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You Can Snag a Free Membership at Costco With This New Deal

A new Groupon deal is making it cheaper than ever to shop for food at the beloved warehouse.

Costco has long enjoyed a remarkably loyal membership of shoppers who enjoy their steep discounts on food, wine, bulk buys, and other products and programs. In fact, a recent Harris Poll lists Costco as the most highly ranked national grocery brand—a top honor, especially during 2020 when trips to the grocery store have been stressful and complicated (to say the least).

However, it's not necessarily cheap to be able to shop in the membership-only warehouse. To become a member, you have to pay an annual fee—the cheapest of which is $60 a year for "Gold Star" status, which gives you access to every Costco location worldwide and works for every member of your household. (The other option is $120 a year for "Gold Star Executive," which offers extra benefits and rewards.)

But now, there's a new deal going on that could get you a Costco membership for free, plus a $20 store credit.

The Seattle-based retail giant recently partnered up with discount shopping and eCommerce platform Groupon to effectively pay you to become an entry-level "Gold Star" member. This is how it works:

Visit the Groupon site and purchase the entry-level, Costco Gold Star membership for $60, then follow the steps to receive two $40 gift cards: One for in-store use and another that can be applied to online purchases at over $250.

In other words, for the $60 membership fee, you get $80 back in credit, netting you $20 in cash and an annual membership for free.

That said, there's some important fine print for this deal: "To qualify for the package incentives, new members must sign up for auto-renewal of the Costco membership using a Visa® credit or debit card. If a member elects not to sign up for auto-renewal, incentives will not be mailed," the Groupon listing says. Also, you'll need to complete your redemption of the deal on Costco's website, and existing or previous members are exempt. (For the full details, check out Groupon's site.)

But once you're in, expect yummy food court finds and savings on everyday essentials. Just don't ask about the sheet cakes.

For more, check out this Surprising Secret About Your Costco Card Will Blow Your Mind.