15 Things to Know Before Buying Costco Cell Phones

15 Things to Know Before Buying Costco Cell Phones

Buying phones from Costco can offer great savings, but it’s important to understand Costco’s policies and the implications of buying cell phones there. After all, a phone is a considerable investment, and you want to make sure you’re getting the best deal. 

For this reason, we’ve collected 15 things you should know before heading off to Costco for a new phone. These will help you understand what to expect from your visit and how to make it even better. So, read on for all the details!

1. Don’t Look for Wireless Advocates Kiosks at Costco

Unfortunately, you won’t find any Wireless Advocates kiosks at Costco. Since the recent shutdown of Wireless Advocates LLC, Costco will no longer have its services at its locations. Therefore, you don’t need to look for them.

Instead, what you need to look for is kiosks of other carriers, such as T-Mobile or AT&T, at Costco. Since Costco has yet to decide what carrier will have exclusive rights in Costco locations, you might find different stands around Costco.

That said, T-Mobile will be the exclusive provider in 178 Costco locations, while other locations will have services of AT&T at their disposal. So, whatever Costco location you visit, you can be sure that Costco has a way for you to get your phone in the most convenient way.

2. Salespeople at Cell Phone Kiosks at Costco Are Not Costco Employees

It might not be obvious, but the salespeople at Costco’s cell phone kiosks are not Costco employees. Instead, they are independent agents hired by the respective carriers to help you with your purchase. 

Therefore, they won’t be able to answer whatever questions you might have about Costo’s overall policies or services. What they can do is provide you with information about the phone, plan, and other services offered by their respective carriers. Plus, they will help you select the best phone for your needs.

3. All Costco Cell Phones Are Tied to Specific Wireless Plans

When you purchase Costco cell phones, they are always tied to a specific wireless plan. Therefore, you can only purchase Costco phones if you sign up for a plan with one of Costco’s major wireless carriers: Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile.

The offered mobile plans are essentially the same ones you would find in the carriers’ retail locations or online. However, since Cosco maintains partnerships with these major carriers, Costco members get special discounted prices.

4. You Can’t Buy Unlocked Phones at Costco 

Unlocked phones are phones that can be used with any wireless plan. 

Since Costco always ties its phones to specific plans, all Costco cell phones are essentially locked. That means they can only work with a specific wireless plan.

So, you’ll need to look for unlocked phones at other retailers.

5.  Costco Offers a Wide Selection of Devices

Costco carries a wide selection of cell phones from some of the leading brands, including Apple iPhone and Samsung Galaxy devices. Costco also provides a range of more affordable models from lesser-known brands, such as ZTE and Huawei. 

Plus, you may find older models of popular phones there, which could be a great idea if you don’t want to spend too much money. 

6. You Can Save Up to 10% When Buying Cell Phones at Costco

When you buy Costco cell phones, you can save up to 10% off the list price of your phone. That’s because Costco has to justify the membership fee and is incentivized to offer members better deals than they would get elsewhere. 

It’s important to note, however, that discounts may vary greatly depending on the individual model and offer. So, you might want to shop around and compare prices at Costco before making your purchase. 

7. There Are Financing Options for Costco Cell Phones

Phones are expensive, and Costco understands that. That’s why Costco offers financing options for Сostco сell phones, allowing you to spread out the cost of your phone over the course of several months. 

That means you don’t need to pay the full price at once. Instead of paying for a phone in one lump sum, you can opt to pay in monthly installments. Plus, a downpayment is not always required. 

In conclusion, Costco cell phones are a great way to get a good deal on the latest smartphones. With

8. Buying Cell Phones at Costco Comes with Benefits

Depending on the phone carrier at your local Costco, you may be eligible for certain benefits or perks from them.

For instance, T-Mobile offers Costco customers a waived $35 connection fee and an extended return window. Considering the standard 30-day window for typical T-Mobile purchases, Costco customers have a full two months to return their device. 

Other carriers may offer other  Costco-exclusive perks, so it’s always worth checking out what the carriers are offering. That way, you can get the most bang for your buck.

9. Your Visit to Costco May Take a While

Visiting Costco for a Costco Cell Phone might take longer than you expect. Costco tends to be busy, and the lines at their cell phone section can stretch for a long time. 

Since there are only two experts to help out with selecting the right plan and device, it might take some time before they can assist you. Therefore, it’s better to plan ahead and set aside enough time for your Costco visit. 

10. You Should Consider Several Phone Options, Not Just One

When shopping for Costco cell phones, it’s important to consider several different options. 

Although numerous phone models are advertised on Cosco’s website, the real inventory is often much more limited. 

Therefore, it’s better to have a few options in mind when visiting Costco. That way, you can quickly switch to another option if your preferred phone is not available. 

11. You Can Return Costco Cell Phones Within 90 Days of Purchase

As a rule, you can return a phone bought at Costco up to 90 days after purchase. However, the exact time limits may vary. Since cell phones are considered electronics, they have a different return policy than Costco’s general return policy

Another important thing to mention is that it’s not Costco that handles the return process. Instead, Costco works with phone carriers to manage the return process. Therefore, you should contact the carrier directly if you want to return your Costco Cell Phone. 

12. Pay Attention to the Fine Print on the Cell Phone Return Policy

When returning cell phones, it’s important to read the fine print. Carriers may have different return policies for different models. For instance, some carriers may offer a shorter trial period or have different return requirements. This could make a great difference when it comes to the return process. Therefore, make sure you read the fine print before signing up for any plan.

13. The Service at Costco Cell Phones Kiosks Isn’t That Extensive

Another thing to consider when shopping at Costco for cell phones is that the service you get isn’t as extensive as you may expect. 

Since people working at kiosks are essentially salespeople, they may not be able to provide complete technical support. So, if you need help transferring data or setting up your phone, you may have to visit the official store of the phone carrier. 

However, the employees can provide you with instructions or manuals on how to set up your phone. 

14. Check Out Members-Only Deals on Cell Phone Accessories 

Besides offering discounts on cell phones, Costco also regularly offers special members-only deals on various phone accessories. This can include cases, chargers, memory cards, and more.

So, if you want to go all in on your Costco Cell Phone purchase, make sure you check out all the available offers.

15. Shop Black Friday Sales to Save Even More on Costco Cell Phones

Timing is important. If you’re determined to save big, you should definitely keep an eye out for special offers. 

For instance, Costco’s Black Friday sales usually feature great deals on cell phones, so it’s worth keeping an eye out for them. Plus, Costco is known to offer low prices and plenty of discounts on cell phones during the holiday season.

So, it might be a great idea to wait for a bit if you know sales are coming. You never know what kind of great deals you may find. 


Buying Cell Phones at Costco can be a great way to save money on phones and accessories.  Costco’s partners always have exclusive deals and incentives for Costco members, making it a great place to shop. And although some services may be limited, you can find what you want at a great price with a bit of patience and preparation. Happy Shopping!

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