How to Refill Propane at Costco (Price 2024 & Find a Location)

Costco Propane Refill
Costco Propane Store in MA

Costco propane refill is an easy and convenient way to get your propane tank refilled. The process is simple and takes only a few minutes. Plus, you don’t have to go to a gas station or other location to get it done. All you need is a Costco membership.

To get started, simply drive up to the propane refill station at your local Costco. Make sure you have your Costco membership card with you. Then, follow the instructions on the screen to complete the process. It’s that easy!


Does Costco Do Propane Refills?

Propane refill is a convenient way to get your propane tank refilled quickly and easily. However, it is important to note that not all Costco store locations offer this service. To find out if your local store offers propane refill, simply call them or visit their website.

When calling, be sure to ask about any current promotions or specials they may be running on propane refill. For example, some locations offer a discount when you use their in-store coupon. Additionally, always remember to bring your own empty propane tank to the store – they will not be able to fill your tank if you do not have one.

Here’s a glimpse of the process:

Propane Tanks Accepted for Refill

When refilling propane tanks at retailers like Costco, there are specific criteria and specifications that tanks need to meet to be eligible for refill. These requirements are in place to ensure safety and adhere to regulatory guidelines. Here are some common criteria for propane tanks that are accepted for refill:

  • OPD Valve: Tanks need to have an Overfilling Prevention Device (OPD) valve, which is designed to prevent overfilling. Tanks with an OPD valve have a triangular handle.
  • Expiration Date: Propane tanks have a manufacturing or requalification date stamped on their collar. Typically, tanks are good for 12 years from the date of manufacture. After that, they need to be requalified, and if approved, they receive an additional stamp, which extends their use for another 5 years.
  • Tank Condition: Tanks should be free of excessive rust, dents, or other damages. Surface rust is typically okay, but deep rust that pits the surface can make the tank ineligible for refilling.
  • Capacity: Most refill stations, including those at Costco, typically handle common sizes like the 20-pound (BBQ grill size), 30-pound, 40-pound, and 100-pound tanks. However, not all locations might service all sizes, so it’s good to check ahead.
  • Valve Type: Tanks should have a standard fill valve to be eligible for refilling.
  • No Homemade or Modified Tanks: Any tank that appears to be altered or homemade will not be filled for safety reasons.
  • Visible Certification Marks: Tanks should display clear certification marks and stamps from recognized testing authorities. In the U.S., this might be from the Department of Transportation (DOT) or other relevant bodies.
  • No Obsolete Tanks: Older tanks with certain outdated features, such as a round or star-shaped hand wheel, might not be refillable. This is because they lack modern safety features, like the OPD valve.

When in doubt, it’s a good idea to inspect your tank before heading to a refill station or call the station in advance to inquire about specific requirements. Always remember that these regulations and guidelines are in place to ensure the safe storage and use of propane, a flammable and potentially hazardous material.

The Significant Thing Costco Checks is Whether the Tank Has expired or Has Not Been Re-certified.

Absolutely, the expiration or re-certification date on propane tanks is one of the most crucial aspects that Costco, and other propane retailers, check before refilling a tank. This is because using an expired or outdated tank can present significant safety risks.

Here’s a more focused breakdown of the expiration and re-certification process:

Understanding Propane Tank Expiration and Re-certification:

Manufacturing Date:

  • Every propane tank has a manufacturing date stamped onto its collar. This date indicates when the tank was produced.

Initial Validity:

  • Typically, a propane tank is valid for 12 years from the manufacturing date. For example, a tank manufactured in January 2020 will be valid until January 2032.


  • Once the initial 12 years have passed, tanks can be re-certified. This process involves a thorough inspection to ensure the tank’s safety and integrity.
  • If the tank passes the inspection, it’s stamped with a new date, extending its life for an additional 5 years from the re-certification date.
  • This process can be repeated, but as tanks age, the likelihood of them passing becomes slimmer due to wear and tear, potential damage, or outdated safety features.

