Customer Forced to Buy Costco Membership to Leave Store After Getting in With Mom’s Card

A customer enters the store with their mom's Costco card and is forced to buy a new membership in order to leave. Is this justified or just ridiculous?

Melissa Willets - Author

Jun. 16 2023, Published 1:27 p.m. ET

Raise your hand if you've used someone else's Costco membership card at some point in your past.

For some of us, we come out of this ruse completely unfazed. But for one customer, shopping at Costco with the mom's membership card turned into quite a story to tell.

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The customer shared their experience on TikTok, and not surprisingly, people had some comments. Read on for details and decide if being forced to buy a new membership to leave the store is justified or just ridiculous.

This shopper wasn't planning on buying a new Costco membership card — but they did!

The story of a shopper who is now a (maybe not) proud new owner of a Costco membership card was shared on TikTok by a creator who uses the handle @megancahalan along with the caption, "Costco is so strict for what?"

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The shopper, named Meg, then posted a short, 11-second video that says, "POV: You got into Costco with your mom's Costco card but had to buy your own in order [to] exit Costco."

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We see a man's picture on the new card, and then he is using the self-checkout to pay for items. It's unclear what this person's relationship is to Meg. What is clear is that commenters to this TikTok have some very strong reactions to this share, with many folks empathizing with Meg's experience.

One commenter called Costco "the most anxiety inducing store," while someone else offered the (too late) tip to use the excuse, "My mom is in the bathroom."

Another commenter accused the checkout people at Costco of being "nosy."

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Meanwhile, yet another commenter joked that Costco "is starting to crackdown like Netflix," referring to the streaming service's password sharing ban. And finally, multiple people said Sam's Club is better and not as strict with carding.

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To be fair, some loyal Costco members defended the discount warehouse's membership policy, with one person ironically retorting, "It's almost like the cards say non-transferable and it's members only."

Costco's membership policy is pretty clear when it comes to card sharing.

No matter your take on Meg's shopping experience, Costco is pretty clear about sharing a membership card on its website, stating, "The Costco membership card is non-transferable."

However, the company also states that members can share their cards if they are present when a guest shops with them. "Keep in mind that purchasing items is exclusive to Costco members," the policy goes on to state.

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Meanwhile, so-called Primary Members or account managers can assign another family member to use their membership privileges, but this process has to be completed online.

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Ultimately, it must be noted that Meg and her shopping partner were not "forced" buy a Costco membership in reality. They could have abandoned their items and chosen to leave the store. But those deals...

Ultimately, perhaps this tale will serve as a warning to other shoppers. Based on recent social media activity, Meg is clearly not the only customer who has fallen victim to the seeming crackdown on membership cards.

Sigh. First Netflix, now Costco. Are we going to have to start using our real names when we order Starbucks?

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