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

Sam's Club Storefront for Sam's Club Credit Card Reviews

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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
APR17.15% variable (account type 1)
21.50% variable (account type 2)
24.90% 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.

* For this program, “Cash Back” comes in the form of Cash Back Rewards, not true cash back. 

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 issued starting in February of the following year and are automatically loaded onto the primary Sam’s Club member’s membership.

Cash Back Rewards that aren’t redeemed, will expire as of the date listed on the reward notification. Additionally, Rewards are forfeited if the member’s account is not in “good standing”, if the member is 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 APR17.15% variable (account type 1)
21.50% variable (account type 2)
25.15% variable
Cash advance APR22.15% variable (account type 1)
28.15% 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 17.15% APR is pretty average for a rewards card. However, 25.15% is a high APR, especially if you often carry a balance.

As mentioned previously, the Cash Back Rewards from the Sam’s Club Mastercard is not true cash back. The Rewards come in the form of an automatic credit to the member’s account and can only be used for Sam’s Club purchases. Additionally, rewards cannot be redeemed at Samsclub.com or in Club with Scan and Go.

Alternatively, 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 (Our Recommendations)

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.

Alternatively, if you love to travel (or would like to travel more!) you could sign up for the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card which is arguably the travel rewards card on the market.

The current sign up bonus is worth $625 when the points are used for travel expenses (flights, hotels etc) through Chase’s travel portal.

You will earn 1pt/$1 spent on everyday purchases as well as 2pts/$1 spent on ALL dining and travel purchases.

Remember, the points you’ll be earning with this card are extremely valuable, but only when used correctly!

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, and it isn’t true cash back. This is a big drawback for those who want to take advantage of their rewards quickly or utilize their cash-back in any way they choose.

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.

Erin Miller

About Erin Miller

Erin currently maintains her status as Alex's adventure-seeking partner-in-crime and contributes to Upgraded Points through content creation & relationship management.
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Disclaimer: Any comments listed below are not from the bank advertiser, nor have they been reviewed or approved by them. No responsibility will be taken by the bank advertiser for these comments.

39 comments

  1. Sue Copeland · September 21, 2018 · Reply

    I want to get an app so that I can check my balance on both my Synchrony accounts. Could you please tell me which app that would be. I can check it online, but the app I downloaded kept tell me it can’t find me. I entered my account number and the same password that I use online. Can you assist me?

  2. Bruce Parker · September 26, 2018 · Reply

    I do not recommend the Sam’s Club MasterCard. I know that Sam’s Club (or Walmart) does not own the card, but is in a licensing agreement with the bank to issue the card. My issue is that you are at the mercy of the bank and their policies. Example is that I currently have a card (and not for very long into the future). My due date is the 3rd of the month. I made a payment using my bank’s bill pay (an EFT). The bank did not post my payment until the 4th of the next month and hit me with a late fee. Because of this, I will be cancelling the Sam’s Club MasterCard, cancelling my membership at Sam’s Club, joining Costco. I might even report the bank’s actions to the CFPB…

  3. I have a Sams Club card and enjoy it…. but think twice about the Costco credit card – they are always changing credit card companies. First, they had Citibank then Amex and they’re thinking of changing to BofA or Chase. Also, remember the fees they charge for membership plus late store openings and early closings of Costco.

  4. Vann Jones · February 8, 2019 · Reply

    This review is outdated – you no longer receive a check for “cash back.” In fact, cash back no longer exists. You can only redeem your reward for merchandise in Sam’s Club and only at the register by the primary cardholder.

    • Thanks so much for the heads up, Vann – we’ll amend this article with the most up to date info ASAP!

      • Jeff Jordan · March 9, 2019 · Reply

        I just redeemed my rewards at Sam’s club for cash. The only change this year is they don’t send you a check but apply your rewards balance to your card.

        • Hi Jeff, just to clarify, which credit card do you have and was your cash-back applied as a rewards balance to your Sam’s Club account or to your credit card? Thanks!

          • Jeff Jordan · March 9, 2019

            I have the Sam’s Club MasterCard and was able to redeem my rewards for cash the same as cashing the check there last year.

          • “redeem for cash” meaning the cash came through as a statement credit on your Mastercard? Or cash that you can only use at Sam’s Club? Just want to get this straight so we’re giving people the optimal info here! Thanks so much for your time! 🙂

          • Jeff Jordan · March 9, 2019

            What I meant was I received real cash in hand just like cashing a check at the bank. I had the option to apply it to my account or use on future Sam’s Club purchases according to the letter I received.

