15 Things To Know Before Buying Costco Cell Phones
Republic Wireless uses T-Mobile
We love Republic Wireless because of these reasons. Their plans are dirt cheap. Unlimited text and talk costs only $15/month per line, and data is $5/GB. No data is required, and you can purchase as little or as many as you want.
This dirt-cheap cell phone plan saves us hundreds of dollars per year. You can begin with zero data per month, and then add as many GBs as you need. This gives you complete control over your mobile phone bill.
Republic Wireless also offers calls and texts over WiFi which is a pretty unique feature. If you don’t get service somewhere but have access to WiFi, you can make phone calls and send text messages just like you had service.
You can buy phones directly from Republic Wireless here or you can buy a compatible phone elsewhere and just buy a Republic Wireless SIM card.
You can read our full Republic Wireless review here.
Costco Price Sticker Secrets
If you are savvy enough, there is a hidden code in Costco price stickers. The price of most items is $._9, which can be $2.99 or $2.49. These items will be the costco standard price, according to Costco Secret Price Codes that Will Save you Money Manager’s Special is an item whose price ends in $.00 and $.88. Those are often items that have been returned or have superficial packaging damage. Be sure to look them over to avoid picking up sub-par merchandise, but even if you don’t discover an issue until you get home, the famous Costco return policy will still protect you.
Any price tag ending in $.97 means that the item has been reduced at least once. This makes it even more attractive. These big discounts are especially important for higher-ticket items such as some of the amazing things at Costco.
Which is better: To save or to spend? That is the question so many of us struggle with when it comes to everything from household essentials to big-ticket items. Whether you’re on a tight budget or have millions in the bank, nobody likes to waste money, but money experts really keep unnecessary spending in check. “Money experts typically aren’t big spenders and definitely don’t buy things they can’t afford,” says WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzalez. “They tend to look for quality over quantity and avoid paying interest on credit card purchases by not carrying a balance from one billing cycle to another.”
These people also have an advantage over others in knowing when there are the best deals and they shop at Costco and Target. Believe it or not, one survey found that even people with a net worth of more than $5 million often shopped at these discount stores, too. These are only a few smart shopping techniques that the experts use (as well as the advice they give).
Ting Wireless – Uses Verizon Or T-Mobile
I’ve also had the chance to test out Ting Wireless first hand. Ting Wireless functions just as a phone does if it has Verizon or T Mobile service.
What I love about Ting Wireless is the fact that you only pay for the minutes, texts and data you actually use. If you’re a light cell phone user, you could save a ton of money with Ting Wireless.
These are the current rates for Ting:
We didn’t go with Ting Wireless because we didn’t want to worry about how many minutes or texts we used each month.
Ting can either sell you a smartphone directly or allow you to bring in your device so that Ting SIM cards are purchased. Use their device compatibility checker on their website before you purchase a phone elsewhere to make sure your new phone will work with Ting.
Ting will be able to determine whether or not you have Verizon and T-Mobile coverage. You can choose the provider that you prefer on some phones.
Read our complete review of Ting Wireless.
Best Thing To Buy During Costco Black Friday? Toys!
Costco is the best place to buy Christmas gifts if any of these brands are on your list. Costco is the best place to shop for toys if they are on your Christmas shopping list. Costco’s toy prices are always rock-bottom compared to Amazon and Walmart.
This year, it’ll be slightly tricky because normal Costco rules still apply: Once items are gone, they’re gone, so you’ll want to shop early. The toys may not be available due to delays in the supply chain. I recommend going in starting now and checking back to see if more toys arrive as time goes on. Each week, I add new toys to the Hot Costco Holiday Toys List.
American Girl savings are very rare during the remainder of the year, so Costco sells out quickly. You’ll want to be one of the first ones to snap up American Girl as soon as it arrives in stores.
But did you also know that Costco is a big-box retailer and sells liquor as well?
Keep reading for the top 15 things you should do before buying Costco liquor.
