able to purchase a $120 Wag (pet hotel) gift
card for $89.99, Seattleites a $100 Teatro
ZinZanni gift card for $79.99 and New Yorkers
tickets to the Knicks at 40 percent off.
When asked about competitors’ savings
claims, Jan Tanner, Ticket Program buyer,
says that, unlike a lot of cards which simply
offer a dollar for dollar value, “We always
strive to offer at least 20 percent savings.”
Special 2009 offers include ski-lift passes,
SpaFinder.com and NFLshop.com gift certificates and $50 Build-A-Bear cards for $39.99.
Restaurant, Coffee Card and Gift Box
Chocolate Program*. This card/certificate
program makes indulgences more affordable as hard-to-get savings are offered for
fine-dining experiences (two $50 gift cards
for $79.99), coffee establishments such as
Caribou Coffee (Minnesota and Iowa) and
gift box chocolates such as See’s Candies on
the West Coast.
Restaurants in the program read like an
upscale eatery who’s who: McCormick &
Schmick’s Seafood Restaurants; Orso
(Anchorage); Purple Café and Wine Bar
(Seattle); Twigs Bistro and Martini Bar
(Spokane); Francesca’s and Rosebud restaurants (Chicago); Fox Restaurant Concepts
establishments, such as Wildflower (Tucson,
Arizona), Cohn Restaurant Group branches,
including Blue Point Coastal Cuisine
(California); Lucille’s Smokehouse Bar-B-Que
(California); Uncle Jack’s Steakhouse (New
York City); Okra’s Louisiana Bistro and
Foundation (Manassas, Virginia); Atlantic
Bar & Grill (South Seaside Park, New Jersey);
Restaurants Unlimited locations; and more.
Selections are based on close warehouse
proximity, which means that two warehouses
in the same city might have different offerings, and not all warehouses can participate.
( Tip: When traveling, stop by the local Costco
to see if certificates for nearby restaurants
may be offered.)
i Tunes*. Available in all warehouses and
usually located near the iPods in electronics,
the i Tunes gift-card pack bundles four $15
cards ($60 value) for 55.99. ( Costco.com
offers a $50 gift card for $46.99, including
shipping and handling.) Kids too young for
credit cards are wild about these cards.
Entertainment cards or certificates*.
Sales are up dramatically compared to last
year in this category, and it’s easy to understand why.
Regional and national programs allow
more members to participate. And many
offers, such as CityPass (bundled attractions
in numerous cities with savings of at least 20
percent) and five-pack movie vouchers, can
be purchased year-round.
Savings are always at least 15 percent,
with a goal of 20 percent or more. I appreciate
the shop-by-price feature that lists what’s less
than $100 and what’s more.
New offerings include Nationwidecar
chauffeured limousine service ($75 gift card
for $54.99); Improv Comedy Club and Dinner
Theater (two $50 gift cards for $79.99); and
TakeLessons, with locations teaching music,
singing, piano and voice in more than 400 cities. NutriSystem®’s 35-Day Meal Plan, ski destinations and gym memberships continue to
be big hits.
Restaurant gift cards*. Costco.com’s restaurant gift-card program offers a great value
and takes the hassle out of gift-giving.
The program highlights six fine-dining
restaurants, such as Trader Vic’s or Wolfgang
Puck, at any given time, each offering a $100
gift card for $79.99. (Shipping may be extra.)
Event tickets. You want the best reserved
seats, on a specific date and time, and at a savings? Check out Costco’s reserved-seating
events, offering Broadway shows and tours,
NBA games, NASCAR races, Cirque du Soleil,
Las Vegas concerts, Madison Square Garden
events, New York’s Radio City Music Hall
Christmas Spectacular and unique special
events, such as the Super Bowl, the NCAA
Final Four Championship, the MLB All-Star
Game, the Kentucky Derby and the PGA’s
Given Costco’s goal of providing advance
and last-minute ticket deals for select events
across the country, it should come as no surprise that tickets are limited, ever changing
and often rare. Rarer yet are Costco.com’s savings of up to 50 percent, with the majority of
events having no service fees added.
The process is simple. Go to Costco.com
and enter “Event Tickets” in the Search box.
THE GIFT OF a Gold Star membership
certificate allows access to Costco warehouses worldwide and Costco.com. It also
provides extra benefits such as coupons,
and can be upgraded to Executive membership. Look for them at a red kiosk in
warehouses, or purchase on Costco.com.
Many Costcophiles consider this the
perfect gift: Costco Cash cards in
denominations from $25 to $1,000.
Available in all warehouses and at
Costco.com, they allow members and
nonmembers to hunt for Costco treasures and are usable in the United
States and Canada. (Costco Cash cards
are not redeemable for Costco Travel or
Costco.com Event Tickets.)
Costco’s new National Membership
Programs, which cater to large national
companies and membership organizations, provide special opportunities for
employees to join Costco. They also offer
Costco Cash cards in bulk for holiday
gifts, incentives or employee association
needs. For more information, contact
firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-888-668-9668.
Select an event. Verify your Costco membership. Buy your tickets.
Unlike many retailers, Costco stands
behind all gift cards, certificates and tickets,
but each program has specific rules and regulations that can vary by state. While all gift
cards, certificates and tickets in the programs
listed must be purchased by members, they
can be used and enjoyed by nonmembers.
(Businesses might also want to use these programs as a way to cut expenses when entertaining clients.)
Take the time to read all printed information carefully, and if you still have questions, call Costco Membership Services at
QUANTITY PRICE SERVICE FEES TOTAL PRICE QUANTITY PRICE SERVICE FEES TOTAL PRICE SAVINGS
2 tickets $228.00
2 tickets $151.80
2 tickets $130.00
2 tickets $80.00
Family event 4 tickets $160.00 $42.30
* Event comparisons are based on event tickets sold on July 11, 2009.
4 tickets $100.00