Shopping at Costco without a membership

ScrapYap

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 25, 2008
I received a Costco gift card and understand that I can enter to use it without having my own Costco membership and without going along with another Costco member.

Just wondering if others have had experience with this. I'm told that I can spend more than the amount on the gift card? If I only need to go to Costco once or twice a year, I now know what I'm going to answer when someone asks what to get me for birthday or Mother's Day - a Costco gift card! (Unless it turns out that I'm restricted to the $50 that's on the gift card itself.)
 

disneyeveryyear

DIS Veteran
DVC Gold
Joined
Mar 12, 2003
Do you know someone with a Costco membership? If so, can you give them the money to add to the gift card?

I do this with my daughter. There is a Costco in the city where she attends university. My DH and I are the 2 members. So, in order for her to pick up items for me, I got her a Costco Cash card. When we go down to see her, we run by Costco and I add another $100 to the card. So far, so good and it works for us.
 

runwad

Dis Veteran
Joined
Jan 18, 2006
Hey now you got me thinking if this would work the same way with Sam's club? Me and my DH are members, DS is at college but there is one by him. He can't get in without us, but if I give him a gift card could he get in? But I do know at Sam's they look at your membership card when you walk in so not sure?
 
  • TwoHeartsBeat

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jan 2, 2014
    Hey now you got me thinking if this would work the same way with Sam's club? Me and my DH are members, DS is at college but there is one by him. He can't get in without us, but if I give him a gift card could he get in? But I do know at Sam's they look at your membership card when you walk in so not sure?
    Around here they only check that you have a card, not that it belongs to you. I give my Sam's card to my husband and kids all the time.
     

    runwad

    Dis Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 18, 2006
    ^ Well around here when I go through the checkout they take my card and put the picture facing them on their register so not sure that would work? But thanks for your experience. I'll have to try calling a store some week day and see what they say. Although I would think he then would have to pay that additional 5% surcharge on items.
     

    mjkacmom

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 20, 2006
    Yes, I used to get low Costco gc’s for my older kids, they could purchase over the amount.
     

    CMNJ

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 8, 2014
    ^ Well around here when I go through the checkout they take my card and put the picture facing them on their register so not sure that would work? But thanks for your experience. I'll have to try calling a store some week day and see what they say. Although I would think he then would have to pay that additional 5% surcharge on items.
    My Sam’s has self checkouts which would be an option if yours does too-nobody is looking at the card. Also with the scan and go feature in the Sam’s club app you can bypass the register all together and pay right through the app with your credit card if you’d want to set that up for him.
     
  • _19disnA

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 8, 2018
    The annual Costco membership costs $60 according to their website. We don't have a membership but have shopped there a few time with friends who do. You have to know your prices or for some items you just end up buying a HUGE container of something where the unit price is no better then any other store. If you can use their gift card without being a member, seems like people would buy gift cards to avoid paying the annual membership. Probably good to check with your local Costco store to see how this really works.
     

    wendow

    We create happiness.
    Joined
    Feb 11, 2012
    Hey now you got me thinking if this would work the same way with Sam's club? Me and my DH are members, DS is at college but there is one by him. He can't get in without us, but if I give him a gift card could he get in? But I do know at Sam's they look at your membership card when you walk in so not sure?
    Our Sams membership is under my dh’s account. I just log into their app using his login and pull up the digital card. Ours doesn’t check at the door and I use the self checkouts and just scan the digital card from there.
     

    mjkacmom

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 20, 2006
    The annual Costco membership costs $60 according to their website. We don't have a membership but have shopped there a few time with friends who do. You have to know your prices or for some items you just end up buying a HUGE container of something where the unit price is no better then any other store. If you can use their gift card without being a member, seems like people would buy gift cards to avoid paying the annual membership. Probably good to check with your local Costco store to see how this really works.
    This really does work, it’s not a secret. https://www.cnbc.com/2019/02/04/4-ways-to-shop-at-costco-without-a-membership-and-save-money.html
     
  • missnic

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 13, 2004
    Around here they only check that you have a card, not that it belongs to you. I give my Sam's card to my husband and kids all the time.
    My Costco is kinda weird about this. They just glance at the card when you walk in. But to pay, the name on the card must be yours. Dh and I both have our own cards, but for whatever reason awhile back I did not have mine. So we gave them his card, and he went to grab a box while I paid. The cashier would not let me pay until he got back with the box. It was weird. It was probably just an overzealous cashier, but they do happen.
     

    disneyeveryyear

    DIS Veteran
    DVC Gold
    Joined
    Mar 12, 2003
    My Costco is kinda weird about this. They just glance at the card when you walk in. But to pay, the name on the card must be yours. Dh and I both have our own cards, but for whatever reason awhile back I did not have mine. So we gave them his card, and he went to grab a box while I paid. The cashier would not let me pay until he got back with the box. It was weird. It was probably just an overzealous cashier, but they do happen.
    However, if you have a gift card to pay, you don't have to show a membership card at all.
     

    miztressuz

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 23, 2011
    ^ Well around here when I go through the checkout they take my card and put the picture facing them on their register so not sure that would work? But thanks for your experience. I'll have to try calling a store some week day and see what they say. Although I would think he then would have to pay that additional 5% surcharge on items.
    Is it a new card? Neither of my membership cards now have pictures on them. Both Sam's and BJ's are just barcodes and they didn't take pics when I picked them up. If it's an older card could ask to get a replacement.
     

    hsmamato2

    <font color=magenta>Tink in Training-Good Girl,Bad
    Joined
    Mar 28, 2005
    so to use a costco cash card without membership, do you pay a surcharge,or same prices? I have a membership but I like this idea...(I keep it for car rental deals) Oh, and Costco and Sams are two different animals....Sams doesn't care who uses the digital card or membership,easy to share around. Costco on the other hand cares very much that your face matches the pic on the member card. It's a pain but again,car rental deals.
     

    Searc

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 12, 2018
    so to use a costco cash card without membership, do you pay a surcharge,or same prices? I have a membership but I like this idea...(I keep it for car rental deals) Oh, and Costco and Sams are two different animals....Sams doesn't care who uses the digital card or membership,easy to share around. Costco on the other hand cares very much that your face matches the pic on the member card. It's a pain but again,car rental deals.
    People better not be able to purchase for the same price without a membership.
     

    verleniahall

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 5, 2013
    Our costco requires a membership card no matter the form of paymen t- they are crackign down on those who are taking advantage of this and they ar eremoving the loopholes - we were just there on Sunday and someone was trying this at self-checkout andy actually referenced several "money saving" sites saying it was allowed and the Manager said they were aware of teh sties and Costro is removing that loophold and yuo will have to scan your membership card to continue the purhcase. Also, Costso requires the name on the card be on the ID of the person that is paying so you can't just borrow a friend's card and go - you can go WITH them as a guest, and give them $$ for your items though.

    Our Sam's also requires that the name on the card (that comes up on their end) matches the ID of the person paying
     

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