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Costco is cracking down on membership card sharing

The big-box store says it has seen an increase in card-sharing abuse since self-checkout machines were introduced.
/ Source: TODAY

If you've been putting off getting that Costco membership, it might be time for a card of your own.

The big-box store said in a statement to CNBC on June 28 that Costco intends to crack down on people sharing membership cards to sneak into its stores.

Up until now, Costco has requested for membership cards solely at the cash registers upon checkout. Now, however, clubs will also ask to see cards with a photo at self-checkout registers, Costco said, adding that stores will also need to view a photo ID if the membership card doesn't have a picture.

“We don’t feel it’s right that non members receive the same benefits and pricing as our members,” the company said in a statement to CNBC.

Since self-checkout stations hit stores, Costco has seen an increase in card-sharing abuse, according to the grocery chain. reached out to Costco for additional comment but had not heard back by the time of publication.

There are three types of Costco memberships: executive, business and gold star.

With the highest membership, executive, cardholders receive additional savings on auto and home insurance from Costco, as well as check printing, identity protection, payment processing and bottled water delivery.

For business members, which can be obtained by owning or operating a business, the card is used to shop for resale, business and personal use. Gold star memberships, on the other hand, are only for personal use.

All memberships include one free Household Card and are accepted at all warehouses across the world and online.

The crackdown might sound familiar to some, as Netflix has recently also taken on new rules around password-sharing.

In May, Netflix started sending emails to users with the opening line, “Your Netflix account is for you and the people you live with — your household.”

For the streaming service, the new rules will come in a gradual rollout, randomly asking subscribers to set up and approve which streaming devices are associated with their account, as well as be connected to their home WiFi.

Unapproved devices will have to buy a new membership, according to Netflix, or be added to an account for an additional fee of $7.99 per month.