How To Save Money On Gas At Costco Without A Membership

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How To Get Gas At Costco Without A Membership

One of the many perks of Costco membership is access to cheap gas at their gas stations.  If you have ever been to a Costco gas station then you know people come from all over to save at the pump.  It is not surprising to see 10-20 cars lined up, and for good reason.  Costco often has the cheapest gas prices in the country, saving customers 20 cents or more per gallon versus the competition. The catch is you have to be a Costco member to partake in the discount, or do you?  There is a way to get gas at Costco without a membership!

RELATED: The Best Cards For Saving Money At The Pump

Details

If you remember a few years ago I shared a way to shop at a Costco store without a membership.  The theory on how to get gas at Costco without a membership has the same principles. The key is using a Costco cash card (their gift card).

Normally members have to swipe their Costco membership card before swiping their Visa credit card, like the Costco Anywhere Visa that earns 4% back on gas, but not if you have a Costco cash card.

Here are the terms from Costco’s site:

Q: Can anyone buy fuel at a Costco Gas Station?

A: The fuel station is open to Costco members only. There is an exception: Costco Shop Card customers do not need to be Costco members.

How Can You Get Costco Cash Cards?

So now we know how to get gas at Costco without a membership how do we get our hands on Costco cash cards to make it happen?  They are sold on 3rd party reselling sites like Raise and Cardcash from time to time but they are sold out right now.  People will also list them on Amazon and eBay but the markup usually outweighs the savings you would get.

So that leaves getting them directly from the source, Costco.  The easiest way is to get with a friend who is a member and get them to buy some for you.  If your membership is expiring soon and the gas prices are the only thing you will miss then load up on some cards before canceling your membership. Unfortunately, Costco does not offer free trial days like some other warehouse stores do which would otherwise be an option.

Final Thoughts

Saving money at the pump is one of the better perks of having a Costco membership.  If that is the only perk you see in a Costco membership then it probably isn’t worth paying the $60 yearly fee.  But now we know that there is a way to get gas at Costco without a membership. All it takes is a little planning, or networking, and you can save at the pump without paying for the full membership.

Most people find enough value from their membership to pay the $60 fee each year.  But it is nice to know there are other options just in case the membership isn’t quite for you.

Mark Ostermann
Mark Ostermann is a father, husband and miles/points fanatic. He left the corporate world after starting a family in order to be a stay at home dad. Mark is constantly looking at ways to save money and stay within budget while also taking awesome vacations with his family. When he isn't caring for his family or taking a weekend trip, Mark is working towards his goal of visiting every Major League Baseball ballpark.

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14 COMMENTS

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14 COMMENTS

  1. If you’re retired and you place near 0 value on your time then Costco gas is a good deal…..but is it really worth the extra 15 minutes of your discretionary time to save $3 (avg fillup 15 gallons x $0.20 gal savings)? Hell no it’s not for those of us who value their time!!!!

  2. Going to be honest, I’m not a fan of promoting this. Costco doesn’t make much money from non-membership sales. It’s just not their business model. By gaming the system here you’re effectively being subsidized by those who pay their membership fee.

    • I guess you could look at everything that way. Credit card rewards are subsidized by people that don’t use them properly or carry debt etc. an argument can be made for most everything we do really imo.

      It is good to know in case anyone gets stuck with a gift card etc. I do think most people get more than enough from the membership cost though.

      • Respectfully disagree. The analogy of SUB being subsidized by banks with predatory tactics, combined with mostly financially irresponsible people, isn’t analogous to a membership-based profit model in which margins go from loss leader to paper thin at best. Costco looks to pass virtually all price savings to you, the consumer, in exchange for your yearly membership fee. Banks and irresponsible card holders are just not comparable, both from a numbers or ethical point of view.

        People paying membership costs to save money for themselves and their family shouldn’t have to subsidize the cost of non-members using a cash card in lieu of a membership in order to get benefits intended for members only.

    • I understand your point that this is a low-margin business model for them. That said, if there’s any profit, how on earth is it subsidized by other members? Subsidized profit?

  3. I don’t know about the gas pumps, but inside the Costco around 75% of the time they made it a huge hassle to use the cash card without membership. First the cashier looks at you like your crazy and says, you can’t purchase without membership, then they call a supervisor who says you can’t purchase without membership, and then when i showed them it says on the sleeve of the gift card you don’t need membership to use it, they call over another supervisor who gives you a dirty look and lets the transaction go through. The whole thing was humiliating, making everyone in the big line behind me wait. and this happened numerous times at more than one costco. Finally, i said it isn’t worth it.

  4. I am a Costco Gold Member (well worth it- highly recommend) but it is a law in NJ than anyone can get gas at Costco (and I believe any other price clubs) without a membership.

  5. So better to find a way to game the system instead of just paying around $60 a year which gets you full access! I have Costco and BJs memberships to keep my options open.

    The lengths people go to get a “deal” without paying for it! SMH! God I will be glad when travel blogs are actually about travel again instead of gaming credit cards or whining about the US situation that we can’t fly to Europe!

    • I agree – I go the Kroger fuel points route myself. Buy gift cards that I’ll use or resell and get $1 off per gallon without waiting 🙂

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