Can You Shop At Costco With A Military Id Card

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Can You Shop At Costco With A Military Id Card

Costco has a special deal for the military — here’s how to get early access to the store

Costco Tips That Will Save You Time And Money

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Costco locations across the US are opening an hour early this weekend for active duty members of the military, veterans and their families.

On Saturday, March 24, 117 Costco warehouses have “Military Hour,” which some locations call “Costco Hero Hour.” The warehouse will open at 8am, an hour earlier than its normal opening time, to allow current and former members of the armed forces to shop before the crowds arrive at the popular retailer.

The bulk retailer is also offering a new membership deal for those in the military who are not currently Costco members. To participate, all shoppers must be Costco members.

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To visit Costco early for Military Hour, shoppers must either have a military ID or pre-register for the event online.

Additionally, not every Costco location will hold “military hours.” You can see a list of 117 locations hosting Military Hours here.

While some people were disappointed that their local Costco warehouses weren’t participating in the promotion, many are celebrating Costco’s decision to hold Military Hour on social media.

“Just another plus for Costco to honor our sons and daughters who are willing to die for our country and us,” one person wrote on Costco’s Facebook page.

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“Costco would be great for those of us who find stress in crowded and noisy stores to shop a couple of days a month… that’s all I can handle!” wrote another.

Find her on Twitter at @Kate_H_Taylor. Send your tips about businesses and individuals worthy of a deep-dive feature to You can also get in touch through the Signal encrypted messenger app at (646) 768-4740.

Now see: What Costco looked like when it opened in 1983 and annual memberships were $25 Advertiser Advertisement: At Slickdeals, we work hard to find the best deals. Some of the products in our articles are from partners who may provide compensation to us, but this does not change our opinions.

From extra low gas prices to unbeatable deals on rotisserie chicken, Costco members have it all. But we want to make it as accessible as possible for those who don’t have a Costco card, which is why we’re keeping a close eye on how to shop at Costco without being a member. Despite the constant membership card checks at every store entrance, finding your way around is a lot easier than you think. Take note of the following helpful tips and let the savings begin.

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Like all good things in life, though, Costco benefits come at a cost, and there are two levels of membership you can sign up for:

Most people will do fine with Gold Star tires, but some may want to spring for the Gold Star Executive. To see if an Executive Membership is right for you, check out our recent article on whether Costco’s Executive Membership is right for you.

You’re probably already wondering if you can shop at Costco without a membership. The short answer is yes, you need a Costco membership to shop there, but there are certain departments that allow non-members to shop. We will note that, by law, the following sections of the Costco warehouse are open to the public whether you have a membership or not:

We’ll explain in more detail how you can shop from these sections below, including other ways to shop at Costco without becoming a member.

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If you want to shop, but prefer not to make a year-long commitment, turn to the Costco Shop Card. It’s your golden ticket to being able to enter the store and make a purchase, as the card essentially functions like a gift card. The thing is that it can only be purchased by a Costco member. When you have to rely on an actual Costco member, the asking price can amount to potential savings.

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Slick tip: Members can load up to $2,000 on each shop card, so depending on how often you shop and if you plan to buy big items like TVs or expensive electronics, you can definitely make this trick work for you.

The easiest way to avoid membership requirements is to go to the store with relatives, friends, or anyone else you know who pays to be part of the Costco clan. Trust us, if you show up with one of them, there’s no chance you’ll get stopped at the door. However, you cannot check yourself. Once you have made a purchase, you will need to scan the member’s card to complete the payment process. Make sure you don’t lose the one who hooked you in the bargain aisle of retail!

Although you’re guaranteed to pay more than you would at the store due to fees and upcharges, ordering Costco through Instacartis is a convenient solution to shopping Costco’s grocery section without becoming a member. Plus, who doesn’t want their groceries delivered to them in as little as an hour? Remember to schedule delivery when you are at home as you will need to be present to receive your order.

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Non-members should continue browsing online, as anyone can shop on the Costco website. A slight downside is that non-members have to pay a 5% surcharge and some items may be marked an additional 5% to 20% higher than the prices offered in the store. Additionally, certain products are marked as member only items and are not available for purchase by non-members. But even with those caveats, the retailer’s deals are still some of the best on the market. Be sure to check out Costco’s website for a list of featured deals on all things tech, home and more.

Depending on the state, alcohol sales may not be legally limited to members only. In fact, some places around the country have separate entrances that allow non-members stopping by to get in and out easily. The following are states where you can buy alcohol without a membership:

Double-check the laws where you live, or call your local Costco, and consider getting your go-to drinks at wholesale prices.

As with alcohol purchases, the Costco pharmacy is open to everyone; When you walk in without a card, tell the customer representative where you’re going. We love Costco’s pharmacy services for several reasons:

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Costco Optical Centers allow non-members to schedule eye exams with their licensed optometrists. They also accept most forms of major vision insurance. It’s a reliable organization that won’t rip you off, but once you’ve made your appointment, glasses, contact lenses, and anything else you need is limited to members only. As mentioned above, if you have a specific frame or other item in mind, just show up with a Costco Shop Card to purchase what you need.

Do you only eat breakfast? A mini Costco food court is usually located near the exit and if you ask, some employees will let you in to get food. Of course, this isn’t a guarantee, but it’s worth it for the chance to get the famous Costco churros, sundae desserts, pizzas, hot dogs, and all the other super affordable food items on the menu.

Unfortunately, Costco does not offer one-day passes and free trials. However, Costco allows you to cancel your membership at any time during the year for a full refund. This trick is especially helpful if you’re moving to a location that doesn’t have a Costco nearby or you prefer to shop at other grocery stores. The key to making this work is to make sure you cancel before your year is up, otherwise you’ll be charged the full amount.

As we noted above, if you have mixed feelings about it, it’s pretty easy to get a refund on your Costco membership balance with their “risk-free 100% satisfaction guarantee”:

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It is important to note that any rewards you accrue with Executive Membership will be deducted from the refund.

If you decide to go ahead and choose a Costco membership, you may be eligible for some savings.

With eight ways to shop at Costco without a membership, you’ll be able to reap all the rewards the big warehouse has to offer. And you may be convinced to choose a membership after looking at the potential rewards you get from Costco Travel and Executive Membership.

For more related content, check out our guide to returning items to Costco and our comparison between Sam’s Club and Costco

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