- These tips will change the way you shop for alcohol.
- These are 15 things you need to know before Costco Liquor can be purchased
- 1. Costco’s Liquor Prices are Low
When compared to other retailers, Costco has a lower retail markup of about 10 to 14 percent, where other liquor stores charge a 25 and 45 percent markup.
Because of this, your next bottle of wine will cost less at Costco, and you can get a much bigger bottle for the same price as smaller bottles from other stores.
Because of the low price, their profit margins are smaller but compensated by repeated business from repeat customers and bulk sales.
- 2. The Costco Liquor Selection is Unmatched
Costco offers a great Kirkland liquor selection, as well as more popular brands. A few luxury brands are available. You can buy many luxurious brands under the Kirkland Label.
You can also enjoy:
- Wines (all varieties) Rums Tequilas Bourbons Scotches Whiskeys Vodkas Gins Wines
- 3. Costco Carries Brand-Name Liquor Dupes
Kirkland products from Costco often are produced in the same facilities as other high-end brands.
You may find clues on the back of liquor bottles about their brand-name counterpart.
Here is a list of names that are associated with Kirkland spirits. This belief is now being questioned.
- Gordon Biersch (Kirkland beer)
- Alexander Murray and Macallan Distillery (Kirkland scotch)
- Jim Beam (Kirkland Bourbon and Rum)
- Grey Goose (Kirkland vodka)
- Cielo (Kirkland) tequila
- These name brands will help you resist the temptation to purchase a Kirkland spirit when it comes time to make a purchase.
- 4. Costco Also Has Kirkland Wine
This is a little-known fact: Costco wines are produced at top wineries using the same grapes as high-end wines.
Just like spirits, you can also find clues on wine labels. For example, you can save a lot of money by choosing Kirkland over Champagne Janisson & Fils or Champagne de Bruyne.
Kirkland wines are actually sourced from some of the same vineyards that your favourite brands.
- Domaine de Nalys
- Kunde Estate
- Girard Winery
- Taylor Fladgate
- 5. Costco Has Top-Shelf Wine and Liquor Available
Costco can sell Dom Perignon. Look in the liquor section to find out about other brands if you are looking to buy more than Kirkland bottles.
Costco has limited edition products available for the collectors among us. You might find a gem within your next weekly or monthly liquor purchase if you are a good shopper.
- 6. Costco Liquor is sometimes available for purchase without having to have a membership
Costco is not required to hold a Costco membership in order to obtain liquor.
- Arizona California Connecticut Delaware Hawaii Indiana Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota New York Texas Vermont
Simply walk in and tell the employee at the front door that you are there to buy liquor, and you will be able to purchase liquor without a membership.
It doesn’t hurt to check if you don’t live in these states but you don’t have a Costco membership. You can also get Costco memberships.
- 7. Costco Locations have different liquor selections
- Costco can offer a variety of liquors, some of which are not available in all states. Also, you can find T
his mostly applies to hard liquor, and you will likely be able to buy beer and wine regardless of your state.
Be aware that not all liquor is available on the same day.
State restrictions may vary. You will have to consult your local regulations in order to determine exactly what you can buy at Costco’s closest location.
- 8. Costco Has Liquor Gift Baskets Available
- You can find gift baskets from Costco throughout the year. These baskets are available with top liquor brands. These gift bags can be used to make a special surprise, such as for a housewarming gift, or simply to grab something you want.
Holidays bring even more gifts baskets. You can give the very best with less by purchasing seasonal baskets that include holiday liquors or advent calendars.
- 9. Clearance Products are marked with an asterisk
Costco has a variety of products. Be sure to look out for the asterisks.
Usually, this will be on the top right-hand corner. An asterisk indicates clearance products.
It’s now marked down and is ready for you to use! It is a favorite of yours, so make sure you stock up. Clearance items aren’t restocked, so get them now.
- 10. Costco Restocks Liquor Early
Costco stock its shelves frequently and often early! The shelves are restocked daily at 4 AM. If you’re looking for your favourite spirit but it’s out of stock, Costco will restock the next day.
