Do you need a membership to shop at costco


In case you are not one to compromise meals high quality (like me), however nonetheless hunt down a great deal – the percentages are robust that you’ve a Costco membership. And, for those who don’t, it’s best to significantly think about it.

Simply try among the Costco costs that I highlighted in my finest warehouse offers submit compared to the reputably cheap Dealer Joe’s:

  • Kirkland natural quinoa: 4.5 lb., $11.99, $2.66/lb. (in comparison with $3.49/lb. at Dealer Joe’s)
  • Natural frozen broccoli: 4 lb. bag, $5.99, $1.49/lb. (in comparison with $2.49/lb. at Dealer Joe’s)
  • Kirkland walnuts: 3 lb. bag, $9.99, $3.33/lb. (in comparison with $7.49/lb. at Dealer Joe’s)
  • Hen of the Sea canned tuna: 12 – 7 oz. cans, $12.99, $0.19/oz (in comparison with $0.33/ozat Dealer Joe’s)

I wrote a complete article evaluating Costco’s Kirkland pet food & cat meals to related merchandise from different manufacturers, and located costs to be a 3rd to half the value of comparable manufacturers, per pound. Simply as one instance of the good worth that Costco can present.

Costco costs can generally be wherever from 15-50% of the costs discovered at Dealer Joe’s – with even bigger financial savings compared to different grocery shops. It’s not an apples to apples comparability – Costco does have restricted SKUs and the gadgets you buy are sometimes in bulk quantity (typically in portions that no regular human household can end earlier than going dangerous). However, there are some nice offers available.

shop at Costco without a membership

The Price of a Costco Membership

To get entry to that form of pricing – there’s a price. Costco memberships vary from $60 (Commonplace Gold Star) to $120 (for Gold Star Govt, which comes with a 2% cashback rebate annually). These charges usually are not insignificant. And so they simply so occur to be how Costco makes a great share of its income. In truth, their 2021 annual report signifies that 78% of Costco’s web revenue comes from its membership price income from over 105 million members worldwide. Costco’s markups on meals pricing are razor skinny, which advantages its members. The extra meals necessities you purchase and eat from Costco, the extra you profit (simply steer clear of many of the different stuff).

What for those who don’t wish to decide to a $60 membership and simply wish to see if a membership will likely be value your whereas? It turns on the market are a number of under-the-radar methods to buy and purchase from Costco, with out a membership. Additionally, for these , I since have printed a listing of the way you’ll be able to store at Sam’s Membership with out a membership too (additionally, see my Costco versus Sam’s Membership evaluation).

Is there a Free Costco Membership or Trial?

There isn’t any free Costco membership, buying cross, day cross, trial cross, visitor cross, trial membership, or different trial interval the place you’ll be able to stroll as much as the door, stroll in, and purchase no matter you’d like.

Nonetheless, for those who’d merely wish to see what the shop has to supply, you might be welcome to enter and stroll round and look. I’ve by no means been requested for my membership card after I enter a Costco, although they do have greeters who seemingly are there to encourage you to indicate it. When you’re overly involved about moving into to Costco with out a membership card, however know somebody who’s a member, Costco’s visitor coverage states:

Anybody with a card can convey as much as two visitors to the Warehouse throughout every go to. Take into account that buying gadgets is unique to Costco members.

To purchase most items, you have to be a member (with a number of large exceptions that I’ll cowl) or have a member make the acquisition in your behalf.

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In fact, you won’t be comfy asking for that and it may get previous fast for the member. There’s one other means…

The Costco return coverage states on membership price refunds:

Danger-Free 100% Satisfaction Assure. On Membership: We are going to cancel and refund your membership price at any time in case you are dissatisfied.

So, you would pay your membership price, give it a trial run, and for those who really feel you aren’t getting the worth from it that you just’d like – ask for a refund. You are able to do so at a Costco membership desk any time.

However, what for those who simply wish to get within the door and stroll round to see what Costco has to supply, pricing, and all that great things – however you don’t know a member you might be comfy tagging together with?

Shopping for Alcohol at Costco with out Membership

I used to be not capable of finding any official Costco messaging on this, however it seems from my analysis that Costco permits alcohol gross sales to non-members (of authorized ingesting age, after all). In truth, the thought for this submit was spurred by a dialog from somebody who had finished simply that and informed me concerning the exception, a lot to my shock.

This may occasionally range by state, however so far as I can inform, it’s a nationwide coverage. Are there alcohol sale rules round this Costco coverage? I’m not fairly positive. Replace: discover out extra on this coverage in my Costco alcohol worth checklist submit.

Having purchased alcohol at Costco – I can vouch for the offers available. A 24-pack case of pint-size Guinness cans for $23.99? You wager. 1.75 liters of Kirkland model Canadian whiskey for $20? Sure, please.

