FILE - The Costco Wholesale store in Severn, Maryland, on May 25, 2023. (Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images) Personal finance gurus and TikTok users are sharing a shopping hack that reportedly allows non-members of Costco Wholesale to make purchases without signing up and paying for an annual membership fee.The key to making non-member Costco purchases lies in getting access to a Costco Shop Card, which is a members-only item that functions the same way as a gift card.If someone receives a Costco Shop Card as a gift or can convince a Costco member to buy a Costco Shop Card on their behalf, the card provides entry and checkout at Costco Wholesale locations – whether you're a member or not.COSTCO ANSWERS WHETHER IT IS RAISING MEMBERSHIP FEE: 'QUESTION OF WHEN, NOT IF'Social media users have long documented their successful non-member purchases on platforms like Instagram and YouTube, but the hack appears to be trending on TikTok in recent months.If you're in the market for a giant wheel of Parmigiano Reggiano, look no further.
Video date: Aug. 28, 2019Current search query data on Google Trends – an online search volume tool – shows searches for Costco gift cards have peaked at different points from January to May on Google, and it has resulted in breakout searches for "can you shop at Costco with a gift card" and "Costco gift card trick."COSTCO'S FOOD COURTS ARE BRINGING BACK THIS FAN-FAVORITE HOT DOG TOPPINGOn May 10, Amin Shaykho, the Seattle-based founder and CEO of the tutoring website and app Kadama, shared the Costco gift card hack on his Instagram and TikTok accounts – where he uploads shopping and personal finance tips."Do not get a Costco membership until you know this secret," Shaykho said in his 11-second.