- 11. Costco is the best place to buy liquor
Do not forget about big sales
Don’t forget about big sales which occur at different times during the year.
Phones older than one year are more popular when new phones come out. You can get the Samsung Galaxy S20 at a great price right after the Samsung Galaxy S21.
If you want the latest and greatest phones, wait a few months after the new version debuts and demand dies down to spot deals.
Another great time to purchase a phone is during the holidays. All sorts of cell phone deals will be offered by retailers from Black Friday to Christmas.
Some stores will offer discounts on the purchase of the phone, while others may give gift certificates worth hundreds of dollars.
However, you’ll want to consider the following if you really want to save money on your next cell phone purchase.
Keep in mind: The best overall price is the one you find
Remember, your goal is to find the best overall price when you’re buying a phone. Amazon is my favorite place to shop.
Consider purchasing your smartphone on credit cards if you don’t want to buy it outright. You may be eligible for extended warranty coverage, accidental damage protection within the first 90-days or free insurance.
These little-known benefits are available on credit cards. You can find out more here.
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Where is your favorite place to buy your cell phone? Is it the most affordable or are you looking for something else?
Lance Cothern is a CPA and holds an Indiana license. Cothern is a professional writer for top publications such as Forbes, Investopedia and Credit Karma.
His expertise was also featured in Yahoo, MSN and USA Today as well as The Huffington Post, Fast Company.
Money Manifesto was founded by Lance. Lance started to write about money in 2012 and help people with their financial issues. You can read more about him and find links to his other work and media mentions here.
Lance Cothern CPA
Take A Look At Online Retailers And Use Rakuten
Once I’ve checked out Amazon, I then look into other online stores online as online shopping is the easiest. It is easy to compare options anywhere, even your cell phone provider.
You can register here to get Rakuten, formerly Ebates. Also read my review. Before I check any prices, I make sure I have the Rakuten browser extension installed.
Rakuten offers a 20-dollar welcome bonus to new members who use Rakuten within the first 90 days to qualify for a purchase of $20+.
Register for Rakuten
Rakuten’s browser extension alerts you when you visit a site where you could be eligible for cash back. Just click the activate button before you check out to qualify for earning cash back.
If you can earn 5% cash back on a $600 phone, that’s a $30 savings for having a browser extension installed and clicking an activate cashback link. Other online purchases can also be saved.
First, I’d check on the stores’ websites for pricing information. Online shopping is a great way to find amazing deals. You can often find great deals online, but sometimes you’ll want to visit physical shops to check if there are any specials they don’t advertise.
Occasionally, you can get a gift card with the purchase of a phone or purchase an open box phone in perfect shape at a much lower price.
If you are looking for Costco cell phones, look out for the Wireless Advocates Kiosks
You can find cell phones at Costco by looking for Wireless Advocates kiosks. These kiosks are rectangular, tall, and black, with pops of color coming from different carriers’ logos.
You can see a photo of a typical kiosk here.
Costco outsources cell phone sales to Wireless Advocates instead of doing it themselves. Wireless Advocates is an established “third-party provider” and retailer of wireless products.
- $95 annual fee
- There is no introductory 0% APR
- After 1 Year, the estimated rewards received are $1,506
The points you earn from your welcome bonus are included in the Rewards Totals
This card is for who? This is the Chase Sapphire Preferred, one of the most popular travel credit cards and it pairs well with two other Chase cards. Chase Sapphire Preferred cardholders earn 5X points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards(r), 3X points on dining and 2X points on all other travel purchases.
This card is notable for the strong redemption rate when you redeem points for travel via Chase Ultimate Rewards. Points are worth 25% more, so the 80,000-point welcome bonus is worth up to $1,000 toward travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards (you need to spend $4,000 within the first three months to earn the bonus). This is a great way to maximize the value of points and the welcome bonus.
