Shopping Discussion

New Costco Gift Card Policy - Non Members allowed only 2 separate purchases

  • Last Updated:
  • Jan 21st, 2018 7:03 am
[OP]
Newbie
Oct 24, 2010
5 posts
5 upvotes
Hamilton

New Costco Gift Card Policy - Non Members allowed only 2 separate purchases

Beware of this new gift card policy - Non Members are allowed only 2 separate purchases per year on a card and now need temporary membership 1st.
I received two Costco gift cards for Christmas, so last night I went to the Burlington ON store. I breezed by the greeter who smiled, but asked no questions. I filled a Prescription for the 1st time there and again, did not have to offer any explanation ... it was done as in any other drug store ... ie) no special "no-member code"while paying.

I got to the check out ... after everything had been rung through, I gave my gift card so the cashier called up a gruff bouncer-like woman who told me I needed to sign up for a temporary membership 1st. Apparently, this has been the policy for 6 months, that Non Members are allowed only 2 separate purchases per year with a gift card (controlled by computer at Membership Desk ) Then the card is confiscated and any outstanding cash on the card is returned.
I was never enough of a 'Costco fan' to join, but this completely turned me off.
46 replies
Deal Fanatic
Aug 29, 2006
7241 posts
1216 upvotes
You go to any other private club as a non member, typically they wouldn't even let you into the door...

I am glad they are doing road blocks now for non members, is only fair to people that are paying for their full membership to have better access to the warehouse.
The Devil made me buy it - RFD. :twisted:
Sr. Member
Nov 29, 2017
856 posts
594 upvotes
hdom wrote:
Jan 11th, 2018 1:10 pm
You go to any other private club as a non member, typically they wouldn't even let you into the door...

I am glad they are doing road blocks now for non members, is only fair to people that are paying for their full membership to have better access to the warehouse.
Exactly! Costco has been more than generous with their “free passes”
Last edited by Omakase on Jan 11th, 2018 1:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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May 12, 2004
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Ottawa
That's great news! Thanks for sharing.
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Deal Expert
Mar 23, 2004
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Costco knows this is a loophole and more and more unscrupulous types have been using it frequently, to avoid getting a membership altogether. Costco has always been pretty protective of their membership system and it's not really surprising they are cracking down on this.

I've actually had GCs for years but funny enough I never used them. I got someone with a membership to originally buy them so I could give them as gifts to ppl I knew shopped there. However I never got rid of all the ones I purchased (I think I had like $300 in GCs, in 50s and 20s) and so I actually think I still have $70 left in cards. I never used any of them myself LOL. Now I even have a membership myself and I still have not used those cards! The ones I did give, those ppl had memberships already so I think they never had any issues using them. It does suck for people trying to legitimately use them as GCs that do not have a membership but I think the clowns just buying them for "membership avoidance" are to blame.

Of course OTOH I don't like some of the rejects working at Costco either because they like to think their job is also security guard or mall cop or some crap but it's a relative few anyway.

Requiring a temp. membership should have been politely mentioned to you at the door, but it does make sense they require this. This way people won't be able to keep coming in with GCs and avoid paying for a membership.

As a side note, this cuts both ways. While virtually all retailers offer no way to convert a card(s) back to cash Costco also shoots themselves in the foot here too. If you want to cash out a GC just go in and buy minimal cost items 2x, and then they will cash you out! :)
Deal Addict
Feb 19, 2017
1786 posts
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Vancouver
Good to know and really its about time they enforced membership.
Sr. Member
Aug 27, 2008
563 posts
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montreal
Awesome. Free ride stops here peasant moochers.
Sr. Member
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Dec 23, 2007
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Winnipeg
I don't think the OP was expecting these negative responses Astonished Face
Deal Addict
Nov 22, 2015
3049 posts
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Pretty sure that's always been the policy...

Most locations just never enforced it until recently.

How many times do you need to visit Costco with a gift card? If it's more than 2 per year, just buy a membership.
Sr. Member
Jan 12, 2017
609 posts
374 upvotes
Maple Ridge
Yea I think OP was expecting RFD to rally behind him and march to Costco with torch and pitchfork.
ROFL
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Aug 29, 2012
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It's both hilarious and sad at the same time that so many people are free shills for a giant retailer, and consider membership to said organization as some sort of status, one that likes to portray itself as humane and compassionate, and yet has driven countless small businesses and suppliers to bankruptcy by bleeding them dry.

There are bigger issues in the world than Costco membership policies. I really don't understand why so many people are getting overjoyed because one retailer, that doesn't care a iota about them, has decided to be even more bigheaded and arrogant than it already is.
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Deal Guru
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Mar 25, 2003
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Markham
superfresh89 wrote:
Jan 11th, 2018 5:46 pm
Pretty sure that's always been the policy...

Most locations just never enforced it until recently.

How many times do you need to visit Costco with a gift card? If it's more than 2 per year, just buy a membership.
yep, is not a new policy
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Deal Addict
Feb 7, 2017
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Costco Member myself... so I do support Costco’s RIGHT to set their CLUB Rules & Parameters to Membership
If they don’t then it’s a free for all that diminishes the value of their brand, and Membership for their members

[removed]

To be fair the OP got the Costco GCs as a GIFT
Which is exactly what they are designed for
Costco Members to gift to Non Members so they might experience the benefits
Albeit briefly...
In hopes that they’ll want to join
1 or 2 GCs per person per year seems sufficient to me for someone to decide
It’s exactly what got us to join... a $ 50 GC for Christmas a few years back
First trip we say the benefit ... we bought a outdoor item we saved over $ 50 on
SOLD, right there and then
Since then our love of Costco has only grown
Last edited by Mars2012 on Jan 11th, 2018 9:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: quote and your response were removed
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Oct 22, 2007
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London
Poutinesauce wrote:
Jan 11th, 2018 5:52 pm
It's both hilarious and sad at the same time that so many people are free shills for a giant retailer, and consider membership to said organization as some sort of status, one that likes to portray itself as humane and compassionate, and yet has driven countless small businesses and suppliers to bankruptcy by bleeding them dry.

There are bigger issues in the world than Costco membership policies. I really don't understand why so many people are getting overjoyed because one retailer, that doesn't care a iota about them, has decided to be even more bigheaded and arrogant than it already is.
That sounds more like Walmart.

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