5 things to know before booking

If you’re like financier Clark Howard, you’re probably used to getting just about everything—from clothes to food to pet supplies and home goods—at Costco. But have you ever considered booking your vacations 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 warehouse giant.

Costco Travel: What you need to know about travel packages, rental cars, cruises, and more

Costco uses its bulk buying power to negotiate discounted rates for its members on travel packages (including airfare and hotels), rental cars, cruises, and more for members at CostcoTravel.com. You can also reach the service by phone at 866-921-7925.

So how much can the Warehouse Club save you on your trip?

Our insider travel expert Clara Busonetto compares Costco Travel to the AAA discount you might be familiar with. Members may see a 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

Costco travel vacation package

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 (air tickets, accommodations, activities, etc.)

But the cookie-cutter approach can have its downsides.

“Costco Hotels & Resorts tend to be kind of grand versus boutique hotels or off-the-beaten-track properties,” says Clara. “Because of large bookings, these favorite hotels often offer a dining credit, an activity credit, or a room upgrade: small perks that can mean a big difference to 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’ll get a different rep each time versus working with a local agent,” she says.

Read more about booking travel packages with Costco here.

2. Booking a hotel with Costco Travel is easy

Costco travel hotel reservations

All CostcoTravel.com prices for hotel rates include advance rates which include taxes.

Costco works with a variety of hotel brands including:

Read more about booking a hotel through Costco here.

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

Costco car rental and travel

Costco Travel works with popular rental car brands including:

In addition to reserving 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 of the great perks of renting a car through Costco is that the driver surcharge is waived.

Read more about booking a rental car through Costco here.

Editor’s note: Shortages 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

the home

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

  • Insisting
  • carnival
  • Celebrity X
  • Crystal Journeys
  • Cunard
  • Disney Cruise Line
  • Holland America Line
  • Norwegian Cruise Line
  • Princess Travels
  • 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 perk: If you don’t use all of the on-board credit you got, you can get a partial refund before you disembark.

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. You can earn 2% on everything you do with Costco Travel

Costco Travel Executive Membership 2% Cash Back Bonus

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

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

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

However, some expenses are excluded from this offer:

  • taxes
  • expenses
  • additional fees
  • Gratuities
  • Flight protection
  • Travel purchased through a third party such as activities and tours
  • Baggage fees
  • upgrades
  • Car equipment rental
  • Resort fee
  • Port fees
  • Resort and cruise line fees

See full details on how your 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 can probably score the best deals without the help of a 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, it’s a lot of work!”

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