My wife and I are big fans of Costco. There are always great deals at the store and their return policy is very generous. We have the Executive membership which costs $120 per year. Costco also has a Gold Star membership that only costs $60.
Executive membership gives you a 2% cashback rebate each year but if you don’t spend huge at Costco, a Gold Star membership gives you almost identical benefits.
Costco doesn’t have a guest pass for potential members to check out the store. It’s one of those policies that doesn’t make sense. In my opinion, Costco is leaving a lot of money on the table by not giving a guest pass like Sam’s does.
But if you are someone who is not convinced that a Costco membership is worth it, you can shop at Costco without a membership.
1. Use a Costco Cash card for purchases
Costco Cash card is a Costco gift card. You can have a friend with a Costco membership buy it at the store for you or you can purchase them online at many gift card sites.
You can use the Costco cash card to purchase just like a member. If you use the card online at costco.com, you will be charged a 5% surcharge for being a non-member.
2. Use a delivery service
You can use a delivery service such as Instacart to buy things at Costco. But you will pay an additional surcharge if you are not a Costco member. You will also need to pay for the delivery service and possibly a tip.
3. Shop at Costco.com with a 5% surcharge
Non-members can shop at Costco but will pay a 5% surcharge. In many cases, you will come out ahead even after paying the surcharge.
4. You don’t need to be a Costco member to use the pharmacy
Costco pharmacy has some of the lowest prices on prescription drugs. You can walk into any Costco and use the pharmacy without a membership.
5. Shop for alcohol without a membership
In many states, you can buy alcohol without a membership. Costco always has great deals on alcohol.
6. Get your hearing and vision tested without a membership
Getting a hearing or an eye exam at Costco doesn’t require a membership. But if you want to buy contact lenses, glasses, or hearing aid, you will need a membership.
One way to get around the membership requirement is to use a Costco Cash card to buy glasses or contacts.
7. Eat at the Costco food court without membership
You can get hotdogs, pizza, and soda for a steal at the food court. You don’t need to be a member to enjoy the cheap food.
Recently, signs have been posted at select Costcos that membership will be required to buy food at the food court. Check your local Costco for your store’s policies
A Costco membership easily pays for itself over a year. But if you are still to be convinced that a membership is worth it, you can use a Costco cash card to shop there. Or you can shop online or use a delivery service but you will pay a 5% surcharge because you are not a member.
You don’t have to be a member to use optical or hearing services, the pharmacy or to buy alcohol at Costco.