Can You Get A Day Pass For Costco?

There are plenty of benefits to shopping at Costco, including being able to access savings on groceries, electronics, and gas, but not everybody can justify forking over $60 each year to be a member of the wholesale club. Still, there may come a time when you're hosting a big event and could benefit from picking up supplies from the big box store — or perhaps you're visiting from Wyoming, West Virginia, or Rhode Island (the only states without Costco locations) and want to see what all of the hype is about. Will the retailer issue you a day pass so you can shop for a single day?

Unfortunately, Costco does not offer one-day shopping passes for free or even at a small cost. However, nonmembers can still buy prescriptions at the grocer's pharmacy without having to flash one of those fancy plastic cards — though you do need to be a member to take advantage of the Costco Member Prescription Program's discounts. Similarly, you do not need to be a member to see one of Costco's in-house optometrists, but you cannot order glasses or contacts from the optical department without a membership.

Additionally, 14 states allow non-members to purchase alcohol at Costco (due to local laws prohibiting membership requirements for the product category), but what if you want to buy some of the grocer's other bulk-sized goods? As it turns out, there are a few ways to do this without paying a membership fee yourself.

How to shop at Costco without a membership

While Costco does not offer passes that allow non-members single-day access to its warehouses, its website is open for members and non-members alike to shop, 24 hours a day – though non-members won't be able to partake in cardholder savings, and they will need to pay a 5% surcharge. Of course, shopping online at Costco isn't the same as visiting the big box retailer in person, but if you have a family member or friend who belongs to the wholesale club, then you may still be able to make your way in.

Members are allowed to take up to two guests with them to Costco. Therefore, you can try to tag along with a card-carrying buddy the next time they head to the grocer. This method will allow you to take advantage of those all-you-can-eat free samples and the chain's beloved food court, though you won't be able to make any purchases yourself. On the other hand, if you're given a Costco shop card – aka a gift card — you can enter warehouses and make purchases on your own.

That's probably the easiest way to shop at Costco without a membership, as you won't have to try to schedule a shopping date with a member. However, some shoppers have claimed on websites like Reddit that you'll need to enlist the help of a supervisor upon checkout to override the need for a membership number at the register.