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This Surprising Secret About Your Costco Card Will Blow Your Mind

Did you know your membership can be useful for more than just getting groceries?
costco member card

Like most wholesale stores, you need a membership to shop at Costco. Whether you purchase the Gold Star, Gold Star Executive, Business, or Business Executive membership (all of which are priced between $60 and $120 per year), you'll get a card with your photo on the back that will let you into any Costco warehouse location to shop for groceries and other items. But, this card also has way more perks than that.

Not only does your Costco card let you buy foods in bulk and get steep discounts on things like water delivery, it can also help you out in situations where you need a photo ID.

Take, for instance, a recent account in which CultureMap Houston columnist Ken Hoffman was trying to board a flight from Midland, Texas to Houston when he realized his driver's license was nowhere to be found. "I started thinking, what are my options? I can't rent a car and drive back to Houston, they'd want my driver's license, too," he writes. "I could apply online for a replacement license, but the form required my driver's license number … like I know my driver's license number?"

That's when his Costco membership card saved the day. As Hoffman was frantically sifting through his wallet for any form of photo identification, a TSA agent said: "'Let me see that one.' It was my Costco card, with a tiny blurry photo of me on the back," Hoffman writes.

"He looked at the photo, told me to take off my Astros cap, and called over a couple of other TSA people, including the supervisor on duty. They looked at the Costco card, looked at me, looked at the Costco card again." Then, to Hoffman's astonishment, the supervisor gave the agent the clearance to let him board the flight.

Of course, this is not a recommended way to travel, and you should always plan to have some form of government-issued photo ID (like your driver's license or passport) with you in order to board a flight. But, if you're in a true bind, this secret trick may just come in handy.

After all, Hoffman isn't the first person to have made it through TSA using a Costco card. In fact, The Points Guy published an article in 2015 that included multiple accounts of people successfully using their Costco cards to board flights as well.

For more, check out 14 Best Ways to Save Money at Costco, Straight From Employees.

Cheyenne Buckingham
Cheyenne Buckingham is the news editor of Eat This, Not That!, specializing in food and drink coverage, and breaking down the science behind the latest health studies and information. Read more
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