Can You Share a Costco Membership Card? Here's What the Rules Say

Can I use a family member's Costco card? A Costco membership comes with restrictions, so be sure to know the rules. We'll break the rules down.

Kathryn Underwood - Author

Jan. 27 2023, Published 12:06 p.m. ET

A Costco store
Source: Costco Facebook

Costco is known for helping people save money, but it costs to get a membership.

Many Americans are major fans of the Costco wholesale store chain. The store is known for its cheap rotisserie chickens and members' ability to save money by buying in bulk. However, not everyone can shop at a Costco because it's a membership-only warehouse store. So can you use a family member's Costco card?

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A Costco membership is worth it to many consumers for the discounts on thousands of items, cheaper gas, and other special deals. But for those who might not shop there frequently, paying the membership fee isn't appealing. Some people want to use a family member's Costco card to save on their purchases. Here's how to do it.

costco bride
Source: Costco FB

A couple in wedding attire at their local Costco.

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Can a family member share their Costco membership?

If you have a membership, or a family member like your mom has a Costco membership, it's natural to want to share those benefits. Costco explains that a membership is non-transferable, but there are approved ways to help someone else get a bit of Costco savings.

First of all, with a membership, you're allowed two individuals who have a Costco card attached to the same account. That means if you're a Primary Member or Account Manager, you can designate one other person to have all the same benefits you do for the Costco membership.

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Often, this means spouses will be the two people allowed a membership card for all of the savings benefits. But you could instead opt to designate your mother as the other account user. However, technically the other person must be part of your household, so sharing with a parent may prove difficult unless you share a home.

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If you sign up for a Business level membership at Costco, you're allowed to add more than one person to the account for a fee.

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Costco members can bring up to two guests per shopping visit.

The other way to spread the savings to friends or family is by bringing someone along when you visit the Costco warehouse. You're allowed up to two guests per shopping trip, and you must have your Costco membership. Only the person designated as the member is able to make purchases from the warehouse.

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This can be a simple way to help an acquaintance save money. If you bring them along on your warehouse shopping trip, simply pay for all of their purchases at the checkout using your own membership. Of course, you need to trust them to reimburse you for their purchases.

Does Costco check ID at the door?

When you first sign up for a Costco membership, you must present a valid photo ID. Then when entering the Costco warehouse and when making purchases, you're required to show your membership card. The card has to include a photo as well. Some forms of payment, such as personal checks, will also require you to show another photo ID.

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Can you split a Costco membership with a friend?

Again, the only way to have another person actually assigned as another card holder on your Costco account is if they are over 18 and live at the same address as you. Costco says that household cardholders must present "proof that they live at the same address" when picking up their card.

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The next-best way to share the benefits of a Costco membership is to bring guests when you shop (or to be a guest of a Costco member when they shop, if you are not a member).

You can buy a few items at Costco without a membership. This includes alcohol (in certain states), vision and hearing exams, health screenings, pharmacy services, and vaccinations.


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