Sam’s Club Mastercard review: Good earnings if you have a Plus membership


Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information and offers.

Sam’s Club® Mastercard® overview

The Sam’s Club® Mastercard® is a cash-back credit card available to Sam’s Club members. Although it doesn’t offer bonus earnings on Sam’s Club purchases without a Plus membership, this no-annual-fee card does offer 5% back on gas and 3% back on dining. The rewards are issued within one to two billing cycles of being earned and are easy to use at Sam’s Club. Card rating*: ⭐⭐⭐

*Card rating is based on the opinion of TPG’s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.

The Sam’s Club Mastercard may sound appealing if you frequently shop at Sam’s Club, prefer to earn cash back or don’t want to pay an annual fee on your credit card. Yes, the Sam’s Club Mastercard checks those boxes.

However, the card has low earning rates for everyday purchases and only provides cash back on Sam’s Club purchases to those with more expensive Plus memberships. On the other hand, the card provides quality earning rates for gas and restaurant purchases.

Let’s take a closer look at the Sam’s Club Mastercard to see whether it deserves a place in your wallet.

The information for the Sam’s Club Mastercard has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Sam’s Club Mastercard welcome offer

Store credit cards usually offer rather depressing sign-up bonuses and the Sam’s Club Mastercard (issued by Synchrony Bank) is no exception.

New applicants can receive a $30 statement credit after making $30 in Sam’s Club purchases within the first 30 days of account opening. While something is better than nothing, $30 in value is quite low for a credit card welcome bonus. However, it is a 100% return on spending and doesn’t require much effort.

Related: Why store credit cards are (almost) always a bad idea

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Sam’s Club Mastercard benefits


Even the best no-annual-fee cards don’t offer many perks. However, the benefits are abnormally few on the Sam’s Club Mastercard, offering only the following:

Out of these advertised benefits, only two are notable perks: no foreign transaction fees and no annual fee. After all, Sam’s Club locations accept most credit cards plus other payment methods. Saying that the Sam’s Club Mastercard is accepted at all Sam’s Club and Walmart locations nationwide isn’t notable.

Related: 12 credit cards that can get you $1,000 or more in 1st-year value

Earning cash back on the Sam’s Club Mastercard

With the Sam’s Club Mastercard, you’ll earn cash back as follows:

  • 5% at gas stations (on the first $6,000 per calendar year, then 1%).
  • 3% on dining and takeout.
  • 1% on other purchases.

Sam’s Club Plus members also earn up to 5% back on Sam’s Club purchases — all Plus members already receive 2% back on qualifying purchases (up to $500 cash back per year), and cardholders earn an additional 3% back. A Plus membership costs $110 annually.

Without a Plus membership, you’ll earn just 1% back on Sam’s Club purchases. If you’re looking for better earnings without a $110-per-year membership, consider a 2% cash-back credit card.

Earning 5% back on gas is uncommon — especially for a card with no annual fee — making this card a great option for those who spend a lot on gas. These earnings apply at all gas stations (not just Sam’s Club gas stations). Earning 3% back on dining is another strong category on this card.

Rewards are earned in the form of Sam’s Cash. You can earn a maximum of $5,000 of Sam’s Cash per year with your card. It’s worth noting that you won’t earn cash back on purchases of tobacco, electronic cigarettes, prescription drugs, gift cards or other cash equivalents.

Related: How to choose a cash-back credit card


Redeeming cash back on the Sam’s Club Mastercard

Sam’s Cash is automatically issued within one to two billing cycles of being earned and loaded onto your Sam’s Club membership account. Then, you can use this cash back at Sam’s Club for in-club, online and app purchases. You can also use Sam’s Cash toward renewing or upgrading your membership, or you can cash it out by requesting cash back at a staffed register or Member Services.

However, you won’t get any cash back — or your available cash-back balance will be forfeited — in the following cases:

  • Your card account isn’t in good standing.
  • Your Sam’s Club membership is terminated, canceled or revoked by Sam’s Club.
  • Your card account is canceled or closed (either by you or Synchrony Bank).

Sam’s Cash does not expire as long as you remain an active Sam’s Club member.

If you plan to maintain a Sam’s Club membership for years to come and periodically shop at Sam’s Club, this redemption scheme is ideal for its ease of use. But, if you don’t spend much with Sam’s Club, it may be best to check whether a different card might provide more earnings overall.

Related: 3 reasons why you want a cash-back credit card in your wallet

Which cards compete with the Sam’s Club Mastercard?

It’s worth considering other cards for your wallet, such as those from Walmart and Costco, as well as cards that provide good earnings on everyday spending without charging an annual fee.

  • If you want to earn at a warehouse club with a basic membership: The Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi has no annual fee but requires an active Costco membership. You’ll earn 4% back on gas and EV charging (on up to $7,000 of purchases per year, then 1% back), 3% back on restaurants and eligible travel, 2% back on Costco purchases (both in-store and online) and 1% back on other purchases. Cash rewards are available annually. For more information, read our full review of the Costco Visa card.
  • If you want better earnings on everyday purchases: The Citi® Double Cash Card has no annual fee and earns 2 Citi ThankYou points on all purchases: 1 point when you buy and 1 point when you pay your bill. You can redeem these points for travel or cash them out, providing options for your earnings. For more information, read our full review of the Citi Double Cash.
  • If you want increased earnings at Walmart: The Capital One Walmart Rewards® Card has no annual fee and earns 5% back at (including pickup and delivery), 2% back at Walmart stores, 2% back at restaurants and on travel and 1% back on other purchases. Earnings can be redeemed for cash, to cover recent purchases, for travel or for gift cards. For more information, read our full review of the Walmart Rewards card.
  • If you want increased earnings and will shop online: The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Card has no annual fee but requires an active Prime membership to unlock its earning potential. You can earn 5% back on purchases and at Whole Foods Market, 2% back at restaurants and gas stations and 1% back on other purchases. You’ll also earn 10% back (or more) on a selection of Amazon products through rotating offers. For more information, read our full review of the Amazon Prime Visa.

For additional options, check out our full list of the best credit cards for everyday spending.

The information for the Capital One Walmart Rewards and Amazon Prime Visa cards has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Related: Why now is the time to get a card that earns rewards for groceries


Is the Sam’s Club Mastercard worth it?

If you aren’t a Sam’s Club member, joining to get the Sam’s Club Mastercard likely won’t make sense. For existing members (especially those with Plus memberships), you may benefit from the card’s earning categories. It’s also worth checking whether any of the best cards for gas and dining purchases would be a better fit for you.

Related: 6 ways to save at the pump

Bottom line

Earning bonus cash back on gas and dining is nice. The real power of this card comes from pairing it with a Plus membership at Sam’s Club, which has an added cost, so check whether you’re earning enough to offset this expense.

If you shop often at Sam’s Club, this can be a good card. However, you may earn more with a card providing higher earnings on everyday expenses since you’re probably not shopping at Sam’s Club every day.

Additional reporting by Katie Genter.


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