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Sharing a Costco Membership? Your Time Might Be Up

Person holding a Costco Membership card with a wallet
Hannah Stryker / LifeSavvy

First Netflix, and now, Costco. The bulk retailer is cracking down on membership sharing, so if you’ve been mooching off your parents or friends for your Costco brand vodka, those days might be coming to a close.

According to reporting from CNN, Costco will now ask members to show an ID when using self-checkout in stores.

If you’ve been inside a Costco recently, you’ve likely noticed that the retailer has expanded its use of self check out. However, according to CNN, Costco has noticed a rise in people utilizing memberships that aren’t their own. To combat that, an ID will now be needed to use self-checkout.

Costco Gold Star Membership

Get those Costco hotdogs any time you want.

Why the crackdown? Well, there’s the obvious reason that some consider it unfair that those who don’t pay for membership get to benefit from one. But there are also the reasons why Costco charges for a membership at all. A large part of the retailer’s revenue stream is the costs of memberships—$60 for regular membership and $120 for executive memberships. They help offset operational costs and keep those Costco prices we all love so low.

The news of the sharing crackdown comes after an announcement in late 2022 that membership costs could be increasing. In a Dec. 2022 earnings call, CFO Richard Galanti said the price would be going up in 2023, but as of press time, there has been no firm date given for the increase. At the moment, your $60 base cost is safe. Using your friends’ membership card, however, is not.

Ultimately, it might be time to invest in a Costco membership for yourself. Not only will you not need to snag your friends’ or parents’ one before going, but you’ll be spared any embarrassment of getting to self-checkout only to be turned away. Honestly, isn’t saving face worth $60?

Shea Simmons Shea Simmons
Shea Simmons is the Editor In Chief of LifeSavvy. Previously, she worked as a freelance writer with a focus on beauty and lifestyle content. Her work has appeared in Bustle, Allure, and Hello Giggles. Read Full Bio »
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