Costco Car buying program

Has anyone bought a car through Costco? Would you be able to tell me how it works? Did you get a good deal?

I’m curious about this too. My wife and I have an American Express Costco Credit Card, which gives us 3% Cash Back on purchases at Costco (and other places). We get a check every February. Over a year, it adds up (last Feb we got $550 back :smiley: ).

If I bought a car through Costco, I’d probably just save up to buy it Cash then use my card to get the huge rebate. 3% of $20,000.00 is $600, a nice discount in of itself in addition to the promotions Costco offers for buying a vehicle through them (typically you get an Xhundred dollar gift card to Costco). Though I don’t know if they ‘stack’ or the ‘maximum’ cash back you can get in a year.

Car dealers typically do not take credit cards for vehicles. Their merchant discount can exceed their profit on a tight deal.

Costco and AMEX have a special sort of arrangement, though, don’t they? Maybe they worked something out to allow car purchases on the card at a lower merchant fee or something. I’m not saying it’s true, but Costco and AMEX have a different sort of relationship than most retailers do with the CC’s they accept.

Just bought my third car on the Costco plan. Basically a lower price, no haggle deal. Best to know what you want and start at the Costco site. The ‘Costco’ rep at the dealer will contact you with the details.

When finalizing the last deal, I was able to put 2500 on one credit card for points, but no more or cards. No Costco merchandise credits or points.

I went in a month ago to buy a Mazda from the “Internet Sales” person. I asked if there was a lower price for AAA members, and she offered me the “Costco Rate” which she said was $300 less than the other “member-only” prices.

Food for thought. I’ll still need to research MSRP and Invoice prices.

Now - the hard part: Figuring out what car I want.

Over the last several decades, I have ALWAYS used the Costco Auto Buying Service to buy my new cars. I get an excellent, no-hassle, no-haggle deal. You deal with the “lease” department, not the sales department. The only hard part is knowing what car and what options you want.

You then give this to the lease rep, he looks up the Costco price in the book, and that’s the price.

In my experience, there is no pressure at all for high-dealer-profit items like undercarriage coating, etc.

As far as the steps in the process, here is my experience:

  • decide on the make, model, and accessories you want.
  • log in to the Costco Auto Buying Service site.
  • Give them all of the information they want about your location and car make.
  • They will shortly send you a list (by email) of participating dealers close to you.
  • Either you can call the dealers, or sometimes the dealer will call you.
  • make an appt. with the person you talk to to get a price quote.
  • In the appt., tell them the model and options, and they will give you the price.
  • You say, “let’s do it”.
  • they will start writing up the paperwork.
  • This part will vary whether you are paying cash or financing:
    * they will ask for a deposit for the car
    * You will pay them the full amount, or the balance
    * You will take home the car.

I HIGHLY recommend this service. I’ve used them for ALL of my new car purchases since I’ve known of this service.