Membership dues are fees paid at regular intervals by individuals and professionals in order to be part of a club or organization. The cost of membership dues and how often they are paid varies widely among different organizations. Membership dues often help to offset the overhead costs of a particular club or organization and can also help to provide members with additional benefits.
Wholesale warehouses such as Costco, Sam's Club or BJ's Wholesale Club are common examples of how membership dues work. At most wholesale clubs, members pay an annual fee to have access to the club; in exchange for the fee, they are able to purchase items such as groceries and toiletries in bulk. Often consumers shop at wholesale clubs in order to stock up on common household items at discounted prices, making the annual fee essentially pay for itself.
Membership dues can also offset various benefits given by professional organizations. For example, when physicians and medical students pay their dues to join the American Medical Association, their dues are offset by a variety of benefits. These benefits include unlimited access to AMA publications, networking opportunities to learn from other colleagues, and member discounts on insurance, medical supplies and travel.