what's the best way to get a costco cash card?

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We need some oatmeal which is way cheaper in costco than other places. But we don't spend enough to justify the $50 membership. So I'm thinking ask some friend to buy a cashcard for me.

The problem is, I want to bother my friend as little as possible. If he order the card online and have it shipped to me, can I activate the card by myself? I guess it will need him to activate it. And some Canadian costco review website said it often need people to leave all the information as message and wait for call back. I think that's too much trouble.

But there could be a long line waiting to buy the card in store too... Do you have to buy the cash card at customer service, or at the register?

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Thank you for the answers...Have another question to those who know or tried: where you able to return purchases done th... (more)

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Get a membership for $50 & have 2 people buy it, each gets a card. Buy your stuff, get a full refund on your membership at anytime. That's $50 back. They do ask for a reason, just say you don't need it.

If you have a cash card, I am fairly certain you have to have a membership to use it.
It seems to me the quickest way would be for you to give your neighbor the cash, ask them to purchase the items for you. and give him $5 for the gas.

"Members and non-members may use the cash cards to shop in the warehouse or online. "
http://www.costco.com/browse/productset.aspx?prodid=10024438

I have asked my friend to buy the card online. We'll see how it works.

No need to have membership to use Costco cash card. I've done it when I had to use up one before. However, when you checkout, the first thing they ask is the membership card and when you say you don't have one, the cashier have to call someone over to key in something. The wait is kind of annoying esp when the lines are full of people waiting to checkout.

I assume you can buy over the Cash Card amount and use cash or AE for the rest. They don't take MC or Visa.

I have been using Costco cash cards for years without ever being a member and I get the items members do without paying anything extra. You do not need a membership card to use one. When it comes time to add more money to the card, you do need to have a member do it for you but that's easy to do. I've even had complete strangers do it for me at the liquor store/department which is outside the main store and usually has no lines. Just ask some young person to do it, give him the money for the amount you want to add to the card and be there with him when he does the transaction. No problem. Yes, when you use the cash card, they will ask you for a membership card but just remind the cashier (who usually doesn't know the rules) that you don't need to be a member to use a cash card at Costco. I immediately tell the cashier that I need a "99" which is code for "override" and that a manager needs to come to the register to do the override. I do that before I actually get to the front of the line so that by the time I do get my turn to cash out, the manager is there and everything is done smoothly an as efficiently as possible so the line is not held up.

Thanks a lot for the tip! I'll use your method to speed up the process.

FWIW. You might consider getting a Costco AMEX card depending on how much you spend on items like travel and restaurants in year and what credits cards you currently have and their reward levels. It COULD be enough to cover the membership cost. 3% back on restaurants. 2% back on travel. 3% back on gas. 1% on everything else.

handyguy said: Get a membership for $50 & have 2 people buy it, each gets a card. Buy your stuff, get a full refund on your membership at anytime. That's $50 back. They do ask for a reason, just say you don't need it.

Fine if the two people live in the same household. They must have the same address, and when I purchased my Costco membership online, to get the actual card, I had to go to the store where my state issued I. D., with address was requested (and a photo was taken, which was put on the card). So, if you think its worth moving in with someone to split a membership, go ahead.

cows123 said: handyguy said: Get a membership for $50 & have 2 people buy it, each gets a card. Buy your stuff, get a full refund on your membership at anytime. That's $50 back. They do ask for a reason, just say you don't need it.

Fine if the two people live in the same household. They must have the same address, and when I purchased my Costco membership online, to get the actual card, I had to go to the store where my state issued I. D., with address was requested (and a photo was taken, which was put on the card). So, if you think its
worth moving in with someone to split a membership, go ahead.


I got it twice but was never asked to get a picture taken. Often there are special coupons when you buy a membership the first time.

I've purchased steel cut McCann's Irish oatmeal ("instant" and cook)through Amazon and their price beats them all through the subscribe and save and a discount. In fact, I paid about half what the supermarkets charge. This is a much different product than Quaker makes. Costco gift cards can be used by anyone, but must be purchased and refilled by a cardmember.

