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costco affiliate program

Costco Affiliate Program

Interested in venturing into the Costco affiliate program but unsure where to begin? Or perhaps you're considering becoming a publisher for this popular marketplace.




Interested in venturing into the Costco affiliate program but unsure where to begin? Or perhaps you’re considering becoming a publisher for this popular marketplace.

Look no further! This article will provide valuable information on the Costco affiliate program and offer guidance on how to become a Costco affiliate and effectively promote its products.

Let’s dive into it now!

About Costco

Costco is a renowned company that revolutionized the retail industry. It was formed in 1993 through a merger between Price Club and Costco, two major membership warehouses in the United States.

Their business model focuses on offering quality products from well-known brands at wholesale prices to their members.

Initially targeting businesses, Costco later opened its doors to the general public, allowing anyone to become a wholesale member and access discounted groceries.

With global sales amounting to US$157 billion, Costco is recognized as one of the largest retailers worldwide.

Costco operates in thirteen countries, including the United States, Canada, the UK, Mexico, South Korea, Taiwan, Japan, Australia, Iceland, France, Spain, New Zealand, and Sweden. Also, it has hundreds of store locations.

They provide a wide range of products, including food, furniture, electronics, and jewelry.

With global sales of US$157 billion, Costco is one of the world’s largest retailers. That’s why their affiliate program poses a potential for any publishers/ affiliates to make money through affiliate marketing, whether you’re promoting it through Youtube, Twitter, or Instagram.

About Costco Affiliate Program

There is an abundance of information to explore when it comes to Costco’s affiliate program, but let’s narrow down our focus to the essential aspects:

Program Type CPS – Cost Per Sales
Commission Rates Fixed commission structure, up to 6$
Cookie Duration Session-based cookie duration
Minimum Payout No minimum payout
Payment Schedule Monthly
Payout Methods PayPal
Geographic Availability United States
Promotional Materials Image banners, Text link banners

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How Does the Costco Affiliate Program Work? 

The Costco affiliate program is managed by CJ Affiliate. To participate in the Costco affiliate program, you will need to have a CJ Affiliate account. While having an existing website with some traffic can be beneficial, the barrier to entry for joining CJ Affiliate is relatively low.

CJ Affiliate is known for being user-friendly, and the application process is typically straightforward. If you have any questions or your application is declined, you can directly contact their affiliate team for assistance.

After submitting your information through CJ Affiliate, you will await approval confirmation. Once approved, you can generate custom links for products and services to incorporate into your website or social media posts.

If a visitor clicks on your affiliate link and makes a purchase within that browsing session, you have the potential to earn a commission.

Cookie Duration

While many affiliate programs typically have cookies that last for 30 days or longer, the Costco affiliate program offers a session-based cookie instead.

Costco Affiliate Program Cookie Duration: A session-based cookie

A session-based cookie refers to a cookie active only during the user’s browsing session on a website. Once the user closes their browser or leaves the website, the cookie expires and is no longer active.

This can be seen as a drawback because you won’t receive credit for the sale if the visitor’s session is interrupted or they leave the website.

Costco Affiliate Program Commission Rate

The payment of this program is pretty disappointing and relatively low compared to other programs such as Etsy and Amazon.

Costco Affiliate Program Cookie Duration

There are two payout options in this program: $3 for Gold Star membership purchases and $6 for Executive membership purchases

In this affiliate program, the payout structure is straightforward:

  • $3 for Gold Star membership purchases
  • $6 for Executive membership purchases

Even if your audience clicks on your affiliate link, visits your website, and makes a substantial $500 grocery purchase, the commission you earn through the Costco affiliate program remains only $3 in commission, while an Executive membership purchase would earn you $6.

Additionally, it’s important to highlight that commissions are only paid for Costco wholesale transactions conducted only within the United States.

Therefore, other countries such as Canada, Europe, or Asia cannot join and make money with the program.

Gold Star Membership

To shop at Costco and enjoy discounted bulk prices, you must sign up for a club membership. The Gold Star membership is the entry-level tier, providing one card for household use. This membership allows entry into the store and grants access to various services such as discounted gas, tires, travel, and home services. While affiliates earn a $3 commission for every successful Gold Star membership sign-up.

Executive Membership

For those seeking a higher-level membership, the Executive Costco membership offers additional benefits. In addition to the perks of a Gold Star membership, Executive members receive 2% cash back on all purchases.

They also enjoy more significant cash-back savings for specific services like check printing, identity protection, and complimentary roadside assistance through the auto insurance affiliate program. Affiliates earn a set fee commission of $6 for each Executive membership sold through their affiliate link.

How Much Can You Make From the Costco Affiliate Program?

The amount you can make from the Costco affiliate program depends on several factors, including the number of referrals. Let’s consider an example:

Assuming you are an affiliate marketer promoting Costco memberships and can refer 100 new customers in a given month.

If 80 of those referrals sign up for a Gold Star membership, you will earn $3 per sign-up. That would result in a commission of 80*$3 = $240.

For the remaining 20 referrals who opt for an Executive membership, you will earn $6 per sign-up. That would amount to a commission of 20 * $6 = $120.

