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Sam’s Club Membership: Everything You Need to Know

As a rule of thumb, you pay less when you buy in bulk. However, when it comes to shopping at warehouse stores like Costco and Sam’s Club, deciding whether to invest in a paid membership might leave you wondering if you’re getting a better deal than your average grocery store.

Sam’s Club offers two memberships, Club and Plus, costing $45 and $100 per year, respectively. While the Club membership provides exclusive savings on Sam’s Club products, the Plus membership offers optical benefits, discount prescriptions, and annual cashback to help members save on essentials.

Let’s take a look at the different types of Sam’s Club memberships, their benefits, and whether investing in a Sam’s Club membership is worth the annual fee.

 ClubPlus
Annual 2% cashback on eligible purchasesNoYes
Free shipping on qualifying purchasesNoYes
Early shoppingNoYes
Discounted prescriptionsNoYes
Optical benefitsNoYes
Member-exclusive savingsYesYes
Sam’s Club Mastercard1% cashback3% cashback
Member-exclusive fuel pricesYesYes
Free tire and battery center servicesYesYes
Complimentary household membershipYesYes
Discounted add-on memberships ($40/year)YesYes
 $45 annual fee$100 annual fee

What Are the Types of Sam’s Club Membership?

Sam’s Club offers two different types of memberships: Club and Plus. With the Club membership, members can enjoy member-exclusive benefits such as 1% cashback through the Sam’s Club Mastercard and discounted add-on memberships. At $100 per year, the Plus membership offers a broader range of benefits.

At $45 per year, Sam’s Club basic Club membership comes with the following benefits:

  • Instant savings in addition to members-only low prices
  • 1% cashback on Sam’s Club purchases, 5% cash back on gas, 3% cashback on dining, and 1% cash back on other purchases with the Sam’s Club Mastercard
  • Member-exclusive fuel prices at select locations
  • Free flat tire repair, battery testing, and wiper blade installation services through the Sam’s Club tire and battery center
  • Complimentary membership for a household member
  • Discounted add-on memberships at $40/year

In addition to the benefits mentioned above, Sam’s Club premium Plus membership also offers the following benefits for $55 more per year:

  • 2% cashback on eligible Sam’s Club purchases (up to $500/year)
  • Free shipping on qualifying Sam’s Club orders
  • Exclusive early shopping hours for Plus members
  • Free select prescriptions and discounted prescription prices
  • 20% off a pair of eyeglasses and free shipping on contact lenses

Sam’s Club Plus members also earn more cashback than Club members through the Sam’s Club Mastercard, with 3% cashback on Sam’s Club purchases.

Can You Share a Sam’s Club Card?

Unfortunately, you cannot share a Sam’s Club card with others. According to the Sam’s Club website, the only person who can use a membership card is the member on record due to security reasons. Business and household add-on members also cannot share their membership cards with others.

In other words, if you sign up for a Club or Plus membership, you’re the only person who can use your membership card. However, both memberships also come with a card for one additional member of your household.

After receiving your complimentary household membership, you’ll be able to register a member of your household under the card.

Like regular Sam’s Club members, those with complimentary memberships also cannot share their cards with others.

If you want to purchase additional memberships, you can add up to eight people to your Sam’s Club account under the Club membership for $40 each annually.

Meanwhile, you can add up to 16 other people to your account for $40 each annually if you purchase a Plus membership.

When purchasing discounted memberships under a Plus membership, it’s important to keep in mind that additional members will only have a Club membership.

Does Sam’s Club Membership Automatically Renew?

Whether you sign up for a membership at your local store or online, your Sam’s Club membership will automatically be enrolled in Auto-Renew. Meanwhile, current members who are renewing or upgrading their membership will be prompted to enroll in Auto-Renew.

Sam’s Club Auto-Renew enables members to automatically renew their membership using a saved credit or debit card from their online account.

When you enroll in Auto-Renew, Sam’s Club will send an email reminder two weeks before your membership renewal date to inform you of the upcoming payment.

To change your account settings, follow these steps:

  1. Sign in to your online Sam’s Club account.
  2. Choose “Account Information,” then navigate to “Auto-Renew Settings” under the membership header.

