The 8 Best Credit Cards for Shopping at Sam’s Club [2020]

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Shopping at wholesale club retailers like Sam’s Club can save you a bunch of money if you’re able to accommodate the purchase of items in bulk. And while savings are great, buying in bulk could also result in leaving the store having spent a great deal of money.

You can count on the team at Upgraded Points to embrace an opportunity to earn rewards on any purchase, especially large purchases. Additionally, we’re always up for the challenge of determining the best ways to accomplish this objective.

That’s where we’re headed today. We’re going to take a look at how Sam’s Club works, review which credit cards can help you earn the most rewards for your Sam’s Club purchases, whether in-store or online, and compare the options.

Let’s get started as we look at some of the best credit cards for earning rewards when shopping at Sam’s Club.

How Does Sam’s Club Work?

Sams Club Biz Products
Sam’s Club carries a variety of products for businesses, as well as for household consumers. Image Credit: Sam’s Club

In 1983, Sam Walton, an already successful retail entrepreneur, opened the first Sam’s Club to provide products and services for small businesses. Sam’s Club now has over 600 locations worldwide offering discounted wholesale pricing for both consumers and businesses at its retail warehouse properties and online at samsclub.com.

You must purchase an annual membership to shop in-store or online at samsclub.com. Depending on how much you utilize the club, however, the opportunity to save by purchasing in bulk may well offset the cost of membership. If you own a business or have a large family, the savings of purchasing wholesale and in bulk could end up being significant.

Before we explore which credit cards are best for shopping at Sam’s Club, let’s talk about the benefits of membership, the cost, and how Sam’s Club’s Rewards program works.

Comparing Sam’s Club Memberships

Sam’s Club offers 2 levels of memberships, each offering its own collection of benefits for Sam’s Club shoppers. Let’s look at the different perks offered by each type of membership.

BenefitSam’s Plus Membership – $100 per Year Sam’s Club Membership – $45 per Year
Cash-back earningsEarns 2% cash-back rewards, up to $500 cash-back per yearNO
Free shippingYESNO
Early shopping8 a.m. Monday to SaturdayNO
Free select prescriptions, discounted prescriptions, and discounts on opticalYESNO
Tire Center — Free flat tire repair, battery testing, and wiper blade installYES
Discounted fuel at Sam’s Club gas stationsYES
Member-only pricingYES
Free membership for 1 household memberYES
Add-on memberships at $40 eachYES, up to 16YES, up to 8

If you own a business, the Sam’s Plus membership with 2% cash-back rewards, free shipping, early shopping, and the ability to add up to 16 memberships may provide value.

Sam’s Club Rewards Program — How it Works

Sam’s Club has its own rewards program for Sam’s Plus members only. Each qualifying purchase made at Sam’s Club or samsclub.com earns 2% cash-back, up to a maximum of $500 in cash-back each year.

Cash rewards are accumulated throughout the year and loaded to your membership card by the end of February. Once the rewards are loaded to your card, the funds are available for use.

Redemption options include purchasing items at Sam’s Club or cashing out the funds at a sales register. You can also allow the funds to accumulate in your account or use the funds to make a payment on a Sam’s Club credit card.

Rewards do not expire but a maximum of $2,000 is allowed to accumulate in your account.

Payment Options Accepted at Sam’s Club

Unlike its competitor Costco, Sam’s Club in-store and online accepts most major credit cards, including American Express, Visa, Mastercard, and Discover.

Forms of payment accepted at Sam’s Club and samsclub.com:

  • Sam’s Club credit cards
  • Walmart and Sam’s Club gift cards
  • American Express
  • Mastercard
  • Visa
  • Discover
  • Debit cards
  • Prepaid credit cards

Sam’s Club in-store accepts these additional forms of payment:

Samsclub.com also accepts Visa Checkout digital wallet service.

Bottom Line: Sam’s Club has 2 levels of memberships. The Sam’s Plus membership that costs $100 per year has additional benefits over the base Sam’s Club Membership ($45), including cash-back rewards earning, free shipping, early shopping hours, free select prescriptions, and the ability to add up to 16 additional memberships at $40 each. Both Sam’s Club in-store and online accepts most major credit, debit, and prepaid cards. 