Right on. I am not renewing anymore. I have couple friends who need to have memberships for their business. I have always thought that the $50 annual fee is a bit too much. You can say that you get enough rebate from using their AMEX to cover the fee, but that $50 still can be put on to your pump at a gas station. Another thing I have been thinking is that I haven't been seeing too much of membership advantages while I am purchasing goods from them. It simply doesn't make sense at all for paying fees to make a merchant profitable? What do you think FW?

UKEEKAZE said: Right on. I am not renewing anymore. I have couple friends who need to have memberships for their business. I have always thought that the $50 annual fee is a bit too much. You can say that you get enough rebate from using their AMEX to cover the fee, but that $50 still can be put on to your pump at a gas station. Another thing I have been thinking is that I haven't been seeing too much of membership advantages while I am purchasing goods from them. It simply doesn't make sense at all for paying fees to make a merchant profitable? What do you think FW?

I agree... I am still a costco member but if you have to return stuff, it becomes a problem. You need to be a member. Also for tire warranty and roadside hazards, they might require an active membership to give the refund or repairs. I am tempted to switch to costco cash cards as I dont use any of the member services...just buy basic stuff once a month.

UKEEKAZE said: Right on. I am not renewing anymore. I have couple friends who need to have memberships for their business. I have always thought that the $50 annual fee is a bit too much. You can say that you get enough rebate from using their AMEX to cover the fee, but that $50 still can be put on to your pump at a gas station. Another thing I have been thinking is that I haven't been seeing too much of membership advantages while I am purchasing goods from them. It simply doesn't make sense at all for paying fees to make a merchant profitable? What do you think FW?

You do realize you're talking about less than $1 a week for membership...some months the coupons make it worth it and sometimes they don't. I always at least break even or save a bundle just depending on the items I buy.

B1G1 $7.99 Goodyear wipers (hard to beat anywhere for the quality of these)
$37 bottles of Veuve Clicquot champagne (saved a bundle when we had to buy 20+ bottles)
Mattresses w/ an unbeatable guarantee and return policy
Tires - I've found cheaper prices at Discount Tire

etc, etc...some things are a push as mentioned before, but I can always find a way to save $50 and break even every year. Plus, IMHO, Costco is a great place to kill time...they always have new stuff.

Costco terms say excess amount can be paid with cash, debit or AMEX. Min card value is $5 so ask a friend to buy a bunch of $5 cards for you and use one each trip with rest paid in cash\ AMEX

or... get 1 cashcard and use 1.00 of the card and the rest cash per trip!

I am shocked at the lack of ethics being posted here. It's called theft, people. Just spend $50 for the memebership already. In addition to having cheaper gas (by a lot around us) you can get an additional 3% back if you use the Costco AMEX card. Use it at any gas station, same deal. You do buy gas don't you? Probably quite a bit over a years time. As for the original poster, just ask your buddy to buy it for you and pay him back. We do that for friends from time to time.

BTRob said: I am shocked at the lack of ethics being posted here. It's called theft, people. Just spend $50 for the memebership already. In addition to having cheaper gas (by a lot around us) you can get an additional 3% back if you use the Costco AMEX card. Use it at any gas station, same deal. You do buy gas don't you? Probably quite a bit over a years time. As for the original poster, just ask your buddy to buy it for you and pay him back. We do that for friends from time to time.

Your self-righteousness is laughable. There is NOTHING unethical about using GCs at Costco when Costco's very rules allow it! Please explain how you consider this theft? Go to Costco's website and read the rules about GCs and then come back and talk intelligently about the subject. . . .

I wish CC would take Visa but AMEX is their own card so they don't have to pay a fee on it. I wonder if they take that hybrid card, a VISA/AMEX?

This coming from someone who earlier states that only members can add to it so he gets some stranger to do it for him. You are not a member. You are getting services allowed to members only. That is called "theft of services". That is not the same as a member buying a Gift Card as a present to a friend to use. No wonder this country is going down the toilet. No morals or ethics.

