Say goodbye to membership sharing at Costco

Photo (c) Kwangmoozaa - Getty Images

Shoppers should be prepared to show their member IDs at self checkout

Earlier this summer, Netflix started getting serious about account sharing, forcing consumers to pay extra for friends and family not in their households, or remove them from their accounts entirely. 

Now, Costco is taking similar action. 

The warehouse membership club has experienced a significant increase in the number of shoppers borrowing members’ ID cards – without having memberships of their own. The company says that since it increased the number of self-checkout options, membership sharing has really soared. 

Be ready with photo ID

Currently, Costco requires members to show their membership cards upon entering the store, as well as when at checkout. However, members – and their friends and family who they share their membership cards with – have been able to get around this in two ways: First, not all membership IDs have photos of the member. Second, self-checkout never required shoppers to show their membership cards. 

Now, all of that is about to change. Costco reported that all shoppers will be required to show their membership ID at checkout – regardless of whether they enter a line with a cashier or go to self-checkout. 

And for those who don’t have photos on their Costco membership IDs, be prepared to show your driver’s license! Costco will start asking shoppers for another form of photo ID to prove their membership at both regular checkout lines and self-checkout lines. 

“We don’t feel it’s right that non-members receive the same benefits and pricing as our members,” a company spokesperson told CBS News

“Costco is able to keep our prices as low as possible because our membership fee helps offset our operational expenses, making our membership fee and structure important to us,” the spokesperson added. 

Costco hasn’t raised its membership fees since 2017, despite consistently raising these prices every five years. Conversely, the membership warehouse was running a deal on membership fees for first-time members earlier this month. 

Currently, consumers can become a Gold-level Costco member for $60 per year, or an Executive member for $120 per year. 

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