Best Overall Credit Cards for Shopping at Sam’s Club

Sams Club In Store
In addition to saving money when shopping at Sam’s Club, you can also be earning rewards. Image Credit: Sam’s Club

While you’ll be able to use just about any credit card at Sam’s Club in-store and online, several cards earn more rewards than others. The cards in this collection will ensure that you’re earning well on those purchases and more.

Sam’s Club® Mastercard®

To be eligible for the Sam’s Club card, you must have either a Sam’s Plus or Sam’s Club membership.

Why We Like the Card for Shopping at Sam’s Club

The Sam’s Club card earns an impressive 5% cash-back at Sam’s Club gas stations and other U.S. gas stations, including Puerto Rico, up to $6,000 in purchases each year. Purchases made at restaurants also earn 3% cash-back.

Travel purchases, excluding Sam’s Club travel services, also earn 3% cash-back. Travel services offered by other wholesale clubs are also excluded. Unfortunately, all other purchases including purchases made at Sam’s Club and samsclub.com, earn just 1% cash-back.

Sam’s Club also offers a Sam’s Club® Store Credit Card that does not earn rewards. Both cards qualify the cardholder for special no-interest financing options on larger Sam’s Club purchases.

Neither card charges an annual fee.

Drawbacks of the Sam’s Club Card

While the Sam’s Club card does offer stellar earnings at gas stations, restaurants, and travel purchases, it earns just 1% on Sam’s Club purchases, including Sam’s Club travel services. You could receive better earnings using an alternative credit card for Sam’s Club shopping. Additionally, the card comes with high-interest rates, late fees, and cash advance fees. 

To learn more about the Sam’s Club card and the Sam’s Club Store card, see our detailed article.

Bottom Line: If you shop a lot at Sam’s Club gas stations and want a card that additionally rewards dining and travel, the Sam’s Club card could work for you. It is not, however, the best card for shopping at Sam’s Club in-store or online due to just 1% earnings on those purchases. 

Chase Freedom Unlimited® Card

Why We Like the Card for Shopping at Sam’s Club

The card earns 5% back on travel purchases through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% back on dining and drugstores, and every other purchase, including your purchases at Sam’s Club in-store and online, earns 1.5% cash-back. We also like that the card comes with an introductory 0% APR period for purchases, making it an excellent card choice for a major purchase, or purchases, at Sam’s Club. This 0% APR period is valid for 15 months from card approval and allows you to pay back the purchase over that period of time without interest charges.

Additional Card Benefits

Chase Freedom® Card

CHASE CARDBENEFITS & INFO
Chase Freedom® Card
  • Earn 5% cash-back for the first $1,500 in combined purchases each quarter in rotating bonus categories (new categories every 3 months and activation is required)
  • Earn 1x on all other purchases
  • 0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases.pricing and terms reference link. After the intro period, a variable APR of 14.99% - 23.74%

Why We Like the Card for Shopping at Sam’s Club

Each quarter, the Freedom card offers bonus earnings for specific merchant categories. Cardholders earn 5% cash-back when warehouse clubs are a quarterly bonus category merchant and registration is required.

The card could also be beneficial if you need to make a large purchase at Sam’s Club such as appliances or office furniture. The card comes with an introductory 0% APR period for 15 months from card approval that allows you to pay back the purchase over time without incurring interest charges.

Additional Card Benefits

  • Welcome bonus
  • No annual fee
  • Earns cash-back in the form of Ultimate Rewards points which can be transferred to premium Chase credit cards, then redeemed for up to 50% more in value using the Chase travel portal, or transferred to airline and hotel partners for potentially even greater value.
  • 5% cash-back on Lyft rides, good through March 2022
  • Free 3-month subscription to DoorDash DashPass and the option to purchase 9 additional months for 50% discount
  • Purchase protection and extended warranty

Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Sams Club Online
Get rewarded for both in-store and online Sam’s Club purchases. Image Credit: Sam’s Club

Why We Like the Card for Shopping at Sam’s Club

The Bank of America Cash Rewards card offers 3 ways to earn at Sam’s Club. First, you can earn 3% cash-back at all U.S. gas stations, including Sam’s Club, when selecting that category as your quarter bonus earning choice. You could also select online purchases as your bonus category and earn 3% for samsclub.com purchases. Additionally, you will earn 2% cash-back at wholesale clubs which includes Sam’s Club in-store and online purchases, up to $2,500 in purchases per quarter.

