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Following Netflix’s example, Costco tightens regulations on membership card sharing



It just got harder to use someone else’s Costco card.

Following Netflix’s lead, the warehouse chain is cracking down on account sharing and said it will be checking membership cards to ensure the photo matches the person at the checkout line.

“We don’t feel it’s right that non members receive the same benefits and pricing as our members,” the company said in a statement.

Though Costco has always asked customers to show their membership cards at the register, the retailer said it’s seen more nonmembers shopping with other people’s cards as self-checkout expands. If membership cards do not have a photo, customers will be asked to present a photo ID.

“Costco is able to keep our prices as low as possible because our membership fees help offset our operational expenses, making our membership fee and structure important to us,” the company said.

It’s unclear how the company will curb member card sharing at its popular gas stations, where fuel is often priced below local competitors.

Costco’s profitability relies in large part on its annual membership fees, which run from $60 to $120, and pulled in $4.2 billion last year. The company operates at a lower margin than traditional retailers since its business model relies less on making money on the sale of products alone. Costco touted a global membership renewal rate of 90 percent at the end of 2022.

Famous for its gargantuan packages of toilet paper and supersized household staples, the members-only club offers bulk pricing and a no-frills retail experience. It experienced a

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