Costco Employee Benefits, Perks, and Discounts for New Hires

Updated March 20, 2024 by Kyle James

Costco has always been known as a great place to work, especially for part-time employees. But I thought it was time to take a deep dive into exactly what employee benefits and discounts Costco offers their workers. Perks that just might sway your decision one way or another when deciding to interview or accept a job offer.

Costco Employee Benefits, Perks, and Discounts for New Hires

Before we break it all down, let’s get some basic questions out-of-the-way that several commenters were curious about.

How old do you have to be to work at Costco? – Their minimum age for employment is 18 years old.

Does Costco hire seniors?Yes. Departments where Costco hires senior citizens often include the pharmacy, optical, and member services.

Is there a required retirement age? – There is NO required retirement age at Costco.

1. Solid Health & Dental Insurance

If you’ve worked for Costco for at least 180 consecutive days, and work more than 24 hours per week, you’re eligible for health benefits.

You actually get to choose your own provider and out-of-pocket costs are low compared to the competition.

Also, since there is a pharmacy inside the warehouse, you get access to a solid in-house prescription drug plan.

Co-pays are $5 for generic drugs and 5-15% for for brand name medications.

Plus, all employees get access to a low cost dental plan which covers teeth cleaning and some basic procedures like cavity fillings.

Specifics: From current employee Kai, full-time medical plans are capped at $2,500 out-of-pocket for the year. This includes a $250 deductible, $15 co-pay, $25 for specialty doc which does NOT require a referral.

Kai also told me that you get 20 appointments a year for mental health, acupuncture and chiropractic services.

See Also: Costco Dress Code: Here’s the Deal on Tattoos, Piercings, and Clothing

2. Generous 401(k) Match

Costco offers a 50% match on your 401(k) contributions up to a maximum of $500 per year.

So you’d be smart to add $1,000 a year (if you can) as you’ll maximize this benefit.

In this scenario, Costco will add $500 to your 401(k) if you’re able to add $1,000 per year. Not too shabby.

Costco will also contribute a percentage of your pay regardless of what you add to your 401(k). This kicks in after you’ve been employed for a year and starts at 3% and increases periodically.

Caution: If you quit working at Costco before year 5 you’ll lose a portion of what they contributed but you keep ALL of your contributions.

See Also: The 15 Best Employee Discounts at Fast Food Restaurants

3. Does Costco Offer an Employee Discount?

No, employees pay the same price as everyone else.

But…when I asked a Costco employee about this, she told me that one nice perk they do get is the ability to shop after hours when the store is empty saving a bunch of time.

After all, time is money, right?

4. Salary Starting at $17/Hour

According to this Today Show article the starting hourly wage at Costco has recently been raised to $17 per hour.

The $17/hour is for Service Assistants while the starting wage for Service Clerks is $18/hour.

Wanna be a meat cutter? You’ll start at $18.50/hour.

For reference this is a higher wage compared to other “big box” employers.

Factor in Sunday shifts and this wage rises significantly. More on that later.

Also, in case you were wondering, hourly Costco employees “top out” at about $26 – $28/hour and it takes 6-8 years to get there.

See Also: Does Costco Still Drug Test? We Answer All Your Questions

5. Their Paid Time Off (PTO) Policy Doesn’t Suck

Paid Time Off is a big deal and this Costco benefits is nothing to scoff at.

After you’ve been employed for 1 year and have accrued at least 2,000 paid hours, you’ll start to accumulate paid time off.

Specifically, PTO is earned based on years of employment and breaks down like this:

– 1 year of employment: 1 week PTO

– 2-4 years: 2 weeks PTO

– 5-9 years: 3 weeks PTO

– 10-14 years: 4 weeks PTO

– 15+ years: 5 weeks PTO

If you work less than 2,000 hours your PTO is pro-rated accordingly.

Also, it’s important to note that you can ONLY roll-over your PTO to the following year and it can’t be carried over from year to year.

Costco WANTS you to use your vacation hours…so use it before you lose it.

6. A Free Turkey? Um, OK.

According to this Business Insider article, employees at Costco get a free turkey at Thanksgiving.

Cool gesture but not exactly the same as a real Christmas bonus, more like a “Jelly of the Month Club” type bonus.

Apparently employees can donate the turkey to a charity if they don’t want to take it home.