Beyond rewards, cardholders can benefit from helpful travel perks, such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, no foreign transaction fees, trip cancellation/interruption insurance, auto rental collision damage waiver, travel and emergency assistance services, baggage delay insurance and trip delay reimbursement.
What To Know Before Applying
Before you apply for a credit card, you should always ask yourself a few questions that can help shape which credit card is best for your needs.
- How do I know my credit score? Knowing your credit score is key to gauging which credit cards you have the best chances of qualifying for. There are numerous free credit score resources available that provide your credit score, updated on a monthly basis.
- What are the reasons I would like to get a credit card. You should only open credit card when there’s a need. So if you shop at Costco and pay with cash because you don’t have a credit card backed by Visa, then that’s a good reason since you’re missing out on rewards.
- Is an annual fee worth it? Do the math if you are considering a credit card that has an annual fee.
- What are my plans for using the card? You’ve already decided that you want a card for Costco, but now you should see what other purchases you expect to charge to the card. A flat rate cash-back card like Chase Freedom Unlimited(r) is better if you plan to use it daily. But if you plan on traveling outside the U.S., check out credit cards with no foreign transaction fees, such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred(r).
Learn more: How to choose the best credit card in 3 easy steps
Cricket Wireless – Uses At&T
Cricket does not have any contracts and overages. They also include taxes in their monthly rates which is quite sweet.
You can get unlimited talk and text for $25 per month or add 2 GB of data for $30 per month. If you want 5 GB of data, the bill would be $40 a month or unlimited high-speed data is just $60 per month.
You can save $5 per Month if Cricket Wireless offers unlimited and 5GB data plans.
Cricket Wireless also offers multiple line discounts, but you must have the $40 per month plan or higher to qualify. The second line’s bill is reduced by $10 and lines 3-5 have their bills reduced by $20 each.
Costco Offers 10 Discounts on Electronics
Costco is known for its cheap chickens, super-sized toilet paper packages and other household products.
You can browse the online aisles and make a decision before you buy electronics if you are a warehouse member. Costco offers some of the most affordable electronics and a bonus if your purchase does not go through.
“You can find great deals at Costco all year long,” said Julie Ramhold, a consumer analyst with DealNews.com. The store offers great deals almost every day on electronics. They also have monthly savings events that you can take advantage of both in-store or online. The best thing is that Costco sends these mailers out early so that you have them before the events begin and you can plan ahead, which means you don’t have to worry about rushing to the website or store the day the sales begin to find out what’s been discounted.”
Plus, Ramhold said, the return policy is extra-generous.
She stated that many retailers offer returns policies of 14 days for electronics. Costco, however, will accept returns in 90 days for select electronics categories, including TVs, projectors and touchscreen tablets as well as smart watches, cameras, and other electronics.
So what are some of the best electronics deals waiting for you at Costco?
You might consider switching to another provider
Be careful not to freak out saying, “I couldn’t leave Verizon!”
If you’re currently with one of the big three carriers (AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile) you’re probably not getting the best deal on your monthly cell phone bill.
Switching to a lower-cost carrier and getting the exact same service may save you money quickly, often in a matter of months.
What most people don’t realize is you can still get Verizon, AT&T, or T-Mobile service (yes the same service) at a cheaper rate through one of the other cell phone brands that buy network usage from the big four carriers.
These other cell phone brands are called MVNOs or Mobile Virtual Network Operators. These operators don’t have the networks or cell towers, but lease them to their customers.
Every single major cell phone service provider has multiple MVNOs that offer the same service at a cheaper price.
Ramhold stated that Costco offers excellent TV prices throughout the year. Ramhold mentioned that a Samsung 65 inch set is available for $550 and a Hisense 50 inch for $300. An LG 75-inch, on sale for $870, can be found at Costco for $770. “Considering those are the prices in March, it should come as no surprise that the discounts are even better when Black Friday rolls around. You can find a variety of models in their stores and they carry many of the major brands.
