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Costco Implements New Membership Card Scanning Policy

Jaleel Mwangi



Costco Wholesale, a big name in retail, has started testing out a new rule that’s all about making its membership more exclusive. This change has gotten different responses from shoppers; some are giving it a thumbs up, but others are worried it’ll be a hassle.

Implementation at the Issaquah, Washington Store

According to reports from Costco Insider and various social media platforms, the Costco store in Issaquah, Washington, has taken the lead in testing this new policy. Photos show a tablet fixed to a stand at the store’s entrance, accompanied by a sign instructing customers to scan their membership cards before entering. This measure is intended to ensure that the person entering matches the photo on the membership card, a step up from the usual visual checks done by store employees.

Public Response and Concerns

The reaction from the public has been varied. Many customers have expressed their support for the new policy on social media platforms like Facebook and X (formerly known as Twitter). They see it as a positive step towards validating legitimate memberships and reducing checkout confrontations. However, some are worried about the potential for longer lines and delays at the store entrance. Additionally, some customers pointed out that their membership photos are outdated and might not accurately represent their current appearance.

Changes in Costco’s Membership Policies

  • Recent Policy Changes: In recent times, Costco tightened its rules on who can share a membership card, which didn’t sit well with some shoppers.
  • More Members: Even with these hiccups, Costco’s latest financial reports show a big leap in memberships. The company has 72 million paid households on its books, up by 7.6% from last year.
  • Bigger Executive Club: There’s also been a bump in the number of Executive members. These folks pay more but get perks like 2% cash back. They now make up over 46% of all the paying members and are key players in Costco’s earnings.

Benefits and Potential Drawbacks of the New System

The introduction of the card scanning system at the entrance could streamline the shopping experience by reducing incidents at the checkout. It also aligns with Costco’s objective to preserve the value of its membership by allowing exclusive access to its warehouse clubs. However, there are apprehensions regarding longer wait times during peak hours and the efficiency of the scanning process.

Costco’s Membership Access and Nonmember Services

Costco maintains certain policies for nonmembers, such as access to liquor stores in some markets and limited shopping through Instacart, albeit with a surcharge. Nonmembers can also enter the stores using Costco gift cards but are restricted to the card’s value. These policies highlight Costco’s effort to balance exclusivity with accessibility.

Future Prospects and Membership Price Increase

While Costco has surpassed its usual timeline for raising membership prices, no immediate increase is on the horizon. The company’s CFO, Richard Galanti, has indicated that while a price hike is inevitable, no specific date has been set. This strategy suggests a focus on continuing to grow the membership base while maintaining customer satisfaction.

Implications of the New Policy

Costco rolling out a new security check isn’t just any old update. It shows how serious they are about keeping their club pretty exclusive. Making sure the only folks strolling in are actual members or their invitees, Costco’s making it crystal clear – your membership card is your golden ticket, nothing less.


Costco’s fresh rule for scanning membership cards marks a big change in the way the store lets people in. They want to make being a Costco member even better, but it all comes down to how well they put this plan into action and deal with what customers think. To learn more about what’s up with Costco’s member rules and what’s new, click here.

Jaleel is a sociable and communicative individual who effortlessly builds connections with others. With a strong belief in lending a helping hand, he is always ready to support those in need. Alongside his affinity for new technology, especially smartphones, Jaleel finds pleasure in exploring the latest advancements. When it comes to leisure, he cherishes vacations and finds joy in watching comedic films. With his friendly nature and diverse interests, Jaleel brings positive energy to every interaction and embraces life's enjoyable moments.