Shopping Discussion

Costco gifts cards from Costco.ca

  • Last Updated:
  • Feb 17th, 2019 2:42 pm
[OP]
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Costco gifts cards from Costco.ca

A question regarding purchasing Costco gift cards from Costco.ca . A few years ago, I purchased these cards from Costco.ca to be able to put my Costco spend on a credit card other than a MasterCard . The card would be mailed out and you had to call Costco to have it activated. Skip ahead to now. I purchase a card from Costco.ca and the card arrives fully activated. No need to activate by calling Costco (instructions actually read it's ready to use) and it works flawlessly in store. My question is : is the card connected to my Costco account and therefore only I or my husband can use it? Or, if the gift card goes astray in the mail, can it be used by just anyone? Does anyone know for certain? I've emailed Costco.ca and they replied that the card had to be activated as per the old way which obviously is not correct.
14 replies
Deal Fanatic
Feb 7, 2017
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Eastern Ontario
Cannot answer all your concerns, as I have not ordered a Costco GC from Costco.ca
But I assume it’s going to be the same as the ones they sell Instore...
Usable by anyone, no Costco Account required

Can be used online ... by anyone, no Costco Membership required to shop at Costco.ca
Or usable Instore, by either a Member, or a Non-Member... the latter who needs to registers as a Visitor at the Membership Desk
BUT I believe as per Membership T&Cs these Visitors / Guests need to be accompanied by someone who has a Membership
Purchasing Privileges, Guests and other Rules

No sales will be made to any person unless they have a valid membership card.

Each cardholder may bring two guests. However, guests do NOT have purchasing privileges.

Costco can refuse entry to anyone at any time at its discretion. This includes members who do not display their Costco membership cards when requested.

Members will be required to purchase any packages or products opened or damaged by them or their guests.
https://www.costco.ca/membership-condit ... .html#mcr6
[OP]
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PointsHubby wrote:
Feb 2nd, 2019 10:36 pm
Cannot answer all your concerns, as I have not ordered a Costco GC from Costco.ca
But I assume it’s going to be the same as the ones they sell Instore...
Usable by anyone, no Costco Account required

Can be used online ... by anyone, no Costco Membership required to shop at Costco.ca
Or usable Instore, by either a Member, or a Non-Member... the latter who needs to registers as a Visitor at the Membership Desk
That's what I'm thinking too. But it's crazy that there is no longer any security attached to ordering these cards online. There's got to be more to the ones that are purchased online versus in store.
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Feb 7, 2017
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prmetime wrote:
Feb 2nd, 2019 10:42 pm
That's what I'm thinking too. But it's crazy that there is no longer any security attached to ordering these cards online. There's got to be more to the ones that are purchased online versus in store.
As I say I have not bought one online

But... I would think it’s like the ones in the store

The security is in the fact that the pin code is obscured, and needs to be scratched off before use

Your guarantee per se is the fact that you have that, your receipt, and card in hand

If the card gets physically stolen, or compromised... it’s your receipt that proves it was your card

But ya, then it’s up to the Retailer to make it right (most do)

ADD @prmetime

DESPITE their faults, and misgivings on both sides... Retailers still issue GCs
And Consumers still scoop them up
They are somewhat risky
But even I still buy them
Cause like yourself, I have found them to be part of a bigger picture on how to manipulate my money to work for me / go further
But that’s precisely why crooks like them too...
They are drawn to the fact that they are easy to get, and manipulate for their own desires too
Lots of GC Fraud in recent years
Which is why most Retailers have strict rules to their purchase / use
[OP]
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PointsHubby wrote:
Feb 2nd, 2019 10:50 pm
As I say I have not bought one online

But... I would think it’s like the ones in the store

The security is in the fact that the pin code is obscured, and needs to be scratched off before use

Your guarantee per se is the fact that you have that, your receipt, and card in hand

If the card gets physically stolen, or compromised... it’s your receipt that proves it was your card

But ya, then it’s up to the Retailer to make it right (most do)

ADD @prmetime

DESPITE their faults, and misgivings on both sides... Retailers still issue GCs
And Consumers still scoop them up
They are somewhat risky
But even I still buy them
Cause like yourself, I have found them to be part of a bigger picture on how to manipulate my money to work for me / go further
But that’s precisely why crooks like them too...
They are drawn to the fact that they are easy to get, and manipulate for their own desires too
Lots of GC Fraud in recent years
Which is why most Retailers have strict rules to their purchase / use
Thanks. FYI - The cards ordered online have the PIN unobscured - no need to scratch off anything. I agree that the receipt is important, but I can't see why Costco.ca would change their way of activating gift cards without some other secure method. I will call them on Monday to ask, but hoping someone here who purchases the GC online might be able to shine some light.
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Oct 3, 2018
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prmetime wrote:
Feb 2nd, 2019 11:02 pm
Thanks. FYI - The cards ordered online have the PIN unobscured - no need to scratch off anything. I agree that the receipt is important, but I can't see why Costco.ca would change their way of activating gift cards without some other secure method. I will call them on Monday to ask, but hoping someone here who purchases the GC online might be able to shine some light.
Are your gift card denominations $100 or less?

If so, they come fully activated and you don't need to call.

If you are worried about being lost in mail, best to get larger denominations.

