Costco Is Cracking Down on This Abuse of Its Membership Policy

Advertising Disclosure: When you buy something by clicking links on our site, we may earn a small commission, but it never affects the products or services we recommend.

dennizn /

First, Netflix began cracking down on those who share account passwords. Now, Costco is making it more difficult to share membership cards with a friend.

The Dallas Morning News reports that the retail giant is cracking down on those who share their membership card with others.

Doing this violates Costco’s membership policy as found on the retailer’s website, which explicitly states that “the Costco membership card is non-transferable.”

Costco also states that although members can bring up to two guests to the store per visit, “purchasing items is exclusive to Costco members.” Costco primary members and account managers can assign one free card to one other person from the member’s home, however.

According to the Morning News, since Costco installed additional self-checkout lines in its stores, the retailer has noticed that more nonmember shoppers have been using the cards of members to make purchases.

So, Costco is now moving to stop the practice. In a statement that was emailed to the Morning News, Costco said:

“We don’t feel it’s right that nonmembers receive the same benefits and pricing as our members. As we already ask for the membership card at checkout, we are now asking to see their membership card with their photo at our self-service checkout registers.”

Employees at Costco stores in the Texas cities of Rockwell and Dallas already are using spot checks to ask shoppers for photo IDs, according to the Morning News.

The newspaper reports that Costco has stated that membership fees play a critical role in allowing the retailer to keep prices “as low as possible,” and Costco says that reality makes the “membership fee and structure important to us.”

So, instead of trying to piggyback on a friend’s account, it’s time to get your own. And once you do, check out “13 Ways to Squeeze the Most From Your Costco Membership.”

Get smarter with your money!

Want the best money-news and tips to help you make more and spend less? Then sign up for the free Money Talks Newsletter to receive daily updates of personal finance news and advice, delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up for our free newsletter today.