Costco is a wonderful place to purchase groceries and other home goods at bargain prices.
Yet did you know that they’re one of the most restrictive companies when it comes to payment methods?
Therefore, you may be wondering – does Costco take PayPal and if so, how do you use it?
In this article, we’ll cover everything that you need to know!
Does Costco Accept PayPal?
Unfortunately, Costco does not accept PayPal – neither in-store, nor online on Costco.com.
While there are workarounds that we’ll discuss in a moment, we should first understand why Costco is so restrictive.
At this time, Costco has an agreement in place with Visa that only allows them to accept Visa credit cards. That’s right – not only can you not use PayPal, but you can’t even use Mastercard credit cards either!
Blocking an entire company’s credit cards isn’t really that common, especially a company as large as Mastercard.
That being said, it is what it is, and it unfortunately means that PayPal isn’t accepted either.
Of course, there are a few workarounds that let you use PayPal indirectly – and may even save you additional money too!
How To Use PayPal To Shop At Costco
Although you can’t pay for PayPal at the register directly, there are a few workarounds.
The first is to purchase Costco gift cards online, which can be used both in-store and on Costco’s eCommerce website, Costco.com.
Note that although you can buy gift cards on Costco’s website, you cannot use PayPal to purchase these. While they occasionally pop up on other websites that accept PayPal, they tend to sell out quickly. So, finding a Costco gift card on other websites can be rare.
This leaves us with the other workaround, which is to use a Visa-based PayPal credit / debit card.
Note that most PayPal cards – such as the PayPal cash card, are Mastercard based. Unfortunately, these won’t work.
While PayPal currently offers a Visa card in Australia, they seem to have less offers for them in the United States.
It may be worth inquiring with PayPal to find out whether or not you are eligible for a Visa-based PayPal card.
Can You Pay For A Costco Membership Using PayPal?
Unfortunately, the answer is no.
This is because at this time, the only way to purchase a Costco membership is to either visit your local Costco store, or apply for a membership online on Costco.com.
In either case, Costco still utilizes the same policies, and does not accept PayPal as a payment option without using one of the workarounds mentioned above.
That being said, there is one thing to keep in mind.
If you have a Costco gift card, you do not need a membership to shop at their store. In fact, all you have to do is show your gift card just like you would a membership card, and you’ll be allowed in!
So, if you’re utilizing the gift card workaround to shop anyway, you can avoid purchasing a membership altogether.
Alternatively, Costco shoppers are allowed to bring others in with them, so if you have a friend with a Costco membership ask if you can tag along for their next shopping trip.
Does Costco Canada Take PayPal?
Since Costco stores in Canada are not bound by the same partnership that Costco has with Visa, you may be wondering – can you use PayPal in Costco’s Canadian stores?
Unfortunately, the answer is still no.
This is because Costco has a partnership with Mastercard in Canada, so it’s almost the opposite of the United States.
In the U.S, only Visa credit cards are accepted. In Canada however, only Mastercard credit cards are accepted, in addition to the other payment methods we’ll discuss in a moment.
If you are shopping in Canada however, the same workarounds discussed above still apply. So, you can use these to pay with PayPal, albeit indirectly.
What Other Payment Methods Does Costco Accept?
Although the agreements Costco has in place with various credit card companies do limit your options, Costco does still accept a number of different payment methods.
Some of these include:
- Checks (both personal checks and business checks)
- Visa credit cards (except in Canada)
- Mastercard credit cards (except in the United States)
- Discover cards (Online only)
- Traveler’s checks
- EBT / SNAP
- Most pin-based debit cards
- Apple Pay
- Google Pay
- Samsung Pay
- Costco Shop cards
Note that business checks are only accepted from Costco Business members.
Unfortunately, Costco does not accept PayPal, neither online nor in their warehouses.
Using workarounds however, you can pay indirectly – and in the case of a gift card, you do not even need a Costco membership to shop!
I hope that you’ve found this article helpful. If you have any other questions about shopping at Costco, please ask them using the comment form below.
Wishing you the best,
– James McAllister