So, in this case, your total monthly earnings from the Costco affiliate program would be $240 + $120 = $360.

Who Should Join Costco Affiliate Program?

The Costco affiliate program may be suitable for various individuals or businesses, including:

Content creators

Bloggers, influencers, or website owners who create content related to shopping, savings, or product reviews that align with Costco’s offerings.

Coupon and deal websites

Platforms that focus on sharing discounts, deals, and promotional offers can benefit from promoting Costco’s membership benefits and exclusive offers.

Family and lifestyle bloggers

Individuals or bloggers who focus on family-oriented content, home improvement, or lifestyle topics can highlight Costco’s wide range of products and services relevant to their audience.

Travel bloggers

Travel bloggers can leverage Costco’s travel services, such as vacation packages, car rentals, and hotel discounts, to offer their audience unique travel experiences and savings.

Targeted niche websites

Websites focusing on specific product categories like electronics, furniture, or groceries can promote relevant Costco products within their niche.

What are the requirements and rules of the Costco Affiliate Program?

The specific requirements and rules of the Costco Affiliate Program may be subject to change, so it’s essential to review the program terms and conditions provided by the program administrator, CJ Affiliate.

However, here are some general requirements and rules that may apply:

CJ Affiliate account

You need to create an account with CJ Affiliate, the program administrator for the Costco affiliate program, and complete the application process.

Website or online platform

Typically, you must have a functional website or online platform where you can promote Costco and its products/services. Some programs may have specific requirements regarding website quality and traffic.

Geographic restrictions

The Costco affiliate program has specific geographic restrictions for publishers which are in the US.

Pros & Cons of Costco Affiliate Program

Benefits Disadvantages
Established reputation and trust in the brand

Opportunity to capitalize on the bulk buying trend

Dedicated affiliate support and guidance

Low payout threshold for bank payment and check

Session-based cookie system, limiting commissions to immediate purchases

No deep linking allowed, restricting targeting of specific product pages

Limited marketing materials provided

Pros of Costco Affiliate Program

Well-established reputation

Costco is a well-known and reputable brand with numerous stores across the United States. This familiarity and trust in the brand can make it easier for you to promote Costco memberships to your audience.

Capitalizing on bulk buying trends

Costco’s popularity stems from its ability to offer competitive prices on bulk purchases. Dedicated affiliate support

You can benefit from the assistance of an affiliate manager who can provide support and guidance.

Should you encounter any issues or problems, you can contact them via email; they typically respond promptly with the necessary support.

Minimal payout threshold

The program has a low payout threshold, requiring you to earn just $50 for bank payment or $100 for payment by check before receiving your commission.

Coupon usage permitted

This program allows you to incorporate coupons and promotional codes into your affiliate marketing efforts. As long as the coupons are accessible to the general public and provided by the affiliate program, you can use them to incentivize your readers to sign up for a membership.

Ideal for specific niche markets

If you specialize in money-saving strategies or prepping, this program presents a favorable opportunity for generating effortless sales within these niche markets.

Cons of Costco Affiliate Program

Session-based cookie system

In this program, cookies are session-based, meaning you only earn a commission if a customer purchases their current browsing session. If they close their browser and return later to make a purchase, you won’t receive a payment.

Unavailable deep links

Unlike some affiliate programs that allow deep linking to specific product pages for better conversion rates, Costco doesn’t permit deep linking. Affiliates can only direct customers to the page associated with their affiliate link.

Lack of comprehensive marketing materials

While many affiliate programs offer a range of marketing materials such as banners, videos, email swipe files, and keywords to support affiliates’ promotional efforts, Costco does not provide these resources.

What Products Can You Promote?

When considering an affiliate program, it’s essential to align it with the interests and needs of your audience. The Costco affiliate program offers potential advantages in this regard.

Costco follows a selective approach by stocking items that are likely to appeal to its members. In their own words, they provide “just everything you want.”

To evaluate the suitability of the Costco affiliate program for your audience, let’s explore their main product categories. This will help you make an informed decision about whether to proceed or not.

Appliances Clothing & Luggage Beauty
Furniture Home Improvement Gourmet foods
Floral items Home & Kitchen Sports & Fitness
Computer Groceries & pets Toys & books
Electronics Jewellery & watches Patio &  lawn
Baby Home Services (installations) Gift cards
Mattresses Health & personal care Tires & Auto

The Costco affiliate program offers a wide range of diverse products similar to those found in popular online stores. It covers various categories, ensuring there is something for everyone.

Another significant advantage of Costco is that most of its inventory consists of trusted brand-name products, setting them apart from competitors like Amazon.

How to Become a Costco Affiliate?

To become a Costco affiliate, you need to follow a series of steps to prepare your information for review by CJ Affiliate, the management company.

Follow these step-by-step:

#1: Create an account

Go to the CJ Affiliate website > Click on the Sign up button on the right corner of the page > Find the Publisher section > Sign up.

#2: Submit your application

After receiving approval from the network, apply for the Costco affiliate program. This involves accessing the Costco profile on the network dashboard and providing your information.

#3: Fulfill requirements

As part of your application, you will need to include a marketing plan and agree to the terms and conditions of both the network and Costco.

