Consumers hunting for a Covid vaccine appointment have another avenue to try: Costco.
The warehouse club is now offering free Covid-19 vaccines through select pharmacies in several states. You must be eligible in your state and city, but you don't need to be a Costco member. To book an appointment and check if you qualify, use the Costco website, says Julie Ramhold, consumer analyst with DealNews.com.
"You won't be able to schedule an appointment or ask about population priorities if you call your local Costco pharmacy," Ramhold says. "Instead, check their website for more information and to book an available appointment in your area."
If you aren't a Costco member and plan to get your shot at the warehouse club, you might want to reexamine the perks of joining. In addition to bulk purchase deals, Costco offers a range of services that might be more valuable to you now.
Here are four lesser-known perks of being a Costco member that may be especially useful coming out of the pandemic.
You can get deals on travel packages if you're a member of the warehouse club. This includes amusement park packages, hotel and flight combos, and hotel, flight, and rental car combos.
Costco is advising that all members book through the website as they are "experiencing a high number of calls," Ramhold says.
If your trip will require a rental car, it's best to book well in advance. "Due to Covid and car manufacturing shortages, rental car availability is extremely limited right now," she says. "So if you're hoping to book a trip, it's better to try to jump on it now rather than waiting too much longer."
Costco also offers good deals on resort packages, specifically, says Kristin McGrath, editor and shopping expert at Offers.com: "Because you're a Costco member, these packages often include extras like spa credits and excursion credits to make your return to travel all the more special."
"After 2020, many people could be looking to make a change, whether that's by moving to a new area or buying their first home," Ramhold says. "Many current homeowners could also be considering a refinance while rates are low."
Almost one-third of millennials, 30%, said the pandemic pushed them to start house hunting earlier, according to a Clever survey.
Costco members have access to preferred mortgage rates and capped fees, Ramhold says: "Costco states that executive members could save an average of $8,098 over the typical lifetime of a loan by taking advantage of this service."
It's still important to shop around. "Remember that Costco doesn't endorse one lender over another, so be sure to do the same research for their program as you would any other," she says.
If you are planning on moving, Costco offers discounts on Budget Truck Rental moving trucks.
"Members save 25% and have access to other benefits, such as a variety of truck sizes, 24/7 roadside assistance, and a free additional driver," Ramhold says.
If you plan on resuming trips to the movie theater this year, check to see if Costco is offering members deals on ticket bundles.
"You can generally get a 10-pack of movie tickets for around $50," McGrath says. "That comes out to about $5 per ticket, which is less than what theaters charge for even discounted matinee pricing." The average movie ticket price in 2019 was a bit more than $9.
These savings can be reallocated toward treats, instead, she suggests: "You can use the money you saved to splurge on popcorn and drinks."
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