PUHLEEZE! It doesn't matter which member gets the GC for a nonmember. It is allowed plain and simple. . . . You must be a neocon.

UKEEKAZE said: Right on. I am not renewing anymore. I have couple friends who need to have memberships for their business. I have always thought that the $50 annual fee is a bit too much. You can say that you get enough rebate from using their AMEX to cover the fee, but that $50 still can be put on to your pump at a gas station. Another thing I have been thinking is that I haven't been seeing too much of membership advantages while I am purchasing goods from them. It simply doesn't make sense at all for paying fees to make a merchant profitable? What do you think FW?\

I get a lot of value from my membership. Not only do I get around $250 back every year (that is after I take out my membership fee of $100), but we return lots of stuff that breaks. I don't know anywhere else we can do this.

Princewince said: BTRob said: I am shocked at the lack of ethics being posted here. It's called theft, people. Just spend $50 for the memebership already. In addition to having cheaper gas (by a lot around us) you can get an additional 3% back if you use the Costco AMEX card. Use it at any gas station, same deal. You do buy gas don't you? Probably quite a bit over a years time. As for the original poster, just ask your buddy to buy it for you and pay him back. We do that for friends from time to time.

Your self-righteousness is laughable. There is NOTHING unethical about using GCs at Costco when Costco's very rules allow it! Please explain how you consider this theft? Go to Costco's website and read the rules about GCs and then come back and talk intelligently about the subject. . . .

Well, the truth is that it is unethical if someone is doing this for the deliberate purpose of avoiding the membership fees. The policy that allows a person to use a cash card without a membership is simply a way of allowing gift cards to be bought (for instance, for a Christmas present), plus it gets people into the store to make purchases, and purchases mean profit for Costco.

bhoup said: Princewince said: BTRob said: I am shocked at the lack of ethics being posted here. It's called theft, people. Just spend $50 for the memebership already. In addition to having cheaper gas (by a lot around us) you can get an additional 3% back if you use the Costco AMEX card. Use it at any gas station, same deal. You do buy gas don't you? Probably quite a bit over a years time. As for the original poster, just ask your buddy to buy it for you and pay him back. We do that for friends from time to time.

Your self-righteousness is laughable. There is NOTHING unethical about using GCs at Costco when Costco's very rules allow it! Please explain how you consider this theft? Go to Costco's website and read the rules about GCs and then come back and talk intelligently about the subject. . . .

Well, the truth is that it is unethical if someone is doing this for the deliberate purpose of avoiding the membership fees. The policy that allows a person to use a cash card without a membership is simply a way of allowing gift cards to be bought (for instance, for a Christmas present), plus it gets people into the store to make purchases, and purchases mean profit for Costco.


No, THE truth is that it is NOT unethical to buy Costco cash cards for someone else no matter what the reason is for doing so simply because Costco's rules DO NOT state that there MUST be a reason for buying cash cards in order to buy them. Your OPINION is that it is unethical to buy cash cards for the express purpose of avoiding paying membership fees. If you BELIEVE that it is unethical, that's your business but you shouldn't foist your ethical beliefs on others. People believe all sorts of things like global warming doesn't exist or WMD's existed in Iraq thus justifying our invasion of that country, etc. etc. but the REALITY is much different. Please keep your opinions to yourself. Thank you.

Princewince said: bhoup said: Princewince said: BTRob said: I am shocked at the lack of ethics being posted here. It's called theft, people. Just spend $50 for the memebership already. In addition to having cheaper gas (by a lot around us) you can get an additional 3% back if you use the Costco AMEX card. Use it at any gas station, same deal. You do buy gas don't you? Probably quite a bit over a years time. As for the original poster, just ask your buddy to buy it for you and pay him back. We do that for friends from time to time.

Your self-righteousness is laughable. There is NOTHING unethical about using GCs at Costco when Costco's very rules allow it! Please explain how you consider this theft? Go to Costco's website and read the rules about GCs and then come back and talk intelligently about the subject. . . .

