Costco is Cracking Down on Membership Sharing Joining Netflix & Others





Costco is a popular store with loads of great deals on bulk purchases, electronics, household items, and more. Now, the company is taking a stand against membership sharing.

Before, members could let others borrow their cards as Costco only checked member cards at checkout, although this was heavily frowned upon by the company. A new policy has been put in place requiring cashiers to check valid ID cards as well. If the names don’t match, you’ll be directed to purchase a membership or be turned away.

“Our membership policy states that our membership cards are not transferable and since expanding our self-service checkout, we’ve noticed that non-member shoppers have been using membership cards that do not belong to them,” said a company spokesperson in a statement to Gizmodo. “Costco is able to keep our prices as low as possible because our membership fees help offset our operational expenses, making our membership fee and structure important to us. We don’t feel it’s right that nonmembers receive the same benefits and pricing as our members.”

Costco hasn’t announced when the policy will be strictly enforced but it definitely will as the company aims to keep prices for memberships and items low compared to competitors.

“The extent to which we achieve growth in our membership base, increase the penetration of Executive membership, and sustain high renewal rates materially influences our profitability,” the company stated last year.

If you’re a card borrower, a Costco membership is easy to sign up for and relatively inexpensive for the purchasing power it provides. A Gold Star membership is only $60 a year for two cards and you can cancel at any time. The Executive membership is $120 a year and includes 2 percent annual rewards up to $1,000 for eligible items. Executive members also get additional discounts on Costco services. Both memberships grant access to Costco’s online and warehouse stores.

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