Costco Is Rolling Out Its Most Strict Membership Change Yet — And Shoppers Are Not Happy

published Jan 12, 2024
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Indianapolis - Circa April 2023: Costco Wholesale Location. Costco Wholesale is a multi-billion dollar membership retailer.
Credit: Jonathan Weiss/Shutterstock

If you’re a Costco member, you’re likely familiar with the entrance protocols. Typically, you would flash your membership card at the employee manning the door before entering the warehouse full of your favorite bulk items. However, the retailer is experimenting with a new policy that has loyal long-time members scratching their heads.

Costco is now requiring members to scan their membership cards at the door, rather than just quickly showing the card to gain entrance. A Reddit user in Washington state, shared a photo of the entrance to their local warehouse, fully equipped with scanners. Membership cards have always been checked more thoroughly upon checkout which still seems to be the case. Although, many Reddit users are feeling frustrated that the retailer is now making members truly show their card twice.

While the reason for this change hasn’t been announced by Costco itself, users are speculating as to why. After recently implementing a new procedure in which members need to show their ID with their membership card at checkout in order to crack down on people sharing their memberships, people were guessing that this was likely the cause.

“I’ve seen people with multiple carts full of food get turned away (not without a fight) at the checkout line due to having someone else’s card,” commented one user. “This could be an effort to avoid situations like that?”

“Better than getting stuck behind someone at the register who acts all surprised that you need a membership to shop there,” another user chimed in. “Had that happen a couple times now.”

Hopefully the new technology won’t hold up any entrance lines too much, but as long as you’re using your own membership card, your shopping experience should continue to be as smooth as ever.