So many folks can’t seem to live without their Costco or Sam’s Club memberships, and you may wonder why if you don’t already have one. There isn’t a Costco trial membership or Sam’s Club trial membership, but there are some other ways to snag the deals without forking over the $45-$100 membership fees.
Note: Approach these methods as a way to try these stores — not as a way to take advantage of them. If you feel their fees are worth the cost, consider purchasing a full membership.
1. Buy only the items you can purchase without having a Costco membership.
Some items at Costco stores are available for purchase by non-members. Just let the door attendant know you’re there to buy permitted non-member items and they’ll let you pass without showing a Costco membership card.
Items you can buy at Costco without a membership include alcohol, prescription medications, immunization services, hearing and vision care and Costco restaurant items.
2. Shop online at Costco.com instead of heading in-store.
When you shop online without a membership card, you’ll pay a 5% surcharge over cardholder prices for everything except prescription medications. But hey, you’ll avoid some crazy-long lines!
3. Use a Costco Cash Card to pay because you won’t get a Costco trial membership.
A Costco trial membership doesn’t actually exist, but there is the Costco Cash Card, which you can buy for as low as $10.00 in the store or $25.00 online.
You’ll need to get a member to purchase (or reload) Costco Cash Cards for you. You can then use these to pay for your items at checkout.
Bonus tip: You can also visit Costco with a cardholder to see what they offer, but the cardholder will be the only one permitted to make purchases at checkout.
Make sure to check out the Krazy Coupon Lady Costco deals page for the most up-to-date deals before you go.
4. Shop Costco without a membership using Instacart.
This is kind of like a Costco day pass. When you sign up for Instacart (a grocery delivery service) not only do you get your first delivery free, but you can also access Costco’s store inventory without a Costco membership card.
5. Watch daily deal sites — like Groupon — for Costco membership promo deals.
Periodically, Costco will offer special deals on memberships. One recent deal offered a $20 Costco Cash Card plus enough coupons to zero out the cost of the $55 annual membership!
We’ll even let you know when a sweet membership deal lands! Just head on over to our Groupon deals page.
1. Get a one-day Sam’s Club guest pass — but only for shopping Samsclub.com.
It totally makes sense that new customers might want to see for themselves what all the fuss is about before shelling out $45 or $100 for a Sam’s Club membership. You can register to shop by filling out an online form.
While you’re online you can check out the Krazy Coupon Lady Sam’s Club deal page to find the best way to use your Sam’s Club guest pass.
Note: You’ll still have to pay the 10% surcharge that non-Sam’s-Club members must pay in every state except California, South Carolina, and Elmsford, NY.
2. Become a complimentary Sam’s Club add-on member.
If someone in your household is a cardholder, they can add you to their account as a complimentary Sam’s Club add-on membership cardholder so you can shop at member prices online and in stores.
3. Buy a Sam’s Plus membership and earn cash back rewards up to $500 annually.
If you buy a Sam’s Club Plus membership ($100/year), you’ll qualify for free shipping with no minimum purchase. Plus you’ll earn $10 for every $500 spent on qualifying purchases (excluding alcohol, tobacco and certain other items) during the year.
Example: Say you spend $500 monthly in groceries and household items at Sam’s Club. So during the year, you’re accruing $10 every month. This gives you $120 in cash back, which is loaded right onto your club card. This can be used to pay for your renewal — plus you’ve just made an extra $20!
4. Buy only the items available for purchase by non-members.
Sam’s Club offers certain items and services to non-members as well as members — like alcohol, prescription medications, and certain services such as optical.
5. Shop at SamsClub.com without a membership.
Anyone can shop at SamsClub.com! When you shop online without a membership card, you’ll pay a 10% surcharge over cardholder prices.
6. Wait for a promotional “Open House” events — kind of like a Sam’s Club trial membership.
During the year, Sam’s Club designates certain dates as “open to non-members.” This is basically a Sam’s Club trial membership. They do this as a promotion to draw in new members. Sign up for the email list at your local Sam’s Club to be alerted about upcoming “Open House” events.
A final note:
Both Costco and Sam’s Club want their customers to be 100% satisfied with their memberships. If you’ve purchased a membership and nine months later find that you’ve hardly used it, these stores will refund you. For more information, please see Costco’s and Sam’s Club’s policies below:
Need more Sam’s Club and Costco Info? These links might help:
- Things You Can Do With a Costco Membership
- Costco Deals and Coupons
- Not-So-Obvious Ways to Save Money at Costco
- Groupon Deals and Coupons
- You Shouldn’t Have a Costco Membership Unless…
- Sam’s Club Deals and Coupons