Well, the truth is that it is unethical if someone is doing this for the deliberate purpose of avoiding the membership fees. The policy that allows a person to use a cash card without a membership is simply a way of allowing gift cards to be bought (for instance, for a Christmas present), plus it gets people into the store to make purchases, and purchases mean profit for Costco.


No, THE truth is that it is NOT unethical to buy Costco cash cards for someone else no matter what the reason is for doing so simply because Costco's rules DO NOT state that there MUST be a reason for buying cash cards in order to buy them. Your OPINION is that it is unethical to buy cash cards for the express purpose of avoiding paying membership fees. If you BELIEVE that it is unethical, that's your business but you shouldn't foist your ethical beliefs on others. People believe all sorts of things like global warming doesn't exist or WMD's existed in Iraq thus justifying our invasion of that country, etc. etc. but the REALITY is much different. Please keep your opinions to yourself. Thank you.

Anyone who is being deceitful by trying to have friends buy them cash cards for the strict purpose of avoiding the membership fees is unethical. If not, why don't they drop the membership fees?

I split the fee with mt sister in law... We both live in separate households. This is unethical but I don't care... In fact most of the workers at my local costco don't care either. They just like to see you in there spending money.

Please, I don't want this thread to become a place of argument of unethical behavior...There is no point arguing in forums. You are not going to convert anybody.

For the value of membership, Costco is not for everyone. We had the membership last year, and we only spent $400 in one year. Yes, we saved some dollars in that $400, but it definitely don't justify the membership fee and the long lines (especially in gas station).

bhoup said: Princewince said: bhoup said: Princewince said: BTRob said: I am shocked at the lack of ethics being posted here. It's called theft, people. Just spend $50 for the memebership already. In addition to having cheaper gas (by a lot around us) you can get an additional 3% back if you use the Costco AMEX card. Use it at any gas station, same deal. You do buy gas don't you? Probably quite a bit over a years time. As for the original poster, just ask your buddy to buy it for you and pay him back. We do that for friends from time to time.

Your self-righteousness is laughable. There is NOTHING unethical about using GCs at Costco when Costco's very rules allow it! Please explain how you consider this theft? Go to Costco's website and read the rules about GCs and then come back and talk intelligently about the subject. . . .

Well, the truth is that it is unethical if someone is doing this for the deliberate purpose of avoiding the membership fees. The policy that allows a person to use a cash card without a membership is simply a way of allowing gift cards to be bought (for instance, for a Christmas present), plus it gets people into the store to make purchases, and purchases mean profit for Costco.


No, THE truth is that it is NOT unethical to buy Costco cash cards for someone else no matter what the reason is for doing so simply because Costco's rules DO NOT state that there MUST be a reason for buying cash cards in order to buy them. Your OPINION is that it is unethical to buy cash cards for the express purpose of avoiding paying membership fees. If you BELIEVE that it is unethical, that's your business but you shouldn't foist your ethical beliefs on others. People believe all sorts of things like global warming doesn't exist or WMD's existed in Iraq thus justifying our invasion of that country, etc. etc. but the REALITY is much different. Please keep your opinions to yourself. Thank you.

Anyone who is being deceitful by trying to have friends buy them cash cards for the strict purpose of avoiding the membership fees is unethical. If not, why don't they drop the membership fees?


Yet another opinion by you. . . .

Princewince said: bhoup said: Princewince said: bhoup said: Princewince said: BTRob said: I am shocked at the lack of ethics being posted here. It's called theft, people. Just spend $50 for the memebership already. In addition to having cheaper gas (by a lot around us) you can get an additional 3% back if you use the Costco AMEX card. Use it at any gas station, same deal. You do buy gas don't you? Probably quite a bit over a years time. As for the original poster, just ask your buddy to buy it for you and pay him back. We do that for friends from time to time.

Your self-righteousness is laughable. There is NOTHING unethical about using GCs at Costco when Costco's very rules allow it! Please explain how you consider this theft? Go to Costco's website and read the rules about GCs and then come back and talk intelligently about the subject. . . .

