This post was written just a month shy of 3 years ago, it’s been one of the most popular posts on TFF still getting daily visits! I’ve heard mixed reviews from readers (as you can see in the comments) about whether or not it worked for them, is still working, etc. However just this weekend a reader named Celeste left a comment saying that Costco verifys that you CAN use a Costco Gift Card to shop their store WITHOUT a membership! Are you ready for this? Head on over to their website and see it for yourself…
Costco has created another convenient way for members to pay for their purchases: The Costco Cash card.
You must be a Costco member to purchase or reload Costco Cash Cards. Members and non-members may use the cash cards to shop at any Costco location in the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and online at Costco.com or on Costco.ca. Costco Cash balances may be used toward membership or merchandise.
Here’s the original post I wrote back on April 28th, 2010:
I had heard this from many people so I decided to go into Costco yesterday to verify it, sure enough it’s true! I asked at the customer service desk if this was true and the lady said absolutely and began to tell me the ins & outs. It was verified by several people behind the counter as she asked them for a few specific details.
Here is how you do it:
Purchase a Costco Cash Card (gift card) at the Customer Service desk, must be a minimum of $25.00. Use that gift card as your “member’s card” to get into the store. Shop as you normally would. When you go to pay, you pay first with your gift card but any remaining balance must be paid with cash or debit (no American Express). That’s it! You’ve just shopped at Costco for free and saved the $50 a year membership fees. Of course you don’t get the Costco Member benefits, cheap gas, etc but your items are still protected under Costco’s very generous return policy.
UPDATE: It’s been brought to my attention that you must be a Costco member to purchase a cash card, but the rest of the shopping trip remains the same. So give a friend or family member some cash and you’re set! You could consider asking them to purchase (4) $25 cash cards to use on separate shopping trips. Then buy them lunch for being so kind.
ANOTHER UPDATE: This is exactly why I love my readers! Reading through the comments I’ve learned that you CAN buy gas with a cash card and you can also purchase liquor and use the pharmacy to fill prescriptions, all without a membership! You DO NOT need any type of card to enter the store if you’re using the pharmacy or purchasing liquor, it’s prohibited by law to require membership for those services.
Our family DOES have a membership and this is why we bought one. With that said you need to know how to use it wisely. Here are a few of my most recent Costco shopping tips and tricks posts:
- This OR That? The Ketchup Edition.
- Tips for Saving Money by Buying BULK Canned Foods at Costco
- My Costco Kid’s Lunchbox Snack Ideas – $0.25 or less per serving!
- (Updated List!) Items I would NEVER buy at Costco…
- (Updated List!) Items I WILL buy at Costco…
- How to find Clearance items at Costco
Have you tried this? I’d love to hear your experiences!