The Big Change Costco Just Made To Its Membership Benefits

Buying a Costco membership can change your shopping game, especially if you frequent big box stores like most Americans. According to the company's website, anyone with a Costco membership can score savings and earn rewards on their purchases, and the card allows for full refunds if a shopper isn't happy with a particular purchase. These perks only mark the tip of the iceberg, though. Real Simple found that members can also take advantage of programs that refill their inkjet printer cartridges, offer discounts on gift cards, let you purchase books signed by their authors, and even let you take advantage of Costco's travel agency.

Every once in a while, Costco tweaks the conditions of its membership program. For example, Best Life found that the chain recently decided to raise how much a membership costs, and the timing couldn't be worse. Costco typically increases its rate every five years, but due to the price of gas and food rising, this change might seriously impact some shopping habits. The changes don't stop there, either. The brand announced another major benefit change, and while it might not affect the average customer, it can greatly decrease the power of membership for many patrons.

A tough time for Costco members looking for a house reports that Costco recently decided to ax its signature mortgage program for membership holders. As of May 1, the brand opted to end its online mortgage marketplace. This program helped shoppers score the best pricing options on housing loans, in addition to comparing rates between certain lenders. Costco didn't offer an explanation as to why it cut the service. Anyone that was in the process of using the digital service to shop for a mortgage now must directly reach out to the lenders in order to keep their mortgage search alive.

Furthermore, Fox Business reports that anyone who was in negotiations with Box Home Loans, CrossCountry Mortgage,, Mutual of Omaha Mortgage, NASB, NBKC Bank, Real Genius, or Strong Home Mortgage now must reach out to the companies directly. Walmart has decided to pick up the slack, and may now offer this service through Lenders One Cooperative. If you opted to get a Costco membership to score better mortgage loan rates, you now might have to shift your allegiance to Walmart in the coming days in order to get the same deals.