Risk-free rental car bookings and free Costco gift cards? Sign us up!
We love Costco for its massive wedges of cheese, Kirkland wine, bulk toilet paper, and cheap gas, but did you know your Costco membership can also get you some sweet deals on travel? Rental cars, vacation packages (with freebies!), and cruises can all be booked via the Costco Travel website. The deals are the same no matter which Costco membership level you have, but Executive members will get 2% back on travel deals they pay for with their Executive card. Here are some of our favorite ways to use a Costco membership to save on travel.costcotravel.com
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How can you use your Costco membership to book trips?
Head over to costcotravel.com and check out what deals they have available. They have vacation packages, hotels, rental cars, and cruises. You can also book flights when bundled with hotel stays (no standalone flight booking is available). You can think of the Costco travel website as your personal travel agent because they use the power of numbers (their over 120 million members) to negotiate discounts.
The person booking the travel has to have a Costco membership, but the rest of the travelers do not. Also, if you are an Executive Costco member, you don’t have to use your Costco credit card to pay for travel purchases.iStock
How do you book a rental car through Costco?
One of the best ways to save some money and comparison-shop at the same time is to book your rental car through Costco. You enter your travel dates and where you will be picking up/dropping off the car, and Costco will show you what is available from Alamo, Avis, Budget, and Enterprise. The system will note helpful details, like if the rental car pickup is in the airport terminal or if a shuttle is required (very important when traveling with kids).
Select the size of vehicle you want and fill in the driver details. Costco reserves your rental car without any charge. You can cancel at any time, and no payment is needed until you pick up your vehicle.
The best thing about this system is that you can make a reservation and then continue to check back as your trip approaches to see if the prices have dropped. If that happens, you simply cancel your first reservation and book at the new, lower price.iStock
What deals does Costco offer for vacation packages?
One of the best ways to save on travel at Costco is through the vacation packages, where you bundle airfare, hotel, and rental (or some combination of the three). Input your travel dates, where you want to go, who is going, and if you need flights as well. Costco will show you what’s available, and many of the packages include things like free breakfast, a Costco shop card (gift card), a spa credit, or a food + beverage credit. The thing that we love about this is that you aren’t managing multiple reservations.
All Costco travel deals must be booked online. Watch out for cancelation periods, as vacation packages must be canceled at least 48 hours prior to scheduled departure and hotels must be canceled at least 24 hours in advance. Travel insurance is not included and must be booked elsewhere.