Costco just made the question about whether folks should pay for a membership or not much more interesting, because in Ottawa they are also Costco Gas. It is not close by my house (yet), but still another interesting lure to get a membership. (since this original publishing a gas station will be opening a few blocks from my house).
You can buy a membership for you and your spouse for
$55 (an amount which may have increased since then) (according to this page), so you need to save at least that much every year to justify buying the membership. If anyone cares to argue this, please comment.
At the Costco gas station, gasoline is selling for about 5 cents a litre cheaper than most gas stations in Ottawa (there are a few that area a little cheaper, but most are 5 cents more). This means to get up to the membership fee, you should have to buy about 1100 litres of gasoline over the year (assuming an average of 5 cents saving). While this sounds like a lot, depending on what kind of vehicle you drive (and how many your family drives).
To fill up my wife’s van can take up to 80 litres of gas, so to get to 1100 litres that is less than 15 fill ups (from empty), and this is not counting my Toyota Carola (which takes about 40 litres to fill up as well).
The caveats that I would say you need to take into consideration would be:
- How close is the Costco to your house. The Costco Gas is actually on the way to work for me, and the store is only about 8 km from my house, so I am not going way out of my way to fill up the car, but if you have to drive a long distance to get cheaper gas, you need to take that into consideration.
- Is this good quality gas? I have no idea where they are getting their fuel from, but it seems fine to me.
- They only stock normal and premium (two grades) and they seem to run out of fuel sometimes (given the number of cars there I am not surprised).
- Getting the gas seems complicated to some people (they had a lot of attendants there to explain, even though it is a self-serve station), the procedure is:
- Swipe your Costco Membership card first (or you can’t have any gas)
- Swipe your payment card, however the only payments taken are Costco Amex, Interac Direct Withdrawal or Costco cash cards (so you can’t use other credit cards with them).
- Right now the station is pretty darn busy, so you do have to wait to get to a pump, and they caused a traffic jam on Hunt Club on Saturday