It is often said that in the very near future, paying for goods and services with cold-hard cash will be a thing of the past. Instead, it is far more convenient to make purchases with a traditional debit/credit card.
If you are somebody that prefers the convenience of using your plastic as opposed to carrying traditional money, then it is well worth obtaining a card that comes with a cashback program. In doing so, you’ll receive a small percentage of money back when making everyday purchases.
One of the most well-known cashback-based cards out there at the moment is that of Sam’s Club Credit MasterCard.
If you’re tempted to get a card of your own, be sure to read our comprehensive review first. We’ve covered everything from how Sam’s Club Credit MasterCard works, what types of purchases are eligible for cashback, how much you’re likely to get, and anything else we think you should know.
Let’s start by briefly exploring what Sam’s Club Credit MasterCard actually is.
Sam’s Club Credit MasterCard at a Glance
|17.15% or 25.15%, depending on the applicant’s creditworthiness.
|Intro Purchase APR
|Intro Purchase Period
|Balance Transfer APR
|Intro BT APR
|Cash Advance APR
|22.15% or 28.15% variable
|Balance Transfer Fee
|Cash Advance Fee
|$5 or 3% (whichever is greater)
|Late Payment Fee
|Up to $38
|Foreign Transaction Fee
|Requires Sam’s Club Membership
|• Earn 5% cash back at any gas station where mastercard is accepted
• Earn 3% cash back on dining and travel
• Earn 1% cash back on other purchases at Sam’s Club and wherever Mastercard is accepted
• Cash access up to $100 at any Sam’s Club or Walmart® register
• Acceptance at all Sam’s Club and Walmart locations nationwide
• No annual fee†
• Online account access at SamsClub.com/credit
• Doubles as your membership card
What is Sam’s Club Credit MasterCard?
Sam’s Club Credit is a MasterCard that comes with a range of cashback services, subsequently allowing you to get a small amount of money back on purchases you make with the card.
For those unaware, the company behind the card – Sam’s Club, is a membership-based warehouse club that allows you to buy products in bulk at cost-effective prices. Owned by parent company Walmart, Sam’s Club now has more than 600 locations throughout the US. The MasterCard itself is authorized and issued by US financial institution Synchrony Bank.
As with any other credit card product, consumers are required to meet certain conditions before being approved. However, Sam’s Club Credit MasterCard is known to accept those with ‘Fair’ credit, meaning that the barriers to entry are reasonably low.
Nevertheless, every time you make an eligible purchase with your card, you will receive a percentage of the sale back in reward points. These reward points can then be used to make purchases at any US or Puerto Rico-based Sam’s Club stores.
How Much Cashback Will I Receive?
If you are going to apply for a credit card with the sole purpose of maximizing reward points, it is important to first assess how much you are likely to get, as well as which products and services are eligible.
First and foremost, the overarching selling point to Sam’s Club Credit MasterCard is that you get a whopping 5% cashback when purchasing gas. Very few, if any, US credit card providers can rival this offering, so if you find yourself spending heaps of money every week on gas, then the card is ideal.
On top of your gas cashback, the Sam’s Club Credit MasterCard will also give you 3% on any purchases made on travel and dining. This is somewhat comparable to other cashback-driven credit cards currently in the market. Outside of gas, dining and petrol, you’ll earn 1% on any purchases made at Sam’s Club, and everywhere else that accepts MasterCard.
Taking the above into account, the stand-out feature is most definitely the 5% gas cash back offering. If you were to utilize the full $6,000 allocation, you would earn $300 in cash back rewards.
So now that you know how much you will get back by using the card, let’s take a look at where you can spend your reward points.
Where can I Spend my Cash Back?
There is often a misconception that the rewards earned via Sam’s Club Credit MasterCard can be spent anywhere. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, the cashback that you accumulate can only be spent at a Sam’s Club store.
This is somewhat problematic, not least because you actually need to be a member of Sam’s Club in order to apply for the card, and thus, spend the points. This comes at an annual cost of $45.
However, Sam’s Club Credit MasterCard is known to run promotions for new applicants. At the time of writing, the platform offers you $45 in statement credit when you first sign-up, which essentially means the first year of membership is free.
On a separate note, the points that you accumulate are only available to redeem once per year. As such, you’ll be able to use them in February, based on the previous year’s cashback. Furthermore, the amount of cash back that you can earn each year is capped at $5,000. However, do bare in mind that you would need to spend a 6-figure sum on your card in order to earn this much anyway.
Who can Apply for a Sam’s Club Credit MasterCard
As with all credit cards, you will need to make sure that you are eligible before making an application. In the case of Sam’s Club Credit MasterCard, you will be required to have a credit score of ‘Fair’. According to Experian, a ‘Fair’ credit score equates to a FICO score of between 580 and 669. As such, unless you have a less than desirable relationship with credit, you stand a very good chance of acceptance.
