This Simple Hack Lets You Shop at Costco Without a Membership

It's easier than you think.

A Costco store is seen on September 23, 2022 in Monterey Park, California.

Eric Thayer/Getty Images

Ever had a hankering for a 20-pound bag of peanuts? In need of about 100 rolls of toilet paper? Or want to find new glasses, a refrigerator, a few dozen eggs, and an epic vacation all in one place? That’s where Costco comes in. But wait — you say you’re not a member? Lucky for you, there are ways to shop at Costco without a membership — including the Costco Shop Card.

As several websites found, lurking deep in the Costco website is a tiny little line that reads, “Non-members, as well as members, may use Costco Shop Cards to shop at any Costco location in the U.S., Canada, or Puerto Rico, as well as online at and”

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That means, if you can get your hands on a Costco Shop Card, you can shop at all the Costcos you can find. But there’s a catch: Non-members are ineligible to purchase the cards, so they have to find a friend or family member to buy a card for them. Members can purchase cards in $25, $50, $100, $250, or $500 increments and gift them to friends to use in person or online. And as a bonus, Costco notes in its terms, “Costco Shop Cards may be used toward a membership and merchandise,” so maybe it's the perfect way to commit to a membership of your own. 

There is another way you can shop at Costco without a membership, and that’s by purchasing goods off its website. But again, there’s a catch. As Insider reported, anyone can shop on However, non-members will incur a 5 percent surcharge on their order. There are also a number of exclusive items on the site that are only available to members. 

Want to shop in store? Ask your roommate to add you to their membership. As Costco’s terms noted, “A total of two people can be on a Gold Star Membership (either regular or Executive): one Primary Member and one free household member who is over 18 and lives at the same address.” It does not stipulate that the second member needs to be a blood relative or married. Just make sure to be nice to your roomie, because they could take you off at any time. Costco added, “If you are the Primary Member, we leave it up to you to decide who receives the second card — something you can change at any time by visiting your Account Details or the membership counter at your local Costco.” 

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