Well, the truth is that it is unethical if someone is doing this for the deliberate purpose of avoiding the membership fees. The policy that allows a person to use a cash card without a membership is simply a way of allowing gift cards to be bought (for instance, for a Christmas present), plus it gets people into the store to make purchases, and purchases mean profit for Costco.


No, THE truth is that it is NOT unethical to buy Costco cash cards for someone else no matter what the reason is for doing so simply because Costco's rules DO NOT state that there MUST be a reason for buying cash cards in order to buy them. Your OPINION is that it is unethical to buy cash cards for the express purpose of avoiding paying membership fees. If you BELIEVE that it is unethical, that's your business but you shouldn't foist your ethical beliefs on others. People believe all sorts of things like global warming doesn't exist or WMD's existed in Iraq thus justifying our invasion of that country, etc. etc. but the REALITY is much different. Please keep your opinions to yourself. Thank you.

Anyone who is being deceitful by trying to have friends buy them cash cards for the strict purpose of avoiding the membership fees is unethical. If not, why don't they drop the membership fees?


Yet another opinion by you. . . .

It's black and white. It's either wrong or it is not. You are purposefully avoiding the fees by deceit.

bhoup said: Princewince said: bhoup said: Princewince said: bhoup said: Princewince said: BTRob said: I am shocked at the lack of ethics being posted here. It's called theft, people. Just spend $50 for the memebership already. In addition to having cheaper gas (by a lot around us) you can get an additional 3% back if you use the Costco AMEX card. Use it at any gas station, same deal. You do buy gas don't you? Probably quite a bit over a years time. As for the original poster, just ask your buddy to buy it for you and pay him back. We do that for friends from time to time.

Your self-righteousness is laughable. There is NOTHING unethical about using GCs at Costco when Costco's very rules allow it! Please explain how you consider this theft? Go to Costco's website and read the rules about GCs and then come back and talk intelligently about the subject. . . .

Well, the truth is that it is unethical if someone is doing this for the deliberate purpose of avoiding the membership fees. The policy that allows a person to use a cash card without a membership is simply a way of allowing gift cards to be bought (for instance, for a Christmas present), plus it gets people into the store to make purchases, and purchases mean profit for Costco.


No, THE truth is that it is NOT unethical to buy Costco cash cards for someone else no matter what the reason is for doing so simply because Costco's rules DO NOT state that there MUST be a reason for buying cash cards in order to buy them. Your OPINION is that it is unethical to buy cash cards for the express purpose of avoiding paying membership fees. If you BELIEVE that it is unethical, that's your business but you shouldn't foist your ethical beliefs on others. People believe all sorts of things like global warming doesn't exist or WMD's existed in Iraq thus justifying our invasion of that country, etc. etc. but the REALITY is much different. Please keep your opinions to yourself. Thank you.

Anyone who is being deceitful by trying to have friends buy them cash cards for the strict purpose of avoiding the membership fees is unethical. If not, why don't they drop the membership fees?


Yet another opinion by you. . . .

It's black and white. It's either wrong or it is not. You are purposefully avoiding the fees by deceit.


Yes, it is black and white. That is, there is NOTHING deceitful about it. I suggest that since you're such a self-righteous moralist that you take up your campaign to disallow cash cards by non-members with the powers-that-be at Costco and quit spewing your moralist views here on Fatwallet. . . .

Princewince said: bhoup said: Princewince said: bhoup said: Princewince said: bhoup said: Princewince said: BTRob said: I am shocked at the lack of ethics being posted here. It's called theft, people. Just spend $50 for the memebership already. In addition to having cheaper gas (by a lot around us) you can get an additional 3% back if you use the Costco AMEX card. Use it at any gas station, same deal. You do buy gas don't you? Probably quite a bit over a years time. As for the original poster, just ask your buddy to buy it for you and pay him back. We do that for friends from time to time.

Your self-righteousness is laughable. There is NOTHING unethical about using GCs at Costco when Costco's very rules allow it! Please explain how you consider this theft? Go to Costco's website and read the rules about GCs and then come back and talk intelligently about the subject. . . .

