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Traveling through Costco: the benefits of booking a vacation through a retailer

Few people know that at Costco you can book travel without the stress of planning and with other perks. It's worth seeing if any of the Costco vacation packages fit your travel goals. Fool.

Photo: IStock

When you shop at Costco regularly, you mostly use it for things like buying bulk paper towels, cleaning supplies, and giant snack bags. But you can also use Costco for more than just groceries and essentials.

“Over the past few years, my family has completed home improvement projects through Costco, purchased glasses from Costco, and even booked a trip through Costco,” says journalist Maury Backman. “And the last one was actually a really good experience, even though the trip we signed up for ended up being cancelled.”

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If you are thinking about going on vacation and have costco membership, it is worth exploring the travel program and see if it suits you. Here are a few lesser-known benefits that you can enjoy along the way.

1. Support in case of problems with the trip

If you book your trip yourself and something goes wrong, like your flight gets canceled before you travel, you'll have to figure things out on your own. This may mean that the hours spent on the phone will be very annoying.
When you book a trip through Costco, you get a dedicated customer service team that acts as your personal travel agency. If you need help with anything related to your trip, they will intervene on your behalf.

“A few years ago my family booked an Alaska cruise through Costco which was scheduled for August 2020. Needless to say, this trip was canceled due to Covid,” Mori says. “But Costco took care of everything for us and made sure the refund we were supposed to receive was on our credit card within a reasonable amount of time.”

2. Lots of cashback

Costco travel purchases count towards the cashback you are eligible for under the Executive Membership program. If you book a trip for $4000, you are eligible for a 2% refund, or $80.

Meanwhile, if you have a card Costco Anywhere Visa® Business Card by Citi, you can get even more cashback on your trips - 3% to be exact.

“We used this card when we booked our doomed trip to Alaska, and if the trip actually took place, we would have received good bonuses,” Mori says.

3. Exclusive holiday packages

The travel packages you book through Costco are often packages that you can't book elsewhere. For example, you can book a seven-day trip to Mexico through a travel agent or on your own. But you won't necessarily have the same accommodations, transportation options, and perks you get when you book your trip with Costco.

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What's more, while Costco's vacation package options have been more limited, the company has expanded its offerings over the years. So you might be surprised at how many destinations you can book through a travel program.

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