Costco Returns for online purchases & using Mastercard & Visa Gift Cards at Costco

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Updated: Feb 1, 2024
If you’re a Costco member, besides warehouse purchases, you could also purchase many items via Costco online or via the Costco app. There are times that the online pricing is more favorable. Some items are also just available online, some are only available inside the warehouse.

Why buy furniture at Costco

Why would I even consider buying Costco’s furniture? It’s plain and simple. They stand by the products they sell. Bottomline, it’s not even a warranty with the furniture. It’s just a great return policy. Costco gives you unlimited number days after the time of purchase for a full refund or exchange on furniture items – this includes online purchases.

My Costco return assumption

Costco is known for their very generous, no fuss return policy. We’ve purchased many items with them (small and big ticket items), some of them we’ve kept the receipt, others we didn’t. But Costco customer service (in-store and online) have been good with retrieving old receipts and have graciously honored their return policy.
Since I live near quite a few Costco warehouses, if ever I had an issue with an item I purchased online, my assumption was to simply bring the item to the Costco warehouse. Online purchases could be returned at the store. I didn’t think I had the option to do an online return. It never really crossed my mind since I had access to many Costco warehouses near me.

Our new Thomasville Sectional

Nancy and I have been on the hunt for a new sectional for our family room. Our family room gets a lot of traffic. This is where we all gather to watch TV, relax, sleep, work, entertain, eat, drink – you name it!

The credit card connection

So I saw this Thomasville sectional via Costco online. It was on sale at the time for $1,399, and because it was an online purchase, shipping, delivery, and assembly were all included. Plus, I was able to easily met the the $1500 spend using my Chase Freedom® and got 5% cashback (Warehouse purchases such as Costco received 5% cashback in the 4th quarter of 2023).

Let’s see if this particular sectional would work for us

Nancy and I had our discussion even before the sectional was delivered. We weren’t exactly sure about the color. Maybe it was too light? Or, maybe it will get dirty easily etc.? Anyhow, we placed the order, and Costco delivered and assembled the sectional with no issues. This took place just a week before the holidays. We were glad to have a new sectional in time for our New Year’s Eve party at home. We were expecting nearly 30 guests.

The morning of New Year’s Eve

We were back at Costco doing our last minute shopping for our party that evening. While at Costco, we saw another Thomasville sectional (a darker gray color). Nancy and I looked at one another. The darker gray would’ve been more preferrable. But we thought about the hassle of having to physically return the sectional at our Costco. We decided to just see how it goes.
Well, we survived the NY Eve party, but the thought kept crossing our minds that I hope no one spilled something on the couch. No one did. But, that same thought will always linger as our sectional has a light gray color. We decided this light gray color sectional was not going to work for us.

The Thomasville Dark Gray was still at Costco

A few days after the New Year, we went back to our Costco, and found the darker gray Thomasville on display. Unfortunately, they were out of stock, all they had was the display. We were given two other nearby Costcos, and the one we wanted to go to had 7 of the dark gray color.
Thomasville Tisdale Fabric Sectional with Storage Ottoman
We decided to buy the darker gray colored sectional. We picked it up and hauled it ourselves. And now, before we could even assemble it, we had a huge task of returning the light gray color sectional at our nearby Costco warehouse.

Never assume

I dreaded the thought of taking the the 6 pieces of the light gray sectional to my Costco. Remember, I was under the impression that the only way I could return this large purchase was for me to physically go to a local Costco warehouse. I figured, Costco shipped/delivered/assembled this for FREE, and why would they pick up these big items at no cost? Again, this was my assumption.
Naturally, I went back to the Costco website, and I found this info.

How to Return an item purchased at 

  1. Log into your account through Sign In / Register.
  2. Select Orders & Returns.
  3. Choose the Return or Replace Items button next to the appropriate order, and follow the prompts to complete your return or replacement request.
  4. Receive your return label immediately or schedule a pickup (where eligible). For large items, you’ll be sent an email with additional instructions.

You can return or replace your online purchase through for the following reasons:

  • You’re dissatisfied with the item
  • You purchased it by mistake
  • The item received is defective or damaged
  • The item received is incorrect
  • You received duplicate items
  • You refused upon delivery due to damage to the item or box
  • An item is missing (replacement only)
  • The shipment is lost

Items returned through will be refunded* – including shipping and handling fees – and will be credited to the credit card used to place your order. You won’t be charged for the return shipping.

    Rejoice. I simply clicked the link and began my return process. Costco online allowed me to choose the return pick up date. Someone will text me to confirm pick-up time and date. Expect the full refund within 2 days.

    Way to go, Costco

    I surveyed members of my Facebook group, Daddy Travels Miles & Points. Most of the members who purchased online items with Costco simply took the item to a nearby warehouse and returned them there. Very few of our members opted  to schedule the pick up of big ticket items. So that makes sense. I’m glad I have this option. I don’t have to worry about transporting these big items to my local Costco.

    When it makes sense to return in-store vs pick up

    I will continue to use the option to return in-store. But my personal takeaway here is to know that large, bulky items purchased via Costco online can also be returned by requesting for Costco to pick up the items.

    Using Visa Gift Cards at Costco

    For our recent purchase, the total came out to be slightly over $1,500. As I mentioned, I was already confident and comfortable with Costco’s return policy should anything were to happen to our new sectional. I decided to pay with Visa Gift Cards that I purchased from Staples. Using my Ink Business Cash® Credit Card, I was able to earn 5x per dollar when I purchased my Visa Gift Cards at Staples (an office supplies store). To make this work, I purchased eight (8) $200 Visa Gift Cards which gave me a total of $1,600 worth of gift cards. Here’s what I earned by doing that:
    • 8 x $200 Visa Gift Cards
    • $1,600 Total Value x 5% cashback
    = 8,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards (or $80 value)

    How to use these Visa Gift Cards at Costco

    At checkout, the Costco rep gave me a final total of slightly over $1,500. I told her I had a few credit cards to swipe (8 to be exact). No IDs need to be checked. I simply swiped the Visa Gift Cards one at a time. Each swipe was for a $200 payment. And the Costco employee gave me the remaining balance after every swipe.

    Didn’t it take long to swipe all those cards

    Not gonna lie to you. It took a good 2-3 minutes total to swipe all 8 cards. But the Costco rep was patient. She made me take my time. Plus, there was no one waiting in line behind me.

    Use the self-service checkout

    We’ve also used these Visa Gift Cards and Mastercard Gift Cards at Costco using the self-service checkout kiosks. Costco does not accept Mastercard credit cards in-store, but when you have a Mastercard debit card, and run the payment as debit, the transaction works perfectly.

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    Editorial Disclosure – The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

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