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Costco has it, Amazon has it, Disney has it, even your local grocery store has it.

There are certain perks that a membership provide, but are they really worth it? Read on to find out what benefits you should look for in a membership and the best ways to maximize them.

Tangible: Discounts

Whether it's percentage off the merchandise or free shipping, discounts are possibly the main advantage you should be on the lookout for when signing up for a membership deal. But this really depends on how much you're spending to make that membership fee worth the discount.

For example, Mono B's VIP membership is $45 monthly, and you automatically get 5% merchandise discount. This means you'll need to spend at least $900 every month to get your membership money back.

Although discounts are the most tangible and measurable perk in memberships, there are other benefits that you want to keep in mind when you decide whether you should pay to become a member or not.

Tangible: Processing Time

Let's face it: in this world of instant gratification, speed is something we can all appreciate. Amazon Prime thrives with its free two-day shipping (although there have been numerous complaints from Amazon fulfillment workers and package drivers). Theme parks like Disney World and Six Flags also offer paid services that let you cut lines.

Mono B's VIP membership also offers a fast track service that pushes your order to the front of the line, and depending on how big your order is, you can cut the processing time in half and have your order ready in a few hours instead of two to three business days.

Tangible: Exclusive Section

More leg room, wider food selection, better service - these are what we get when we upgrade to business class or first class. Of course they all come with a price.

Many websites have a special section that can only be accessed by certain members. This ensures the exclusivity of the club.

When you become a Mono B VIP member, the VIP exclusive category is unlocked and you can preorder items months in advance. (The preorder listings in the non-VIP category becomes live one month prior to the estimated arrival date.) This way, the Mono B VIP members can schedule their looks with ample time and not worry that the preordered item will have been sold out by the time it's available for general customers.

Intangible: Status

There are also "benefits" one can get from paying for this VIP status. One of them is, well, status. This feeds our ego and for some people, it's nice to be acknowledged and belong to a certain group or class.

Intangible: Sense of Security

Another "benefit" is sense of security. Although we're not using the privileges, they're still there when we want them. This explains why people have gym memberships but rarely use them. All the equipment is there when we need it. So when we feel motivated enough to go, we can use it. The question is, when are we determined enough to get up and work out? (Best answer is always, as numerous studies have shown that being active and working out have been linked to better health and longer life.)

Two final aspects to think about when purchasing a membership is the starting date and cancellation policy.

Some memberships, like Mono B VIP, starts the billing cycle on the first of every month. If you start your membership on July 25 without purchasing at least $900 (and therefore maximizing your 5% discount) within six days, when your membership gets renewed on August 1, you will have paid one month for nothing. (Alternatively, with Mono B VIP membership, you can also get three months VIP deal where you can get three months VIP membership and only pay for two months.)

Cancellation policy is also just as important. Don't get suckered into a membership and end up not using it with no way to cancel it. Some companies are notorious for trying to give discounts to keep customers from cancelling their subscriptions. Some companies offer a supposedly easy cancellation, with totally different reality.

The Mono B VIP membership only requires three months of commitment. If you feel you probably won't get the most of it, you can cancel the membership by phone or email before your membership gets renewed on the first of every month.

Now that know the advantages of getting the VIP treatment, you must ask yourself (and those whose opinion matters) if you do need to become a member.

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