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Warehouse clubs are a popular way to save money on your weekly purchases. You most likely have a Sam’s Club nearby. The Sam’s Club® Mastercard® might be an option to get up to 5% back on Sam’s Club purchases and 3% back on travel and dining. However, there are some conditions to keep your account in good standing.

sams club mastercard
Use your Sam’s Club Mastercard to earn rewards for gasoline purchases. Photo by Skitterphoto from Pexels

If you are a regular Sam’s Club shopper, this card can be a good option to earn cash rewards. But if you only shop at Sam’s a few times a year, or thinking about letting your membership expire, you may want to think again.

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

Sam’s Club Members Only

Only current Sam’s Club members can apply for the Sam’s Club® Mastercard®. A basic Club membership costs $45. This member tier lets you pay the member prices at Sam’s and Sam’s Club gas stations.

A Plus membership costs $100 per year. Extra benefits include free shipping for online purchases, discounts on prescriptions and eyeglasses, and early shopping hours. Being a Plus member doesn’t give you extra benefits with the Sam’s Club Mastercard.

If you are already a happy Sam’s Club member, this credit card can be an easy way to get more value from your membership.

Signup Bonus

The current signup bonus is underwhelming. You can get a $55 statement credit when you spend $55 online at Sam’s Club. You will need to make this purchase on the same day you open your Sam’s Club Mastercard account. Make sure you are ready to make an online Sam’s order when you apply.

Because you will only break-even at best with this bonus, you should apply for this card if you can benefit from the 5% and 3% cash rewards categories.

Related: For the most valuable credit card signup bonus, check out these limited-time bonus offers.

5% Back at Gas Stations

You will earn 5% back on the first $6,000 in annual gasoline purchases at most gas stations in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. Eligible stations include Sam’s Club, Walmart, Murphy USA, and most non-Sam’s Club or Walmart stations like Exxon, Shell, Phillips 66.

Gas purchases at other warehouse clubs (i.e. Costco or BJ’s) and most grocery stores won’t earn the 5% bonus.

The Sam’s Club Mastercard is one of the best gas rewards credit cards because you get 5% back. This is one of the highest cash back rates for gas purchases. Being able to earn 5% back at non-Sam’s Club gas stations is also a nice touch if you don’t get fuel at Sam’s.

3% Back at Restaurants and Travel Purchases

You earn 3% back on restaurants worldwide and travel purchases. Dining and travel purchases at other warehouse clubs won’t earn the bonus rewards.

There isn’t a foreign transaction fee so you can keep the full 3% cash reward on international travel.

The 5% gas station rewards and these 3% bonus categories are the two best reasons to apply for this card. However, your only redemption option is a Sam’s Club statement credit that automatically deposits into your account each February.

If you want travel rewards, you may enjoy the flexibility of cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card. You can compare the two in our Chase Sapphire Preferred vs Capital One Venture Rewards post. Note that Sam’s Club accepts both cards as payment. Plus, you have the option of redeeming your points for award travel or transferring to airline partners.

This means your points can be worth more than a Sam’s Club shopping credit.

Bonus article: See our top picks for the best credit cards for restaurants.

1% Back on Everything Else

All remaining purchases earn 1% back. This includes in-store and online Sam’s Club purchases. Your Sam’s Club Mastercard will have near-universal acceptance. As a result, you shouldn’t have a problem finding places to get 1% back when you’re not shopping at Sam’s.

One downside to this card is that ordinary Sam’s Club purchases only get 1% back. Even the Costco credit card and even the brand-new Capital One Walmart Mastercard earn 2% back on in-store and online purchases.

Sam’s Club accepts credit cards from the four major issuers (Visa, Mastercard, Amex, and Discover) for in-store and online purchases. If you have another card that earns more than 1% back at warehouse clubs, you are better off using that for Sam’s Club purchases.

One example is the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card which earns 1.5% back on every purchase. Learn more in our in-depth Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards credit card review.

Up to $5,000 Back Each Year

You can only earn up to $5,000 in cash rewards each year. This annual limit won’t be an issue for most people. For example, $100,000 in purchases with the 1% back rate is only $1,000 in cash rewards.

Redeem Rewards for Sam’s Club Shopping Credit

Only having one reward redemption option deserves more attention. Your rewards deposit as a Sam’s Club shopping credit each February. So if you are thinking about canceling your card or Sam’s Club membership, you have to wait until after February or you risk losing all your purchase rewards from last year.

To keep your Sam’s Club Mastercard account in good standing, you must earn at least $5 cash rewards in a calendar year. Buying at least $100 in gas each year is the easiest way to meet the $5 rewards minimum.

Only getting your cash rewards in February is another downside of this card. The Costco Anywhere Visa also issues your rewards in February but you can earn up to $10,000 in rewards each year.

Cash Access Up to $100

One additional benefit this card offers is the ability to get a daily $100 cash advance at Walmart or Sam’s Club locations. This advance can be subject to the purchase APR interest charges.

No Annual Fee or Foreign Transaction Fee

This card doesn’t charge an annual fee or foreign transaction fee. The only fee you pay is your annual Sam’s Club membership fee.

Pros

  • Earn 5% back at gas stations (on the first $6,000 annually)
  • Earn 3% back on dining and travel
  • All remaining purchases earn 1% back
  • No annual fee or foreign transaction fee

Cons

  • Cash rewards deposit in February
  • Rewards can only be redeemed at Sam’s Club
  • Can only earn up to $5,000 in rewards each year
  • Must be a Sam’s Club member to apply

Sam’s Club Mastercard vs Sam’s Club Credit Card

You will need a 700 credit score or higher to qualify for the Sam’s Club Mastercard. This requirement is relatively high compared to other branded retail credit cards.

If you don’t qualify, Synchrony Bank (the issuing bank for Sam’s Club credit cards) may offer you the Sam’s Club Credit Card instead. While this card has no annual fee, it doesn’t earn any rewards points. But, making on-time payments can help you eventually qualify for a card that will earn rewards points on every purchase.

Summary

This card is best for Sam’s Club members who can maximize the gas stations, travel, and dining bonus categories. You will also need to be okay with only receiving your cash rewards once a year in February as a Sam’s Club shopping credit. If you don’t like these restrictions, a flexible rewards credit card is a better fit.

Josh Patoka

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