Is REI Membership Worth It?
|In This Guide|
Is REI Membership worth It? It will save you 10%+ on your purchases and also has a lot of other benefits that not everyone knows about. Here’s how an REI Membership can work for you…
REI Membership is a Perpetual REI Coupon Code
You get an average of 10% back on all your purchases at the end of the year. You don’t need any coupon code, you just give them your REI membership info (online it’s done when you log in, at the store you use your phone number). The REI membership fee of $20 is good for a lifetime membership. So the more years that you have an REI membership, the less it actually ends up costing. If you are buying gear over $200, it pays for itself immediately.
So getting an REI Membership is basically like having a 10% REI coupon code for the rest of your life. Pretty cool.
You don’t need your actual REI membership card when purchasing, just your phone number.
One of the cool things about buying with your membership is that REI keeps a purchase history for both online and in store, so if you ever need to reference your purchase history, you can just do it on the website.
And There Are Actual REI Coupon Codes Too!
In addition to the 10% off you get with REI membership, there are often member-only sales where you get up to 50% off. According to friends who work at REI, these sales often draw larger crowds than holiday shopping. At our local REI, there’s a weekend every year where REI sells all the returned goods at huge discounts. This year I managed to grab about $600 worth of hiking gear for under $200.
Also, REI often sends out 20% (or similar) coupons at different times of the year.
Other Discounts From REI Membership
You get discounts on classes and services at REI stores (and it depends on the store and service). For example, I get my bike serviced at REI all the time. The cost of that bike work with the REI membership is about 60% off the regular price.
Most REI stores also have frequent classes on all kinds of outdoors subjects, from hiking, camping, survival skills, biking, water sports, snow sports, everything outdoors. These are either free or heavily discounted for REI members.
Other Benefits of REI Membership
- You can go online and check whether they have an item in stock at your local REI store. Buy it online and pick it up later.
- You can go to the actual REI store to check gear out, try shoes and clothes on, etc.
- The folks who work at REI are mainly outdoors enthusiasts, so they know what they’re talking about, and will take the time to show you how to use gear and give their recommendations. Just a note, not everyone is though, this is the real world. Do your homework, read reviews, and have an idea of what you want coming in.
- If you order from REI online, they have free shipping for orders over $50.
- You can create a gift registry or wish list.
- REI has a great return policy, you have up to a year to return (except electronics).
- REI is made up of good people who love the outdoors. If you visit a store and speak with an REI employee, they are generally knowledgable and friendly.
- REI treats their workers right.
- REI has an outlet, the REI Outlet, where you can save crazy amounts on gear.
- You can even buy used gear online from REI on their used gear site.
- You can rent gear from REI.
- They do quite a bit of non-partisan work to protect public lands. In 2018 REI invested $8.8 million in more than 400 nonprofits working to create and protect access to the outdoors.
Yes, REI Membership Is Worth It
Here’s a good use case for the REI membership discount. There is some hiking gear that almost never gets discounted. One of those pieces of gear is the MSR Guardian Water Purifier (a Backpacker Magazine Editors’ Choice winner). Normally it goes for $350 or so.
When I purchased it, I used my 20% REI member coupon, and then I got my REI Membership discount 10% back on the item, saving $105 (30%) on the sale. Normally I would not be able to get any discount on this item, including at Amazon (where it’s usually a penny under REI’s price at $349.99).
And I felt good about it because I was supporting a store run by good people. Everyone wins.
Learn More About REI Membership