Additional Card Benefits

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Card

Why We Like the Card for Shopping at Sam’s Club

Every purchase you make, including Sam’s Club purchases, will earn 2 miles per dollar spent.

Additional Card Benefits

  • Welcome bonus
  • Simple earnings structure
  • Use Purchase Eraser to wipe out previous travel purchases with a statement credit
  • Transfer miles to travel partners or redeem for travel with Capital One
  • Purchase protection and extended warranty

Learn more about Capital One rewards-earning cards in our article on the best Capital One cards for travel and cash-back.

Hot Tip: Combining a Sam’s Plus membership that earns 2% cash-back rewards with a rewards-earning credit card could make for elevated additional earnings on your purchases. 

Best Business Credit Cards for Shopping at Sam’s Club

Sams Club Products
Business owners will find a large variety of needed products available at Sam’s Club. Image Credit: Sam’s Club

Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card

Why We Like the Card for Shopping at Sam’s Club

You’ll be earning 1.5% cash-back on every purchase with the Ink Business Unlimited card, including Sam’s Club in-store and online, but that is not where the value ends. Establishing a business banking relationship with Chase is a smart move that can reap future rewards.

The card also comes with an introductory 0% APR period on purchases for 12 months after card approval.

Additional Card Benefits

  • Welcome bonus
  • Earn rewards on every purchase
  • Earn cash-back in the form of Ultimate Rewards points that can be transferred to premium Chase personal or business credit cards and redeemed for travel for up to 1.5 cents per point. Points can also then be transferred to travel partners for even greater potential value.
  • Visa Signature benefits

Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business

Earn 2 miles per dollar spent on every purchase you make, including Sam’s Club in-store and online, with the CapOne Spark Miles card.

Additional Card Benefits

  • Generous welcome bonus
  • No annual fee
  • 5x miles for hotel and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
  • Use Purchase Eraser to wipe out a previous travel purchase using miles
  • Transfer miles to travel partners for even greater potential redemption value
  • TSA PreCheck or Global Entry fee reimbursement

If you’d rather earn cash-back, the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business card earns 2% cash-back on every purchase, including Sam’s Club.

Hot Tip: If you’re interested in learning more about earning and redeeming Capital One Miles you’ll find our article quite informative.

Blue Business Cash™ Card from American Express

Use your Amex Blue Business Cash card for your Sam’s Club purchase and earn 2% cash-back. The card earns 2% on every purchase you make, up to $50,000 in purchases each calendar year, then 1%.

The card also comes with an introductory 0% APR on purchases for 12 months from the date of card approval and features purchase protection and extended warranty coverage.

Bottom Line: If your business spends a lot at Sam’s Club, it makes sense to be earning points, miles, or cash-back using a rewards-earning credit card for those purchases. Rewards can help to add revenue to your bottom line, offset business expenses, or even fund an annual family vacation.

The Best Credit Cards for Shopping at Sam’s Club — Summary

We’ve talked about a lot of credit cards that earn rewards when shopping at Sam’s Club so it’s time to summarize our findings.

CardSam’s Club-Related Benefits
Sam’s Club card
  • 5% cash-back at Sam’s Club gas stations and U.S./Puerto Rico gas stations, up to $6,000 in purchases per year
  • 1% cash-back at Sam’s Club in-store and online
  • Special financing options on Sam’s Club purchases
Freedom Unlimited card
  • 5% cash-back on travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • 3% cash-back on dining and drugstore purchases
  • 1.5% cash-back on every purchase, including Sam’s Club
  • Introductory 0% APR on purchases for 15 months from card approval
Freedom card
  • 5% cash-back when wholesale clubs are a quarterly bonus category, up to $1,500 in purchases per quarter
  • Introductory 0% APR on purchases for 15 months from card approval
Bank of America Cash Rewards card
  • 3% cash-back at gas stations, including Sam’s Club gas stations, when selecting gas stations as a quarterly bonus category
  • 3% cash-back for online purchases, including samsclub.com when selecting online purchases as a quarterly bonus category
  • 2% cash-back at wholesale clubs, up to $2,500 in purchases per quarter
Venture card
  •  2 miles per dollar spent on every purchase, including Sam’s Club
Ink Business Unlimited card
  • 1.5% cash-back on every purchase, including Sam’s Club
  • Introductory 0% APR on purchases for 12 months from card approval
CapOne Spark Miles card
  • 2x miles per dollar spent on all purchases, including Sam’s Club
Amex Blue Business Cash card
  • 2% cash-back on every purchase, including Sam’s Club, up to $50,000 in purchases per calendar year, then 1%
  • Terms apply

