If planning isn’t your strong suit, let Costco Travel take care of the details. Thanks to Costco’s members-only travel booking service, my family and I enjoyed a four-night stay at a resort in Maui. We booked our airfare, rental car and hotel with one click and paid with our Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi to earn rewards.
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When you think of Costco, you likely think of buying bulk groceries, specialty items and gifts in a giant warehouse. Vacation packages, domestic and international travel, as well as offers at exclusive resorts are lesser-known membership benefits. And if you use the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi to book eligible travel, you’ll earn rewards, too.
One summer, my then 11-year-old daughter kept insisting she wanted to drink from a coconut and asked if we could visit Hawaii to fulfill her wish. We started looking at flights to various islands – Kauai, Oahu and Maui – and came across several options, but we were uncertain if the flight times would work with our schedules.
We tinkered with early and late times, weekday versus weekend flight schedules, as well as peak and off-peak. Phoenix to Maui is roughly a seven- to eight-hour flight, and average ticket prices at the time cost approximately $550 to $700. We knew flying to Maui would likely be more expensive, but we didn’t want to spend our entire vacation budget on the flight there.
A friend mentioned that she had recently booked her Hawaiian adventure through Costco, so we started researching deals. Although some might find it expensive or inconvenient to pay the $60 membership fee for the card, the savings we received from our travel package to Maui made the membership fee completely worth it.
Convenient, one-stop shopping
We didn’t have endless hours to search flight times, research hotels and look for a rental car company that offered the best value. We liked the ease of plugging in days and times that worked for us and having several flights to choose from. Only certain airlines are covered under the Costco Travel umbrella, but if that doesn’t bother you, you will likely be able to score discounted airfare.
The other bonus: You aren’t hunting for hotel options or frantically looking for codes to score the best deals. Costco Travel is affiliated with the following hotel brands: Fairmont, Hyatt, Raffles and Swissotel. Once we booked the hotel, we priced our rental car and were set. The ease in searching and booking made it a seamless process.
Luxurious resort at an affordable price
When we chose our hotel, we did what any prospective vacationer does – we looked at reviews, studied the photos provided by the hotel website and attempted to be as discerning as we could. Once we landed and made our way to The Grand Wailea Resort, the ambiance and amenities confirmed we made the right decision to book through Costco Travel.
We were welcomed with leis, fresh fruit, comfortable rooms and a view of the ocean. Several excursions were available at the resort as well, including photography classes, snorkeling and paddle boarding.
No hassle with rental cars
Rental car companies are notorious for charging hidden fees and adding extra insurance that you don’t typically need. One of the perks with the Costco Anywhere Visa is that you don’t have to pay for the rental car prior to the trip. If there is a rate drop, you can easily change your reservation.
Also, there is no additional charge for adding another driver to the agreement, a perk that doesn’t come with every car rental contract. This option worked out for us because both my husband and I like to drive during our vacations. When I checked what it would cost to rent a car without the Costco Anywhere Visa, the price was almost 20% more and only one authorized driver was part of the contract.
Extra perks and credits
If you like good surprises, you will love Costco Travel. When we stayed at The Grand Wailea Resort, we received a $50 credit to use on the property. Other vacation packages include free breakfast, room upgrades and a shuttle to and from the hotel.
Earn rewards for your travel purchases
Our vacation package for a five-day, four-night stay cost approximately $4,500. Since we used our Costco Anywhere Visa Card to pay for our vacation, we also earned 3% cash back on our eligible travel purchases. Every February, Costco sends a check for your annual cash back earnings, and individuals are free to use those funds to cover purchases at Costco.
We likely saved 20% on our travel package to Maui by using Costco Travel. And the cash back we earned by using our Costco Anywhere Visa to pay for it was icing on the cake. If you want competitive pricing, booking ease and no hidden fees or charges, it makes sense to use Costco Travel for your next adventure.