A Costco membership has immense benefits. It’s the golden ticket of membership cards and many would argue that it’s worth it for the chicken and pizza alone. However, there are a few things you should consider before you spring for your very own Costco membership.

Will Costco’s new COVID-19 store policies affect how you shop with a membership card?

After the coronavirus pandemic, Costco has changed a few of its store policies and timings. For instance, aside from the mask mandate, Special Operating Hours on weekdays only allow members who are over 60, immunocompromised, or specially-abled people to shop at the store. Costco also prioritizes first responders and healthcare workers depending on which state you live in. Factor in what time you usually tend to shop before you buy a membership card.

Have you run a price comparison with other grocery stores in your area?

Believe it or not, a membership card doesn’t always facilitate massive savings. Items like cheese, fresh produce, fresh chicken, and coffee might end up being cheaper at a regular grocery store. Draw up a list of items you purchase frequently and see how much they would cost at another store before you buy a membership. Costco also sells its products in larger-sized packaging so if you’re shopping for one consider whether you can consume perishable items before they go bad.

Have you considered buying a Costco membership at a discount?

Such a thing does exist, and you’ll find it if you spend some time scouring Groupon and LivingSocial. Some of the deals we’ve liked have included coupon booklets good for $60 worth of purchases, special deals for teachers, savings, and assorted goodies. The key is to be patient. It’s a virtue that might snag you some savings.

How much and how often do you shop online?

Last year, The New York Times ran a study that found that it’s only worth it to buy a membership if you’re going to be spending more than $1,200 on the Costco website. Take your online shopping habits into account before you buy that membership.