HomeBlogsAffiliate Program ReviewCostco Affiliate Program Review 2024

Costco Affiliate Program Review 2024

Costco is a company that changed how we shop forever. It started when two big stores, Price Club and Costco, joined forces in 1993. 

They do have several subsidiary companies that operate under the Costco Wholesale Corporation umbrella just as Innovel, Costco Optical, Costco Travel…

At first, they only sold products to businesses at wholesale prices. But then they let regular people, like you and me, join too. This changed everything. Now, anyone can buy groceries cheaply, as long as you are a wholesale member. 

Right now, they have 100 million loyal members who have Costco cards. And they do deploy a marketing strategy that allows people to do affiliate marketing with Costo memberships. 


Costco Affiliate Program Overall

The Costco Affiliate Program allows you to earn commissions by promoting Costco memberships and products on your website, blog, or social media channels. When someone clicks on your affiliate link and signs up for a membership, you earn a commission.

  • URL: Costco affiliate program
  • Commission rate:  $3 – $6 
  • Payment schedule: Monthly payout
  • Payment method: Direct deposit, check
  • Payout threshold: $50 (bank transfer) and $100 (check)
  • Cookie window: Session-based cookie 

Application process review

You can sign up for the Costco Affiliate Program through the Commission Junction (CJ) affiliate network. 

Once in the Costco affiliate list, you’ll get a unique affiliate link that you can use to promote Costco.

However, there are notes for affiliate entry requirements

  • Online presence: You need either a website or an active social media profile. The specifics are not publicly available. 
  • Marketing plan: During application, you must submit a marketing plan outlining how you intend to promote Costco. This shows them your understanding of their brand and potential promotional strategies.
  • Agreement to terms: Adherence to both CJ (affiliate network) and Costco’s terms and conditions is mandatory.

Acceptance time may vary. Costco user reports suggest it can take weeks or even months to receive a response.


Costco Affiliate Program Review 

Commission rate 

Costco’s program operates a bit differently than normal affiliate programs. 

In a normal one, you can earn commissions on all products sold through your personalized link. 

But in Costco’s case, the commission is available only for new memberships sign-up, and not for purchase from the member tier. 

They offer a fixed commission rate for each successful membership signup generated through your unique affiliate link. 

  • $3 for each Gold Star membership sign-up.
  • $6 for each Executive membership sign-up.

Based on information from a Costco annual report in Investopedia, around 45% of Costco shoppers select the Gold Membership, whereas 55% prefer the Executive Membership.

So, you know that the effort distribution on each type of promotional content should be equivalent.

And now, talking about the earning potential.

Large stores, just like Walmart and Target, Costco survive depending on massive sales amounts, with very low profit margins from single sales. 

It is obviously affected by their program. $3 seems to be too tiny.

This puts Costco at the bottom of the affiliate’s priority pyramid. 

But wait…

Even though making money with the Costco program may seem challenging, the reality is that its EPC ((understood as ‘Earnings Per 100 Click’) is very high, approximately $13 at the time of writing.

Which means you can earn $13 for 100 clicks.

In other words, you need around 7.700 clicks to earn your first $1,000 with this program. This number is achievable.

Payment process

As a Costco affiliate, you’ll receive your earnings either in your account or through a check every 30 days. This means that what you sell today won’t be deposited until 30 days later.

Commissions are paid out monthly via check or direct deposit. There is a $50 minimum payout threshold for bank transfers and a $100 minimum payout threshold for checks. 

What does this mean?

Even under the best circumstances, where every person you refer signs up for an Executive membership, you would still need a minimum of 7 referrals a month to reach the $50 payout threshold.

Do you think achieving this is feasible? 

Or in other words, is the program worth it? 

Even though making money with the Costco program may seem challenging, the reality is that its EPC ( (understood as ‘Earnings Per 100 Click’) is very high, approximately $13 at the time of writing.

A big plus of CJ Affiliates is that they always pay on time

You never had to ask them about missing or late payments, which is rare among affiliate networks. 

See more: Home Depot Affiliate Program – How much you can earn?

Cookie duration

The Costco Affiliate Program uses a session-based cookie duration, meaning the cookie only tracks purchases made within the same browsing session as the click on your affiliate link. 

Sadly, it doesn’t last for 30 days or longer like many other programs.

What does this mean? 

You only earn a commission if the user purchases the same browsing session they clicked your link. If they close their browser and come back later, even if they use the same device, you won’t get credited.

Compared to programs with longer cookie durations, Costco’s program may be a bit constrained in terms of time. 

So, it’s important to be clear in your promotions that users need to complete their purchases right away.

And, yes, the cookie lifespan is set by Costco and cannot be changed.

Marketing Materials 

You can find ads, widgets, and links to promote this affiliate program on CJ Affiliate.

But, please note that the materials are very basic. They’re similar to what you usually see from other affiliate advertisers. 

High chance is you need to test multiple ads or even edit them to find which ones work best for your audience.

In turn, the CJ Affiliate platform makes your link-tracking process simple and convenient. 

Regional Availability

The Costco Affiliate Program uses the CJ Affiliate Network for registration and management. CJ operates in every country, but specific program availability isn’t always universal.

The Costco Affiliate Program hosted on CJ Network accepts.  There’s no mention of regional restrictions on the Costco Affiliate Program website or signup page. 

However, the emphasis on the US membership benefits and pricing could tell a focus on that market.

In other words, you can base anywhere in the words, but your website’s traffic must be mainly America-based.

So there are chances to make money for Canadians, the UK, and affiliates from other parts of the world.  

See more: Bixgrow Affiliate Marketplace

Does Costco have a referral program?

Costco has a referral program separate from its affiliate program. It lets current members refer friends and family, and both get rewards when the new member joins.

Costco referral program rewards both existing member and their friend with a $25 online voucher for Gold Star and $50 for Executive membership sign-up. However, it seems like the referral program isn’t available right now, even though they made a whole landing page for it. 

Whether it’s a good option compared to the affiliate program depends on what you need and want.

The referral program was great for existing members with big networks who wanted rewards for referring people. It was also good for those who didn’t have marketing skills or a strong online presence.

 Wrapping it up 

Pros of the Costco Affiliate Program:

  • Well-known and trusted brand: Promoting a well-known and trusted brand like Costco can lend credibility and attract potential customers.
  • Simplistic commission rates: The commission rates are clear and fixed ($3 for Gold Star, $6 for Executive memberships), making it easy to understand your potential earnings. 
  • Free to join: No upfront fee required. You can sign up anytime.
  • Wide product range: Costco offers a wide range of products that allow you to promote various items to your audience.

Cons of the Costco Affiliate Program:

  • Limited commission scope: only Costco membership purchases are commissionable. 
  • Session-based cookies: You only earn a commission if a purchase happens within the same browsing session after clicking your link, making it harder to track conversions accurately.
  • Limited reach: The program is only available in the US purchases. 

I have been working in marketing for four years, passionate about creative writing and copy writing. Love to be alone at watersides, sip coffee, play games or read anything that is thought provoking.


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