15 Things To Know Before Buying An iPhone or iPad From Costco

Costco, best known for selling household products and groceries in bulk, is an excellent way for members to save money on essential items.

In addition to food and cleaning products, Costco also sells the latest electronics, like iPads and iPhones. But what should you know before purchasing an Apple device from Costco? Keep reading to discover 15 things about Costco’s iPhones and iPads.

15 Things To Know Before Buying An iPhone Or iPad From Costco In 2024

1. Additional Warranty Coverage Is Available

When you buy an iPad at Costco, the warehouse retailer offers AppleCare+ coverage for your device.

With AppleCare+, you receive extended coverage on your iPad, Apple Pencil, and Apple-branded iPad keyboard.

Further, AppleCare+ protects you from two incidents of accidental damage every 12 months.

Additionally, each incident is subject to a $49 fee for your iPad and $29 for your Apple Pencil or keyboard.

Finally, with AppleCare+, you have 24/7 priority access to 24/7 Apple experts via online chat or phone. 

2. Costo Has A Generous Return Window

Before buying something as expensive as an iPad or a new iPhone, it’s essential to know Costco’s return policy.

Fortunately, electronics and cell phones qualify for Costco’s generous 90-day return window.

So, if you’re unsatisfied with your iPad or iPhone, you can initiate a return at a Costco warehouse or through costco.com.

Also, make sure you have your original receipt before starting your return in person.

3. Costco Associates Are Up To Date On Technology

At Costco, the iPads and iPhones are in a distinct area of the store, usually at a separate kiosk by the other electronics.

That said, these kiosks are staffed by knowledgeable Costco associates that can answer any questions you have about product features, service plans, and more.

Therefore, you can confidently purchase a new iPhone or iPad knowing you have all the information you need.

4. Costco Has Cases And Covers In Stock

In addition to the newest iPhones and iPads, Costco also sells all the accessories, like cases and protective covers, you need to keep your device in the best condition.

Moreover, customers note that Costco associates will apply the protective covers for you to ensure there are no air bubbles.

Additionally, Costco’s iPhone and iPad case selection varies greatly, as some are more fashionable, and others are designed to protect the device from accidental falls or extreme temperatures.

5. Costco Wait Times Can Be Considerably Long

According to customers who have bought iPhones and iPads from Costco in-person, the wireless kiosks can have long wait times.

Usually, Costco only has one employee working the booth, and they can only help one person at a time. Therefore, Costco customers recommend visiting the store during non-peak hours.

Additionally, sometimes Costco won’t have the device you want in stock. But, you can call your local Costco before going to the store to see if it has the iPhone or iPad you want in stock.

6. Costco Associates Won’t Transfer iCloud Data

If you’re upgrading your iPhone or iPad, Costco associates won’t help you transfer your iCloud data to your new device.

At some Costco warehouses, there isn’t enough reliable Wi-Fi access to transfer your data.

However, Costco associates will provide you with a detailed printed instruction sheet that shows you how to transfer your iCloud data.

If you still need help transferring your iCloud data, you can call Costco or Apple customer service.

7. You Have To Pay For Your iPhone In Monthly Payments

One interesting aspect of buying iPhones at Costco in-person is that you cannot purchase the phone in full. Essentially, Costco makes customers pay for their iPhones over their monthly plan.

According to iPhone experts, this policy is most likely in place because of cell phone carrier restrictions since rebates are prorated over 24 months and applied to your bill.

8. You Can Trade Your iPad In At Costco

8. You Can Trade Your iPad In At Costco

Costco provides a trade-in program for certain Apple devices if you’re ready to upgrade your iPad but don’t know what to do with your old one.

Further, here’s how Costco’s trade-in program works:

  • Enter the iPad’s serial number and answer questions about its current condition on Costco’s trade-in website
  • Print your prepaid shipping label
  • Follow instructions to erase the data on the device
  • Costco inspects your iPad
  • Costco sends you a Costco Shop Card or Costco Digital Shop Card with the trade-in value

Moreover, Costco will send you shipping supplies if you request them, which takes three and five days to arrive.

Finally, the trade-in payments take between three and 15 business days to reach you, depending on the pay-out method you choose.

9. Three Different Wireless Carriers Available

At Costco, there are a few cell phone carriers you can choose from regarding the service plan you require.

That said, Costco offers plans from Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile at the wireless kiosks inside the warehouse.

Further, these cell phone plans are operated by an external company called Wireless Advocates.

Moreover, Costco’s service plans are identical to the ones the carriers offer, and an associate will help you find the plan that’s best for you.

Currently, Costco doesn’t partner with discount cell phone providers like Cricket Wireless, Boost Mobile, and Metro by T-Mobile.

10. Costco Sells Other Smartphone Brands

If your local Costco warehouse doesn’t have the iPhone you want in stock, the store offers other popular cell phone brands.

For example, Costco carries the latest Samsung, LG, and Google smartphones.

Additionally, Costco offers special deals and discounts on these smartphone brands, allowing you to save even more money.

Again, Costco associates are exceptionally knowledgeable about Google, LG, and Samsung smartphones, as they are with iPhones.

11. Costco Offers Additional Perks

One advantage of buying an iPhone or iPad from Costco is that you’re eligible for additional perks.

With that, some cell phone carriers offer exclusive deals and discounts when you purchase the newest iPhone.

On top of the cell phone carriers’ specials, Costco offers its members exclusive deals.

For example, Costco offers free or discounted smartphones, waived activation fees, or Costco gift cards.

12. There’s A Lot Of Paperwork

One common complaint Costco customers have is the amount of paperwork you need to fill out after buying a new iPhone.

That said, it will take longer to fill out forms than if you purchased the phone through your wireless provider directly. However, one way to get around this is to buy your device online.

13. Costco Customer Service Can Help

If you ever have questions regarding your new iPad or iPhone, Costco has customer associates ready to help. Further, there are two ways to contact Costco customer service, including:

  • By phone: 1-888-369-5931
  • By email: CostcoOnlineSupport@wirelessadvocates.com

14. Costco Only Sells The Newest Models Online

If you plan to buy an iPhone or iPad through Costco’s online portal, it’s essential to know that only the latest models are available.

Put differently; you cannot find last year’s iPhone model available on Costco’s website.

However, the product selection at Costco warehouses often includes earlier iPhone and iPad models.

15. Costco Sells Unlocked Phones

One advantage of buying your iPhone at Costco is that the warehouse sells unlocked phones, meaning you have the freedom to choose your wireless network.

Also, you can change carriers without changing phones. Further, Costco associates can help you activate service on your unlocked phone and find the best service provider.

To learn more, you can also read our posts on Costco phone return policy, buying phones from Costco vs Verizon, and Costco iPad return policy.


Buying an iPad or iPhone at Costco comes with several benefits. For example, you have access to exclusive deals and specials, the latest device models, and knowledgeable staff members.

Also, you can purchase iPhones and iPads in-person at a Costco warehouse or online.

Photo of author

Marques Thomas

Marques Thomas graduated with a MBA in 2011. Since then, Marques has worked in the retail and consumer service industry as a manager, advisor, and marketer. Marques is also the head writer and founder of QuerySprout.com.

Leave a Comment