Why I Rejoined My Sam's Club After 15 Years (2024)

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Patty Catalano

Patty Catalano

Patty is a recipe developer and food writer. She worked Alton Brown’s Research Coordinator and podcast producer and in the Oxmoor House test kitchen. She loves maple syrup, coffee and board games. Patty lives in Atlanta with her husband and two children.

published Jan 16, 2024





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In This Article

  1. Sam’s Club Membership Cost
  2. Earning Cash Back with a Sam’s Club Membership
  3. Why a Sam’s Club Membership Is Worth It
  4. Why You Might Pass on a Sam’s Club Membership
  5. How to Shop Without a Membership





At times shopping at the neighborhood grocery store just doesn’t suffice, and only a stop at a warehouse club will do the trick. Choosing between Sam’s Club, Costco, and BJ’s Wholesale Club for your bulk buying involves careful consideration of location, available products, and membership fees.

After over a decade of membership at Costco, I rejoined Sam’s Club last year after a 15-year hiatus and have been exploring the array of benefits the club offers. Here’s a breakdown of how much it costs to join Sam’s Club and many of the benefits that members are eligible for.

How Much Does a Sam’s Club Membership Cost?

  • Club membership: This basic level of membership costs $50 per year for you and a second member of your household, and comes with a limited number of perks, including access to the tire and battery center and eligibility for the Sam’s Club Mastercard.
  • Plus membership: This premium membership level costs $110 per year for you and another member of your household, and comes with the full range of membership benefits, including extra warehouse shopping hours, potential to earn Sam’s Cash, and free shipping on most items.
  • Add-on memberships: Members may add additional members to their account for just $45. Club members can add up to eight people, while Plus members can add up to 16.
  • Membership discounts: Teachers, military members, medical professionals, students, seniors, and government employees may be eligible for up to a 60% discount on new memberships. Sam’s Club periodically offers membership discounts.I paid just $25 for my club membership after searching for “Sam’s Club membership deals” online.
Sam's Club Membership$50Sam's Club

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How to Earn Cash Back with a Sam’s Club Membership

Sam’s Club offers a loyalty rewards program called “Sam’s Cash” to Plus members and members who have a Sam’s Club Mastercard. Here’s how it works.

  • 2% Sam’s Cash earned on purchase price of qualifying items (more on that below).
  • A maximum of $500 Sam’s Cash can be earned per membership year.
  • Sam’s Club members can use their Sam’s Club Mastercard to earn up to $5,000 in Sam’s Cash each calendar year.

Here are a few of the highlights found nestled within the fine print of the Sam’s Cash program.

  • Purchases must be made in the club or with Curbside Pickup. Purchases made on SamsClub.com do not qualify.
  • The primary and second complimentary household cardholder can earn Sam’s Cash, while purchases made by add-on members do not qualify.
  • If items are returned, the Sam’s Cash earned on that purchase is deducted from the member’s accrued Sam’s Cash.
  • If purchases made inside the club with Sam’s Cash are returned, that value is refunded in a gift card or cash.
  • Purchases of alcohol, tobacco, fuel, milk, gift cards, and other items do not earn Sam’s Cash.
  • Sam’s Cash doesn’t expire, but you have to have an active membership to redeem.

What Makes a Sam’s Club Membership Worth It?

A membership to any warehouse club goes beyond the big packages of toilet paper. There are perks throughout the store and online. Here are some that make a Sam’s Club membership totally worth the price of admission.

  • Gas: If you’re considering a Sam’s Club membership, there’s a good chance that you’ll use a car to transport your haul back home. Before you leave the lot, make sure to fill up on gas. The savings at the pump can add up for both Club and Plus members.
  • Online shopping experience: Prices on Sam’s Club’s website and in-store are the same. That makes comparison shopping and sticking to a budget so much easier (especially if you prefer the convenience of ordering online).
  • Curbside pickup: The Sam’s Club app and website make it easy to place your order and pick up without ever having to set foot inside. This service is free for Plus members and costs just $4 per order for Club members.
  • Scan & go: This brilliant bit of technology lets you scan items in the Sam’s Club app as you shop and pay without stopping by a register. Not only that, but there are also even bigger discounts marked throughout the store that you can claim only if you’re using Scan & Go.
  • Bulk buy name brands: One major difference between Costco and Sam’s Club was the latter’s focus on stocking more national name brands. This was most evident to me in the snacks and drinks sections of the warehouse, so it’s worth looking for the legacy brands that you’ve relied on for years.

What If You Live in a Smaller Household?

Smaller households have to think twice about whether buying in bulk is a useful money- and/or time-saving strategy for them. I hold the opinion that warehouse shopping can work for every home, no matter the size. Here are some strategies that smaller households can use to make shopping at Sam’s Club worth it.

  • Bulk buying = fewer trips to the store. If you rely on the warehouse store for your staple ingredients like proteins, frozen foods, and pantry ingredients, you’ll only have to replenish fresh fruits and vegetables as needed. This translates to fewer trips to the grocery store and more options on hand for meal preparation.
  • Take advantage of perks. Even if you shop at Sam’s Club just a few times a year, the money you save can make a membership worth it if you take advantage of all the included benefits. Discounts on flat tire repairs, fuel center savings, deals on some prescriptions and eye glasses, plus the lower prices Sam’s Club can offer on appliances and entertainment equipment.

