Uber Eats Lets You Avoid The Costco Membership Crackdown

Even if they aren't willing to pay Costco's membership fees, most folks would happily take advantage of the retailer's sweet deals, given the opportunity. There was a time when the easiest way to get around Costco's rules seemed to be recruiting one of your membership-having friends so they could purchase a Costco gift card for you. Thanks to Uber's alliance with the chain, now all you need is an Uber Eats account.

With some exceptions, Costco's impressive inventory (including groceries, cleaning supplies, and skincare products) is available for purchase through Uber Eats, whether you hold a membership card or not. The announcement – made by Uber at the annual Go-Get: Better Together event on May 15 – strengthens the delivery company's ties with the warehouse club. This partnership began in 2021 when Costco and Uber Eats started testing out grocery delivery from 25 stores throughout Texas. Now, the luxury of getting Costco delivered to your door is extending to more locations across the U.S., though the exact number remains undisclosed.

Because Costco is a membership club, the privilege of browsing its exclusive selection typically comes at the price of $60 a year (or $120 if you want additional discounts and perks). Since those ordering via the Uber Eats app ultimately bypass this usually-strict rule, the companies threw in some extra savings for Costco members. In addition to saving 15% to 20% more than non-members on purchases through the app — as Uber informed Axios – members will also receive 20% off of their Uber Annual One fees.

Costco was serious about cracking down - now, less so

Before Costco started cracking down on memberships, it wasn't difficult to "share" a card the same way we used to be able to pass around our Netflix passwords. Folks could easily flash a friend's membership card upon entering the store with no further incident. In 2023, however, Costco tightened the reins on its policy — in some instances, even asking customers to present a photo ID during checkout.

"We don't feel it's right that non-members receive the same benefits and pricing as our members," Costco said in a statement to USA Today at the time. "Costco is able to keep our prices as low as possible because our membership fees help offset our operational expenses," the statement continued. Although more non-members will now be able to shop at the retail chain online, only members still get access to the physical warehouses as well as the food court and its beloved hot dog.