Well, the truth is that it is unethical if someone is doing this for the deliberate purpose of avoiding the membership fees. The policy that allows a person to use a cash card without a membership is simply a way of allowing gift cards to be bought (for instance, for a Christmas present), plus it gets people into the store to make purchases, and purchases mean profit for Costco.


No, THE truth is that it is NOT unethical to buy Costco cash cards for someone else no matter what the reason is for doing so simply because Costco's rules DO NOT state that there MUST be a reason for buying cash cards in order to buy them. Your OPINION is that it is unethical to buy cash cards for the express purpose of avoiding paying membership fees. If you BELIEVE that it is unethical, that's your business but you shouldn't foist your ethical beliefs on others. People believe all sorts of things like global warming doesn't exist or WMD's existed in Iraq thus justifying our invasion of that country, etc. etc. but the REALITY is much different. Please keep your opinions to yourself. Thank you.

Anyone who is being deceitful by trying to have friends buy them cash cards for the strict purpose of avoiding the membership fees is unethical. If not, why don't they drop the membership fees?


Yet another opinion by you. . . .

It's black and white. It's either wrong or it is not. You are purposefully avoiding the fees by deceit.


Yes, it is black and white. That is, there is NOTHING deceitful about it. I suggest that since you're such a self-righteous moralist that you take up your campaign to disallow cash cards by non-members with the powers-that-be at Costco and quit spewing your moralist views here on Fatwallet. . . .

If you're trying to avoid paying for the membership, it is deceitful.

To those who were shopping this way without membership card - were you able to use coupons? Also, were you able to buy gasoline using cash cards without membership?

bhoup said: Princewince said: bhoup said: Princewince said: bhoup said: Princewince said: bhoup said: Princewince said: BTRob said: I am shocked at the lack of ethics being posted here. It's called theft, people. Just spend $50 for the memebership already. In addition to having cheaper gas (by a lot around us) you can get an additional 3% back if you use the Costco AMEX card. Use it at any gas station, same deal. You do buy gas don't you? Probably quite a bit over a years time. As for the original poster, just ask your buddy to buy it for you and pay him back. We do that for friends from time to time.

Your self-righteousness is laughable. There is NOTHING unethical about using GCs at Costco when Costco's very rules allow it! Please explain how you consider this theft? Go to Costco's website and read the rules about GCs and then come back and talk intelligently about the subject. . . .

Well, the truth is that it is unethical if someone is doing this for the deliberate purpose of avoiding the membership fees. The policy that allows a person to use a cash card without a membership is simply a way of allowing gift cards to be bought (for instance, for a Christmas present), plus it gets people into the store to make purchases, and purchases mean profit for Costco.


No, THE truth is that it is NOT unethical to buy Costco cash cards for someone else no matter what the reason is for doing so simply because Costco's rules DO NOT state that there MUST be a reason for buying cash cards in order to buy them. Your OPINION is that it is unethical to buy cash cards for the express purpose of avoiding paying membership fees. If you BELIEVE that it is unethical, that's your business but you shouldn't foist your ethical beliefs on others. People believe all sorts of things like global warming doesn't exist or WMD's existed in Iraq thus justifying our invasion of that country, etc. etc. but the REALITY is much different. Please keep your opinions to yourself. Thank you.

Anyone who is being deceitful by trying to have friends buy them cash cards for the strict purpose of avoiding the membership fees is unethical. If not, why don't they drop the membership fees?


Yet another opinion by you. . . .

It's black and white. It's either wrong or it is not. You are purposefully avoiding the fees by deceit.


Yes, it is black and white. That is, there is NOTHING deceitful about it. I suggest that since you're such a self-righteous moralist that you take up your campaign to disallow cash cards by non-members with the powers-that-be at Costco and quit spewing your moralist views here on Fatwallet. . . .

If you're trying to avoid paying for the membership, it is deceitful.


Take it up with Costco and please stop repeating the same lame argument over and over here on this forum. Where are the mods when needed?

To those who were shopping this way without membership card - were you able to use coupons? Also, were you able to buy gasoline using cash cards without membership?

