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December 7, 2018

Sams Club Credit Card Review

Editorial Note: This content is not provided by the card issuer. Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of the issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the issuer.

You probably know Sam's Club for its savings on groceries and other household items. Buying in bulk may help you save on your monthly expenses. But did you know that Sam's Club offers a MasterCard that offers better benefits when you use it outside of the club? You have to be a Sam's Club member to get the credit card, but it may pay for itself in the first year.

Sam's Club
Sam's Club © Mike Mozart (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr

Keep reading to see if the Sam's Club MasterCard may be a good choice for you.

Who Should Get the Sam's Club Credit Card?

  • Those who don't have a gas rewards credit card. If you pay for gas, this credit card can be rewarding. You can get your gas at many gas stations, not just Sam's Club gas stations, and earn 5% back of the first $6,000 you spend in gas each year. After that point, it goes down to 1%. Note: This doesn't apply to gas purchases at other wholesale clubs and some supermarkets.

  • Those who like to eat out. If you don't have a dining rewards card that you use for airline miles, you may want to consider the Sam's Club MasterCard. You can earn 3% of your dining expenses back in cash. Note: This doesn't apply to purchases made in the Sam's Club cafĂ©, though. Sam's club purchases are excluded.

  • Those who like to travel. Sam's Club doesn't have a travel department any longer, but you can earn 3% cashback on travel expenses spent elsewhere. Note: This excludes any travel expenses made at Sam's Club, including gift cards you may purchase for traveling.

If you spend $1,000 on gas alone or $1,500 on dining out alone, you'd break even with the cost of the Sam's Club membership. Anything you spend beyond that cost would be money in your pocket. Of course, if you are already a Sam's Club member, the credit card could just be an added bonus for your patronage.

The Sam's Club Store Credit Card Is Different
Sam's Club also offers a store-branded credit card, but it's only good at Sam's Club and Walmart. You also don't earn any rewards using this card. You get the same one-card convenience, security, and online access to your account, but there aren't any rewards to earn.

Reasons We Like the Sam's Club Credit Card

  • No annual fee. Since you already pay an annual membership fee, it's nice to know that you don't have to pay an annual fee for the Sam's Club MasterCard.

  • Your Sam's Club credit card doubles as your membership card. You only have to worry about carrying/managing one card. Because you'll need your membership card to make purchases at Sam's, it can be helpful to have the credit card built in, should you decide to use it for your Sam's Club purchases.

  • You can receive up to $5,000 cashback per year. While it sounds like this could be a "con," only the extravagant spenders would exceed this limit. If you just used the card for dining and travel expenses, you could spend up to $166,500 per year and still get the rewards.

  • Sam's Club often offers promotions for signing up for the credit card. The typical promotion requires you to use the card the same day that you apply for it. If you do, Sam's Club offers a statement credit for that purchase. The amount you must spend and the rebate amount often differ, so make sure to read the fine print when you apply.

  • The card is easy to use. You don't have to worry about jumping through hoops to figure out which purchases will qualify for cashback. You know upfront the percentage of cashback you'll receive for gas, dining, travel, and other expenses.

  • You can manage your Sam's Club credit card online. Synchrony Bank is the issuer of the Sam's Club credit card. You can log into your Sam's Club credit card account right on their website, where you can see your activity, pay your bill, and view promotional offers.

  • You have access to in-club cash. If you need cash and don't want to use your debit card or go to the ATM, you can take out up to $100 at a Sam's Club register with your Sam's Club MasterCard. You can receive the cash in $20 increments. It will be treated as a purchase on your credit card statement.

Reasons to Consider Other Credit Cards

  • You only get 1% cashback on club purchases. While the cashback promotion for gas, travel, and dining is great, your rewards for shopping at Sam's Club is low. If you apply for the Sam's Club MasterCard, you probably want to get rewarded on purchases at the club.

  • Your cashback rewards are sent via check one time per year. You have to wait until February each year to receive your cashback rewards from the previous year. The check is made payable to Sam's Club. You can only cash your check at a Sam's Club location.

  • You have to be a Sam's Club member. While it's a nice perk that the credit card doesn't have an annual fee, you have to pay a minimum of $45 for a basic Sam's Club membership. If you shop online at Sam's, you need access to early shopping hours, or you want special discounts, you may even spend $100 on the Select Plus membership.

How It Compares

  • Costco Visa: Costco is another giant warehouse for members only. Citi Costco earns 4% cash back on eligible gas purchases for the first $7,000 per year, and then 1% thereafter. This card earns 3% cash back on restaurants and eligible travel purchases; 2% cash back on all other purchases from Costco and; and 1% cash back on all other purchases. There is no annual fee with your paid Costco membership.. Just like Sam's Club, you receive your rewards annually in February in the form of a reward certificate.

  • Walmart Credit Card: The Walmart MasterCard and standard Walmart credit card offer 3% cashback on orders as well as grocery pick up orders. It also offers 2% for gas purchases made at Walmart or Murphy gas stations and 1% on any purchases made with the Walmart MasterCard or Walmart Credit Card. You receive your cashback bonus as a statement credit during the month the rewards were earned.

Bottom Line

If you are already a Sam's Club member, it may make sense to take advantage of the Sam's Club MasterCard, as you'll receive decent benefits for everyday spending. Just keep in mind that you have to wait until February of each year to receive your cashback from the prior year, and you can't redeem your points for travel benefits.

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. This site may be compensated through the Advertiser's affiliate programs.

Disclaimer: The information for the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi has been collected independently by CreditDonkey. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

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