Mardi Gras krewe membership costs vary by krewe and can range from less than $50 to thousands of dollars. The price of membership typically depends on the scope and popularity of the events the krewe puts on. For example, membership in the Zulu krewe, which holds a legendary parade on Mardi Gras Tuesday, can cost as much as $1,500, and other krewes may be even more exclusive both in terms of price and in terms of the gender, race and residency of their members.
Membership in a krewe typically grants the member the right to either ride on parade floats or walk in a parade in addition to other benefits, such as access to member-only events and VIP entrance to balls and other celebrations. In some cases, krewe membership alone will not necessarily earn the member a place on a parade float; such a position may cost extra. Krewes use the membership fees to bankroll their parade floats and other costs.
Some krewes may require additional criteria from applicants, such as the sponsorship of a current member. Some krewes are male-only, so female applicants will not be accepted even if they have sponsorship and money to spend. However, there are many krewes that are open to the public and will accept membership fees through a simple PayPal transaction.