Yes to both questions, at least here at my local Costco's. Many times, I bought items that I didn't know were on sale or in the Costco coupon flier and got the same reduced price anyway. I have used the Cash Cards for gas too.

handyguy said: I wish CC would take Visa but AMEX is their own card so they don't have to pay a fee on it. I wonder if they take that hybrid card, a VISA/AMEX?you can buy gc's from costco.com and use a visa or mc to pay for it. i do it all the time when i need to rack up more miles on my freq. flyer credit cards. i usually buy a few hundred dollars at a time and use them for gas or shopping. shipping is free.

My membership expired November 30. On November 24, I ordered two gift cards, one for $800 and one for $600. They arrived on November 29 and I activated them both that night.

Today, my father took one of the gift cards and they gave him a really hard time. They asked if he had a membership card, which he still had in his wallet, since it only expired two days ago. Ultimately, they allowed him to use his expired membership without renewing, but it required a manager's override, and his (expired) membership number was still listed on the receipt, so technically, it counts as a store visit for December. This becomes relevant for purposes of keeping the account dormant for several months, because the account has to be unused for a minimum of two months (it used to be a minimum of six months before the class action lawsuit) in order to reset and not have a future renewal backdated to the old expiration date.

Costco handles most things extremely well, but membership renewal has been a grating issue for me since I started shopping at Costco nearly 9 years ago. When I first joined, it was the first of the month, the membership expires at the end of the month one year after the join date. So because of a weird coincidence, I got 13 months the first year. I see no reason why this can't be done every year. A day after my membership expires, I can renew for 12 months, while some stranger off the street who has never been there before can pay the same membership fee and get 13 months. It's B.S. and not a consumer-friendly policy. They're penalizing their own repeat customers for having shopped there before!

I also have a problem with the lack of anonymity, especially if I pay exclusively with cash or gift cards. A regular grocery store doesn't ask for my name and address when I pay with cash. Costco shouldn't either. If I pay the membership fee with cash and pay for my items with cash, they have no right to my personal information. The entire notion that it's immoral for two people who don't live at the same address to share a membership is complete nonsense. A membership costs $50 and is good for two people. It's none of their f#@$!&%ing business if two people sharing a membership also live together. What about people who don't live together but sleep together every night? Does that make a difference?

Corporate-loving conservatives can lambaste me for this, but the fact of the matter is Costco started this mess by playing games, ripping people off in a way that led to a huge class action lawsuit. The terms of the settlement of that lawsuit allow them to continue playing games, although to a slightly lesser degree than before, and based on my anecdotal experience, they don't even follow the policies outlined in their own settlement agreement. So if I have to give them a fake name to circumvent their inane policies like a common criminal, I will not be judged for it, because they started playing games first. Like someone in the class action lawsuit thread pointed out, if your one-year magazine subscription runs out, and you renew five months later, only to receive seven more issues for the 12 month price - is that fair?

I've printed out the gift card item page off costco.com that clearly states, "You must be a Costco member to purchase or reload Costco Cash Cards. Members and non-members may use the cash cards to shop in the warehouse or online. Costco Cash balances may be used toward membership or merchandise." The next time they give me or my father trouble, I'm going to throw a temper tantrum at the membership desk, and if they piss me off enough, I may file a lawsuit, not for damages, but to obtain a court order that requires them to allow me to buy crap there with a gift card and not pay the membership fee.

And don't even get me started on their prohibitive nanny policies for tires... let's put a 16-inch stock tire on a 17-inch custom aftermarket wheel and see how it handles on the road... SO STUPID!!!

Princewince said:   Yes to both questions, at least here at my local Costco's. Many times, I bought items that I didn't know were on sale or in the Costco coupon flier and got the same reduced price anyway. I have used the Cash Cards for gas too.
Thank you for the answers...Have another question to those who know or tried: where you able to return purchases done this way without membership?

I kind of agree...getting a stranger to do it for you is a little sketchy or $1 at a time, come on. Some of you guys are scammers for sure and give bargain hunters a bad rep.



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