Hot Tip: Wholesale warehouse clubs, like Sam’s Club, sell various retail gift cards you can use for other purchases such as gas, dining, streaming services, and more. Use your rewards-earning credit card to maximize earnings by purchasing gift cards you can use for non-bonus earning purchases. 

Final Thoughts

Very few credit cards offer stellar rewards earning for Sam’s Club purchases. The best card for shopping at Sam’s Club, whether in-store or online, could be the card that aligns best with your mix of spending.

If you purchase a lot at Sam’s Club both in-store and online, for example, you might consider the Bank of America Cash Rewards card as it ensures you can earn 2% to 3% cash-back on those purchases.

If you value the ability to redeem points for travel, the Ink Business Unlimited card, Freedom Unlimited card, or the Freedom card allow you to transfer valuable Ultimate Rewards points to premium Chase credit cards where you can receive up to 50% more in value when redeeming for travel. Plus, you would have the option to then transfer to airline and hotel partners.

Our list of cards that earn rewards when shopping at Sam’s Club is not all-inclusive. Any credit card that delivers greater than 1% on your Sam’s Club purchases, matches your tolerance for paying an annual fee, has reward redemption options you can utilize, and other benefits for which you find value, has the potential to be your go-to card for shopping at Sam’s Club.


The information regarding the Sam’s Club® Mastercard®, Chase Freedom Unlimited® Card, Chase Freedom® Card, Bank of American® Cash Rewards Credit Card, Capital One® Venture® Rewards Card, and Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer. 

For rates and fees of the American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card, click here.


Frequently asked questions

Which is the best credit card for shopping at Sam's Club?

The best credit card for shopping at Sam’s Club will depend on your mix of spending. If you spend a lot in-store at Sam’s Club, the best card may be different than if you make large purchases at samsclub.com or at Sam’s Club gas stations. Another consideration will be if you prefer a card that also rewards your overall spending or if you’re looking for a card to use mostly at Sam’s Club. See our card recommendations in this article.

How do Sam's Club Rewards work?

Sam’s Plus members ($100 annual membership fee) qualify for 2% cash-back rewards earning on every purchase made at Sam’s Club and samsclub.com.

Rewards accumulate and are transferred to your membership card once per year by the end of February. Once the rewards are transferred, the balance is available to use.

Rewards can be redeemed for your Sam’s Club in-store or online purchase, for cash in-store, to make a payment on your Sam’s Club credit card, or left to accumulate.

Rewards do not expire, however, you can only accumulate up to a maximum of $2,000.

Can I shop at Sam's Club without a membership?

You cannot shop in-store at Sam’s Club or at Sam’s Club gas stations without having a membership.

You can shop at samsclub.com but you will not receive members-only pricing.

You do not need to have a membership to shop at Sam’s Club Optical Center, Sam’s Club Pharmacy, or to visit the cafe.

Can I use my Capital One Walmart Rewards Mastercard at Sam's Club?

Yes, you can use your Capital One Walmart Rewards™ card anywhere Mastercard is accepted, including Sam’s Club. However, you will not receive bonus earnings, just the base 1% cash-back earnings.

Does Sam's Club count as a grocery store or supermarket on my credit card?

No. Sam’s club is considered a warehouse club and does not qualify as a supermarket or grocery store bonus earning category on most credit cards.

Christine Krzyszton

About Christine Krzyszton

Christine, who lives in Northern Michigan, travels about 300,000 miles a year despite her remote location. Her expertise is traveling the world on a weekend with no pre-determined destination in mind, letting the cost of the airfare determine where she will go. She has over four million flown miles and elite status on all three major domestic carriers.

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