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7 Ways to Get Things for Free at Costco

Experts say there are plenty of products that don't require you to break out your wallet.

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Plenty of people shop at Costco to save money, whether that's on bulk pricing, the store's popular in-house Kirkland brand, or the food court's wildly popular $1.50 hot dog combo. But what some members may not realize is that there are several services offered by the popular warehouse retailer completely free of charge. So before your next restock visit, consider seeking out these perks that could help you save even more. Read on for seven things you can get for free at Costco—and how—according to retail experts.

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Hearing Tests

man putting hearing aid in
Alexander Raths / Shutterstock

Most people are used to shopping at Costco to pick up everyday items, grab some new furniture, or get a good deal on electronics. But surprisingly, the store can also be a fantastic and affordable resource for those who need to have their hearing checked.

"If you're concerned about your hearing, you can have a free hearing test done at Costco," says Julie Ramhold, consumer analyst with "And if you end up needing hearing aids, purchasing through Costco will mean being able to take advantage of services like free hearing aid cleanings and checkups."

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Welcome Gift Cards

A closeup of a hand removing a gift card from a wallet

The cost of an annual Costco membership can be pricey enough to keep some potential shoppers from signing up. But according to experts, there are some deals sign-up deals that arise occasionally that hopeful members should look out for.

"Sometimes, Costco will offer a free Costco gift card with the purchase of a membership," says Trae Bodge, a smart shopping expert at "If you don't have a membership yet, try searching online for this kind of promotion."

In some cases, your money can go right back towards your purchases at the warehouse retailer. One online deal offers a year-long Gold Star Membership to the store for $60, which includes a $20 Costco digital gift card.

Tire Maintenance

A stack of tires at the Costco tire center
Macky Albor / Shutterstock

Costco is already well known for its low gas prices, which may beat out other pumps in your area. But if you're looking for other great automotive deals, keep the store in mind the next time you need a new set of wheels.

"Members who purchase a set of tires at Costco will be able to take advantage of free rotate and balance, plus inflation checks and even flat repairs for their lifetime," says Julie Ramhold, consumer analyst with "When the tires are serviced, additional charges may be applied for things like replacing the rubber valve stems, but overall, the maintenance is free."

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Item Returns

Shopping cart in the parking lot of Costco.
Jonathan Weiss / Shutterstock

Getting a great deal when shopping only really matters if you want to keep the item. But if you change your mind about a purchase at Costco, you can rest easy knowing that you'll very likely be able to get your money back.

"Costco is known for its generous return policy," Bodge says. "Many items purchased in-store at Costco can be returned for any reason."

She does warn that there are some exceptions to this policy, so it's always best to ask before you buy something you know you might need to return. But it also won't matter if you're shopping in person or on the website.

"Online orders can be shipped back for free as well," she adds.

The Store's Famous Free Samples

A woman standing in front of a Costco sample station

Out of all the elements of the Costco experience, arguably none is more beloved than the store's famous sample stations set up strategically throughout its grocery section. But even if they're a clever marketing trick, they can still make a visit to the store that much more enjoyable.

"I was so glad when free samples returned to Costco after they were paused during COVID!" says Bodge. "Free samples are such a fun way to try new things, but before tossing that tasty item in your cart, take a close look at the ingredients to make sure you're buying something that aligns with your health goals."

If you're looking for the best experience, you might want to time your visit accordingly. "Samplings are available every day, with an increased variety and quantity offered during weekends, particularly on Saturdays and Sundays," explains Jeanel Alvarado, a retail expert and founder of RETAILBOSS. "The best time to visit for a wide array of samples is early afternoon, especially between 1 and 2 p.m."


A Costco delivery truck

Online ordering has gone from being something of a novelty to an expected convenience. In many cases, it can incur a delivery fee—but that's not always the case with Costco.

"While some areas will require minimum purchases (like 2-day grocery and household orders which will require a $75 minimum to get free shipping), many items on Costco's website have shipping and handling built-in—even for larger products," says Ramhold.

Just make sure these rules apply to what you're buying. "It's good to pay attention when looking at product pages to know whether you'll have to pay extra for shipping, but on many items, if you do have to pay, it can be as little as $3 extra," she adds.

Tech Support and Extended Warranties

big screen tvs at costco

E-commerce has made it easier than ever to shop around for the very best deal on electronics, helping you save on expensive purchases. But if you choose to take your business to Costco, you might be able to rest a little more easily knowing you won't have to worry about your new item breaking down unexpectedly.

"Costco offers an extension to manufacturer warranties of up to two years for televisions, projectors, computers, and most major appliances," says Samantha Landau, consumer expert at "This gives you peace of mind when buying expensive products from Costco."

She adds that there are also "free resources for troubleshooting and online tech support for devices like televisions, dishwashers, refrigerators, and more."

Zachary Mack
Zach is a freelance writer specializing in beer, wine, food, spirits, and travel. He is based in Manhattan. Read more
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