Check With Your Carrier
You won’t be doing yourself any favors by forgetting to price check with your cell phone carrier. Occasionally, carriers offer deep discounts on certain phones to entice new customers to their service or keep existing customers from leaving.
Most of the time your carrier won’t have the best deal, but it doesn’t hurt to check.
If you shop online and are willing to switch carriers, you can often get huge cash back with Rakuten.
But Make Sure You Read The Fine Print On The Costco Cell Phones Return Policy
Although no one enjoys looking at the fine print, this could be a great way to save money.
Double-check the duration of your trial. Although it is usually 14 days long, lengths can vary from one carrier to the next.
Costco frozen meals usually come in packs of four and they carry a couple different brands. The varieties change, but the price in the four pack is usually at least a dollar cheaper than it would be to buy all four meals at a regular store. See also 15 Cheap, Single-Serving Freezer Recipes
The Costco Holiday Sales Will Come In Four Waves From Nov
There will be four sales waves. Each wave is color coded according to the date they correspond. This is a great time to shop, depending on the items on your wish list and any Costco deals.
Paper products like toilet paper and paper towels are a great Costco buy! These products will be heavy to transport, but they’ll save you a lot of money if you buy in bulk.
My Favorite Mvnos
After using a few MVNOs first hand, I’ve found that they work almost exactly like a phone would on the main provider’s network. You’ll have to go through the MVNO for customer service and phone issues, but cell service acts about the same.
Here are my favorite MVNOs for different networks and different levels of cell phone use.
Best Costco Holiday Food Deals Include Rolls And Pumpkin Pie
While you are there, grab a few rolls or four and one pie. Tell yourself you’re buying so much to freeze for the holidays and then shamelessly eat one of the pies when you get home. Best $5.99 you’ll ever spend.
Soda (And Beer)
Costco has the best selection of soda drinks. Major brands sell 32 cans (that’s more than five 6-packs) for $12-$13 which is way less than you’d pay at a grocery store — or through a vending machine! Costco beer is four 6-packs for the price of three 6-packs elsewhere. Who doesn’t want a free 6-pack? (See also: How to Make Soda At Home).
You can still get the iPhone 13 and enroll in the Forever Upgrade program if you don’t have a qualifying trade-in device right now. If you wish to upgrade, and your device is still in excellent working order, you can get up to $800 off the next upgrade within two years.
15 Things To Know Before Buying Costco Cell Phones In 2022
Type of business
Type of site
June 23, 2005
San Francisco, California
>US$100 million (Q2 2021)
700 (February 2021)
and promoted links
You can buy a car, party platter or other items at Costco for great prices. Why not check out its cell phone selection? The annual membership fee is worth the cost, as are many of the other benefits that Costco offers.
Costco has the easiest method to find your cell phones. Look for Wireless Advocates kiosks. They tend to be square-shaped, very tall, black and have punches made from different carrier logos.
The kiosks have a kind of “roof” with carrier logos. So if you are just looking up or walking towards the electronics area you’ll be able see it. (You can view a great photo here of what typical kiosk looks like).
Wireless Advocates does not employ Costco workers as the kiosk is operated by its own company.
Wireless Advocate employees cannot answer questions related to Costco.
It also means kiosk workers are educated and well-versed in the products they are selling. This is in contrast with Costco staff who work in the jewelry department but aren’t trained in either gemology or diamond expertise.
Costco phones can be purchased as part of the three main wireless carriers, AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile.
It doesn’t matter if your phone is on one or more of those plans. You will be able buy a pre-configured phone.
Clark.com claims that Costco’s plans can be found in all retail locations and online. But Costco’s members pricing is what makes them different.
Costco doesn’t sell phones unlocked that can be used on any carrier. It is impossible to buy the latest iPhone without a Cricket Wireless plan.
If you don’t have a plan, then you must be prepared to change to another one with Verizon, AT&T, or T-Mobile.
Clark.com also reports that Costco’s Wireless Advocate kiosks tend to have the newest phone models available.