How to Check:

  • To determine if your tank is expired, look for the date stamped on the collar of the tank. If 12 years have passed since that date and there’s no re-certification stamp, the tank is expired.
  • If there’s a re-certification stamp, check that date to ensure it’s within the valid 5-year range.
U.S. Propane Tank Markings & Meanings
Marking Meaning
03 11 Date of manufacture in month and year format. (example March 2011)
B 21 Date of recertification in quarter and year format. (example 2nd quarter 2021)
A 1st quarter: JAN, FEB, MAR
B 2nd quarter: APR, MAY, JUN
C 3rd quarter: JUL, AUG, SEP
D 4th quarter: OCT, NOV, DEC
TW Tare Weight (empty cylinder weight) in pounds
WC Water Capacity (water storage capacity) in pounds

Canadian Recertification Stamps
Stamp Meaning
06 Month of requalification (example June)
PD7 Requalifiers registered mark (identifier assigned to all requalifiers by Transport Canada)
20 Year of requalification (example 2020)
E Procedure Symbol (example E = External Visual Inspection)

Why It’s Important:

  • Over time, the structural integrity of propane tanks can deteriorate, which can result in dangerous situations such as gas leaks or tank ruptures.
  • Expired tanks might not meet current safety standards, making them riskier to use.
  • Retailers, including Costco, prioritize the safety of their customers and employees, which is why they strictly adhere to these regulations.

If you plan to refill your propane tank at Costco or any other retailer, it’s essential to ensure your tank is either within its initial 12-year validity or has been successfully re-certified within the last 5 years. If in doubt, consult with the propane attendant or consider investing in a new tank. Safety should always be the top priority. Here’s a guideline.

How to Save Money

If you use propane in your home, you know that it can be a costly expense. But did you know that there are ways to save money on propane at Costco? Here are a few tips:

  1. Join the Costco Gasoline Discount Program. When you sign up for this program, you’ll receive a discount of $0.03 per gallon on all propane purchases made at Costco gas stations.
  2. Shop during the monthly propane sales. Costco typically offers big discounts on propane during specific months of the year. By timing your purchases accordingly, you can save a significant amount of money.
  3. Use a Costco Cash Card. When you use a Costco Cash Card to pay for your propane purchase, you’ll automatically get a $0.03 per gallon discount. following these simple tips, you can make significant savings on your propane costs at Costco. So don’t wait — start saving today!
  4. Costco is one of the few places where you can refill your propane tank for less than $10. The secret is to join their membership program, which costs some amount, the membership is annual. This entitles you to exclusive savings on a variety of items, including propane.

Can Non-Members Refill Propane at Costco?

Costco, widely known for its members-only shopping model, extends this policy to most of its services to ensure exclusivity and value for its members. When it comes to propane refilling, the process is primarily designed for members who benefit from discounted rates and efficient service.

However, non-members might face restrictions. In many locations, a valid Costco membership card is required not only for shopping inside the warehouse but also for accessing external services like propane refilling. This exclusivity is a part of Costco’s business model to encourage more people to join as members.

That said, it’s always advisable to check with the specific Costco location you plan to visit. Some branches, depending on local regulations or managerial discretion, may allow non-members to refill propane, but often at a non-discounted rate. Remember, the policy can vary by region and store, so a quick phone call ahead of your visit can save you time and potential inconvenience.

How Much Does It Cost to Fill a Propane Tank at Costco in 2024?

The cost to refill a propane tank at Costco in 2024 varies depending on the location and current market prices, typically ranging from $2.59 to $3.65 per gallon. For a standard 20-pound propane tank, which holds about 4.5 gallons, the refill cost generally falls between $10 and $15​​.

Costco does not offer a propane tank exchange service. If you need to return or exchange a propane tank, you will need to find another retailer, such as Walmart or Home Depot, that offers this service​​. Costco focuses on refilling propane tanks rather than exchanging them. This means you can bring your existing tank to Costco to be refilled, but you cannot return or trade in an old tank for a new one at Costco​​.

For tank exchanges, other providers typically accept your empty tank and give you a pre-filled one in return, which is convenient but often more expensive compared to refilling your own tank.