Reasons You Might Pass on a Sam’s Club Membership

A Sam’s Club membership isn’t for everyone. You might want to skip a membership to this warehouse if the location is inconvenient or you don’t have extra pantry or freezer storage space. If your family’s budget needs to remain consistent week-to-week, a bulk shopping trip may leave your accounts too low for other bills.

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

Non-members can shop SamsClub.com without a membership by creating a guest membership online during the checkout process. A 10% surcharge will apply. Members can bring up to two guests to Sam’s Club per visit, but only the member may purchase items.

The optical center, pharmacy, and food court are open to the public and do not require a Sam’s Club membership.

Are you a Sam’s Club member? Tell us about it in the comments.

Filed in:

Grocery Shopping

Why I Rejoined My Sam's Club After 15 Years (2024)


How much does it cost to rejoin Sam's Club? ›

Renewal rates are the same as your join rate, $110 for Plus and $50 for a Club Membership. Sign in to your SamsClub.com account to check renewal date or renew online. Pay your membership fees with accrued Sam's Cash, cards on file or you can add a new card for the renewal.

Can you renew an old Sam's Club membership? ›

Renew or upgrade your membership online, at any Sam's Club or by contacting us.

Why did my Sam's Club membership get revoked? ›

Writing bad checks. Shoplifting. Violent behavior. Abusive, disrespectful or threatening behavior toward an Associate.

How do I go back to my regular Sam's membership? ›

If you wish to downgrade your Sam's Club Membership, you have a couple options:
  1. Option 1: Visit the Member Services Desk at any club to downgrade from a Plus to a Club membership.
  2. Option 2: Call 1 (888) 746-7726 and say "downgrade my membership" when prompted to be transferred to the correct team.

How much is the Sam's Club membership deal for 2024? ›

Until May 31, 2024, first-time members can get 50% off an annual Sam's Club membership. That means if you're looking for incredible savings, you won't want to miss this chance to join Sam's Club for just $25 for an entire year.

Is the $25 Sam's Club membership legit? ›

Sam's Club 1-Year Membership: $25

The membership will expire one year from the activation date, and will automatically renew at the full price of $50 per year after that unless you cancel it. To cancel, you can visit SamsClub.com or a club or call 1-888-746-7726.

Does Sam's Club ever give a renewal discount? ›

*You will automatically receive $5 in Sam's Cash when you renew as a Club member or $10 in Sam's Cash if you renew as a Plus member. Primary members are also eligible to receive $5 in Sam's Cash for each Add-On member that is renewed.

How much is Sam's Club $8.00 membership fee? ›

Sam's Club announced it is offering annual memberships for $8 for a limited time only from June 17 to June 26. A normal membership costs $45 per year, according to the Sam's Club website. Those who are interested in the deal can go to one of the club locations and mention the "4th of July offer" at the membership desk.

Can I have two Sam's memberships? ›

$50 for an annual membership that includes one card for the primary account holder and a free, complimentary card for another member of your household. Add on up to 8 additional members at a reduced rate of $45 each, each including a complimentary. An Add-on can also create their own membership.

Is the 14.99 Sam's Club membership real? ›

The Sam's Club $14.99 promotion is hosted by StackCommerce and offers new members a substantial discount on a 1-year membership, which normally retails for $45. Also included is a free $10 Sam's Club eGift card, a limited-time bonus.

What is better, Costco or Sam's Club? ›

Costco has more stores across the globe, is expanding rapidly, and generally offers cheaper prices than Sam's Club does, although the latter charges slightly less for membership, has a bigger presence in the U.S., and stocks more name brands.

How to end Sam's Club membership? ›

If you want to cancel your Sam's Club Membership and receive a refund, you have a couple options:
  1. For immediate cancellation and refund, please visit the Member Service Desk at any club.
  2. You can also call 1(888) 746-7726 to cancel Membership.

How do I know if my Sam's Club membership is still active? ›

Sam's Club will send a renewal notice via direct mail to the address on file for the Primary Cardholder of your Membership. Notices are sent out 45 days in advance of the month that your Membership is due to be renewed. Renewal notices for a Business Membership are also sent to the primary's mailing address.

Can I use a Friends Sam's Club card? ›

For security purposes, ONLY YOU the member on record, may use your membership card. Household and add-on members have their own membership card and unique number variation.

Can I use my mom's Sam's Club card without her? ›

Yes, as a primary member of Sam's Club, you can allow certain family members to use your card even if you are not present.

Can you return Sam's Club membership? ›

If at any time you're unsatisfied with your membership, let us know and we will cancel your membership and provide a refund of the amount paid for your current year membership fee. There's a limit of one Plus membership refund per member or business per year.

Can I get the $8 Sam's Club membership online? ›

It's only available to new memberships and it's not available online. To get the deal, you have to visit a Sam's Club in person.

How much do you get back at Sam's Club? ›

3% back on Sam's Club purchases for Plus members. Club members earn 1%** 3% back on dining and takeout** 1% back on other purchases**

How hard is it to cancel a Sam's Club membership? ›

If you want to cancel your Sam's Club Membership and receive a refund, you have a couple options: For immediate cancellation and refund, please visit the Member Service Desk at any club. You can also call 1(888) 746-7726 to cancel Membership.


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