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Is Costco Gas Good? The Fuel’s Quality, Cost & Benefits

Key Takeaways

  • Quality and Price: Costco’s gas is top-tier quality, typically cheaper than average local rates.
  • Membership Needed: Requires Costco membership, with annual fees of $60 or $120.
  • Advantages: High-quality fuel, lower prices, and extra amenities at stations.
  • Drawbacks: Long wait times and membership requirement may not suit infrequent users.

Recommendation: Costco gas is worth it, but try to fuel during off-times, such as when the pumps first open close. Also, avoid rush times like during standard corporate lunch breaks.

Is Costco Gas Good?

Yes, Costco gas is generally considered to be of good quality. Just as you’d expect from most items sold by the company, Costco fuel adheres to top-tier standards, which means it contains detergents that help keep engines clean and improve performance.

Costco gas is sourced from major refineries like Shell, Chevron, and Arco, ensuring a high-quality product. While it’s priced lower than many competitors, the catch is that it’s only available to Costco members.

This exclusivity can be a drawback for non-members, but for regular Costco shoppers, the quality of the gas combined with the cost savings can make it a worthwhile option.

Brett’s Take: Thoughts From an Expert

I’m normally not a huge superfan of most stores or brands, but Costco is the exception. I absolutely LOVE Costco, to the point that when I go into the store, I don’t allow myself to grab a cart because I know I’ll immediately start loading it up, resulting in me spending far more than I anticipated.

When it comes to Costco gas, my recommendation is a resounding “yes”. The quality is great and the prices are pretty much unmatched. However, my recommendation comes with a bit of a caveat.

As it turns out, there are many people who are just like me and also love Costco. There are so many, in fact, that the gas pumps are filled with them. I have waited as long as 20 minutes to get fuel.

My suggestion: if possible, go to the pumps when they first open or right when they close. Otherwise, you might find yourself waiting for quite a while to get gas.

And once you’re in the line? You’re not getting out except by driving forward.

Everything About Costco Gas

Costco opened its first station back in 1995, and the goal was to provide customers with cheaper gas to help with the high cost of commuting.

Today, there are Costco gas stations all over the country. To find the nearest warehouse in your location, you can use Costco’s website and search around your area.

Despite its high demand, Costco gas doesn’t hold back on quality. This fuel is fully on board with top-tier standards, even though it’s cheaper than you’d typically pay at other stations.

Costco Membership: Why It’s a Must

To access Costco’s warehouse stations, you’ll need a membership card. Without it, you can’t shop for fuel or take advantage of Costco’s low gas prices.

Costco currently offers two membership options: Gold Star Membership, which costs $60 per year, and Gold Star Executive, at $120 per year.

These memberships come with discounts for in-store and Instacart purchases, letting you stack up your savings with each purchase you make in the shop.

The Executive membership also includes an annual 2% reward on qualified store purchases. And if you’re a regular Costco shopper, it’s certainly worth it.

Costco Gas: The Pros

Several key factors favor Costco over its competitors. Here are the most important ones.

1. Fuel Quality

In 2016, AAA conducted a study that proved there’s a difference between high-quality gas and regular fuel. According to the study, premium-grade fuel is much more economical for your vehicle in the long run compared to regular gas.

The differences between the two are what defines “top-tier gasoline,” which is typically refined by using detergents designed to keep the engines clean and prevent build-up. Many renowned manufacturers like Honda, Toyota, and Ford endorse this qualification.

Costco buys its gasoline from major refineries like Shell, Chevron, and Arco — all of which produce top-tier gas.

Despite its low prices, Costco gas is also ethanol-free, which is perfect for older vehicles or cars with specialized engines.

That means that Costco gas is so good that it won’t just fill up your tank but maintain your car’s engine performance too.

2. Competitive Prices

Costco gas stations let you purchase fuel at one of the lowest rates in the country.

While the exact rates vary depending on the location, the average Costco price is between $0.10 and $0.30 cheaper per gallon compared to the average local market value.

This places Costco members in a privileged position compared to other drivers, as most people can usually save no more than around 10 cents with each gas tank filled.

3. Extra Amenities

A Costco gas station is generally built right next to a Costco warehouse, allowing you to look around and shop as you buy gas.

In some locations, the company has built tire centers, convenience stores, pharmacies, and other services next to its gas locations, so you can also check these out while filling up your tank.

4. Positive Reviews

Costco gasoline does fairly well in terms of online reviews on platforms like Yelp and Reddit.

Costco clients generally approve of the low fuel prices and good quality, and some reviews praise the perks of the Costco membership (as long as you’re a regular Costco customer).

Costco Gas: The Cons

Not everything is ideal with Costco’s services, and there are a few flaws potential customers should be aware of. We’ll go over some of them.

1. Lack of Convenience

Because everyone wants to buy gas at the lowest price points possible, Costco stations are usually full of long queues.

Part of this is also due to the station’s self-service basis, which makes people have to pump their own gas tank. Not all customers are used to that, which leads to longer waiting times.

According to customer reviews, you generally have to wait for about 30 minutes to an hour if you want to fill up your ride in a Costco warehouse.

While this model is the norm in just about any Costco gas station, locations in Oregon and New Jersey are somewhat different. There, customers have access to full-service options.

2. Mandatory Membership

To access Costco’s premium fuel, you’ll need to be a member. While this membership comes with many advantages, it’s not budget-conscious for those who just want to pump some gas.

For drivers who don’t use Costco’s services often, the expense of premium membership will outweigh their fuel savings, making it not worth it in the long run.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Costco Gas Okay for Older Cars?

Yes, Costco gas meets top-tier standards, making it suitable for all kinds of vehicles. Because of its detergent composition, it’s also ideal for luxury cars and higher-performance models, as it prolongs their engine life and overall gas mileage.

Can I Pay With Cash at a Costco Station?

No, Costco doesn’t accept cash. You have to either use Visa credit cards, Costco Cash Cards, or other mobile payment options. Make sure to verify your options before you decide to fill your tank up.

Wrapping Up

Costco gas offers great fuel prices per gallon and good value for money. While membership is required to use this gas station, the perks are worth it when you consider the savings on gas prices.

If you’re willing to put up with long waiting times, having to pump your own fuel, and a lack of ability to pay with cash — Costco’s top-tier gasoline is as good as it gets.

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