How Much Does It Cost to Fill a 20-lb Propane Tank?

The average price per gallon of propane is $3.00. However, prices can range from $2.00 to $4.00 per gallon. The cost to fill a 20 lb propane tank will depend on the current price of propane and the size of the tank. A 20 lb propane tank holds 4.6 gallons of propane. At $3.00 per gallon, the cost to fill a 20 lb propane tank would be $13.80. However, again, this price can vary depending on the current propane prices in your area.

Read related article: Does Costco Sell 100 lb Propane Tank (Cost, Important Features)

The Cost of Refill Is Priced Lower Compared to Competitors

When you need to refill your propane tank, Costco is a top choice to consider. Their propane refill service is often priced lower than many other providers in the market. By comparing the rates, it becomes clear how much you can save by choosing Costco. Beyond just the cost, being a Costco member brings added benefits. Not only do members get competitive prices, but they also enjoy the assurance of quality and consistent service. Overall, refilling at Costco offers both affordability and value, making it a smart choice for those looking to get the most out of their money.

Furthermore, Costco’s commitment to its members goes beyond just offering cost-effective solutions. They prioritize safety and ensure that each refill meets strict guidelines. This dedication to safety and service quality enhances the value proposition for members. Additionally, Costco often reviews its pricing strategies to remain competitive, ensuring that customers always get the best deal possible.

Also, given the vast number of outlets across various regions, it’s convenient for members to access their services without going too far out of their way. This accessibility combined with their consistent pricing means members can expect the same great rates and service no matter which location they visit.

While the initial draw might be the cost savings, many find that the overall experience, convenience, and commitment to quality make Costco the go-to choice for propane refills time and time again. Whether you’re grilling for a weekend BBQ or need propane for other household needs, considering Costco can lead to substantial savings in the long run.

Read related article: Does REI Refill Propane Tank?

How Do You Pay For Propane At Costco?

Paying for propane at Costco is easy and convenient. There are two main ways to pay for propane at their location. The first way is to use your Cash Card. The second way is to use your credit card.

If you use your Costco Cash Card, you will need to swipe your card at the time of purchase. You will then be asked to enter your PIN number. After you have entered your PIN number, you will be able to choose how much propane you would like to purchase. Once you have made your selection, you will need to provide your payment information.

If you use your credit card, you will need to provide your credit card number and expiration date. You will also be asked to provide your billing zip code. After you have provided all of the required information, you will be able to choose how much propane you would like to purchase. Once you have made your selection, you will be able to provide your payment information.

Read related article: 12 Ways How to Save Money When Refilling Propane Tanks

How to Find a Costco That Refills Propane Tanks

Finding a Costco that refills propane tanks can be a convenient and cost-effective solution, especially for those who frequently use propane for grilling, heating, or other purposes. This guide will walk you through the steps to locate a Costco that offers propane tank refills.

Step-by-Step Guide

1. Use the Costco Website

  • Visit the Official Website: Go to Costco’s official website.
  • Access the Store Locator: Click on the “Locations” or “Find a Warehouse” link, typically found at the top of the homepage.
  • Search for Locations: Enter your city, state, or zip code in the search bar to find nearby Costco warehouses.
  • Filter for Services: Once you have the list of nearby warehouses, look for details about the services offered at each location. Some locations will list specific services like propane refills.

2. Contact Local Costco Warehouses

  • Get Contact Information: From the store locator results, click on the Costco locations to view their contact information.
  • Call the Store: Call the warehouse directly and ask if they offer propane tank refills. This is the quickest way to confirm the availability of the service.

3. Check for Propane Services on Third-Party Websites

  • Use Review and Directory Sites: Websites like Yelp, Google Maps, and other directory services often list detailed reviews and services offered by specific Costco locations. Search for “Costco propane refill” followed by your location to see user reviews and comments.
  • Look for Customer Feedback: Reading through customer reviews can give you a better idea of which Costco locations offer propane refilling and the quality of their service.

