Even though you won’t see a Costco Photo Center at your local Costco warehouse anymore, their photo services are just as easy and convenient to use online. All physical Costco Photo Center locations closed in February 2021, but the services and savings didn’t go away entirely.
On CostcoPhotoCenter.com, you can order photos in a variety of sizes and formats. From standard prints and canvases to photo books and blankets, the Costco Photo Center lets you customize tons of things using your own photos. We looked into all that Costco Photo Center has to offer and rounded up 10 important things you need to know.
UPDATE: On Jan. 28, 2023, Costco’s online Photo Center shut down, too. If you use their online photo center, you’ll have until Jan. 31, 2024, to download your photos to your personal computer. Find out more about the Costco Online Photo Center closing here.
1. First off, only Costco members can use the Costco Photo Center.
If you don’t know about all the Costco membership perks yet, they’re worth checking out (hint: The Costco Photo Center is one of them)! While there are some things you can buy from Costco without a membership, ordering from the Photo Center is a member-only benefit.
To use the Costco Photo Center online, you have to create a Photo Center account. And to do that, you have to enter your Costco membership number — it’s a required field.
Does Costco still do passport photos?
Unfortunately, Costco no longer offers passport photo services since they shut down all in-store Photo Center departments in 2021.
But you can get passport photos taken at a AAA branch office near you — whether or not you have a AAA card. AAA members will pay around $8 – $10 per set (nonmembers pay $12 – $15 per set) with no appointment required. You’ll get free passport photos if you have the Plus or Premier membership.
Related: Another perk of Costco membership we like? The discounts on Costco Travel packages.
2. Compared to competitors, Costco Photo Center has the lowest prices for photo prints.
Yes, Costco Photo Center has cheaper photo prints than even Walmart (and other top retailers with photo services)! Plus, standard shipping is free for most standard-sized photo prints.
Here are the prices for all standard print sizes from the Costco Photo Center, according to their Pricing & Shipping page:
- 4×6 Prints – $0.11
- 5×5 Prints – $0.39
- 5×7 Prints – $0.59
- 8×8, 8×10, 8×12 Prints – $1.79
- 11×14, 12×12, 12×18 Prints – $3.99
- 16×20 Prints – $6.99
- 20×30 Prints – $9.99
3. Standard shipping is free for most smaller print sizes from Costco.
Not all of Costco’s photo prints ship free, but many of the most popular ones do. These are the print sizes that always have free standard shipping, no matter how many prints you buy:
- Wallet Prints
For larger print sizes (like 11×14, 12×12, 12×18, 16×20, and 20×30), standard shipping costs are $3.99 for the first 25 prints. Each additional set of 25 prints will cost an extra $0.99 in shipping.
If you need your Costco photo prints faster than the standard shipping time frame (up to 11 days), you can upgrade to 2-day shipping, but it’ll cost you at least $14.99 for all print sizes. Overnight shipping costs at least $19.99 for all sizes.
4. Costco gives you free return address labels with premium holiday greeting card orders.
You have two options when ordering holiday greeting cards from Costco: photo greeting cards or premium stationery greeting cards. You’ll only get the free return address labels with the premium stationery greeting cards, but envelopes are still included with standard photo greeting cards.
If you’re stuck on which greeting card to choose, here’s how each option breaks down:
Photo Greeting Cards: 5×7 photo cards printed on high-quality archival photographic paper.
- Starts at $13.99 for 50 ($0.28 per card)
- Single-sided printing
- Lustre finish (satin-like)
- Envelopes included
Premium Stationery Greeting Cards: 5×7 card designs, printed on premium 120-pound thick card stock.
- Starts at $16.49 for 25 ($0.66 per card)
- Double-sided printing
- Square or rounded corners
- Envelopes with return and recipient addresses included
5. Create custom gifts online with the Costco Photo Center.
Christmas? Hannukah? Mother’s Day? Just because? Costco has the perfect custom Costco photo gifts for any occasion, and it’s super easy to personalize items exactly the way you want them.
Here’s a list of some photo gifts you can order from Costco:
- Acrylic, Canvas, Metal, & Collage Prints
6. Look for Costco Photo Center promo codes in Costco newsletters or emails.
Everyone loves a hot promo code or coupon, but when it comes to the Costco Photo Center, promo codes are rarer than Bigfoot.
7. Get a Costco photo blanket for about $10 cheaper than at Walmart.
Even though CVS, Shutterfly, and Walmart offer coupons and rollbacks to help you save more, they can’t beat Costco’s prices for plush fleece photo blankets. Here’s the price breakdown:
8. Digitize your home videos and photos for $20 and up through the Costco Photo Center.
Want your home videos and photos to stand the test of time? You can have them digitized on DVD or USB online through the Costco Photo Center. They’ll even throw in a digital copy you can download to your computer and mobile device.
Prices start at $19.99 for digitized VHS videos, film, photos, and slides. All you have to do is place your order online, print your shipping documents, and follow Costco’s instructions for shipping the footage or photos you’d like digitized.
It’ll take three to four weeks for Costco to complete your order, but they’ll send you an email when it’s ready and on its way back to you in its digitized format.
9. Download the Costco app to easily upload images to your Costco photo album.
Instead of sending all your photos to your own email address just to get them on your computer, you can download the Costco app (iOS / Android). With the app, you can upload your photos directly from your phone to your Costco Photo Center account!
10. Go ahead and return your photo orders to any Costco warehouse.
It’s true — you can even return personalized gifts like photo blankets and mugs. The Costco return policy applies here, and just like anything you buy from Costco.com, you can return it in the warehouse.