Costco says it will crack down on sharing of membership cards in stores

Customers will be asked to show cards, IDs at self-checkout lanes

Shoppers walk into a Costco store, Wednesday, March 3, 2021, in Tacoma, Wash. Costco Wholesale Corp. reports earnings results, Thursday, March 4, 2021. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren) (Ted S. Warren, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

SAN ANTONIO – First, it was Netflix and now, it’s Costco. The wholesale chain is cracking down on the sharing of memberships between friends and family, according to media reports.

CNN and The Washington Post reported that customers can no longer sneak through the self-checkout lane to use a membership card that doesn’t belong to them.

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Customers who use self-checkout lanes will be asked to show their membership cards and a photo ID, as they do at regular lanes.

The Washington Post reported that it’s a way for Costco to crack down on account sharing as more self-checkout lanes are added. Costco told the newspaper that more non-members have been using the self-checkout option.

“We don’t feel it’s right that non members receive the same benefits and pricing as our members,” the company said in a statement to The Washington Post. “Costco is able to keep our prices as low as possible because our membership fees help offset our operational expenses, making our membership fee and structure important to us.”

The price of a regular membership at Costco costs $60 a year, and the price of an executive card costs $120 a year. Last month, Costco reported a net sale of $18.45 billion.

This is the latest push from a business giant to stop account sharing among friends and family.

Earlier this year, Netflix announced a plan to halt password sharing as it puts more emphasis on revenue and profit growth. Now, Netflix subscribers can add people living outside their household to their account for an additional $8 per month.

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About the Author

Rebecca Salinas is an award-winning digital journalist who joined KSAT in 2019. She reports on a variety of topics for KSAT 12 News.

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