          • Thanks so much Jeff! Really appreciate the info — we’ll get the piece updated accordingly! 🙂

          • Hello Erin. Every year I go into the nearest store and redeem my rewards for cash. After reading this comment earlier this year I was going to correct the statement made by Vann Jones. However, I decided to wait for this years reward to make sure that I was providing accurate information. Last week I went in to my nearest store and redeemed my statement rewards for cash. To be clear, I walked out of the store with dollars to spend anywhere and anyway I wanted. The only downside to the reward redemption is having to wait to do it once a year.

          • Thanks for the confirmation Chuck! We’re hearing this from a couple of readers and are working on getting the content here updated accordingly! 🙂

          • Thanks for this Todd – we appreciate the extra confirmation and are working to update the piece as we speak!

      • Alisa · May 28, 2019 · Reply

        All of this is outdated. You show your membership at the end of the year, they look up your earned cash back (mine was $650) and hand you dollar bills to equal that amount and use as you choose. This has been the case as long as I’ve had the card. I wouldn’t have gotten it otherwise. But it pays more cash back than any other card cash back card I’ve had.

    • Katherine Channing · February 28, 2019 · Reply

      I’m wondering who investigates the cash back rewards balance? Curious.

      • Each credit card statement reports your starting reward balance and the amount you earned during the month in the 5%, 3%, and 1% categories. You are provided enough information to monitor your own balance for inaccuracies. I have never had to dispute an inaccurate reward balance.

  5. Hector Calderon · February 12, 2019 · Reply

    When do I receive my cash back this year?

    • Hi Hector – the only information Sam’s Cash Back Rewards terms & conditions give is that rewards are “issued each February for the Cash Back earned during the previous calendar year”. They do not specify a date.

      We suggest you call Sam’s Club Member Customer Service number at 1-888-746-7726 or ask at your Membership Service Desk at your local club.

  6. Raymond S · February 27, 2019 · Reply

    Sams Club stores are having problems reflecting the funds transferred by Synchrony Bank in Sams Club members accounts. No one knows when it will be fixed (in Sams Club or Synchrony) only apologies. Probably no adequate testing was made prior to implementation. Checks were better in this instance.

    • Lin P. · March 18, 2019 · Reply

      We have had the Sam’s MasterCard for 5 years. We were always happy with the card and cash back rewards until this year. Previously, Synchrony Bank would mail a check once a year with our rewards. I could take the check into Sam’s Club and then applied it to our account. In 2019, they changed it up and applied the rewards directly to our membership. Except – when I went to get my rewards (over $500) they can’t seem to match the card to our Sam’s membership account. They said they would have to issue a new card with a new number. That didn’t help! So, after 4 trips to Sam’s, 6 phone calls to Synchrony Bank, I still don’t have our rewards. I’m still waiting for their promised call from a supervisor. I’m now looking for a new rewards card.

      • Same thing with me, they dont pay rewards and have an excuse every time you call.

        • McBride Rose · April 14, 2019 · Reply

          Same thing with me. I am still waiting for it to be resolved and am considering a complaint with the BBB on May 10, 2019

  7. Justin G · March 5, 2019 · Reply

    You can use the Sams club store card at Walmart.com and with Walmart Pay. Please update.

    • Hi Justin – could you please provide a link to information where I can find confirmation of this change? I’d really appreciate it! 🙂

      I see in the Synchrony Bank terms and conditions for the Mastercard version that yes, it can be used at walmart.com but can’t find it anywhere in the terms for the basic Sam’s Club card. Additionally, walmart.com’s Help page on payment specifically states they do not accept the Sam’s Club Advantage Credit Card as a form of payment.

  8. Harriett Ritter · March 20, 2019 · Reply

    Why do you make soooooo difficult to sign in to pay a bill?

    • Christine Krzyszton · March 20, 2019 · Reply

      Hello Harriett and sorry you are having trouble. Please be advised that we are not Synchrony Bank or affiliated with Sam’s Club MasterCard. We are Upgraded Points, a blog specializing in providing resources for maximizing credit card rewards and travel-related information. Just wanted you to know that your comment is not reaching the right audience but we appreciate you stopping by.

  9. Be careful with the Sam’s Club card from Synchrony Bank. For the FOURTH time, they’ve invalidated my card and made charges fail because they arbitrarily decided to update the Expiration Date and code on the back of the card WITHOUT NOTIFYING ME. Cox is charging me $30 due to the payment failing and Synchrony says they won’t pay the fee even after invalidating the card. No, I haven’t been late even once on payments.

  10. Etzion · April 4, 2019 · Reply

    Do not use this credit card, they will not pay the rewards.