4. Visit the Costco Gas Station

  • On-Site Inquiry: If you are near a Costco location, visit their gas station area. Some Costco gas stations have separate areas for propane tank refills.
  • Ask Employees: Speaking directly with Costco employees can provide immediate confirmation about the availability of propane refill services.

5. Utilize Costco Membership Resources

  • Check the Costco Mobile App: If you have the Costco mobile app, use it to find warehouse locations and their services. The app often has updated information about each store.
  • Consult the Costco Connection Magazine: This magazine sometimes features articles and advertisements about services offered at different Costco locations.

By using these methods, you can efficiently locate a Costco that refills propane tanks. Whether through online research, direct contact, or visiting in person, finding the right location will ensure you can get your propane tanks refilled conveniently and at a great price.

Read related article: Are All Propane Tanks Eligible for Exchange? (Considering Factors)

Interacting With The Staff

When you swing by Costco, it’s not just the vast product selection or the wallet-friendly prices that stand out. It’s those friendly faces – the dedicated staff – that truly make a difference, especially when it comes to services like propane refilling.

As you drive up to the propane refill station, you’ll be welcomed by one of these trained professionals. They aren’t just there to fill up space; they’re equipped with in-depth knowledge and training in safely handling and refilling propane tanks. They’ll walk you through every step, ensuring your tank is up to safety standards and properly refilled.

Now, here’s a little tip: keep your Costco membership card handy. At most stations, you’ll need to flash that card. It’s not just a formality. By doing so, you’re unlocking member-specific prices or promotions, ensuring you get the best deal. Also, make sure you let them know how much propane you’re after. A quick top-up or a full tank? Your clarity helps them serve you better.

Tips and Tricks for a Seamless Propane Refilling Experience at Costco

  1. Best Times to Refill:
  • Early Bird Strategy: Try to go early in the morning. Just after opening, most Costco locations will be less crowded, giving you quicker service.
  • Mid-week Advantage: Weekdays, especially Tuesday and Wednesday, tend to be less busy than weekends.
  • Weather Watch: On days with inclement weather, there might be fewer customers, but also consider safety and the convenience of refilling on such days.
  • Avoid Holiday Hustle: Days leading up to major holidays or events can be busier as people prepare for barbecues and gatherings.
  1. Membership Benefits:
  • Discounted Rates: Some Costco memberships might offer discounts on propane refills. It’s worth checking with your local store or online to see if any promotions are ongoing.
  • Exclusive Hours: Certain membership tiers might have access to the store during exclusive hours, which means fewer crowds and quicker service.
  • Loyalty Programs: Occasionally, Costco might have loyalty programs or promotions that reward members for frequent purchases, which could include propane refills.

3. Regular Inspections:

  • Safety First: Regularly inspecting your propane tank can prevent potential hazards. Look for signs of rust, dents, or other visible damages.
  • Expiration Date: Always check the expiration date and ensure your tank is certified. Tanks typically last 12 years after their manufacturing date, after which they need to be re-certified every 5 years.
  • Valve Check: Make sure the valve on your tank closes and opens smoothly. A malfunctioning valve can be a safety concern.
  • Professional Inspection: If you’re unsure about the tank’s condition, it might be a good idea to get it professionally inspected. Some propane refill stations, including those at Costco, can help identify if your tank requires any servicing.

By considering these tips and being proactive about your propane refill needs, you can ensure a smooth and efficient experience at Costco or any other refill station. Safety and convenience go hand in hand when dealing with propane tanks.


Let’s face it: trips to Costco aren’t just about snagging that bulk pack of snacks or that irresistibly priced tech gadget. They’re also about tapping into Costco’s array of efficient services, propane refilling being a prime example.

With the right prep – like ensuring your tank hasn’t retired and timing your visit wisely – you’re not just refilling propane; you’re fueling your next adventure, be it a BBQ, a camping trip, or simply keeping your home cozy. So, the next time you pull into that sprawling Costco parking lot, remember, with every service they offer, they’re not just filling up containers or carts; they’re filling up experiences. And with propane in the mix, yours is bound to be warm and memorable. Here’s to smooth refills and even smoother experiences.

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