Caviar
Costco

The Best Splurges at Costco and Sam's Club

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Caviar
Costco

Urge to Splurge

People tend to join Costco or Sam's Club to save money on bulk sizes of products they would buy anyway. But many warehouse club shoppers find themselves splurging on something out of the ordinary even on their first visit to the store — maybe justifying the purchase by telling themselves it's a deal. Costco, in particular, is known for its "treasure hunt" strategy of tempting customers with a rotation of nonessential items around every corner. Still, many of those purchases could be considered worthy, given warehouse club savings. Here are deals that are exclusive to Costco and Sam's Club members. (You can apply here for Costco and here for Sam's Club.) What do you splurge on at warehouse stores? Tell us in the comments.


Scott Nyerges contributed to this story.


Related: Surprisingly Expensive Products From Costco

Wine
Sam's Club

Wine

Wine is often a good deal at Costco and Sam's Club. Some high-end wines are distributed under warehouse club labels for much lower prices when a vintner has a surplus — and why should a wine lover pass up a great find when it presents itself? The flow of fine wines at Costco has been written up in such places as The Wall Street Journal and Money magazine, and there's an independent blog devoted to the amazing stuff called CostcoWineBlog.com that featured an 89-point 2019 Terlan Pinot Bianco for $15, instead of the $30 it can cost at wine merchants.


Related: Best House Wines From Costco, Aldi, and Trader Joe's

Snow Crab Legs
Sam's Club

High-End Meat and Seafood

Warehouse clubs stock crab, lobster, and beef tenderloin, as well as other cuts and chops, at prices that rival grocery chains such as HEB and Trader Joe's. A 2-pound bag of frozen, wild-caught snow crab legs and claws costs about $25 at Sam's Club. But that's nothing — Costco stocks plenty of cuts and kinds of wagyu beef that can cost into the hundreds of dollars, bumping right up against $1,000 for A5 grade meat. Curious? A 24-pack of American Wagyu Beef Patties goes for $110 at Costco.


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Designer Duds
Costco

Designer Clothing

Most people head to Costco thinking more about bulk garbage bags than high fashion, but you can find London Fog trench coats and Valentine jackets (at Sam's Club) and wardrobes for men and women  from Tommy Hilfiger and Polo Ralph Lauren (at Costco). Costco has even been putting out clothing buying guides to point out its fashion gems; Fast Company wrote about how the warehouse club became "a $7 billion fast-fashion powerhouse." Sam's Club doesn't have the same cache — and experts warn that the designer stuff you find at either club may not be identical to what you'll buy at high-end clothing stores.

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Sam's Club

Luxury Recliners

The high-end movie theaters we used to enjoy so much have comfortable, reclining chairs with trays to hold fancy snacks and drinks — why shouldn't a home media room have the same feel, especially when we spend so much time in them? Sam's Club sells the Abbyson Living Larson leather power recliner with built-in cup holders, tuck-away tray tables, and storage areas for $600. A similar model discounted on Wayfair can cost hundreds more.

Apple Watch Series 6 Wearable Tech
TraceyAPhotos/istockphoto

Electronics

Warehouse club prices on electronics are usually little better than online and big-box competitors, but occasionally you can find in-store specials that are bargains.

Tools
artisteer/istockphoto
Woman running exercise on track treadmill
Sorapop/istockphoto

Fitness Equipment

If you're in the market for a treadmill, don't walk past Costco. The warehouse store has a ProForm Pro 5000 with a 1-year iFit membership included (which, if bought solo, is $39 a month) for $950. Overstock has come close with a $1,560 deal — but with only one month of iFit membership, making it far less enticing. If the price makes your heart race, Costco and Sam's have less expensive options, too.

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Sabuhi Novruzov/shutterstock

A New Car

Hundreds of thousands of cars are sold every year through the Costco Auto Program with pre-negotiated prices on new and used cars. Many are the usual Fords, Hyundais, or even Audis found at 3,000 participating dealers, but members can shop for everything from RVs and motorcycles to ATVs, snowmobiles, and golf carts. For drivers with more than $100,000 to spend, even Maserati sedan are available. Sam's Club's Auto Buying Program offers similar deals for its members. 


Related: Signs The Car Dealership Is Ripping You Off

Caviar
DarkBird/shutterstock

Caviar

Sturgeon eggs — more often known as caviar — are an Eastern European delicacy, and have the price tag price to match. Most sturgeon sold in the United States is farm-raised in Bulgaria, and a 2-ounce tin can cost $250 at a specialty vendor. At Costco, you can buy three 2-ounce tins of Plaza Osetra Bulgarian sturgeon caviar for $250. Sam's Club doesn't sell caviar, although they have in the past.

Kids' Clothes
Sam's Club

Kids' Clothes

Most warehouse club customers probably aren't shopping to outfit the kids, but many head home with frilly dresses, extra swimsuits, or pajama sets once they see what's available. It's hard not to load up at Sam's Club on Izod boy's polo shirts for $10, Levi's jeans in a two-pack for $20, and Pink & Violet girls' dresses in a two-pack for $13. Eddie Bauer jackets to keep boys and girls warm in the fall and winter cost between $16 and $28.  

Nintendo Switch
Wachiwit/istockphoto

Video Games & Accessories

Gaming enthusiasts may want to check prices at Costco before they buy the latest. Though Amazon and other retailers are usually competitive, there can be deals at the warehouse store, or you can try another direction and snap up Xbox gift cards — a four-pack worth $100 goes for $90.

Contact Lenses
Costco

Contact Lenses and Glasses

If you wear disposable contact lenses, you can find the name brands at Costco and Sam's Club. But Costco also sells daily disposable lenses under its Kirkland Signature brand. A 90-pack costs $59, which is far cheaper than two 90-lens packs of most name-brand daily disposable lenses. Costco Optical also gets the thumbs-up from Consumer Reports, which endorsed them enthusiastically in its evaluation of eyewear stores, including Walmart.

Credit Card Miles
bernie_photo/istockphoto

Credit Cards

You can save while you splurge by using a store-branded credit card to shop. Costco and Sam's Club offer no-fee credit cards to members that come with cash-back rewards more generous than some bank cards. Costco's Anywhere Visa gives members 4% back on gasoline, 3% on food and travel, 2% on Costco purchases, and 1% back on all other purchases. The Sam's Club Mastercard gives 5% back on gasoline and 3% on dining, but only 1% on other purchases, including at Sam's and Walmart.

beach resort
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Vacation Packages

Costco is known for its travel benefits and vacation packages, including cruises and theme park tickets. For example, an all-inclusive deal for four nights at The Omni Cancun can come down to $700 per person including flights from Los Angeles. Booking travel through a warehouse club can also bring perks on rental cars and stays at partner hotels.