My family loves Costco. Pretty much anything Kirkland, I buy. We were so excited when one finally came to Northern Minnesota after years of speculation, that we got our membership right away to check it out.

I had something happen to me for the first time on this trip to Costco. I'm used to always having my membership card ready to flash to the employee who is at the entrance. They rarely look at them more than just to make sure you have one on you.

Ken Hayes
Ken Hayes

I did my normal rounds and bought my favorites which included some frozen stuff, guacamole, and of course a box of Kirkland golf balls.

I then made my way to the self-checkout area since I only had a few items. I did the normal routine I've always done. I scanned my membership card and started scanning my items.

Then, a Costco employee walked up to me and asked to see the back of my membership card. This has never happened to me at Costco.  He looked at the photo on the back and looked at me and said thanks, politely.

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I said, "Costco must be cracking down on shared memberships, huh?" He replied that all the Costcos were and then he went back to work.

I can't blame them. They have great prices, and why should I be paying for a membership if others are getting in free, right?

I noticed there was also a sign-up at the register explaining the rules of membership at Costco. Here are some of the takeaways:

  • Only Costco members are allowed to purchase items.
  • You're allowed to bring children and up to two guests into the store with you, but once again only a Costco member may purchase items.
  • You must have your membership card on you with full face photo on the back, and could be asked to present it at the entrance to the wholesale store, and at checkout.

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So yes, you can bring a friend with you to Costco and buy them items, even if they aren't a member. But you cannot give them your card and let them go without you. Odds are, you'll be caught.

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