A lot of people wonder if there is a Costco free one-day guest pass to check out the store before purchasing a membership. The answer? No, Costco doesn’t offer guest passes to their warehouse stores, but that doesn’t mean you can’t go.
Alternatives to a Costco Free One Day Guest Pass
Although Costco doesn’t offer a one-day guest pass, there’s a workaround that basically gives you the same opportunity to shop at Costco for one day. What you need to do is get a hold of a Costco gift card. If you have a Costco gift card, you can shop at their warehouses even if you don’t have a membership (these also work for purchasing gas at Costco gas stations, which is often the least expensive with the same gas quality as top tier gas stations. In this way, it works exactly like a guest pass.
How Do You Get a Costco Gift Card?
The only people who can buy Costco gift cards are members. You can’t walk into a warehouse and buy one if you aren’t a member. Since you can’t buy one on your own, there are two main ways people without a membership get them:
1. Ask a friend who has a membership.
Probably the easiest way to get one is to give a friend who has a membership at Costco the money and ask them to pick up a gift card the next time they go. The least expensive card is $25, but you can buy as much as you want at the store as long as you have a card with some money on it (you simply pay anything above the value of the gift card in cash). You could also request one as a gift for a special occasion (birthday, Christmas, etc).
2. Buy it on eBay or Amazon.
Another way to get a gift card is to purchase it on a secondary market such as eBay or Amazon if you don’t have any friends with a membership, or simply don’t want to ask them to buy you one. Again, it doesn’t matter what amount is actually on the gift card (it could only be a few cents, and you’d still be OK), you just need one with money on it to shop at Costco.
When entering Costco, you simply show the gift card and they will let you pass as if it were a membership card. At check out, tell the cashier you only have a gift card. The cashier will need to have a manager give a special code to accept it (there are always managers on the floor and it only takes a few seconds) and you will be good to go. If your items cost more than you have on the gift card, you will need to pay cash.
Another way to shop without getting a gift card is to shop with a friend who has a membership. You can get inside the store with them, but they will have to pay for all the purchases you make. You can pay them back for your purchases once you leave the store.
So while Costco doesn’t have an official one-day guest pass program, there are ways to shop at their warehouses without paying $60 for a membership.
The “Free” Way to Get a Costco Membership
While I don’t recommend this, you can sort of get a Costco membership without paying. The way this works is to use their refund policy. At any point in your membership, you can get your Costco membership refunded. It’s an interesting policy that seems ripe for abuse, but Costco will allow you to cancel for a full refund at any time while it is active. So, if you just want to grab a few things, you could purchase and cancel your membership on the same day. If you want to milk it as much as possible, you can even cancel on the very last day of your membership. Morally, this is a pretty questionable route to go. Nonetheless, it is an alternative to paying full price for a membership. It also works pretty similarly to the way a “Costco free one-day guest pass” might.
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