To enroll in Auto-Renew, set a default payment method by selecting “Add default payment method.” Alternatively, to discontinue Auto-Renew, uncheck the box next to “Auto-Renew.”

Can You Shop at Sam’s Club Without a Membership?

You can shop at Sam’s Club without a membership by signing up for a guest pass. Although the Sam’s Club guest pass allows non-members to shop at Sam’s Club, it comes with a 10% service fee. Certain locations, including California and South Carolina, are exempt from this service fee.

If you’re a non-member, you can also shop online at samsclub.com. However, you’ll still have to pay a 10% service fee to place online orders through Sam’s Club online store.

If you’re only shopping for groceries, you can order Sam’s Club—with or without a membership—through Instacart.

Although Instacart charges delivery and service fees, placing a grocery order through Instacart can save you a trip to your local Sam’s Club with same-day delivery.

To avoid Instacart fees and Sam’s Club service fees, consider waiting for an open house event.

Sam’s Club hosts several open houses each year, enabling non-members to shop the warehouse for a day to explore Sam’s Club prices and offerings before investing in a membership.

Can You Get a Refund on Sam’s Club Membership?

If you don’t feel satisfied with your Sam’s Club membership, you can cancel your membership and receive a refund at any point under Sam’s Club 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. To cancel your Sam’s Club membership, you’ll either need to visit your local Sam’s Club or call the customer service line.

For immediate cancellation, visit the membership desk at your local club to ask for a refund. Alternatively, you can call 1(800) 746-7725 to cancel your membership and receive a refund via eGift Card.

According to the Terms and Conditions, Sam’s Club will provide a refund of the amount paid for your current annual membership fee.

Does Walmart Own Sam’s Club?

As a division of Walmart, Sam’s Club is a membership-based warehouse. Like Costco, Sam’s Club features a limited-item business model which offers high-quality products at wholesale prices. Sam’s Club store brand, Member’s Mark, offers comparable prices to Walmart’s brand, Great Value.

For example, at the time of this writing, Walmart sells a two-pack of 30 oz. Great Value Real Mayonnaise for $4.08, while Sam’s Club sells one gallon of Member’s Mark Mayonnaise for just $9.32, with both products coming to $0.07/oz.

When it comes to household essentials, Walmart typically offers more affordable prices than Sam’s Club. While an 18-pack of Great Value Toilet Paper costs $12.97, an 18-pack of Member’s Mark Toilet Paper costs $18.98.

Unlike Walmart, Sam’s Club does not accept manufacturer or competitor coupons, making some products more expensive than Walmart.

Additionally, Walmart tends to offer more buy-one-get-one-free (BOGO) sales and other discounts compared to Sam’s Club.

Is Sam’s Club Membership Worth It?

If you shop at Sam’s Club frequently, a Sam’s Club membership can help you save money and take advantage of member-exclusive benefits like discounted prescriptions and optical services. However, if you rarely shop at Sam’s Club, the 10% service fee may total less than the cost of a basic membership.

Ultimately, if you mainly shop at Sam’s Club for groceries, prescriptions, and household essentials, investing in membership can help you cut costs on essentials, especially if you choose to open a Sam’s Club Mastercard.

According to the New York Times, if you spend more than $550 at Sam’s Club each year, you’ll end up saving more money with an annual Club membership.

Conclusion

If you’re still unsure whether a Sam’s Club membership is right for you, don’t worry. Sam’s Club offers a 90-day membership free trial, which means interested customers can try out the membership without any risk.

If you decide you’re not satisfied with your trial, you can cancel before your trial ends without being charged for a full membership.

If you’re interested in finding out more grocery shopping tips, check out the related articles below.

Related Articles:

Sam’s Club Delivery: How to Order and Get Membership Perks on Instacart

Member’s Mark: Deconstructing Sam’s Club Store Brand

Does Sam’s Club Take EBT? (Yes, but Not Online)

Sam’s Club Pickup: How It Works and Tips to Get Started

What Is Walmart Plus and Is It Worth Signing up for Groceries?

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About the Author

Samantha Ellsworth  is a writer on the Shopfood.com team. She is a content writer and copy editor with over 7 years of experience. She worked as a bakery team member at Whole Foods for 3 years. Outside of work, you can find her hiking the trails in Colorado or trying out healthy new recipes.

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