Sam’s Club Mastercard & Sam’s Club Credit Card Review – Everything You Need to Know

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Wholesale clubs can help shoppers save money on groceries and other necessities. But do their store-branded credit cards offer savings? What benefits do they offer, and are they worth it?

This in-depth review examines the Sam’s Club Mastercard and Sam’s Club Store Credit Card, considering rewards, fees, APR, features, and more.

Sam’s Club Credit Cards at a Glance

Sam’s Club MastercardSam’s Club Store Credit Card
Benefits
  • 5% cash back on gas for the first $6,000 annually, then 1%
  • 3% cash back on dining and travel
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases

(Use wherever Mastercard is accepted.)

  • No rewards

(Use ONLY at Sam’s Club or Walmart)

Annual fee$0$0
APR16.15% variable (account type 1)
24.15% variable (account type 2)
24.15% variable
Late FeeUp to $38Up to $38

There are two Sam’s Club branded credit cards: the Sam’s Club Mastercard and the Sam’s Club Store Credit Card (or Personal Credit Card). Both cards are issued by Synchrony Bank.

While there is no annual fee for these cards, cardholders must be a Sam’s Club member to apply. It costs $45 for an annual Sam’s Club membership.

The BIG difference between these cards is that you can earn rewards with the Mastercard, but you don’t have an option for rewards with the store card.

Sign-Up Bonus Offer

Both Sam’s Club credit cards offer a sign-up bonus.

If you open a Sam’s Club Mastercard or Sam’s Club Store Credit Card on SamsClub.com and make a single-receipt purchase of $45 or more on SamsClub.com the same day, you will receive a $45 statement credit, which will appear within 1-2 billing periods. (Offer currently valid through 8/31/18.)

Benefits of the Sam’s Club Mastercard

The Sam’s Club Mastercard

With the Sam’s Club Mastercard, cardholders can earn a number of rewards.

⛽  5% cash back on gas
🍽  3% cash back on dining
  3% cash back on travel
🛍  1% cash back on all other purchases

*Cash back on gas applies for the first $6,000 spent per year, then cardholders receive 1% cash back on all subsequent gas purchases. The 5% cash back rewards exclude purchases made at fuel stations of wholesale clubs other than Sam’s Club, certain supercenters, and supermarkets.

Cash back on dining, travel, and all other purchases excludes purchases made at any wholesale clubs other than Sam’s Club.

Cardholders only earn 1% cash back on all in-store purchases at Sam’s Club and Walmart. With minimal in-store rewards value, there are better credit cards available to maximize rewards for in-store purchases. (See the Alternative Rewards Credit Cards section below.)

Also notable: the maximum cash back amount you can earn per calendar year is $5,000. 

Hot Tip: Cash back rewards are mailed to the cardholder in the form of a check each February (only once per year) for rewards earned the previous year. Cardholders can only cash this check at a Sam’s Club location, and it is only valid for 180 days. Rewards are forfeited if the account is not in good standing, more than 2 months delinquent on the minimum payment, or if the Sam’s Club membership has lapsed or terminated. 

The Sam’s Club Store Credit Card

The Sam’s Club Store Credit Card earns no rewards and can only be used on purchases made at Sam’s Club or Walmart stores, with the exception of Walmart.com or Walmart gas stations. If you want to earn rewards on purchases at Walmart, check out our Walmart credit card review.

Additional Sam’s Club Card Features

The Sam’s Club Mastercard and Sam’s Club Store Credit Card offer special features including:

💳  One card convenience (Your credit card is your membership card.)
🗓  Special financing/promotional offers
⚠  $0 fraud liability
👮‍♂️  Enhanced security via smart chip technology
💻  Online account management
🔐  Mastercard ID theft protection services (*Mastercard ONLY)

A Note About Special Financing

Both the Sam’s Club Mastercard and Sam’s Club Store Credit Card have specific terms and conditions related to special financing. As a cardholder, if you’re going to utilize this benefit you want to pay close attention to the terminology used.

There is a significant difference between “no interest for 6 months” and “no interest if paid in full within 6 months.”

No interest for 6/12/18/24/36/48 months:

  • When you make a qualifying purchase, no interest applies to the purchase during the promotional period, but minimum monthly payments are still required.
  • After the promotional period ends, regular account terms will apply to the promotional purchases.
  • Purchases made outside of the promotional offer are subject to regular account terms.

No interest if paid in full within 6/12/18/24/36/48 months:

  • IF PAID IN FULL is the key phrase here. This is called deferred interest and it can mean hefty fees if you’re not careful.
  • When you make a qualifying purchase, no interest will be applied IF you pay your promotional balance IN FULL within the promotional period. If you DO NOT pay the balance in full, the interest will be applied to the balance all the way back to the date of purchase.
  • Minimum monthly payments are required.
  • After the promotional period ends, regular account terms will apply to the promotional purchases.
  • Purchases made outside of the promotional offer are subject to regular account terms.

Fees and Drawbacks of the Sam’s Club Credit Cards

While there are many benefits to the Sam’s Club Mastercard including the lofty cash back rewards offers, it’s important to remember all credit cards come with fees and drawbacks.

