Sam’s Club Credit Cards: Practical Tool for Specific Spenders

Sam’s Club offers two types of cards to its shoppers: the regular closed-loop Sam’s Club credit card and the open-loop Sam’s Club Mastercard. If you choose between the two, you might find more value in the latter due to its flexibility.

Sam's Club Credit Card and Sam's Club Mastercard

Sam’s Club Credit Card and Sam’s Club Mastercard

Intro Bonus: $30

Regular APR: 15.65% or 23.65% (Variable)

Credit Score: Good to Excellent

Annual Fee: $0


  • Sam’s Club cards can also work as your membership retail store card.
  • There are no additional annual fee charges when you apply for the card.
  • Plus members can earn up to 5% back when they use the card at Sam’s Club. 
  • The 5% back rate on gas has a $6,000 limit for each reward period.
  • The card can only earn rewards up to $5,000 for each reward period.
  • Rewards can only be redeemed every February.

Sam’s Club Credit Card and Sam’s Club Mastercard Full Review:

If you are a member of Sam’s Club paying $45 (for regular Member status) or $100 (for Plus Member status) a year, consider Sam’s Club cards. You have the choice to get a Sam’s Club credit card or a Sam’s Club Mastercard. They can double as your membership card and can further boost your benefits. No additional annual fee is needed, and the cards are accepted at all Sam’s Club and Walmart locations nationwide.

As a welcome bonus, the cards can get a $30 statement credit after making a $30 purchase within 30 days of the date of account opening. Nonetheless, the rewards earning capability of the closed-loop and open-loop cards differ. The closed-loop Sam’s Club credit card (either Member or Plus Member) can only earn points whenever used at the store.

Sam's Club Mastercard 5% back

Sam’s Club Mastercard can earn up to 5% back when used at Sam’s Club.

On the other hand, Sam’s Club Mastercard can earn points everywhere. Sam’s Club Mastercard Member tier can earn 5% back on gas, 3% back on eligible restaurant purchases, and 1% on all other purchases. The Sam’s Club Mastercard Plus Member tier earns at the same rate but gets another 3% Cash Back at Sam’s Club, plus 2% back from their Plus membership. This sums up to 5% back with this higher-tier card. Meanwhile, regular Club members will only get an additional 1% cashback in this category.

The rewards rate of the Sam’s Club Mastercard credit card can be lucrative if you are frequently making restaurant purchases and, most of all, gas. However, while this particular card can earn consistent 3% cashback rewards on dining and takeout, there is a significant caveat you need to know about using it for gas: the 5% back rate only applies on up to the first $6,000 spending for each reward period. After that, it will drop to 1% afterward. Also, it is essential to note that the rewards capability of the card has a cap at $5,000 per annual reward period. Once you’ve reached this, your card will basically need to wait for another reward period to start gaining rewards again.

As for its rewards redemption, the card is hugely different from other credit cards that allow you to redeem the points anytime you wish. Indeed, unlike others, Sam’s Club cards only allow redeeming rewards once a year, which happens every February. Moreover, the options for redemption are somewhat limited: you can either use the rewards as a statement credit or on your in-store or online Sam’s Club purchases. Nonetheless, Sam’s Club cards come with other helpful benefits: contact-free technology from Synchrony, automatic loading of rewards onto the cards, zero liability protection, ID theft protection, global services, zero foreign transaction fee, and access to Sam’s Club mobile app.

With all those things mentioned above, Sam’s Club cards are for particular spenders. First, it is for those who are already members of Sam’s Club. It is an excellent way to benefit from the retail store brand and boost their rewards earnings. Cardholders can also get up to 5% back IF they are a Plus Member.

The Mastercard version also offers a good value for those who regularly spend on gas, albeit its yearly cap spending in the said category. The 3% back on the dining category is also appealing, but the 1% back rate on all other purchases could be better. If you are going to get the said card, be aware that the categories it covers are very minimal. It can only be advantageous if you spend a lot on gas, resto, and Sam’s Club purchases.

If you want better alternatives, look for general rewards cards that offer a broader set of categories and redemption options. Some great choices are those from Discover, Capital One, and Chase. Also, consider flat-rate credit cards such as the Wells Fargo Active Cash card that will allow you to earn 2% rewards without any category restrictions.