When you let the Costco door attendant know that you’re there to purchase alcohol, they need to allow you to within the door. And when you’re in, you’ll be able to stroll round and verify all the pieces out.

buy Costco alcohol without membership

Shopping for Prescriptions & Immunizations at Costco Pharmacy with out Membership

Prescription drug gross sales, like alcohol, are extremely regulated. And Costco and different membership shops should provide equal entry and pricing for prescriptions to all customers, no matter membership standing.

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Merely let the door attendant know that you’re a non-member who’s selecting up a prescription. That ought to get you within the door.

And by the way in which, prescriptions on the Costco Pharmacy are very cheap. In addition they embrace pet prescriptions. Our canine’s insulin is the most affordable at Costco, and we’ve checked out over a dozen alternate options. Costco even has the most affordable flu photographs for these with out insurance coverage (all insurance coverage should now cowl flu photographs). You should buy immunizations at Costco with out a membership.

Alcohol and medicines? What may go unsuitable.

Costco pharmacy non-member

Free Costco Well being Screenings with out a Membership

Costco pharmacies provide quite a lot of well being and wellness screenings free of charge, to each members and non-members. Here’s a calendar of Costco well being screenings by location. Observe: these have, not less than quickly, been delayed by COVID-19.

Utilizing Costco Optical Providers with out a Membership

You may get a watch examination at Costco Optical with out a membership. Nonetheless, to purchase glasses and/or contacts, you want a Costco membership.

Get Meals from the Costco Meals Courtroom with out a Membership

I’ve seen many websites that give the tip that you could get meals from the Costco meals court docket restaurant with out a membership, however solely whether it is an outside meals court docket. This isn’t true. Since anybody can get in to a Costco, for quite a lot of causes, anybody can get meals from the Costco meals courts – outside or indoors.

You’ll, nevertheless, want money to pay on the Costco Cafe, in case you are not a Costco member. And, recently, it appears as if quite a few Costcos have moved to kiosk cost of their meals courts.

The offers on the Costco restaurant are excellent, however the choices are sometimes restricted to sizzling canines/sausages, soda, pizza, rotisserie hen, sundaes, and frozen yogurt. It’s not a well being spa.

Costco food court without membership

Non-Members Can Buy from (with a 5% Surcharge)

Non-members should purchase from Costco’s web site,, at any time. There’s a draw back, nevertheless:

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In case you are not a member, you’ll be charged a 5% surcharge over posted costs for members (aside from prescribed drugs). It is because our potential to supply low costs on brand-name gadgets is due largely to our membership program, which is designed to reward members for his or her loyalty.

This excludes Costco “member-only” gadgets, which require a membership to buy.

The meals providing on is restricted as properly, in comparison with the warehouse. And I can verify that I’ve seen decrease costs on quite a few gadgets within the warehouse, versus on

The Costco Store Card (Present Card) Will be Utilized by Non-Members

Costco additionally has a money card (fancy title for a present card) that they name the “Costco Store Card“. With a Costco Store Card, any non-member can present the cardboard to get within the door and use it to make a purchase order.

The trick with the Costco money card is that it may be bought by a member solely. Once more, you’ll need to depend on a member, which makes you a little bit of a moocher, and it raises prices for each membership-buying member. And, as soon as the cardboard is depleted, you’ll need to get one other contemporary one from a member, or a reload by a member. The playing cards might be loaded as much as $2,000 (and as little as $25).

If you already know somebody who’s sport, one or two playing cards wouldn’t damage. I’ve heard (not examined), that all the buy doesn’t need to be made with the cardboard. In different phrases, for those who solely had $10 left on a card and had $150 value of purchases, you would use the cardboard for $10 after which use one other type of cost for the rest.

Costco Shop card without a membership

Shopping for Costco Gadgets on Instacart And not using a Costco Membership

Instacart Categorical customers should purchase Costco gadgets on Instacart with out a Costco membership. Please remember that Costco costs on Instacart are greater than they’re in a Costco Warehouse (they’re going to get these membership charges a method or one other!), so it’s possible you’ll not save any cash over the long-term for those who purchase various gadgets from Costco on Instacart.

Costco Types of Fee

Whilst you might get within the door and even be capable to buy gadgets, word that Costco shops don’t settle for Uncover, American Categorical, or MasterCard bank cards as cost. Accepted types of cost embrace: money, verify, debit playing cards, the beforehand talked about Costco Store Playing cards, and Visa bank cards (together with the Costco branded Costco Anyplace Visa Card, which will get 2% money again on Costco purchases).

Procuring at Costco With and And not using a Membership Dialogue:

I not too long ago ran the numbers on if a Costco membership and improve is value the associated fee. For me, the usual membership is value the associated fee, although I did ask Costco for a membership price refund after a rebate verify, in 2020. However, I’m curious to listen to your ideas.

  • Is the Costco membership price value it to you?
  • What are your favourite Costco buying hacks?
  • Have you ever discovered different methods to buy at Costco with out being a member?
  • What are your favourite gadgets at Costco?

Associated Posts:

  • The Costco Equipment Guarantee can 4X the Producer’s Guarantee
  • Costco Fuel: Price Financial savings, Rewards, & for those who Want a Membership

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