How I Shop at Costco without Paying for a Membership

how to shop at Costco without a membership
There’s a false impression that in order to shop at Costco warehouses, you have to pay a membership fee. While this is the normal route for people to shop at their stores, there’s a “Costco hack” that will allow you to shop at any of their warehouses without having to purchase a membership. This hack is much more effective for people who don’t shop at Costco on a regular basis, since it does take a little bit of extra work. But absolutely anybody can do it if they are looking for a way to save $55. I know because I currently do this hack.

Let me first state that I believe Costco is a great company that treats its employees well. For this reason, I feel that any


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63 Responses to How I Shop at Costco without Paying for a Membership

  1. Mike says:

    I love this. There are only a few items I occasionally get from Costco only because I can’t find them anywhere else. Everything else is overpriced and it costs me more to shop there.

    My car was broken into right in front of their entrance and they couldn’t even be bothered to show video footage. All the other shoppers there are rude entitled snobs. They will never see another $55 fee from me.

  2. Lynn says:

    I do seriously hope that all you righteous people who bashed him and others from utilizing this method of shopping without paying the $55 have NEVER taken a friend or your Mom with you shopping at Costco and let them buy using your membership! I assume that you never went with a friend prior to buying your membership.
    I have a Sam’s membership for the last few years and am fed up with the rudeness of my local club. Other than our once a month 5lb shredded cheese purchase we usually only buy sale items. If I save my $55 a year, it is cutting it close. Aldi’s has better pricing and do not charge for the privilege of shopping at their stores. Of course if you don’t mind paying an extra .40,.50 or $1 to get your groceries in restaurant quantity. Bulk should be much cheaper not more money. Some would call it being cheap; I call it being an educated consumer! Those small amounts add up to a lot over time, after all $4 a week is $208 a year, that you are overpaying on top of your membership fee!
    I found this page looking for a day pass to Costco.

  3. Angie says:

    I agree with Lynn totally. I stumbled onto this looking for a day pass also. No intention of cheating Costco. Sams has a day pass and thought maybe Costco would do the same. I cancelled my Sams membership as doesnt make sense for me to pay out when I go once a or twice year. I went to Costco once with a friend to look (I didnt purchase anything) I found a couple of things I would like to purchase but knowing if I bought a pass it would be just like Sams. Once or twice a year.

  4. Jeffrey Strain says:

    There have always been managers on the floor and it has never taken more than a few seconds all the times I’ve done this.

  5. Cheryl says:

    What I don’t get is, why would Costco offer gift cards of $1,000 if they only intend people to use the cards as a way to find out whether they want to become members or not? If I bought someone a $1,000 gift card, it might take them a few years to use it up. Would the cashiers and staff be rude to them for shopping that long without a membership? I sure hope not. It would be perfectly legitimate for me as a member to buy a $1,000 card for a friend. And by the way, Costco DOES discriminate against single people, since I have to pay the same amount for my single membership as others do for one for themselves and a family member. So who is ripping off whom?

  6. luckey says:

    Wow, this posting goes so long. I think I have to reply as I am forced into the situation because I just got a cash card as gift. With so many angry members, I am not sure I will have a good shopping experience at the checkout. :).

    1. I have NEVER shopped at Costco in my life before simply because it does not make financial sense to me in my situation. This is to set the tone.
    2. As a common sense, any corporation, except non-profit ones, will make money. Not sure anyone even bothered to look, it’s share is $144,with more profit than last year. So, I have to say they are doing very well as a company.
    3. Again, as common sense, in this world, do people really be naive enough to think individuals can outsmart corporations like this? That’s Hollywood movie.the reality is that there is ALWAYS a good reason for anything company will do. They have tons of accountants and Lawyers for that. This is why when most of us shop there saving 50 cents to a dollar and fight over this “principles”, they don’t even bother counting the millions in their bank accounts.
    So, weak up, people.

  7. GiftCardsForUsAll says:

    So you just admitted to being as cheap as the person you are accusing. Why not buy your own membership, it’s only a dollar a freaking week, jeez. The nerve of some people. Glad your moral compass is spot on. Hey cheapskate, meet cheapskate.

  8. MembersOnly...Ha! says:

    Thank you Jeffrey for the awesome information. I will shop at Costco more often now that I know about the cash cards. In the past my purchases were limited to big ticket items and I would have a friend with a membership accompany me.

    What’s with all the greedy, selfish haters who think this is cheating? Cash cards certainly have a positive impact on Costco’s bottom line and they know that a percentage of cards will not be fully redeemed or redeemed at all, so who’s cheating who?

    A friend used to sell cash cards at his car wash here in Cali and said that as much as 30% of the cards sold were never used.

  9. Linda says:

    SO simple….If you don’t like what Jeffrey states DONT READ IT! You want to become a member go and pay! Do not blame for what is Costco normal policy. They WIL NEVER lose money!
    Jeffrey can we do that on Sam’s also?
    Thanks for your advise!!! And forget the haters!!!!

  10. Jeffrey Strain says:

    Sam’s club does have one day guest passes — this one is good through the end of January 2015:

  11. Linda says:

    Thank you!

  12. Jennifer's nutsack says:

    Costco made $480 million in profit last quarter. There’s 4 quarters in a year. Gonna have to raise that membership fee because BRB making too much money.

  13. Jennifer says:

    Love it!! Everyone soo against this shouldn’t even be reading it or googling it RIGHT? I mean did you just stumble on this? Pull your sticks out of your ass and get over the fact he found a loop hole that is legal — oh and FYI I’m a Executive member at costco since we own dealerships ☺

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