7. Earn “Time and a Half” on Sunday

You can really rack up a fat paycheck if you regularly work on Sunday as you’ll earn time and a half.

So if you normally earn $15/hour that’ll get bumped to $22.50 which is a nice pay increase.

Doing some quick math, your weekly hourly rate jumps up to $16.50 per hour by working on Sunday.

See Also: Amazon Employee Discount: The Nuts & Bolts So You Can Take Advantage

8. You’ll Get 4 Free Memberships

Also, as a Costco employee you’ll get 4 free annual memberships.

One membership for you and 3 for anyone of your choosing.

Choose wisely young padawan.

9. Opportunities to Move Up

From talking to multiple Costco employees it seems unanimous that your success depends largely on your work ethic and how badly you want to move up with the company.

Work hard and you’ll move up. Heck, shoot for a supervisor position, then a store manager.

Your success with Costco is limited only by YOU and your attitude.

“Bonus Time” at Costco

I also got the skinny (kinda) on how bonuses for Costco employees work.

Here’s what I know so far…

– Bonus Every 6 Months: According to this thread on, an employee talked about getting a $2,500 to $3,500 bonus every 6 months depending on years with Costco.

– Annual Bonus up to $5,500: According to some employees get an annual bonus up to $5,500. Particularly the in-house optometrist (eye doctor).

Help me out in the comments if you have first hand knowledge of how Costco bonuses work.

Ask the Reader: Do you work for Costco Wholesale? What did I miss? Let me know in the comments, thanks.

By Kyle James


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I’ve been working at the Costco Meatplant for about 4 years now. You’re eligible to receive $2500 every six months after working 10k hours which, if you work full-time hours, typically takes you about 5 years to achieve. By then, you’d have already gotten about 9 or 10 raises, a couple of promotions, an increase in PTO and vacation time, a higher match rate for your 401k/Roth IRA, etc. It’s an understatement to say that the benefits of working at Costco are pretty nice.


You get two $2,750 bonuses a year after reaching the first milestone. The 10 year mark it’s two $3,250, 15 year mark it’s two $3,750 bonus, and it goes all the way up to two $5,250 bonus.

The 401k contributions are between 3-9% of your income, plus they match 50% on the first $1,000 contributed.

Let’s say you’re a cashier and make $29.65 an hour, work a six hour shift on Sunday. You’re yearly income would be $64,755.6. At the $10,500 bonus and it becomes $75,255.6 yearly income. If you contribute 15% and at their 9% contributions plus the additional $500, your contributions will be $18,561.34 into your 401k.

My contributions for the year will be around $5,300. Next year it will be about $6,240. Thr following year will be about $8,948. The year after that will be about $10,885. 401k contributions can increase substantially at Costco.

Jim Smith

I have a relative who works there. As I understood, once you cap out the hourly rate, then you get the bonuses. It’s weird to not just give a raise, but I am sure there is a tax benefit for Costco in doing it this way. Wages versus Bonuses might benefit them on deductions? They do treat them and pay them well considering there is really no barrier to entry.

The Admiral

Costco has their operations “dialed in”.

By offering bonuses once pay peaks out, it likely allows them the ability to plan better for those who are going to leave employment.


I guess you didn’t read it thoroughly, you get the raises and the bonus twice a year. After 25yrs, you get your Silver badge and a $5,000 tax paid award and a lifetime membership when you retire.


Do you and your 3 free members get a lifetime membership or is that offered only to the employee that worked for 25 years?


What is the current starting pay for the different positions in the store in Wharton, NewJersey? Do you get raises every year not including promotions? Do you have to apply for promotions, what’s the process? If you just want the 401k and not the insurance, how does that work? I’m on my wife’s insurance so I wouldn’t need the insurance part. Could I roll over my current jobs 401k to Costco’s? Do you get PTO & sick pay after 1 year of employment or before? Thank you


Starting pay is $17.5 an hour. You get raises every 1040 hours worked (receiving two $1 raises a year if full time). Sick pay accrues after 90 days. Every 80 hours worked you get 2.9 hours of sick pay. Washington State has a state sick pay (every 40 hours worked you get an additional hour of sick pay). In Washington state every paycheck they get 4.9 hours of sick pay. Vacation starts after a year. The first year you get one week of vacation
Second-fourth year, two weeks of vacation. 5th year three weeks of vacation. 10th year four weeks of vacation. And I believe 15th year you get five weeks of vacation. There’s also something called winter and super leave. It’s a period of time you can take off without pay. Even if your wife has insurance, It would be better to put your wife on your insurance instead of hers. Insurance is $40 a month, $250 deductible, and co-pays are between $15-25 a visit. You get free hearing exam, and eye exam, and you get a free pair of glasses up to $175 a year. A couple years ago I damaged my shoulder. Getting my x-rays done, going to the doctors and the orthopedic, and doing physical therapy, plates, and chiropractor, and fare for uber, and the cost for insurance and prescriptions, it totalled around $700 for the year, on the lower end.


