Emily VanSchmus | 

Use This Costco FSA/HSA Hack to Make Your Tax-Free Dollars Go Further

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Did you know you can use your Flexible Spending Account (FSA) or Health Savings Account (HSA) when you shop at Costco? It’s true — while they usually limit you to a Visa card, debit card, or cash at the checkout line, you can pay with an FSA or HSA card with just one tiny change to your Costco routine.

This hack is one of my favorite ways to stock up on all sorts of FSA- and HSA-eligible items in big quantities (like a 1,000-count pack of ibuprofen!).

So how exactly does this Costco FSA/HSA hack work? Let me show you my ways, plus I’ll share a few of the best Costco deals that are FSA- and HSA-eligible.

For more smart shopping tips and savings hacks, text HACKS to 57299, or download The Krazy Coupon Lady app.


Costco accepts FSA or HSA cards — but only if you check out at the Pharmacy or Optical counters.

people at costco optical

So, I’ve already spilled the beans that you can use your HSA and FSA cards at Costco, but here’s the trick. You can’t use them at the regular checkout line. Costco accepts a limited number of cards at the main checkout lanes, but they’ll let you pay for eligible items with your HSA/FSA card at the Pharmacy or Optical counters.

So to use your FSA or HSA cards at Costco, just bypass the regular checkout lines and visit the Pharmacy or Optical department instead.

TIP: When you put money into an HSA, you can use or withdraw that money tax-free, as long as you use it for qualified health and medical expenses. An FSA functions similarly, but can be used for a family instead of an individual.


What happens if I have non-eligible items in my cart?

If you’re anything like me, you’ll likely end up with a few non-eligible items in your cart. This can make checking out at the Pharmacy or Optical Center a little bit daunting.

As long as your FSA/HSA account allows you to apply for reimbursement later, just check out at the regular registers with a Visa credit or debit card and save your receipt. Then, submit your receipt later for reimbursement.


Shop for eligible items on Costco.com and pay with your FSA or HSA card without any hassle.

A person opening a Costco.com online order box.

If you’d prefer to shop online, you can use your FSA and HSA cards to check out on Costco.com. In fact, Costco has an entire section of their website dedicated to eligible items. Otherwise, you can tell if an item is eligible by looking for the “FSA Eligible Item” logo on a product listing page. If you select that logo, you’ll see information about why a particular item is FSA- and HSA-eligible.

One thing to note: If you use your FSA or HSA card on Costco.com, all items in your shopping cart must be FSA- or HSA-eligible. If you have non-eligible items, you might consider placing two separate orders. Otherwise, to check out with non-eligible items in your cart, just use a regular credit or debit card and apply for reimbursement later (as long as your HSA/FSA account allows it).



You can use HSA and FSA cards on cough drops, tampons, and even contact lens solution.

person using their HSA card from United Healthcare

When I first got an HSA card, I only used it to pay for my doctor visits and prescriptions. That’s a rookie move. There are so many other items you can use your HSA card to pay for. Things like over-the-counter allergy medicine, cough drops, tampons, and contact lens solution can all get purchased with your FSA or HSA account.

Here’s a list of just a few of the many HSA- and FSA-eligible items you can buy at Costco:

  • First aid supplies
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Sunscreen
  • Allergy medicine
  • Cough drops
  • Contact lens solution
  • Pulse oximeter
  • Blood pressure monitors
  • Thermometer
  • Pain relief patches
  • Heating pads
  • Personal lubricant
  • Condoms
  • Personal EKG devices


Stretch your FSA or HSA dollars further when you shop for these eligible items at Costco:

a man looking at costco optical eyeglasses on display

Not only is it a smart idea to use the funds in your FSA or HSA account whenever you can, but you can also save more money when you shop at Costco. Your HSA and FSA dollars will go further on a box of tampons from Costco (versus from Target or Walmart) because the price per tampon is lower when you buy in bulk.

Here are a few of my favorite deals that are HSA- and FSA-eligible:




Over-the-Counter Medications & Supplements


First Aid & Health Supplies


Eye Care


Feminine Hygiene Products



Bonus: You can also pay for Costco eye exams, glasses, and prescriptions with your FSA or HSA card.

We’ve already talked about the surprising goodies you can buy with your FSA or HSA card at Costco, but don’t forget about paying for the services they offer, too:


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