Can Seniors Use Someone Else’s Costco Card?

Costco offers seniors great savings on groceries, medications, special hours and more. However, a Costco membership can be expensive for those on a fixed income. This leaves many wondering – can seniors use someone else’s Costco card to access deals? 

No, seniors cannot use someone else’s Costco card. This is against Costco’s policy, which allows card sharing only between household members living at the same address. Misusing a card could result in membership termination or legal charges. However, seniors can still access Costco’s deals by joining with relatives, using gift cards, or applying for financial aid for memberships.

While Costco does allow some card sharing between household members, in general, using someone else’s card is against policy. But there are still ways for seniors to save on a budget. This article covers Costco membership rules, risks of misusing cards, and legal ways to access deals.

Costco Membership Card Rules

Costco is a membership-based retailer. Members pay an annual fee for access to wholesale pricing on groceries, household items, clothing, electronics, gas, and more. 

Memberships start at $60 per year. Higher tiers add benefits like cash rewards. For this fee, members can:

  • Shop in-warehouse and online
  • Access pharmacy, optical, and hearing aid services
  • Get discounts on select travel
  • Share their card with household members

Household members can shop under one membership. They must live at the same address as the primary cardholder. Costco allows card sharing between:

  • Spouses
  • Domestic partners
  • Children 18+
  • Parents
  • Other adult relatives

Members can also bring up to 2 guests per visit. But guests cannot pay or check out alone. The primary or household cardholder must be present to check out.

Using someone else’s card who doesn’t meet household rules is fraud. Costco can terminate memberships and ban violators if caught. There are also legal risks explored later.

Why Seniors Want to Use Others’ Cards

Costco offers seniors ways to stretch budgets. But Costco memberships aren’t cheap for those on fixed Social Security incomes. 

Seniors may ask family or friends to use cards to access:


Costco has low prices on pantry staples, produce, meat, dairy, and more. This helps savings on monthly food bills.


The Costco pharmacy fills prescriptions for members at discounted rates. This includes common senior medications like blood pressure and cholesterol drugs.


Routine eye exams are included with memberships. Prescription glasses and contacts are also discounted.

Hearing Aids

Costco offers name-brand hearing aids at prices up to 50% off elsewhere. Devices, fittings, batteries are included.


Members get discounted gas prices at Costco stations. For seniors without cars, they can give the card to caregivers or relatives who drive them around.


Costco offers discounted travel on hotels, cruises, car rentals and more.

With prices like these, it’s tempting for seniors to use friends’ or relatives’ cards. But misuse carries risks.

Risks of Using Someone Else’s Costco Card

Sharing cards outside of Costco policy has consequences if caught:

Membership Termination

Costco can terminate the member’s account immediately without refunding their annual fee.

Card misuse may lead to legal charges like fraud or petty theft:

  • Fraud involves deceiving Costco to obtain goods or services. In some states, this can carry fines or jail time if over certain dollar amounts.
  • Theft means taking goods or services without paying. Shoplifting under certain dollar amounts is petty theft, a misdemeanor in most states.
  • Costco can bring civil suits against those who obtain goods through deception. This may mean repaying costs, legal fees, and additional damages.

While rare, these should deter seniors from misusing cards. It’s better to find legal ways to access deals.

How Seniors Can Get Costco Memberships

Seniors have options to get Costco memberships legally:

Join with Relatives

Household members can share one $60 membership. Consider joining with a spouse, partner, parents, or adult children. Splitting the fee makes it just $30 each.

Get Gift Cards

Ask relatives to buy Costco Cash gift cards for you. These let anyone shop without a membership. Just trade reimbursement for the card value.

Apply for Assistance

Some non-profits or church groups offer financial aid for Costco memberships. Others help seniors access food assistance and nutrition programs.

Join Special Programs

Some credit cards include free Costco memberships as perks. AAA also offers discounted Costco memberships to members. Look for access through groups seniors already belong to.

Other Ways for Seniors to Save

Beyond Costco, there are many ways seniors can save on essentials:

Use Coupons

Clip coupons from mailers, magazines and newspapers. Look for apps like Always compare prices – generic brands with coupons can beat name-brands.

Buy Store Brands

Opt for retailers’ store brands when possible. Quality is usually equal to name brands for lower cost.

Shop Sales Cycles

Track sales cycles at favorite stores. Stock up on items when they go on sale. This avoids paying full price.

Buy in Bulk

For shelf-stable items, consider buying in bulk. Compare per-unit or per-ounce prices. Smaller bulk sizes can still save over regular packages. 

Split Packages

Split bulk packages with friends or relatives. For example, buy a large package of chicken breasts and divide it up.

Use Loyalty Programs

Sign up for free loyalty programs at grocery stores, pharmacies or other shops. These often come with exclusive deals and earning rewards.

Look for Discounts

Always ask about senior discounts, especially at restaurants, movie theaters, retailers and entertainment venues. Don’t be shy – asking can save 10-25% off regular prices.

Evaluate Subscriptions

Cut expenses like cable TV, club memberships, or subscriptions not used often. Stream free or low-cost alternatives.

