The Real Reason This Costco Membership Costs Almost $18,000

Some people think a regular Costco membership is expensive. After all, is it worth your money to pay a store to shop there? Apparently a lot of people would say "yes," considering Costco boasted 98.5 million members in 2019 (via Statista).

Of course, in the case of most members to the warehouse discount store, we are talking about spending $60 annually, or $120 if you want to enjoy the perks of a Gold Star Executive membership such as receiving the Costco Connection magazine (via Costco).

But would you believe there is another level of membership entirely that costs more than ten times as much as the Gold Star Executive membership? In fact, you'd spend nearly $18,000 for the so-called Wheels Up Core Private Aviation membership (via Delish). So what do you get for this exorbitant fee? More than just a shopping pass to be sure.

All the perks you'll have access to with just $18,000

The Wheels Up Core Private Aviation membership includes a 1-year membership to Costco, naturally. Plus, you'll receive a $3,500 gift card to shop in the store. There's no personal shopper who picks up your month-long supply of paper towels and throws in a few food court items for lunch, then delivers the lot via drone to your front door. Sorry. But there's much more.

Should you be willing to pony up more money than God, you'll also get access to a $4,000 flight credit with Wheels Up, which claims to be, "a leading private aviation company that delivers a total aviation solution for over 9,000 individuals, families, and businesses across North America." Incidentally, you can board a private aircraft 365 days per year. Like, if you wanted to visit a Costco in another state on Independence Day. Or perhaps you want to explore what Costco is like in China (although this pricey membership only guarantees flights nationwide).

Another perk? Access to signature and regional events and other membership benefits that may even include luxury vacations. If you're left with one question now, it's probably, why? Wheels Up founder & CEO Kenny Ditcher explained to Fox Business, "We're democratizing private aviation. We're bringing it from tens of thousands to millions and if you're going to democratize aviation, who better to partner with than Costco."