Things you can do at Costco without a membership.
I’ve always been a fan of Costco and had a membership for many years. Costco generally has good prices if you’re buying in quantity, they have excellent customer service and treat their employees extremely well.
For several years Costco sold American Airlines, Hyatt and Spafinder gift cards at a 10% discount so I would cover my annual fee with the first two gift card purchases and then everything else I purchased after that was profit.
After they discontinued the AA and Hyatt cards I found that membership didn’t work for me any longer.
There are still some things you can do at Costco without a membership:
Shop and buy gas using a Costco Cash card
Non-members may use Costco Cash Cards to shop at any Costco location in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico, online at Costco.com and Costco.ca.
Buy a Cash Card before your membership expires or tag along with a member and purchase a Costco cash card. When you go back to shop you’ll have to show your Cash Card and then go to Customer Service to get a one-day shopping pass. You do not need a one-day shopping pass to purchase gas with the Cash card.
Shop at Costco.com
Non-members will be charged a 5% surcharge over the member’s posted product prices (except for prescription drugs). Do the math to make sure whatever you’re buying is still a good deal. There are also some Member Only items online that you won’t have access to.
Browse the store
If you are thinking about joining or you are thinking about making a large purchase (after joining) but need to check prices tell the greeter and they will either send you to the Customer Service desk for a one-day shopping pass or just let you through.
Buy prescription medications from the Pharmacy
Bring your prescription. Tell the greater you are using the pharmacy and you will be let in. You can also fill your prescriptions online and have it delivered to your home at no extra cost.
Call ahead to determine if you need an appointment. Also if you don’t have medical insurance compare prices with other options before heading over. Costco generally will have a competitive prices but there may be a better deal elsewhere (i.e. CVS, Jewel, Target, Walgreens). Tell the greeter and they will either send you to the Customer Service desk for a one-day shopping pass or just let you through.
Get an eye exam or get glasses you purchased there previously adjusted
Tell the greeter you are going to the Optical Department and they will either send you to the Customer Service desk for a one-day shopping pass or just let you through.
Dine at the Food Court
If the Food Court is outdoors you have access. If not and you are getting a prescription filled, getting an immunization, using the Optical Department or perusing the store when you are done you can also dine at the Food Court.
You can buy alcohol in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, and Vermont without a membership. Just tell the greeter and and they will either send you to the Customer Service desk for a one-day shopping pass or just let you through.
In Texas Costco liquor stores are located next door to the Costco store and do not require membership but have Costco prices. Buying liquor in other states would most likely come in handy when you’re traveling. I would recommend calling the store before heading over as one of the twenty stores I called (Eden Prairie, MN) didn’t sell any alcohol.