Costco is one of the most popular stores in the US and sells a wide array of gift items including an excellent selection of gift cards from brands such as:
- Microsoft Xbox
- Papa Johns
- Smash Burger
- Blaze Pizza
- South West Airlines
- Cinemark and
Costco also sells its own gift card known as a “Costco Shop Card” to use in any of its stores or online.
If you’ve purchased a gift card from Costco, but what to make a return; perhaps it was ordered by mistake, is no longer needed, or is an unwanted gift, then you’ll need to get up to pace with Costco’s return policy.
To help you there, we’ll explore how long you have to return a gift card, how to make a return, when to expect a refund, and much more.
Let’s take a look…
What is Costco’s Gift Card Return Policy? The Short Answer
In short, you can return most third-party gift cards to Costco at any time before they’ve been used for a refund or exchange with the exception of sports events, concert/live events, and travel gift cards which are non-refundable. Costco’s own gift card called the “Shop Card” is not redeemable for cash but can be returned for a refund by the purchaser.
Costco’s return policy is generally very flexible and allows returns if:
- It’s an unwanted gift
- A mistaken order
- A duplicate order
- You’ve changed your mind
- The gift card is defective
Can I Return a Used/Redeemed Gift Card to Costco?
Except for events/concerts, airline, and sports gift cards, and Costco Shop Cards (i.e. Costco’s own gift card) which are non-refundable and non-redeemable for cash respectively, Costco doesn’t actually stipulate what their official policy is on returning redeemed, or used third party gift cards.
However, having spoken to 5 customers about this issue only one customer confirmed that they were able to obtain a refund for a third-party gift card that had been used.
That particular gift card had been used at a restaurant and the food was poor.
The other 4 confirmed they were unable to secure a refund after the card had been used, which makes perfect sense to us, otherwise, that would allow people to use, say, a Domino’s gift card whereby they order a pizza, eat it and then seek a refund from Costco.
That sort of carry-on is likely to get your Costco membership card suspended, rather than secure a refund.
However, if you’ve redeemed the gift card already but want to make a return, we’d recommend reaching out to Costco using the chat function (see bottom right of screen) and explaining your situation.
Costco Plant Return policy
Do Costco Gift Cards Expire?
We checked this out over at Costco.com and it would seem, for the most part, their gift cards have no expiry date and this seems to be the case for both third party and their own Costco “Shop Card” gift cards.
You can check this for the gift card in question by heading over to Costco.com and finding the gift card, clicking on the listing, and then looking under the product details section:
Can I Return a Costco Shop Gift Card to Costco for a Refund or Exchange?
Costco’s own brand of gift cards, the “Shop Card”, cannot be redeemed for cash and therefore it would seem that you cannot receive a gift card and then try to exchange it for cash.
However, we reached out to Costco to see what the position would be if the Shop Card was purchased for a friend (or ourselves), they didn’t want it and wanted to return it.
Here is what we were told:
So in summary, my friend wouldn’t be able to redeem it for cash but I would be able to return it and the money would be refunded to my credit card and I could buy my friend something else or give them the cash in its place.
How to Return a Gift Card to Costco
The easiest way to do this is to simply return it to any of Costco’s warehouses. You can return a gift card purchased online or in-store to the warehouse.
You can also return items purchased at Costo.com using the online returns process:
- Log into your Costco account
- Head to the menu and choose Orders and Returns
- Pick the returns option and complete the necessary steps
- You can then print off the USPS return label
- Place the label on your item and drop it off at your USPS drop-off location
If it’s an eGift Card that you receive over email, we’d recommend reaching out to Costco using the chat function so they can start the return.
Can You Buy a Gift Card with a Target Gift Card?
Does Costco Provide Free Returns for Gift Cards?
Yes, you can return a gift card to Costco for free and will be provided with a pre-paid UPS returns label.
Moreover, there is no restocking fee and any original delivery charges are fully refunded.
Costco Sunglasses Return Policy
In summary, most gift cards purchased from Costco can be returned for a full refund or exchange before they’ve been used.
Exclusions apply to concert, event, and travel gift cards which are non-refundable.
However, Costco’s own branded “Shop Cards” cannot be redeemed for cash and therefore if you’ve received one as a gift and you don’t want it, we’d suggest speaking to the purchaser of the card and asking them to return it for a refund.