Costco, the famous wholesale retailer, is one of the most beloved institutions in North America. Endless options, products in bulk, and free food samples appeal to a lot of people.
Access to Costco locations is usually reserved for members and coveted by many a young Canadian.
However, there are a few ways that non-members can shop. Loopholes and benefits in the Membership Rules allow regular folk to get into the store under certain conditions.
Below are listed 7 ways to get your hands on Costco goods without a membership.
TL;DR Loopholes and benefits in the Membership Rules allow regular folk to get into Costco under certain conditions. Here are 7 ways to shop without a membership.
Use the Costco Cash Card
The "Costco Cash Card" is a gift card that members can give to non-members. But according to the Costco Canada website, "non-members must register for a one-day shopping pass at the Membership Counter to access the warehouse" with their Cash Card. In addition, "non-members may only be issued a one-day pass twice per calendar year."
Costco members can purchase Cash Cards for non-members here. There is a $1,000 limit per card.
"No membership required" to purchase alcohol
This is stated right on the Costco Canada liquor store website. While this source states that this rule is exclusive to Costco locations in Alberta, the Costco website presents this as a national policy.
Use the "Spouse Card"
According to the Costco Canada website, members are entitled to one "Spouse Card," which is actually "available to a spouse or a family member 18 years of age or older living at the same address."
So if your parents have a Costco Card, you can inquire about hooking yourself onto their membership.
Go with a member
Costco Canada stipulates in its official rules that "each [Costco] cardholder may bring two guests. However, guests do NOT have purchasing privileges." But if you have a friend who is comfortable making purchases on your behalf and dividing costs later, this is your free ticket into Costco.
Shop at the pharmacy
Customers can shop at the Costco pharmacy without a membership. In Quebec, Costco pharmacies are operated by an independent company and function like any other pharmacy. Apparently, non-members need only indicate to store clerks that they're going to the pharmacy. According to Huffpost, non-members can also receive some medical services.
Visit the Food Court
There are many contradictory reports about Costco Food Court rules. There seems to be a consensus that seasonal and outdoor food courts are open to non-members. Reports from employees suggest, however, that the interior courts are usually only available to members. But Redflagdeals points out that the enforcement of this policy varies by location.
Food Court customers will reportedly have to pay cash.