OSU’s Costco membership program is changing!  

What: Costco is moving OSU from a single membership for the entire university to individual memberships for each department.

Why: This will align OSU with the Costco membership model and help prevent issues with online ordering and in-store access.

When: Beginning January 1, 2022 OSU will no longer have a single campus-wide Costco membership.

To continue making purchases at Costco, departments may purchase their own memberships by following the steps in the OSU Department Costco Membership Guide.

View the OSU Department Costco Membership Guide


  • Will this process apply to all OSU departments across the state (extension offices etc.)
    • Yes, this will apply to all OSU departments regardless of location.
  • Can staff use their personal Costco membership to shop with a OSU issued p-card?
    • There are a few considerations when thinking about using a personal Costco membership for OSU purchases. First, OSU employees are considered public officials and are responsible for adhering to the Oregon ethics law, which states, in part:

"A public official may not use or attempt to use official position or office to obtain financial gain or avoidance of financial detriment for the public official, a relative or member of the household of the public official is associated, if the financial gain or avoidance of financial detriment would not other side be available but for the public official's holding of the official position or office."

An OSU employee using a personal Executive membership to make departmental purchases will personally receive the 2% rewards on those purchases totals. Depending on the amount of the purchases made by the department, the annual Costco rewards total could be negligible, or up to a maximum of $1,000, and could conflict with ethics law. The Basic membership does not have an associated rewards program so the OSU employee would not receive any financial benefit and would not conflict with the Oregon ethics law. Remember, the Oregon Government Ethics Commission holds individuals responsible for violating ethics laws, not departments or the university.

Second, the department may receive and use the rewards if they choose to obtain a departmental Executive membership. Depending on annual usage, the rewards may more than pay for the annual Executive membership fee. Departments would miss this opportunity if using individual OSU employee memberships. Ultimately, the department will need to determine how best the Costco memberships will work for them.

  • ​​​​​​ Can departments combine memberships, e.g. one shopper from each department?
    • Yes, two departments can buy one membership and designate the two shoppers associated to be from different departments.
  • If a department purchases a Business Executive membership and additional Gold Star sub-memberships under that Business Executive membership, will purchases made through the Gold Star sub-memberships count towards the 2% rebate on the primary Business Executive membership?
    • No. Only purchases made directly through the primary Business Executive membership will count towards the 2% rebate. Any purchases made through the Gold Star sub-memberships will not count.
  • Can anyone shop online with the department membership card or only the designated shoppers?
    • To avoid issues with online ordering and Costco terms and conditions, only those designated as shoppers should use their cards to shop both in-person and online.         
  • If all department shoppers are not available, can a department use their membership card?
    • No. Cards are non-transferable and departments should plan for contingencies.
  • How does the department handle renewals and rebate checks?
    •  This would be determined by the department, but typically the department Costco account Administrator or primary designated shopper will handle these.
  • How do I change my department Costco Account Administrator after I’ve established one?
  • Does the department Costco Account Administrator need to let Costco know when department shoppers change?
    • Yes. To keep the account up-to-date and accurate, the department Costco Account Administrator should email Costco with any changes to the department account.

Feedback regarding the Costco Program can be submitted using our Contact Form.