A visit to membershipwireless.com, Costco’s external cell phone website, reveals the latest Apple and Samsung models, including the iPhone 13 and the Galaxy Z Flip3.
Costco was not equipped with the latest Google Pixel models, which is surprising, considering that they had been around for only a couple of months when this article was published.
There are also a number of older models that the company offers, and they’re much more affordable.
Costco is able to help members save some money by offering the best cell phone models.
While the 10% mark is rarely seen, the most common discount on retail prices will be between three and four percent.
Apple sells the Apple iPhone 13 Starlight for $899. However, you can get it for $865 through Costco, a savings of about four percent.
Costco offers a variety of cell phones at affordable prices, so you won’t need to worry about having it delivered.
To lower your monthly costs, you could pay the majority of phones monthly in installments. You may also make a down payment.
Costco has done a really nice job of partnering with Wireless Advocates and offering exclusive members-only deals to its customers.
Apple Phones are now up to 70% off if you go in the warehouse and make a trade-in.
T-Mobile’s customers could sign up for a new phone line and receive a Samsung Galaxy A32 as a free gift.
The main complaint about purchasing a phone from Costco is the slow pace of the whole process.
There may only be one worker, and that means one person must work through all the people.
Clark.com says that there can be a lot to do, and it is important to prepare, especially on the weekends.
Costco has a limited selection of cell phones in store.
Prepare second and/or third options if you must bring your own phone to the shop.
Costco phones can generally be returned within the first 90 days. This isn’t in accordance with Costco’s general policy of return, which is stricter. Unfortunately, electronics such as mobile phones follow a different policy.
According to Clark.com, returns are actually handled through Wireless Advocates and not Costco.
Costco will not accept your returned phone. Instead, contact Wireless Advocates via email at CostcoOnlineSupport@wirelessadvocates.com or by phone at 1-888-369-5931.
Although no one enjoys looking at the fine print, this could be a great way to save money.
You should double-check and confirm the trial period length. While it’s usually fourteen days, there are some variations from one carrier another.
Wireless Advocate kiosk services aren’t as comprehensive as those you would receive from a Verizon Wireless Store.
At a VZW retailer, for example, your iCloud can be connected by employees after you activate your iPhone.
Wireless Advocate staff are not able to help you, and will instead provide you with printed instructions once you return home.
Costco offers exclusive deals on cell phones as well.
Accessory items such as screens covers, accessories and chargers are available through Costco at very low prices. Also, there is a limited-time deal.
Costco has Black Friday sales that you should not miss, particularly if your goal is to buy a new phone. The company often offers sweet deals at this time, so you might be able to save big if it’s right.
To learn more about Costco, visit the Costco iPad and phone returns policy posts.
Costco members who are looking for a new phone can visit the warehouse.
Costco offers lower prices combined with ongoing discounts and perks that can’t beat. You also get trusted and quality service from three of the major carriers- Verizon and AT&T.
Do Costco Members Get Discounts On Phones?
It doesn’t matter if your cell phones or plans match those offered by wireless companies. Costco’s exclusive member offers are a great example of this! Clark claims that Costco’s member-only specials will include any deal your phone company might offer to you to exchange your phone for a better one or to buy another pair, and additional bonus offers. May 14, 2021
Are You able to Upgrade your Phone at Costco
3. What wireless phone kiosks are available in Costco to allow me upgrade my existing smartphone? Absolutely! No. Our wireless experts will help you secure your phone with the right carrier.
Are Costco Iphones Real?
Costco sells iPhones through Wireless Advocates, a third-party company that runs in-store kiosks and online purchasing. The special Costco iPhone promotion could save you money.
Costco phones can be unlocked
Wireless Advocates has taken over sales of cell phones and plans from Costco, which is wholly owned to Car Toys. Costco does not sell other carriers and an unlocked device cannot be purchased at Costco.
.15 Things To Know Before Buying Costco Cell Phones In 2022