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How Much Does Mar a Lago Club Membership Cost?

Last Updated on January 17, 2024
Written by CPA Alec Pow | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popinker

Mar-a-Lago, Donald Trump’s opulent private club in Palm Beach, Florida, has long been shrouded in an air of exclusivity and luxury. With Trump now a former President, many are curious – just how much does Mar a Lago Club membership cost?

This article will break down the Mar-a-Lago club membership fees, annual dues, and additional expenses required of members. You’ll also learn what membership privileges are included, how the costs have changed over time, and what criteria is used to approve new members.

Read on to satisfy your curiosity about joining one of Palm Beach’s most elite and historic institutions.

Highlights of Mar-a-Lago Membership Costs

What are the key details to remember if you’re interested in joining Mar-a-Lago? Here’s a summary of the most important points:

  • The initiation fee is $200,000 plus $14,000 in annual dues
  • Membership provides access to an impressive, amenities-filled private club
  • Fees have remained ultra-high since the club’s inception to maintain prestige
  • Members pay additional fees for services, events, and incidentals
  • The application process is strict and secretive, overseen by Trump

How Much Does Mar a Lago Club Membership Cost?

According to a report in the Washington Post, membership fees to join the Mar-a-Lago club cost $200,000. This high upfront initiation fee grants approved applicants the coveted honor of joining President Donald Trump’s exclusive South Florida club.

You might also like our articles about the cost of becoming a member of the Dedham Country Club, Wing Foot Golf Club, or Secession Golf Cub.

In addition to the initiation fee, members must also pay annual dues. As of 2023, the club’s annual dues were $14,000 per year for members according to the Palm Beach Post.

This means that joining the Mar-a-Lago club costs $200,000 upfront, plus $14,000 in annual dues as an ongoing expense required of members.

Town & Country states that the initiation fee for Mar-a-Lago increased from $100,000 to $200,000, with annual dues of $14,000 and an annual food minimum of $2,000. It also provides information on the club’s amenities and privileges.

AJC mentions that the initiation fee and annual dues at The Mar-a-Lago Club buy entry through the front door, with the initiation fee covering privileges at Trump-branded golf courses. It also notes a minimum dining requirement of $2,000 a year for food and drinks.

CNBC confirms that the initiation fee for Mar-a-Lago doubled to $200,000 following the election of Donald Trump as president. In addition to the initiation fee, members also pay $14,000 a year in annual dues plus tax.

Of course, gaining membership also affords paying members special access to amenities at the club’s oceanfront Palm Beach property. We’ll take a closer look at those benefits next.

What Do Mar-a-Lago Members Receive for These Fees?

So what exactly does the privilege of joining Mar-a-Lago provide members in return for the substantial investment required?

For starters, membership at the storied Palm Beach club includes access to its famously impressive oceanfront resort. The grounds sprawl across 17 acres and feature a main mansion with 126 rooms along with private guest suites.

Members can dine at the club’s beachfront restaurant, work out in the state-of-the-art fitness center, or relax poolside. There is a full-service spa, perfectly manicured croquet lawns, and clay tennis courts.

The club’s ballroom also hosts exclusive member events throughout the year, from glamorous galas to speaker events and even weddings, that bring in A-list guests from around the world.

During his presidency, Trump also frequently spent time at Mar-a-Lago and hosted foreign dignitaries like Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the grounds. Members potentially gain proximity to power – and the elite connections that come with it.

Beyond amenities, joining Mar-a-Lago also serves as a status symbol. Much like membership at an exclusive country club confers prestige, getting into Mar-a-Lago signals one has ascended to the upper echelons of Palm Beach society.

The History Behind Mar-a-Lago’s Exorbitant Membership Fees

Mar-a-Lago membership fees and exclusivity are tied to its history. The sprawling mansion was built in the 1920s by billionaire heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post, who donated the property to the U.S. government after her death. However, the federal government declined to accept it.

Enter Donald Trump – in 1985, he purchased Mar-a-Lago for $5 million and turned it into an ultra-exclusive private members club.

Trump initially charged a high $200,000 initiation fee, along with $50,000 in annual dues back in the 1990s. At one point the total cost of joining approached $350,000.

Membership numbers declined for a period after the Bernie Madoff scandal when many wealthy Palm Beach victims could no longer afford the fees.

In 2012, Trump slashed the initiation fee in half to $100,000 in an effort to boost membership. But he has reportedly since restored the full $200,000 price tag required to join his coveted club. President Donald Trump often calls Mar a Lago the winter White House.

The substantial fees and selective membership process help maintain the club’s elite prestige even today.

What Other Expenses Do Members Pay?

Beyond the upfront initiation fee and annual dues, Mar-a-Lago members also pay additional ad hoc fees for the use of various facilities and services at the club.

Guest suite rentals cost up to $2,000 per night. There are dining minimums at the club restaurants. Members pay cart rental fees to play on the croquet lawn and tennis courts. The spa charges for treatments and services.