The easiest way to avoid these is to be a consistently responsible cardholder. You should pay your balance in full every month. If you can’t pay it in full, the next best option is to pay as much as you can, leaving as small a balance as possible. You should always make at least the minimum payment.

Sam’s Club MastercardSam’s Club Store Credit Card
Annual fee$0$0
Purchase and quick cash advance APR16.15% variable (account type 1)
24.15% variable (account type 2)
24.15% variable
Cash advance APR21.15% variable (account type 1)
27.15% variable (account type 2)
n/a
Cash advance fee$5 or 3% of the amount of each cash advance (whichever is greater) n/a
 Late feeUp to $38 Up to $38

With Sam’s Club credit cards, your given APR percentage depends on which account type you receive. Account type 1 is generally reserved for applicants with better credit scores. Account type 2 is generally for applicants with lower credit scores that still meet the minimum score required for issuance.

A 16.15% APR is pretty average for a rewards card. However, 24.15% is a high APR, especially if you often carry a balance.

The cash back rewards from the Sam’s Club Mastercard come in the form of a check once a year, and the check can only be cashed at Sam’s Club within 180 days. Other cash back credit cards typically give you your cash back every month.

And there is a massive drawback to the Sam’s Club Store Credit Card: it only works at Sam’s Club or Walmart, and it isn’t valid at Walmart gas stations or Walmart.com.

Alternative Rewards Credit Cards

The Sam’s Club Mastercard only gives you 1% cash back on purchases made online or in-store. This is low and there are certainly better options available. You can maximize your cash back by using the Sam’s Club Mastercard for gas, dining, and travel purchases to earn bonus cash back, and select a different credit card that offers a cash back earning rate higher than 1% for in-store purchases.

Applying for a Sam’s Club Credit Card

There are two ways to apply for a Sam’s Club credit card. Members can either apply online or in-store at their local club.  Members must sign in or create an online account with their Sam’s Club membership to apply online.

Some applicants may be approved instantly (there are many other instant approval cards as well). However, other applications may require further review, resulting in a waiting period of 7-10 days.

Generally, a “good” credit score is necessary to secure a Sam’s Club credit card. Some individuals have reported approval with scores in the upper “fair” range.

Sam’s Club Log-in and Online Account Management

Cardholders have the option to manage their credit card account online by logging in at Samsclub.com.

With the online account portal, members have the opportunity to:

  • Access account information
  • View electronic statements
  • Sign up for paperless statements
  • Make statement payments
  • Sign up for account alerts
  • Request a credit line increase
  • And more

Final Thoughts

The Sam’s Club Mastercard provides generous cash-back benefits. With 5% on gas, 3% on dining and travel, and 1% on most other purchases, it could be a decent option for your wallet if you’re going the cash back route.

However, keep in mind that you must be a Sam’s Club member (with a $45 annual membership fee) to apply for a card and retain your benefits.

You can only get your cash back rewards once per calendar year, which is a big drawback for those who want to take advantage of their rewards quickly.

Lastly, if you’re looking for a travel rewards credit card or a card to help you earn more points and miles, this is not the card for you.

Featured Image Editorial Credit: Ken Wolter / Shutterstock.com

FAQ

Is the Sam's Club credit card a good card?

That depends on which card you're referring to and which rewards strategy you prefer.

The Sam's Club Mastercard is generally considered a good card for earning cash back rewards, with higher than average reward percentages in certain categories. Cardholders earn 5% cash back on gas (up to $6,000 per year then 1%), 3% on dining and travel, and 1% on all other purchases.

It's important to note these cash back rewards are only issued once per year for the previous calendar year and can only be redeemed in a Sam's Club store.

Is the Sam's Club credit card easy to get?

In general, reports state applicants need a "good" credit score (700+) in order to be approved for a Sam's Club credit card. However, while not the norm, some individuals have reported approval with scores in the top of the "fair" range.

To learn more about what makes a "good" or "bad" credit score and it's important, check out our in-depth guide here.

Who issues the Sam's Club credit card?

Both the Sam's Club Mastercard and Sam's Club Store Cards are issued by Synchrony Bank.

Can my Sam's Club credit card be used at Walmart?

Your Sam's Club Mastercard can be used wherever Mastercard is accepted.

The Sam's Club Store Credit Card can be used at Walmart, but it CANNOT be used at Walmart Fuel Stations or on Walmart.com.

Where can I pay my Sam's Club credit card?

You can pay your Sam's Club credit card in a number of ways:

  • online through your Samsclub.com account
  • in person at your local Sam's Club Member Services desk or at any Sam's Club/Walmart register
  • by phone by calling the number on the back of your card
  • by mail to the payment address shown on your billing statement
How do I cancel my Sam's Club credit card?

The most efficient way to cancel your Sam's Club credit card is to call the customer service phone number listed on the back of your card.

What is the Sam's Club credit card phone number?

For the Sam's Club Mastercard, the contact phone numbers are as follows:
Website Help - (866) 221-1126 ; Credit Services - (866) 220-0254

For the Sam's Club Store Card, the contact phone numbers are as follows:
Website Help - (800) 417-8321 ; Credit Services - (800) 964-1917

You can find additional Sam's Club related contact information here.

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