco yesterday and stopped in to check the prices and look at 4K TV's. it was nice to look at the inventory but I got a much better deal on line.

Who do I love more? Costco or American Express. Definitively, American Express.
um if you didn’t renew your membership how did you get into Costco?

nevermind saw how you got in from later post.
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Old Jun 17, 18, 9:25 pm
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Originally Posted by sweetsleep View Post
Costco memberships are essentially "free" since they give a yearly rebate check based on what you spend.
That's very dependent on how much you spend and assumes you have the Executive level membership. Gold Star members don't get a rebate. Regardless I believe I save enough shopping at Costco and having the Costco Visa (generally don't use it anywhere other than Costco for gas/shopping) to more than outweigh the membership fee.

Originally Posted by MCHF View Post
No. I believe the food court doesn't require a membership in all 50 states. Alcohol doesn't require a membership in some states. Anyone can get in with a Cash Card. You can just say you're going to customer service or you're with someone else and went in first. You can enter through the automotive dept door or just simply walk in through the exit doors.
Exactly, there are so many ways. Just mutter "I forgot my card" and walk towards the member services desk. Nobody cares. The alcohol trick is relatively little known but helpful. Used to use that in college as I was <21 but my gf was >21. So we'd enter with my membership card and then just check out separately, her with all the booze and me with everything else. They generally need a manager override for an all alcohol, non member sale, but thems the lawz. In Texas you cannot require a membership to purchase alcohol.
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Old Jun 17, 18, 9:49 pm
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Originally Posted by MCHF View Post
No. I believe the food court doesn't require a membership in all 50 states. Alcohol doesn't require a membership in some states. Anyone can get in with a Cash Card. You can just say you're going to customer service or you're with someone else and went in first. You can enter through the automotive dept door or just simply walk in through the exit doors.
I don't know about your Costco, but mine doesn't display TVs in the food court, the automotive section, or the booze collection. I'm still not inclined to put much weight behind the opinion of someone who sneaked into a Costco to browse for TVs and then didn't like what s/he saw.
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Old Jun 17, 18, 10:11 pm
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Surprise, I don't shop at Costco.
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Old Jun 17, 18, 10:48 pm
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Costco isn't for everyone I guess. Their travel page alone saves me more than my membership annually - most recently they got my wife an Enterprise rental for $9/day versus her corporate $32/day, and a free upgrade. The CostcoAuto program includes 15% off service at participating dealers, worth $42.75 on the work I had done earlier this month.

I was sad when Costco and Amex's relationship ended, but I manage to still be fans of both companies. Their Citi card is my daily card too, as little as I like to admit it on this forum
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