Special club events often carry additional tickets fees as well, especially for galas or dinners that include appearances by Trump and his family members.

Members also shoulder an additional tax burden. In 2021, Palm Beach County assessed Trump’s golf property there $700,000 in unpaid taxes from the prior 2 years. The county tax collector indicated these costs would likely trickle down to Mar-a-Lago club members.

So obviously, that $200,000 initiation and $14,000 in annual dues may not fully represent the true cost of joining and maintaining active membership status at the club. Prospective members should be prepared for considerable extra expenses on top of the base fees.

How Does Mar-a-Lago Grant Membership?

Mar a Lago ClubNot just anyone can join Mar-a-Lago, even if they can foot the bill. The club reportedly maintains a cap of 500 members, and new prospects go through a stringent vetting process in order to get approval.

However, the specifics of this process are shrouded in secrecy. Mar-a-Lago requires prospective members to submit an application for review, but the criteria and decision-making behind granting membership remains largely obscure.

The club’s website only indicates that members must demonstrate “good character and high social stature.” Wealth alone does not guarantee admission. Industry insiders suggest prospective members also require an existing connection to a current member to improve their prospects for successfully getting in.

Trump himself reportedly takes an active role in evaluating applications and has the final say on approving new Mar-a-Lago members. Those granted membership gain a certain privileged access to the former President’s exclusive sphere. But exactly how Trump selects who gains entry remains largely confidential.

The lengthy wait list and extensive vetting underscore the true exclusivity of joining Mar-a-Lago. Even for the super wealthy, getting into this club requires far more than just having the money to pay dues.

Final Words

Joining Mar-a-Lago confers elite status but requires considerable funds and connections. For the right member, gaining access to Trump’s storied Palm Beach club may prove priceless. Yet most curious outsiders will likely need to content themselves with keeping the true cost of membership firmly out of reach.

11 replies
  1. Bernadette Mujica
    Bernadette Mujica says:

    Would love to send President Donald Trump a book my husband wrote about his last 10 years in Cuba came here in 1959 we live in Boca Raton or maybe be able to meet him and his beautiful family

    • William Edwards
      William Edwards says:

      He would think you were a Mexican and ask how you got around his wall. I am guessing you are suffering from Alzheimer’s or some other old age Dementia, he doesn’t socialize with people who arent White. Maybe you should look up his big supporters, The Proud Boys…. I’m sure they would welcome you with open arms.

      • Jimmy Lee
        Jimmy Lee says:

        Donald Trump was the first employer in New York to accept Hispanics, blacks, women and men the gay lesbian community into employment in top positions within his Trump Brand companies. This is a fact that the media publicized before Trump betrayed them and became a republican. I met him at a RNC event back in 2016 and he socialized with everybody of every color. He even donated 10 grand to a coworkers father for chemo treatments which our local news agency did publicize. But I later found out in 2019 he did a follow up and paid off his dads entire hospital bill and that was never publicized. The kindness of Trump has no bounds.
        Your comment to this poster just shows how ignorant and hateful you, are not to mention you bottom feed off of everything the media shows you.

        You do realize that the bulk of the Proud boys are mixed races and the current leader is a cuban african man right? God some times you trolls can be so dense its not even funny.

        • qSign
          qSign says:

          The team behind ThePricer thanks you guys for taking the time to write thorough comments, but before things get any more heated, let’s try to keep the discussion on point and as civilized as possible. Thank you again!

        • Madcracka
          Madcracka says:

          You hit the nail on the head.
          President Trump is going to win in 2024 and all the trolls are going to reap the rewards after he becomes president.

        • melissa
          melissa says:

          It really doesn’t matter what membership fees are. It’s a privately held business. If you’re so worried about the cost of things in our country you can start by questioning the Congress and US senate and our current administration, inflation is at 40 yr high.

  2. Stewart Basil Clarke
    Stewart Basil Clarke says:

    This is where President Trump has decided to live instead of New York City. Although he still owns real estate there, he more likely than not looked into protecting his company business interests, along with protecting his family. I was born with disabilities and at age 61 I too do what I can to protect my family. Also after he had a hit show No One attacked him. Once he decided to become a Great President the media, who are the greatest threat to Democracy at this time, decided to Not Just Tear Him Down but Also His Family. So who cares what his company charges because those who are rich can afford to pay it because They Too Want To Protect Their Family and get away from the Media. My wife and I of almost 28 years struggle to get by but We Would Never Complain About What People Do With Their Money. Until you can walk a Mile in Their Shoes, before acquiring their wealth, then Please Do Not Complain.
    Thank You,
    Stewart B. Clarke

    • Donna Kelly
      Donna Kelly says:

      I’m sure there are wealthy conservative black families that are members. That’s not very nice to say that there aren’t any black people that can’t afford to join. He just doesn’t want obnoxious people of any color joining.


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