Costco might have “better” benefits than other retailers. If you really want good benefits just got a job at any tech company it can be any position then move up. Retails never actually have good benefits.


A coworker left for another position at a hospital. Last time she came through she said she still wished she had Costco benefits. Just saying-


Was that me who said that, lol?! I work at a hospital now and I pay 3 times as much for my health insurance and it’s an HMO. The upside is that I get paid more at the hospital, so it covers the increased cost of health insurance. The down side is that I’m limited as to which physicians/medical facilities I can go to.


Costco corporate has better health benefits than most of the tech companies in the Seattle area… better than MSFT or AMZN for the cost and coverage for a family.


Not all tech companies have good benefits. Some have none…


Costco has industry leading benefits, I have better benefits than my mom who works at a hospital, or my dad who is an engineer.

Full time medical is capped at $2,500 out of pocket for the year. $250 deductible, $15 co pay, $25 for specialty for which I don’t require a referral, 20 appointments a year each for mental health, acupuncture and chiropractic.

Natural medicine is covered, $3 general prescription, HSA available, Costco generic is free with the prescription card we get, free vision screening and $200 a year voucher for correction wear, only $30 for contacts exam, 2 cleanings a year free for dental, insurance covers 80% of other costs and 50% for crowns.

24 hour access to Costco care includes free access to mental health services, able to life coaching (100% free) up to twice a year 8 week programs (each valued at roughly $650), free legal advice and services, Dave Ramsey financial program (usually around $1,000) free, Omada weight and wellness program with coaching, support and app connected scale + glucose monitoring if your pre diabetic… also FREE. Tell me again how the benefits are subpar?

Oh and in case you wondered insurance cost is $60 a month for all of that


Are the workers who prepare and/or hand out food samples Costco employees? Do they get the same benefits as other employees?


No, they have a separate office for their manager, in the back by shipping & receiving.


There are also various vendors who hand out samples for whatever company they work for (don’t wear DSS hats)


Im a Costco fleet driver in the NJ/NY region. Drivers get 32.00 currently and marked to go to 32.60 march 2023. Personally for Class A drivers in the NYC area this isnt all the impressive. Especially going into NYC daily with an 18 wheeler. It is a easy job tho, so guys like the laborless work. My single benefits are 20 dollars a check. I put 5% into the 401k. its growing slowly but surely. I think the bi annual bonus should be offered sooner than 5 years at a pro rated amount. so instead of 3000 2 times a year at the 5 year mark, at 2 years you should get like 2 500 checks. Just sayin. We all do the same work and before costco we were all doing the same work somewhere else. Also I beleive costco employees should at least get a gift card to COSTCO for xmas for at least 100. They offer nothing to you for the holidays. not even a discount which is very cheap imo


You get a free turkey at Thanksgiving.


$100 x 320,000 employees = $32,000,000.00!


What about stock options? How does that work?


Employees no longer get free memberships. Their checks are deducted in January. Not all warehouse managers allow after-hours shopping. And the bonuses differ from union vs non union buildings.


Employees do not get membership fees deducted from any paycheck, that is grossly incorrect or an outright lie


Yeah, I’m an employee on Student Retention, and I’m not getting charged for my Executive Membership. I think there would be an employee uprising if they took away our free membership. Especially since they know we end up spending our paycheck there.

Trisha rogers

So to contribute 1,000 a year to 401k what percentage is that ?? They set you up automatically at 4%


It depends on how much you make. Do the math…


Can someone please tell me if deli or bakery clerks have to wear a uniform? If so, what does it consist of? Are special shoes required? Thank you in advance.


You have “in-house optician (eye doctor)” on your thread. An eye doctor is an optometrist. An optician is the person who sells and adjust eye glasses.


Could they schedule you more than 8 hr/day? I can only work 3 days/wk