Even the Memberships for Sam’s and Costco Are Cheaper in Mexico

Whenever I talk to someone back in the States and I mention that I went to Sam’s Club, they often stop me mid-sentence and respond with something like: “You have Sam’s Club in Mexico? Wow, I never knew that!”

For some reason, the presence of chain stores in Mexico comes as a huge surprise to some people.

When I follow up by telling them that we have Costco, Home Depot, Sears etc., that really blows their mind.

Once they get over the initial shock that we don’t only shop at tiny stores and open markets, most people ask me follow-up questions like: Can I use my U.S. Sam’s Club card in Mexico? How much is a membership there?

I’ve been asked these two questions so often that I decided to do a quick post on the blog to answer them for everyone.

I’ll start by answering the first one. Yes, you can use your Sam’s Club card or Costco card internationally, and that includes in Mexico. I’m sure you will rest easy knowing that you can still buy toilet paper in bulk when traveling abroad.

Now let’s move on to the second question about membership fees.

Membership Fees

Most things are less expensive in Mexico and shopping club memberships are no exception. In fact, the memberships are roughly half the price. Let’s take a look at a comparison:

Sam’s Club

Standard Membership– USA: $45 USD (plus sales tax); MEX $500 pesos* ($27.02 USD)

* The Sam’s Club Mexico website often shows the membership on sale for $400 pesos ($21.62 USD)

Costco

Standard Membership (Gold Star)- USA $60 USD (plus tax); MEX $500 Pesos ($27.02 USD)

Executive Membership: USA $120 USD (plus tax); MEX $1,100 pesos ($59.45 USD)

A Note About Sales Tax

In the comparison above, you may have noticed that after the U.S. prices, I included ‘(plus tax)’ but I didn’t do it after the Mexican prices. That’s because federal law in Mexico requires the displayed price to already include all taxes, fees, and/or commissions. In other words, the price you see, is the price you pay.

I really like that about Mexico.

Let’s Wrap This Up

When we lived in the U.S., I was too cheap to get a membership to Sam’s Club or Costco. The membership fees seemed excessive to me and I couldn’t imagine buying enough products in bulk to make it worth my while.

However, now that we are in Mexico, I have finally become a member of a shopping club for the first time in my life. I can stomach paying less than $30 USD a year, especially now that we’re saving money on almost everything else and have more disposable income.

An added bonus is that I will be able to use the card when I return to the U.S. for my annual Proof of Life Tour.

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About the Author

Q-Roo Paul
Paul Kurtzweil (Q-Roo Paul) was a deputy sheriff in Florida for 25 years before retiring at the rank of lieutenant in 2015. He and his wife moved to Mexico looking to maximize their retirement income. In 2016, they started a blog called Two Expats Mexico (qroo.us) sharing their experiences, as well as information about the logistical and legal aspects of retiring south of the border. The blog has been viewed over two million times and the articles have been republished in numerous periodicals across Mexico.

39 Comments on "Even the Memberships for Sam’s and Costco Are Cheaper in Mexico"

  1. Linda Harris | March 29, 2018 at 9:15 am |

    Hi Paul,
    Made sure I had my Sam’s club card with me this past winter when we were in Playa for 2 months. It’s great to stock up on everything for such a long time. Forgot it one year and will never do that again. Also, love their meat! So much better than Mega or Cheudrai! Next winter 3 months and trying to talk hubby into 6!!! Might get 5, if lucky! Love your blog.
    Friends drive up to Cancun for Costco and we try to ride along when they go.
    Thanks!
    LINDA

  2. Rick Matheson | March 29, 2018 at 9:32 am |

    Paul, we just became Sam’s Club members and they gave us a gift card with $200 pesos on it. Love Mexico ❤️

  3. J. McEntire | March 29, 2018 at 9:33 am |

    we recently figured that out ourselves and renewed our Sams membership down here. It is worth it just on pharmacy savings alone!

  4. We shop sometimes in Costco here in Merida. While the membership price is cheaper than in the States, I find that the prices on some items are considerably more than in the States. Oh well….that does keep me from purchasing those items.

    • Q-Roo Paul | March 29, 2018 at 9:36 am |

      I’ve noticed that some U.S. brands are higher in stores here in Mexico. We’ve started using more Mexican brand items to save money.

