I renewed my Costco membership tonight--or rather, I started a new membership and, in doing so, got a lot more for my money than I expected. I haven't used my membership for several months--it expired in November 2001. When I went back to renew tonight, I was told that if I renewed my membership, it would expire in November 2002. Naturally, I questioned the economics of a renewal: why I would renew at full price only to get six months' use from the membership? The associate grinned and said, "doesn't make any sense, does it?" I asked what my options were. She said if I started a new membership, I would get a full 12 months' use for the same $45 fee. Further, Costco membership runs in full-month increments, so if you renew at the beginning of the month, in effect you get an additional few weeks of membership for the same price (i.e., a membership started on April 30 expires at the end of April the following year; a membership started May 1--just one day later--is good through the end of May of the following year, giving you an extra 30 days of membership for no extra cost.) The moral of this story is to avoid rushing into a renewal if it's been awhile since your membership elapsed (just start a new membership instead). And always try to start a new Costco membership at the beginning of the month!