Costco Is Cracking Down on This Member Abuse Again

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Costco’s attempt to stop the abuse of its membership policy appears to be moving to the next level.

A Costco spokesperson recently told CBS News that at a handful of warehouses, the retailer is asking shoppers to scan their membership cards upon entering, instead of quickly flashing the card at a greeter.

Such a policy might make it more difficult for members to share their card with a friend.

Sharing a Costco membership card with a nonmember 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.

Costco’s crackdown on sharing cards started in 2023, when staff began asking shoppers for their photo ID — instead of just their membership card — at checkout.

According to a report from the Dallas 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 has been moving to stop the practice.

In the Morning News report, a Costco spokesperson provided a statement that read in part, “We don’t feel it’s right that nonmembers receive the same benefits and pricing as our members.”

The newspaper also reported 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, perhaps it’s time to get your own Costco membership.

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