Costco Is Getting Rid of This for Customers in January
The warehouse retailer is cutting this perk early next year.
No matter how you look at it, Costco is practically on its own level when it comes to devoted customers. Shoppers willingly pay the annual membership price for access to deals on bulk products and bargains on the store's in-house Kirkland brand. Little perks like the beloved food court and in-store samples keep people coming back, too. But even though the company has fought to retain much of what makes it unique, it's still been known to drop some of its features from time to time. And now, Costco has said it will be getting rid of one perk customers love early next year. Read on to see what changes the warehouse retailer has in store.
READ THIS NEXT: 8 Warnings to Shoppers From Ex-Costco Employees.
Costco has recently changed some of its well-known offerings.
Costco may be notorious for sticking to its guns when it comes to the price of hot dogs, but it's not entirely immune to change. For example, in May, the company announced that it would be dropping the mortgage program it launched for its members just two years earlier. While the retailer didn't cite a specific reason for the change, some users on Reddit speculated at the time that it was somehow connected to the state of the housing market, Eat This, Not That! reported.
The store also grabbed customers' attention in July when it announced it would charge more for two of its popular food court offerings. The warehouse retailer bumped up the price of its popular bacon and cheese-stuffed chicken bake from $1 to $3.99 and a 20-ounce soda from $0.59 to $0.69.
And just weeks ago, Costco announced a significant change when it said it would stop carrying books at its locations in Alaska and Hawaii, the Honolulu Civil Beat reported. Even though the company didn't comment on the reason behind its decision, location managers in Hawaii said sagging sales numbers were likely to blame.
Now, the company is set to make another change that will affect customers.
Costco is getting rid of a customer perk early next year.
If you have a special co-branded credit card you use to shop at the warehouse retailer, you may want to take note. Holders of the Costco Visa from Citi say the card company has notified them that the credit card will be losing a major extended warranty benefit that applies to items purchased using the card, The Points Guy reports. Specifically, the change will affect both the Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi and Costco Anywhere Visa Business Card by Citi.
According to an email sent to some affected customers, the new policy will go into effect on Jan. 22. Cardholders who haven't been contacted yet by the company are still affected by the change, per The Points Guy.
Here's how the changes could affect your existing purchases.
The current perk automatically extends warranties on certain qualifying purchases, adding 24 months to existing coverage with a seven-year total coverage limit, according to The Points Guy. The card also limits claims to $10,000 or the cost of replacing the item if it's less than that. Typically, big-ticket items such as boats, antiques, or housing aren't eligible for extended coverage.
According to Citi's update, the company will still honor the extended warranty on purchases made with the card until Jan. 22. Any purchases made after that date will not have the extended protection applied to their item. The company says that the changes will not affect the claims process for covered items, The Points Guy reports.
While customers are only just being alerted to the change, users on the r/Costco subreddit have been discussing rumors about it for months, Cheapism reports. And while Costco hasn't given a reason for cutting the perk, some workers say the decision was out of the warehouse retailer's hands.
"I work at Costco, I was one of the first to see the email from Citi," a Costco employee with the Reddit username systemofadingus wrote in a thread. "… It's for sure coming from Citi. Not exactly sure why they are deciding to take that feature away."
Customers are voicing their disappointment with the change online.
As news of the dropped perk makes its way through the r/Costco and r/CreditCard subreddits, fans of the store and cardholders are taking to the forum to air their grievances with the decision.
"Yeah. Huge bummer. That was one of the best perks of the card. The rewards aren't that great by themselves compared to other credit cards," Reddit user Kevin69138 posted in a thread discussing the change, per Cheapism.
Others pointed out similar changes the credit card company has recently made. "Citi has been dumping travel [and] warranty protections on all of their cards. Not really sure what their angle is, other than retreating from the credit card space a bit," Reddit user jtb073 posted. "Honestly would be curious to see if Costco and Citi re-up their partnership."
And for some, it may mean their wallet will get a little lighter when the new policy goes into effect. "Well, there goes a reason to keep using this card. May have to evaluate where I can get better cash back," writes Reddit user bitterbeerfaces.