#4 Wait for program approval

Your application will undergo review, and you will receive communication regarding the status of your approval.

#5 Start promoting

Once approved, you will receive a login and password. You can then begin promoting Costco memberships to your audience.

How Long Does Getting Approved for the Costco Affiliate Program Take?

The average waiting time for approval in the Costco affiliate program is usually a few days. Typically, most applicants receive notification within a week. However, during periods of high application volumes, it is reasonable to anticipate a longer waiting period.

How to Make Money With Costco Affiliate Program?

There are several ways to promote this affiliate program, some of the best methods could be:

Create engaging product reviews

Write detailed and informative reviews of popular Costco products, highlighting their features, benefits, and value. Include personal experiences and recommendations to engage your audience and drive interest in purchasing through your affiliate links.

For example, you can create a review video showcasing the features and benefits of a popular Costco kitchen appliance like the Instant Pot. Demonstrate how it simplifies cooking and saves time, highlighting its affordability compared to other brands.

Share exclusive Costco promotions

Keep an eye on Costco’s limited-time offers and exclusive promotions. Stay updated on Costco’s latest promotions and discounts, and share them with your audience through your website, social media platforms, and email newsletters.

When Costco offers a discount on its annual membership fee, create a dedicated blog post or social media post highlighting the benefits of membership and the savings customers can enjoy. Share the brand’s unique promo code for your audience when signing up, ensuring they receive the discount, and you earn your commission.

Collaborate with influencers

Identify influential individuals or content creators in your niche who have a strong following and align with the Costco brand. Collaborate with them to create sponsored content, product endorsements, or joint giveaways to reach a wider audience and boost affiliate conversions.

Can You Make Money With The Costco Affiliate Program?

People invest significant effort in affiliate marketing with the primary goal of earning a substantial income. However, when considering the Costco affiliate program, it is important to note that the potential for earning a minimum of $1000 per month may not be realistic. This is due to the program’s low commission rates despite Costco’s prominence as a top retailer.

Additionally, the session-based cookie system and the restriction on earning solely from membership sales can limit conversion rates. Therefore, if your intention is to generate significant revenue through affiliate marketing, the Costco program may not be the most suitable choice.

Costco Affiliate Program’s Alternatives

For alternatives to Costco, you can explore Amazon Associates, Walmart, and Target.

Amazon Associates

Amazon offers one of the most popular affiliate programs. They provide a wide range of products to promote, competitive commission rates varying by product category, and 24-hour cookie duration. Publishers will get paid every month and can choose from various payout options.

Amazon offers multiple products across various categories so that you can promote almost anything based on your niche and audience. This can include electronics, fashion, home goods, books, and more.

Why choose Amazon Associates over Costco?

  • Competitive commission rates, especially for popular product categories.
  • Extensive global reach and brand recognition, leading to higher conversion rates.
  • Robust tracking system and reporting tools for affiliate performance analysis.
  • Diverse promotional tools and resources are provided for affiliates.

Target Affiliate Program

The Target affiliate program offers attractive commission rates based on the product category. The cookie duration is 7 days, allowing affiliates a reasonable timeframe to earn commissions. The commission rates range from 1% to 8%.

In Target, publishers can promote clothing, beauty products, home decor, furniture, electronics, and groceries. You can also promote trendy fashion items, exclusive Target brands, home essentials, or seasonal items based on your target audience’s interests.

Target affiliate program

Why are Target Affiliates better than Costco?

  • Competitive commission rates and potential for higher earnings in specific product categories.
  • Wide range of products available, including popular brands and exclusive Target merchandise.
  • Easy-to-use affiliate platform with tracking and reporting capabilities.

Walmart Affiliate Program

The Walmart Affiliate Program is another Costco affiliate program’s alternative allowing content marketers and influencers to earn commissions by promoting Walmart products. Affiliates can earn 1% to 4% on eligible sales through their affiliate links.

The program requires an active website or blog, and payments are made on a net 60 basis with a minimum payment threshold of $50. It’s a great opportunity to monetize your platform and promote a trusted brand.

Walmart and Costco Affiliate Program. Which is better?

  • Walmart offers a better commission rate
  • Allowing global publishers to join


How can I join the Costco affiliate program?

To join the Costco affiliate program, you need to create an account with CJ Affiliate (formerly Commission Junction) and apply for the program through their platform.

What is the cookie duration for the Costco affiliate program?

The Costco affiliate program uses a session-based cookie duration. This means that the affiliate will only receive a commission if the customer purchases the same browsing session after clicking on the affiliate link.

What is the payment schedule for the Costco affiliate program?

The payment schedule for the Costco affiliate program is monthly. Affiliates can expect to receive their earnings monthly, subject to reaching the minimum payout threshold.


Based on the review of the Costco affiliate program, it appears that joining the program may not be the most advantageous decision. While Costco is a well-known retailer, and there is a possibility of making sales through your website, it is important to consider the program’s limitations.

Compared to other options such as Walmart, Amazon, and eBay, Costco may not offer promising results. Therefore, it is advisable to set realistic expectations and explore alternative affiliate programs that may offer greater earning potential and benefits.