I like smaller denominations:

1. usually waiting for cards in mail, and activation process is annoying

2. spend less if carry less and lower $$ remaining cash on the card, if haven't spent it all :)
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Dec 25, 2017
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PointsHubby wrote:
Feb 2nd, 2019 10:36 pm
BUT I believe as per Membership T&Cs these Visitors / Guests need to be accompanied by someone who has a Membership
Unless they changed it within the last year or so (since this was last heard then), visitors with gift cards don't need valid memberships beforehand. They have to register for a temporary membership that expires on the same day. They need ID to process it, it's basically signing up for a one day membership that they don't charge for. They are allow to do this only twice a year (used to be abused to avoid membership fees). But this has been a year ago, you'll have to double check with them.
[OP]
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mzmoney wrote:
Feb 9th, 2019 1:05 am
Are your gift card denominations $100 or less?

If so, they come fully activated and you don't need to call.

If you are worried about being lost in mail, best to get larger denominations.



I like smaller denominations:

1. usually waiting for cards in mail, and activation process is annoying

2. spend less if carry less and lower $$ remaining cash on the card, if haven't spent it all :)
Definitely worried about getting "lost in the mail" so I called in to ask. Gift cards less than $700 will come fully activated. I prefer them not to be activated because then just anyone can then use the card if the card is"lost" I'm sure Costco would reissue eventually but I'm sure this is a much longer and complicated process.
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Oct 3, 2018
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prmetime wrote:
Feb 9th, 2019 9:46 am
Definitely worried about getting "lost in the mail" so I called in to ask. Gift cards less than $700 will come fully activated. I prefer them not to be activated because then just anyone can then use the card if the card is"lost" I'm sure Costco would reissue eventually but I'm sure this is a much longer and complicated process.
Realized after responding that you asked the question on Feb 2nd ... and would have called in already!

Hmm 1 card $50, $100 - $600 denomination ... or if you purchased xx # of cards = $700 total?

Haven't purchased recently, however, when I purchased a few that were $200 each in the past, they required activation.

May need to rethink in ordering these in mail. However, it also allows you to use Visa to pay for GC via costco.ca and in turn, use GC in warehouses, if prefer paying via Visa vs MC :)
Deal Addict
Jul 30, 2003
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I ordered $50 cash cards last year and they required activation.
[OP]
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mzmoney wrote:
Feb 9th, 2019 10:18 am
Realized after responding that you asked the question on Feb 2nd ... and would have called in already!

Hmm 1 card $50, $100 - $600 denomination ... or if you purchased xx # of cards = $700 total?

Haven't purchased recently, however, when I purchased a few that were $200 each in the past, they required activation.

May need to rethink in ordering these in mail. However, it also allows you to use Visa to pay for GC via costco.ca and in turn, use GC in warehouses, if prefer paying via Visa vs MC :)
$700 on one card.
[OP]
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zero_ wrote:
Feb 9th, 2019 10:22 am
I ordered $50 cash cards last year and they required activation.
It's changed. I just wanted to let others know that cards less than $700 will not require activation.
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Feb 1, 2019
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IEpicDestroyer wrote:
Feb 9th, 2019 3:07 am
Unless they changed it within the last year or so (since this was last heard then), visitors with gift cards don't need valid memberships beforehand. They have to register for a temporary membership that expires on the same day. They need ID to process it, it's basically signing up for a one day membership that they don't charge for. They are allow to do this only twice a year (used to be abused to avoid membership fees). But this has been a year ago, you'll have to double check with them.
I asked my siblings with Costco Membership to get me a GC so I can buy a Kirkland battery, they earn 2% back, it's simple! They gave me some lame excuse if I don't have Coscto membership I can't use GC, they told me to buy my own. They turned around wanting to use my AMA/CAA Membership.
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Dec 25, 2017
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FrostyBytes wrote:
Feb 17th, 2019 2:21 pm
I asked my siblings with Costco Membership to get me a GC so I can buy a Kirkland battery, they earn 2% back, it's simple! They gave me some lame excuse if I don't have Coscto membership I can't use GC, they told me to buy my own. They turned around wanting to use my AMA/CAA Membership.
Ya... it's some BS that the membership people don't want you here or they're too lazy to process the application for the one day shopping pass. Just looked it up on Costco's website and this showed from here: https://www.costco.ca/Costco-Cash-Card. ... 84381.html
* Non-member use
You do not have to be a Costco member to use a Costco Cash Card, but non-members must register for a one-day shopping pass at the Membership Counter to access the warehouse. Non-members may only be issued a one-day pass twice per calendar year and the one-day pass may not be used as a replacement for a Costco membership. Non-members may not carry a balance on the card. If they do not spend the full amount of the card, the balance will be refunded at the cash register. If the value of a non-member purchase exceeds the value of the cash card, the excess can only be paid by cash, debit or MasterCard.
I remember once that a family member forgot their ID while going to a Costco and they weren't able to process the shopping pass. They said that they were told that the whole value of the card could be refunded to them on the spot, probably ymmv but can be a way to cash the cards you don't want (ex. Costco Wireless?) and spend the cash elsewhere.
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Oct 14, 2014
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Southern Ontario
The only reason I ever bought Costco GCs online was so I could benefit from the promo earn rate on my Scotia Momentum Infinite Visa (since Costco allows Visa on the website, but not in store). Other than situations like that I don't know why a Costco member would bother with GCs for their own use.

And yes, it did come pre-activated.

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