Costco said to be testing out membership card scanners at entrances

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By Dan Sears

Retail giant Costco Wholesale is reportedly testing out a way to make sure its customers maintain their elite status.

Costco Insider, a website that says it gets its tips from readers, on Jan. 8 shared photos on social media of what appears to be a tablet attached to a stand along with a sign that reads, “You will be asked to scan your membership card before entering the warehouse,” at the Issaquah, Washington state, store.

“They’re checking to make sure the photo matches the person. What do you think?!” Costco Insider wrote on both Facebook and X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.

“Great for all of us with legit memberships,” one Costco shopper responded on X.

“I’m so glad for this. I hate being assaulted at checkout for my card,” another said. 

But not everyone is onboard.

“I think that will cause long lines to enter and frustrate people!” one Facebook user wrote.

“Back up at entrance coming soon,” another woman commented.

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Some social media users noted their membership photos are so old they do not even look the same anymore. 

Costco is headquartered next to the store at which the membership card scanner is being tested, Costco Insider says. 

Nonmembers may purchase prescriptions from Costco pharmacy with cash, debit, Costco Shop Cards or a Visa card, “However, you must be a paid member to enter the warehouse and purchase any other items,” an answer on Costco’s Customer Service website says. 

A Costco press release from Jan. 4 says the company currently operates 871 warehouses, with the majority in the U.S. and Puerto Rico.


Costco is reportedly testing out a membership card scanner at the entrance of a Washington state store.
Costco is reportedly testing out a membership card scanner at the entrance of a Washington state store. Christopher Sadowski

The company is also an international retailer, with warehouses in Canada, Mexico, Japan, the United Kingdom, Korea, Australia, Taiwan, China, Spain, France, Iceland, New Zealand and Sweden.

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Costco reported net sales of $26.15 billion for the retail month of December, an increase of 9.9% from the year prior, the press release said.

Costco did not immediately respond to a Fox Business request for comment, but the scanning of membership cards is reportedly happening at “a few” locations, a spokesperson told McClatchy News.

Costco’s memberships are $60 annually for Gold Star and $120 for Executive Gold Star.

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