Costco warehouses don’t offer free day passes for non-members like some other warehouse stores do, so you can’t buy alcohol at Costco that way. What Costco does have is the Costco cash card which is their version of a gift card. This is the easiest way to shop at Costco without a membership with the benefit of being able to buy anything at the warehouse including gas, and not just booze. The problem is only Costco members can buy a cash card, so you’ll either need to have a friend buy you one, or buy one on the secondary market, such as on eBay or Amazon, if you want to access the warehouse this way.
If you live in certain states, you don’t even have to have a cash card to buy alcohol at Costco. This is because some states have laws where any establishment selling alcohol must make the sale of the alcohol available to the public. In these cases, state law forces Costco to allow those without a membership to buy alcohol at their stores. The following twelve states have laws in place which all non-members to buy alcohol at Costco:
- New York
If you go to a Costco in any of the above states, when you get to the door, simply tell the door checker you are there to buy alcohol. In most cases, you should be allowed in without any issue, but if the door checker isn’t familiar with the law, they may stop you. In this case, ask to talk to a manager who should be familiar with the policy and let you pass. If you happen to live in any of the other 38 states, your only option is to use the cash card method.
Once at checkout, you will again need to tell the cashier you don’t have a Costco Membership. The cashier will have to call over a manager to get approval for the transaction. Most Costco stores have managers right on the checkout line, so this should only take a few seconds, and it shouldn’t cause others in line to wait a long time. It’s important to note that Costco currently doesn’t take most credit cards (although that might soon be changing), so for now you’ll have to make your purchase with cash or a debit card.
The best part of both these methods is that there is no extra charge when making the alcohol purchase. You pay the exact same price as those with Costco memberships do, and the alcohol prices at Costco can be significantly cheaper than at other stores, especially brand name alcohol. So the next time you are having a party or need to stock up on alcohol, remember that you don’t need a membership to take advantage of Costco’s inexpensive prices.
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For more info on Costco check out these articles.
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(Photo courtesy of Willscrlt)