Use Public Transportation

Take advantage of reduced senior fares on public transportation. This stretches gas budgets further.

Saving takes a bit more effort. But legal ways to reduce costs are better than misusing others’ Costco cards. With diligence, seniors can find bargains and live well on fixed incomes.

Community Assistance Resources

For seniors needing more help making ends meet, many organizations provide assistance:

  • Meals on Wheels delivers nutritious daily meals to seniors’ homes. Eligibility and costs vary by location.
  • Food banks offer free groceries and meals for low-income households. Local churches often host food pantries too. 
  • SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) provides monthly grocery assistance funds through EBT cards to qualifying households.
  • SSI (Supplemental Security Income) gives monthly cash assistance to very low-income seniors. Recipients automatically qualify for SNAP.
  • LIHEAP (Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program) helps pay winter heating bills.
  • Section 202 Housing provides affordable senior apartments to low-income households.
  • Medicaid offers free or low-cost medical coverage to seniors meeting income limits.

Connecting with local senior centers, churches, social workers, and agencies like United Way can point people toward help accessing these and other programs. Support is available – seniors just need to seek it out.

The Takeaway

At the end of the day, convenience and deals may not be worth the risks of misusing others’ Costco cards. With diligent comparison shopping, smart buying habits, discounts and assistance programs, seniors can access affordable essentials legally.

A Costco card could offer additional savings. But it’s not the only path to lower costs. Focusing on available options will ensure seniors can live well within their budgets.


I hope this article has helped explain Costco’s membership sharing policy for seniors. While tempting, using someone else’s card improperly could result in termination or even legal trouble.

Instead, focus on legal ways to access deals through joining with others or seeking assistance. With smart shopping and community resources, seniors can achieve cost savings while avoiding card misuse risks. Let me know if you have any other questions!

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Does Amazon offer a senior discount on Prime membership?

What is Amazon Prime’s senior discount? Amazon Prime senior members get $8 off per year You will pay only $6.99 per monthly instead of $14.99/month

  • Can I use someone else’s Costco card?

Costco Membership Cards cannot be transferred, however there are many ways you can share your Costco experience with loved ones. A card holder can take up to 2 guests with them to the Warehouse at any one time. Costco members can only purchase items.

  • What is the difference between AAA Basic and Plus?

AAA Classic, our core product, sets the benchmark for excellence in roadside help and offers safety, security and peace-of-mind to its members. AAA Plus provides additional coverage for members who want it.

  • Is AARP 2021 worth it?

Is AARP worth it? It’s worth it for most 50-year-olds, provided you are comfortable with the lobbying effort and can handle the junk mail. The cost of membership can be covered by a single night at a hotel and a few dinners out each year.

  • Is my AARP membership tax deductible?

To make a secure and tax-deductible gift to AARP Foundation (AARP’s charity affiliate), please fill out this form. Your donation will help to ensure a better future for senior citizens.

  • Can you get a one time pass to Costco?

Costco does not offer a free membership or shopping pass. If you just want to browse the merchandise, however, you can always enter to take a look around.

  • Can you add a 3rd person to Costco membership?

Two people may be on the Gold Star Executive or regular membership: One Primary Member, one household member over 18, and both must live at the same address.

  • Does AARP or AAA give better discounts?

AAA has a wider range of discounts, and a stronger roadside assistance program and service program that AARP.

  • Which is better Costco or Sam’s Club?

Costco and Sam’s Club have key differences. Costco’s annual membership fee is $15 more than Sam’s Club’s. The top tier’s $20 per year are higher. Costco, on the other hand, stocks more organic products and private brands than Sam’s Club.

  • What does AARP do for seniors?

What is AARP? AARP, a non-profit organization that serves Americans who are nearing retirement age, is a great resource. Members get discounts on all things, from travel and healthcare to financial services and shopping. This group offers advice and guidance on career options, caregiving, and other important topics for people over 50.

  • How much is a Costco membership for seniors?

Costco doesn’t offer senior customers a discounted or free membership. Seniors must still pay the full cost. Costco’s annual membership fee is $60. This gives you the opportunity to upgrade to Gold Star status.

  • How many family members can be on a Costco card?

For anyone aged 18 or older and living in the same household, Affiliate and Primary Members get one Household Card. The Primary and Affiliate Members will need to show proof of their residence at the Household Cardholders. One membership is allowed per household/business.

  • Why is AAA insurance so expensive?

AAA’s insurance policy is not written by it, which makes them so costly. Because each regional AAA club is independent and can sell insurance policies sold by other agencies, rates may vary.

  • How do I get a $25 Costco coupon?

Costco members must sign up to receive the $25 Costco coupon. After signing up, an email will be sent to you with the link to your coupon. You can print it out at any Costco location.

  • What does AARP cost per year?

Joining or renewing AARP membership is free. The annual fee for renewal and joining is $16. Automatic Renewal costs $12 per year. You may also save by opting for a longer term membership. Instant access to thousands of discount codes and other services, as well as exclusive content for members.

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