Sometimes we are so caught up with everything we have to do that we may need to remember a certain membership card at home or even the entire wallet. With today’s technology which practically allows for everything to be at your fingertips with the smartphone, I have wondered if Costco would allow entrance and shopping with just a picture of the membership card and not the actual card.
Costco will not let you in or allow you to check out with just a picture of the membership card.
For a store competing in the membership niche, they are pretty strict about that policy.
Let’s dive in a little deeper to see what the alternatives may be if you are in a situation where you only have a picture of the card and how to get in and shop. Also some interesting things about the membership that you should know. Read on to find out.
What The Actual Costo Policy Says
Let’s begin by stating the obvious. The Costco card is a membership, and as such, it grants certain privileges that you agree to when you first sign up for the membership. One of the things that Costco states on its company website is that they are the owners of the card and can take it away at any moment.
They also state that entrance to their warehouses is permitted by showing a picture membership card at the entrance and is required at checkout. They further state that showing barcodes, photos, and any other types of copies is not acceptable to enter.
Is It Required For The Membership Card To Have a Picture?
Much like a license of any kind that grants privileges, think a driver’s license, hunting license, or any professional affiliation license, the Costco license requires it to have a picture of the member. The primary reason for this is identity theft since the membership card is non-transferable, and the person paying for the membership should be the card user.
Another alternative you may have in your hands is the Costco Credit Card which would be the only other admissible card you could use to access as a member. This is because the card says “Costo” on it, and there will be a picture of the member on the back. In this case, you don’t have to carry two cards with you; just that credit card will do and can also serve as a payment method.
Alternative To Not Having The Membership Card On You
In one of those situations where you find yourself in Costo’s footsteps and don’t have either of those membership forms, you can also request a temporary card. This temporary card will be valid for just that one visit and will allow you entrance and check out.
You get that card by going to the Member Services desk and presenting a government-issued ID, such as a driver’s license or passport, so that they can look up the membership information. If the membership is active, you will be issued a temporary card. If it is not valid, you will be asked to renew it and given a card.
Are The Membership Cards Transferable?
Let’s first keep in mind that shopping inside Costo is for members only. So, no, membership cards are not transferable. The person on the membership is the one that should be using the card or another household member that is also part of the membership.
But Costo allows the member to share the shopping experience with people not members of the giant store chain. Each member can bring up to two guests when visiting the store. You have to keep in mind that the member does have to be present at all times.
Total Number of People In Each Membership Type
Inside the strict world of Costco, it is good to know the types of memberships and how many people can be part of it. Costo has two types of memberships, a personal level one and a business level one. The perks differ from the most expensive providing the most rewards and running from $60 a year for the personal option and $120 a year for the business option.
The personal allows for the main member plus one more household card for any person over the age of 18 that also resides at the same address. And for the business option, in addition to the main member, additional members without a limit can be added for $60 a piece. So yes, it can be a bit pricey, but it will depend on your needs and the perks you want to receive back.
Is There Anything a Non-Costco Member Can Buy?
Costo likes to keep its business model exclusive, and the reality is that they want you to be a member since membership revenue is pretty important for its bottom line. But if saving on good quality products is not an incentive, don’t worry; you can still access some items without being a member.
Things like entering the store to buy something at their ridiculously cheap food court are available to non-members. And while you are there, you can also get an eye exam, buy prescription drugs for you and your pet and even buy some alcohol without showing a membership card.
Shopping Online Could Be An Option
If all of this is a bit overwhelming, hey, shop online! This would be a great alternative to accessing the awesome quality products Costo offers with just the movement of your fingertips. Non-members can go to the online store and shop any day. Just be aware that your pricing will be 5% more for non-members.
And while we are at it, if in one of the other trips you want to give it a trial run and test out the membership, you can also take one out and try it for one of two purchases (make sure to ask that particular store how quickly you would have to request a refund) and see if you like it. If you don’t, simply request a refund at Member Services, and they will gladly reimburse your membership fee.
So, in general, Costco can be strict but at the same time offer some alternatives. No, they will not allow you to enter with a picture of the membership card, but as I mentioned, there are temporary card options and so on. And if you are not a member, then there are a couple of alternatives that will still allow you to shop at their membership warehouses.
Hi there, I’m JJ, and welcome To EverydayQuery! Founded in 2022, we created this project to be the most complete resource on the web for your everyday questions regarding retail, shopping experiences, and overall consumer questions. We’re a team of passionate consumers whose mission is to provide the best answers to your everyday questions.