  11. Arnold Isaac · April 7, 2019 · Reply

    Not sure what everyone is complaining about. I’ve been using this card for a few years and have never had a problem. This year, instead of sending a paper check they sent a notification of what my annual cash reward was, so instead of endorsing a check and presenting it at the store, I simply presented my card and they gave me the cash I was entitled to. I know of no other card that offers 5% on gas, and the 3% on dining & travel is also the most I have seen so I use my Sam’s Club MC for those three categories and other cards for other types of purchases.

    • Lin P. · April 17, 2019 · Reply

      Lucky you! You received your rewards without any issues. My local store told me HUNDREDS of their customers have had problems getting their rewards!

  12. Eddie A · April 18, 2019 · Reply

    Got cold hard cash by the 100’s put in my hand @ my store. Best card ever if you don’t carry a balance.

  13. Cecile Burandt · April 18, 2019 · Reply

    The Sam’s Club Mastercard is a total ripoff in my book! Online, I was hit with a promo offer that ONLY said get $45 off your statement if you apply for Sam’s Club Mastercard. I applied and received an email saying my card was in the mail. I could NOT make an immediate purchase on this card, because I did not receive any kind of temporary card number. So, I assumed that when I got my card, I would see a $45 credit towards my first purchase. Just got off live chat with customer service, who insists I got a temporary card number and says I can get my $45 credit if I now make a purchase and then call them back….otherwise no credit. This is far too complicated and is deceptive advertising. I have destroyed my card and may stop my Sam’s membership because I can no longer trust a company that uses this kind of deception to get consumers to apply for a very high interest rate card.

  14. Beware! Check your balance. I got charged twice for the membership fee. I had already made a payment in Feb and another bill came with due date in May for same thing. I was able to catch it only because I had zero outstanding balance, otherwise, I could have paid it. It’s a headache calling customer service to remove the charge. My call was transferred from Sam’s club store, to Synchrony Bank, then to the credit card billing service. I have been a customer for many years and I don’t understand what is going on now. Glitch in communication? In the end, I was told the store might have trouble with my card when I go in to purchase something. Another headache? We’l see.

  15. Tiffany · May 5, 2019 · Reply

    Don’t bother getting this card. Not once but twice my limit was reduced on this card. I’ve never had a late payment and out of the blue they just lower it without notice. I’m now canceling all of my synchrony cards because of this and will take my business else where.

  16. Analea · July 10, 2019 · Reply

    Don’t get this card. Their customer service is terrible. They blocked my card because I’m abroad in Europe, and when I tried to renew the travel notice on my account, their solution was to send me a code, in the mail, to my US address. Plenty of logic right there. The agents refused to tell me a code over email, to send one to my phone, or to email me one, so my card is still blocked. Will be canceling ASAP.

  17. The ‘SAM’S SAVINGS’ credit card (referenced here as the “Sam’s Club Store Credit Card”) has been passed around through several credit companies over the years – SAMS latest is Synchrony Bank. Every firm that ‘offered’ credit to SAMS customers were eager to loan and quick to bite. SAMS latest credit company, Synchrony Bank, has had several class law suits filed against them, with others pending, for illegal credit card practices. Although the BBB gives Synchrony Bank an A+ rating, it is difficult to understand, given the fact that BBB customer complaints are legion and readily answered with the same Synchrony Bank script:

    “Thank you for bringing this concern to our attention and the opportunity for customer outreach. We have mailed a written response to the customer via USPS which they should receive within the next 7 to 10 days. We are unable to provide you with the resolution to ensure customer confidentiality. Our contact information was provided in the response mailed directly to the customer if there are further questions.”

    One would think the BBB would pay attention to the quality of the customer response – not ‘how quick’ the business responds – especially a ‘canned’ response. Ironically this affects the BBB’s rating more than customer complaints and lack of resolution. What is even more disturbing is the customer (per their testimony) may not even receive the Synchrony Bank “written response ….. via USPS”.

    Other Synchrony Bank store-branded credit card bill issues include no information on customer’s bill regarding either the date the bill was printed (store-branded bill conveniently missing the date the bill was printed) OR any post office marked mailing date (store-branded bill’s envelope using presorted first-class mail). Has your billed arrived late? You are tagged with a very hefty late-fee sans any courtesy or heaven-forbid, an apology – You’re just guaranteed guilty. Rudeness abounds, and certainly is beyond the reach of their corporate clients (NOTE: Synchrony Bank provides tons of store-branded credit cards, such as Amazon, eBay, SAMS, Walmart, PayPal, et Al.). My suggestion? Cut up all your credit cards and follow Dave Ramsey’s plan for financial independence. Even then it’s difficult if you want access to a big box store, and are forced into a credit card membership.

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