5 things to know before booking

If you’re like money guru Clark Howard, you’re probably used to getting just about everything—from clothes to food to pet supplies and household goods—at Costco. But have you ever thought about booking your holidays through Costco Travel?

In this article, we’ll look at how Costco Travel works and talk about the pros and cons of booking your flights through the warehousing giant.

Costco Travel: What you need to know about travel packages, car rentals, cruises and more

Costco uses its wholesale buying power to negotiate discount rates for its members on travel packages (including airline tickets and hotels), car rentals, cruises, and more for members at CostcoTravel.com. You can also access the service by phone at 866-921-7925.

So how much can a warehouse club save you on your trip?

Our in-house travel expert Clara Bosonetto compares Costco Travel to the AAA discount you may be familiar with. Members may see 10% savings overall by booking with Costco.

With that in mind, here are a few other things you need to know before you book a trip through Costco Travel.

1. Costco travel packages provide a comprehensive shopping experience

Just like many other travel sites, Costco allows you to book an entire vacation online. This appeals to people who want all the moving parts of planning a trip (flight tickets, accommodation, activities, etc.) to be handled in an orderly and orderly manner.

But the cookie-cutter approach can have downsides.

“Costco hotels and resorts tend to be the big variety versus boutique hotels or off-the-beaten-track properties,” Clara says. “Due to the large bookings, these favorite hotels often offer dining credit, an activity or a room upgrade: small perks can mean a big difference for some.”

Clara also notes that you likely won’t get the same Costco Travel representative twice if you’re booking over the phone. “Customers can call in to speak with a rep, but they will get a different rep each time in exchange for working with a local agent,” she says.

Read more about booking a Costco travel package here.

2. Booking a hotel with Costco Travel is easy

Costco Travel Hotel Reservation

All CostcoTravel.com hotel rates are inclusive of advance rates which include taxes.

Costco works with a variety of branded hotels including:

Read more about booking a hotel through Costco here.

3. Here’s what you need to know about Costco Travel car rental

Costco car rental and travel

Costco Travel works with popular rental car brands including:

In addition to booking a car in the United States, you can rent a car through Costco Travel for use in Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Spain, and the United Kingdom.

One great advantage of renting a car through Costco is the waiver of the additional driver fee.

Read more about booking a car rental with Costco here.

Editor’s note: Lack of rental cars may affect pricing and availability. Check multiple websites before planning a rental car trip.

4. Costco Travel Offers Great Last-Minute Deals on Cruises

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Costco partners with a variety of major cruise lines to offer deals to members. They include:

  • Insisting
  • carnival
  • Celebrity X
  • Crystal Trips
  • Cunard
  • Disney Cruise Line
  • Holland America line
  • Norwegian Cruise Line
  • Princess Journeys
  • Regent Seven Seas Cruises. Regent Seven Seas Cruise
  • Royal Caribbean International
  • Uniworld Boutique River Cruises

According to Bosonetto, Costco is a great place to book last-minute cruises because you’ll often get perks like onboard credits.

And here’s another nice feature: if you don’t use all the onboard credit you got, you can get a partial refund before you get off.

Read more about booking Costco flights here.

Editor’s note: Costco offers cruise packages, but dates and prices may vary due to the coronavirus pandemic.

5. Earn 2% on everything you do with Costco Travel

Costco Travel Executive Membership 2% Cashback Bonus

Costco Executive Members earn a 2% annual bonus on Costco Travel purchases (up to $1,000).

That’s 2% on top of the 3% that you can get back on travel expenses if you use a Citi’s Costco Anywhere visa.

Anyone can get a 3% return with a Costco Visa card, while the additional 2% return is reserved only for executive members who pay an annual membership fee of $120.

However, some expenses are excluded from this offer:

  • taxes
  • expenses
  • Additional Fee
  • Gratuities
  • Trip Protection
  • Travel purchased through a third party such as activities and tours
  • Baggage fee
  • upgrades
  • Car Equipment Rental
  • Resort Fee
  • Port fees
  • Resort and cruise line fees

See full details on how the 2% bonus is calculated here.

Final thought

If convenience is best for you, you may want to try Costco’s travel deals.

However, if you’re the type who enjoys hunting down travel deals, you’ll likely score the best deals without the help of the warehouse club.

“I still believe in booking airfare and accommodation separately for the lowest vacation price,” Clara tells us. “But then again, some don’t want to take the time to do that. You know, there’s a lot of work to do!”

More Costco stories on Clark.com:

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