Back in January 2020, we shared some tips for how to shop at Costco even if you weren’t a member. Those tips were perfectly within Costco’s rules for members and other shoppers. However, Costco has noticed an uptick in people trying to get around their terms to shop at the store without a membership, leading to a MAJOR change. 

For Costco, the trick people have been using to get around membership requirements is the streaming equivalent of giving your Netflix password to a friend. According to Business Insider, the membership warehouse has noticed an increase in the number of shoppers using membership cards that aren’t theirs at self-checkout. 

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Costco’s customer service page explains membership fees are a major factor in helping offset their operational expenses and ability to keep their prices low. That’s why they’ve always been strict about checking membership cards at registers manned by human cashiers. However, many stores were not as vigilant at self-checkout kiosks. That changed recently. At stores with self-checkouts, like the one in Boise, you will now be asked to show a Crew Member your membership card and photo ID. The names/faces need to match to move forward with the purchase. 

Costco Posts Strong Quarterly Earnings
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Costco issued an official statement to several media sources, including Business Insider, explaining “We don't feel it's right that non-members receive the same benefits and pricing as our members.” The company also said that this is not a change in its membership policy. It just adds increased enforcement of the current system.

While many members understand and appreciate the increased enforcement, plenty of Idahoans on social media had something to say about it. Jason in Boise said: 

Image via Google Maps
Image via Google Maps

Roma in Caldwell added: 

Image via Google Maps
Image via Google Maps

Josie in Salmon suggested: 

Image via Google Maps
Image via Google Maps

Costco’s membership policy does clearly state that their membership cards are NOT transferable. Members are allowed to bring their kids and up to two guests into the store to shop with them HOWEVER only the member can purchase items. Primary and Affiliate members can also get one additional card for someone living at the same address who is over the age of 16. Per their membership terms, Costco can decline or cancel a membership at any time, so if you really love shopping at Costco we wouldn’t push back. 

If you’re THAT desperate to shop at Costco without a membership, you can revisit those tips we gave you back in 2020 HERE but don’t make those a habit. If you want to shop Costco often, pay the $60 membership fee and do it the right way.

How Many Stores Does Costco Operate in Idaho?

Costco has a total of seven stores in these Idaho cities:

  • Boise
  • Meridian
  • Nampa
  • Twin Falls
  • Idaho Falls
  • Pocatello
  • Coeur D' Alene

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Total stores were based on figures from Scrapehero. The number of Idaho stores is based on information collected from a brand's website. It was easier to find that info for some and difficult for others. So cut us some slack if we're off by a store or two. It was hard to count all those little dots on the map. (We're looking at you Ace Hardware.)

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