Costco shopper with cart with caption 'banned' (l) Costco shopper holding card in store (c) Costco shopper adding toppings to hot dog with caption 'mom' (r)

Andy.LIU/Shutterstock @profitplug/TikTok (Licensed) Remix by Caterina Cox

‘As soon as she scanned the card, employees rushed her’: Shopper says his mom was banned from Costco after using dad’s membership card

'Not Costco acting like Netflix.'


Eric Webb


Posted on Jul 12, 2023

Costco customers may have noticed that the warehouse retailer is cracking down on people using someone else’s membership card. One TikTok creator’s mom learned this the hard way.

Last month, personal finance content creator Angelo Castillo (@profitplug) went viral for his speculation about why Costco might be cracking down on membership sharing. On Tuesday, he posted a new video captioned, “My Mom Got Banned From Costco.” The video has over 1 million views and almost 63,000 likes.


My Mom Got Banned From Costco 🤦🏽‍♂️

♬ Quirky – Oleg Kirilkov

In the video, Castillo said that his mother tried to buy groceries at Costco’s self-checkout area using her husband’s membership card. “As soon as she scanned the card, employees rushed her and started asking for her ID and membership,” he said.

After confirming that the membership card didn’t belong to her, the staff told Castillo’s mom that she couldn’t return to that store, the TikToker claimed. 

Castillo also said that Gold Star members at Costco can have two people on their account, but he took his dad’s second slot on the family card when he went off to college. He said his mom was able to get away with Costco trips for a while, “but they are becoming more strict.”

“The jig is up,” Castillo said.

He added that, depending on their state, viewers without a membership may still be able to shop at Costco if they’re using a Costco gift card or just buying alcohol.

In the comments section, viewers shared their thoughts on Costco’s strict enforcement of its no-sharing policy.

“Not Costco acting like Netflix,” one commenter wrote, referencing the streaming service’s controversial password-sharing restriction.

“Not allowing you to share the card with ppl living at the same address is crazy,” a second said.

“They honestly just need to add authorized users for like an extra $20 or something smh,” someone else suggested.

“They’re doing too much I went with my mom&I was buying her groceries she has a Membership I don’t they wouldn’t let me pay for her groceries,” another person commented.

Some commenters didn’t understand the outrage, like one who wrote, “Costco has always had this policy though. Im confused why people are saying they are like Netflix when they have never allowed membership sharing.”

Others added insight to the information Castillo provided in his video.

“Costco usually gives you a few warnings before completely banning you or taking away the membership,” one person wrote.

“My aunt is a supervisor at Costco and she just told us that the gift card thing is going to be ending soon too,” another shared.

Many commenters said Costco’s competitor, Sam’s Club, is the way to go.

“Sams club is cheaper, has variety, has scan and go and they don’t care who uses your membership,” one viewer wrote.

Last month, CNN reported that the membership crackdown is a response to the expanded use of self-checkout lanes at Costco stores. Customers scanning their groceries must show their member card and a photo ID.

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

In an email to the Daily Dot, Castillo said, “I was inspired to share the story because of how ridiculous it sounded when my mom told me she got banned from Costco. I never thought she would get banned from anything so it caught me by surprise.”

Though he found the situation “ridiculous,” Castillo said he’s not upset about Costco enforcing their long-standing policy.

“We were always trying to ‘bend the rules’ and save money by sharing the membership, so we are technically in the wrong,” he told the Daily Dot.

One TikTok viewer suggested that Castillo should pay for his own membership and restore his mom to the original family membership. “I showed that to my mom and we both died laughing,” Castillo said.

“She said, ‘Girl, If I wanted to make him buy his own, I would’ve done it years ago. The goal was not to spend money we didn’t need to.'”

Castillo reiterated that he has no hard feelings for Costco since he understands that the retailer makes money from its membership model. Plus, “there are so many ways to get around it, like just going with a friend and paying them back or by using a shop card,” he said.

The Daily Dot contacted Costco via email for further information.

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*First Published: Jul 12, 2023, 4:52 pm CDT