  5. Linda Zaworski | March 29, 2018 at 9:38 am |

    I was in Home Depot yesterday and noticed that they now accept Coppel credit cards. And I agree about the meat in City Club. Also, their liquor department is the lowest price especially when they have a sale – which seems to be quite frequently.

  6. Great post up Paul .
    We love stopping at the Costco in Leon when we go there. It’s a great place for fresh meat and for-stocking up on supplies for the week.
    We have even purchased furniture (chairs -tables ) for our Mexican home from Costco. We pay a few pesos to the parking lot guys to tie them down on the roof of The SUV.
    Big difference in the hot dog condiments. In the USA the dispenser has onions, in Mexico it’s the Jalepeno peppers.

    Love it.

  7. Howell Cobb | March 29, 2018 at 9:47 am |

    Any idea if it’s possible to renew your US Costco membership in Mexico at the Mexican rate?

    • It is not. We were told the two systems are different but they are linked to recognize cards issued in either jurisdiction.

  8. Frank Little | March 29, 2018 at 9:47 am |

    Can you get Amazon delivered? Thanks, Frank Little

  9. Leland T Merrill | March 29, 2018 at 9:55 am |

    I understand that you do not get the sale prices in the US if you have a Mexico membership. Have you found out that to be true?

  10. I’ve had similar responses I tell someone I bought a house in Mexico 10 minutes from the beach and 10 minutes from downtown and they are leery, as soon as I say I’m down the road from Costco their entire attitude changes
    Just another thing I won’t miss about the US

  11. Thanks, Paul! One thing to keep in mind is that to shop online at either sams.com.mx or costco.com.mx, you will need to have a credit card from a Mexican bank. Coscto.com.mx does have Paypal which allows you a way around this requirement. Shopping in store, this is not an issue and any US credit card will work.
    And if you’re buying big items (like furniture) online you really can’t depend on the home delivery driiver finding your address – or it showing up in the timeframe stated online. From personal experience with those 2 issues, next time I buy I will have the items shipped to the store and hire one of the “fletes” delivery guys to follow me home.

  12. We’ve been a Costco member since 1986, so feel like i know it pretty well. The new Costco in Merida is a wonder to behold, if you haven’t “toured” the cenote in the parking lot, it is worth taking a look! I would agree, the prices are not always deal in Mexico, for us its about convenience and finding some items that aren’t in the other stores. And to the question about Amazon delivery, we used it often and it really does works.

  13. Debbie Skidgel | March 29, 2018 at 11:08 am |

    Hi Paul, do we need a card for City Club?

  14. My dad brags about the cold cuts at Costco in Cancun. He doesn’t have a membership (but we do), so gave it to him for his 2 months in Cancun. Now he wants to go to the Costco here in Cleveland, Ohio (Mayfield Hts.) to try to find the same meat! lol (PS-He loves their vacuum packed ribs, too!)

  15. Cheryl Laidlaw | March 29, 2018 at 12:42 pm |

    Hi Paul, do you know anything about a Canadian Expat community and/or blog similar to yours? We’re seriously considering retiring to Cozumel. TIA

  16. ….and the English and Belgians too…lol! This makes it a really nice and friendly community

  17. Small issue with our Mexico Costco card that is easily solved, if I order online from Costco US I can’t register my Mexican card so they charge me the non-member price. I just call Costco customer service, explain that my card is from Mexico and they give credit me the appropriate amount, slight hassle but well worth it.

  18. “I’m sure you will rest easy knowing that you can still buy toilet paper in bulk when traveling abroad.”

    I actually lol’d.

  19. Steve Martin | March 30, 2018 at 7:41 am |

    Does Ikea deliver in Mexico

  20. Does Costco-MX sell fuel for cars like they do in the US?

    • Not yet, but we anticipate that happening in the future now that the law was changed to allow private companies to enter the marketplace. Until very recently, the oil and gas industries were 100% government controlled.

  21. Sorry if this question was asked or answered already, but for somebody about to spend the winter in Mexico, can we purchase a Sam’s Club membership in Mexico without a Mexico address? We’ll be soon becoming fulltime travelers and will only have a U.S. mailing address but be spending most time in Mexico. Obviously it will be chaper to purchase after we’re in Mexico. TIA!

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