It is also important to note that the credit limit you are offered is likely to begin at just $1,000. However, this shouldn’t be too much of an issue if you are obtaining the card purely for cashback. As long as you repay the balance in full at the end of each month, it’s highly likely that you’ll have enough credit to maximize the 5% gas cashback offer.
Sam’s Club Credit MasterCard – Interest Rates and Charges
On top of making considerations regarding eligibility, you also need to assess the costs of using the card. Of course, if you pay your balance at the end of each month, the interest rate is effectively irrelevant. However, this won’t be the case for everyone, so you need to understand what you will pay.
At the time of writing, the card comes with a purchase APR of either 17.15% or 25.15%. This will ultimately depend on your creditworthiness at the time of the application. The card doesn’t come with any introductory purchase rates, and it isn’t suitable for balance transfers, either.
If you decide to use the card for a cash advance, then this will come with an APR of 22.15% or 28.15%. Once again, this will depend on your credit profile when you apply for the card. Cash advances also come with a fee of either 3% or $5 – whichever is greater.
Due to the nature of the high purchase APR and cash advance fee, you should not apply for the Sam’s Club Credit MasterCard for any purpose other than the cash back. In fact, it will actually end up costing you more money that the cashback is worth, subsequently rendering the exercise pointless.
For example, although you will have access to 5% cashback on your gas purchases, if you don’t pay the card off in full at the end of the month, the purchase interest will potentially wipe out the entire benefit in one fell swoop.
While failing to pay off your card in full each month will cost you more than the benefit of the cashback, you also need to remember that failing to make a payment on-time period will be even more costly for you.
In fact, the Sam’s Club Credit MasterCard comes with a late payment fee of $38. On top of this, if you do miss a payment, you will have the interest applied on all of the purchases you have made on your card.
It is therefore wise to set-up a monthly direct debit. This way, as long as you have the required money in your bank, you’ll never face the risk of missing a payment. If you are unable to do this, then you will need to make your repayments manually via your online account portal.
Furthermore, there are also penalties concerning your cashback rewards if your account is not in good standing. According to the platform’s terms and conditions, you’ll lose your right to earn cashback if you miss the minimum payment on two or more occasions. Alternatively, if at the end of the year you have not earned in excess of $5 in cashback, you’ll also lose your cashback eligibility.
Sam’s Club Credit MasterCard: Customer Service and Reviews
The customer service team at Sam’s Club work seven days per week. They operate between 7AM and 11PM (CST) Monday to Saturday, and then 10AM to 8PM (CST) on Sundays.
If you do need to contact customer support, the easiest way to do this is via the platform’s live chat facility. You also have the option of calling the team during office hours. Finally, if you need assistance outside of office hours, you can send an email.
In terms of customer reviews available in the public domain, there doesn’t appear to be anything concrete enough to make a reasonable assessment. For example, over at TrustPilot – which is often a good indicator of a company’s reputation, has a rating of 2/5. However, with just 48 reviews in total, we can’t really use this as a fair indicator.
How do you Apply for a Sam’s Club Credit MasterCard?
The Sam’s Club Credit MasterCard application process is super easy. In fact, it should only take a few minutes if using the online application portal.
As is standard with any online credit card application, you will need to provide some personal information. This will include your full name, address, date of birth, and social security number. You will also need to provide information about your employment status, how much you earn, and what your current relationship with debt is.
In the vast majority of cases, you should receive an instant decision on your card application. However, if Sam’s Club is unable to verify the information you provide with the external sources they use, then it can take up to 7 days to receive a decision.
Once a decision has been made, you should receive your card within a week.
Sam’s Club Credit MasterCard Review: The Verdict?
In summary, although there’s much to like about Sam’s Club Credit MasterCard, it is important to recognize that the card should only be applied for with the sole purpose of maximizing your cashback rewards.
In fact, at a tempting 5% cash back rate, some would argue that the card is best used exclusively for your gas purchases.
The reason for this is that 3% cashback on travel and restaurant purchases is much the same as other cashback-specific cards out there. Moreover, other credit cards in the cashback arena do not require you to become a member.
However, while Sam’s Club Credit MasterCard does come with an annual membership fee of $45, this is waved in the first year if you are able to take advantage of its new customer promotion.
If you are actually a frequent customer of Sam’s Club, and thus, you are a member anyway, then there is no question that the card is worth obtaining. On the other hand, it is crucial that you attempt to pay the card’s balance off in full each and every month. Otherwise, not only will the interest rate cripple any of the cashback benefits that you have accumulated, but you also face the risk of a $38 late payment fee.
As a final note, you should also remember that the cashback rewards you earn throughout the year can only be used at Sam’s Club stores. Moreover, the rewards are only released once per year, every February. This means that if you were to cancel your membership before February, you would lose the entire cashback rewards that you earned in the previous calendar year.
Sam's Club Credit Card
- Bonus cash back categories
- 5% cash back on gas purchases
- 3% cash back on travel and dining
- 1% cash back on all other purchases
- No annual fee
- Sam's Club membership required
- Rewards can only be redeemed at Sam’s Club