Sam’s Club Mastercard Review: Is It Worth It?

The Sam's Club Mastercard offers generous gas and dining rewards, and rewards those who are loyal Sam's Club Members.
  • Annual Fee:
    $0
  • Regular APR:
    14.90% - 22.90%, Variable
  • Recommended Credit Score:
    670 - 850

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If you’re a Sam’s Club member, you probably spend a lot of time in their store. After all, you’re paying for the privilege of shopping in bulk!

So, it makes sense to use a credit card that maximizes your Sam’s Club membership value. Of course, the opposite is also true. A card that rewards Sam’s Club members isn’t much good to people without a membership.

The Sam’s Club Mastercard is a special Mastercard exclusively for Sam’s Club members. It costs no annual fee and comes with a $30 sign-up bonus.

You get rewards on Sam’s Club purchases, with bonus rewards for Sam’s Club Plus members. You also get an impressive 5% cash back on gasoline, up to $6,000 per year.

Sam’s Club Mastercard Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • No annual fee
  • $30 sign-up bonus
  • Generous fuel rewards
  • Also serves as a Sam’s Club card

Cons:

  • High APR
  • Can only redeem rewards at Sam’s Club
  • Requires Sam’s Club membership

Sam’s Club Mastercard Review

So, what does the Sam’s Club Mastercard have to offer? Let’s start by going over the basics. After that, we’ll take a deep dive into some of the specifics.

  • Annual Fee: None!
  • Regular APR: 14.90% – 22.90 variable rate
  • Sign-Up Bonus: $30 if you spend $30 at Sam’s club in the first 30 days
  • Rewards: 1% cash back on all Sam’s Club purchases (3% for Sam’s Club Plus members), 3% cash back on restaurants, 5% cash back on fuel (up to $6,000 per year, then 1% after that)

Sam’s Club Mastercard Features and Benefits

Stellar Gas Rewards

Let’s start with the Sam’s Club Mastercard’s most obvious benefit: the 5% gas rewards. Any time you see rewards of more than 2 or 3 percent in a given category, you know you’re looking at a great value.

The nice thing is that the gas rewards aren’t tied to any particular location. As long as a gas station accepts Mastercard, you’ll get the full 5%.

The 3% dining rewards are also worth mentioning. To be fair, you’re talking about a luxury category here, not a necessity like fuel.

That said, three percent is three percent! The dining rewards are also unlimited, while the fuel rewards aren’t. On the other hand, most people will never come close to spending $6,000 a year on fuel, so it’s a moot point in most cases.

No Annual Fee

The Sam’s Club Mastercard costs no annual fee. This sets it apart from most rewards cards, which typically cost a fee of $99 – or more – per year.

At a cash back rate of 1%, you’ll have to spend $10,000 on your card to break even. By contrast, with the Sam’s Club card, you’ll be benefitting from the first dollar you spend.

That said, you’ll already need a Sam’s Club membership to get the card. A Sam’s Club membership costs $45 a year, and a Sam’s Club Plus membership – required to earn 3% bonus rewards – will cost you $100 per year.

This means you will have to pay a fee before you can get a Sam’s Club Mastercard. But it’s not a card fee; it’s the Sam’s Club membership, which comes with a host of benefits of its own.

Decent Sign-Up Bonus

Let’s be clear, the $30 sign-up bonus is hardly a game-changer. But it’s a nice added “thank you” just for using the card for the first time.

As long as you spend at least $30 at Sam’s Club in the first month, you’ll receive your $30 bonus. Compared to many similar cards that offer no bonus whatsoever, the Sam’s Club Mastercard offers plenty of value.

We should point out the rewards because they can only be redeemed at Sam’s Club. You can’t apply them directly to your credit card bill, and you can’t use them for other purchases.

On the other hand, rewards are very easy to redeem. They’re loaded onto your card automatically, so you can use them next time you go to Sam’s Club. There’s no effort required on your part to go and claim them.

Mastercard ID Theft Protection

Along with all of the Sam’s Club benefits, you can also take advantage of Mastercard ID Theft Protection.

This is a free program provided by Mastercard that monitors your card and other personal information.

It’s far more comprehensive than a basic fraud prevention program. In addition to just your card info, it monitors the web for compromised passwords and hacked accounts.

If Mastercard ID Theft Protection determines that your information has been stolen, you’ll automatically receive a push alert.

This allows you to take immediate action or to dismiss the alert and worry about it later. Alerts can also be turned off altogether in the settings if you so desire.

$0 Fraud Liability

The Sam’s Club Mastercard comes with $0 fraud liability. This means that you won’t be responsible for charges made if your card is lost or stolen.

If someone hacks your Amazon account and orders $500 worth of stuff, you won’t get stuck with the bill.

Keep in mind that this does mean you may have to approve some purchases. Mastercard will monitor your account’s activity and may call to verify if you’re making an unusual purchase.

This is only mildly inconvenient and typically takes just a minute. Still, it’s something to be aware of when you’re renting a car or making another large purchase.

How Does the Sam’s Club Mastercard Compare?

#1. Sam’s Club Credit Card vs. Sam’s Club Mastercard

A Sam’s Club Credit Card is an alternative option for individuals whose credit score doesn’t qualify for the Sam’s Club Mastercard.

On the one hand, it’s easy to qualify for. On the other hand, it can only be used at Sam’s Club and Walmart stores.

However, the biggest difference is that the Sam’s Club Credit Card doesn’t offer any rewards. If you qualify for the Sam’s Club Mastercard, there’s absolutely no reason to apply for the ordinary credit card.

On the other hand, the basic Sam’s Club Credit Card can be useful for building credit, and it’s better than no card at all.

#2. Sam’s Club Mastercard vs. Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi

The Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi is similar in many ways to the Sam’s Club Mastercard, with minor differences.

You earn 4% on fuel instead of 5%, but you also get 1% on all purchases and 2% on all Costco purchases. The 3% rewards for dining is the same, and there’s also no fee.

The most obvious difference is that one card is for Costco members, and the other is for Sam’s Club members. Most likely, you’re going to want to opt for the one for the warehouse store you actually shop at.

#3. Sam’s Club Mastercard vs. Amazon Prime Rewards Signature Visa Card

The Amazon Prime Rewards Signature Visa Card is another similar rewards card for Amazon Prime members.

Purchases on Amazon and at Whole Foods will net you a cool 3% cash back with 2% cash back for fuel and 1% for all other purchases.

There’s also no fee, and you get a $50 Amazon gift card with approval. If you’re already an Amazon Prime member, it’s a great way to get money back for purchases you’re already making.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Sam’s Club Mastercard a Good Credit Card?

The Sam’s Club Mastercard is an excellent value for Sam’s Club members. With no annual fee, it’s essentially free, and you get a neat 1% cash back on Sam’s Club purchases – or 3% if you’re a Sam’s Club Plus member.

There’s really no downside, and the 5% fuel rewards are an excellent added value.

That said, keep in mind that it’s only available to Sam’s Club members. If there’s no Sam’s Club in your area – or if you don’t care to shop there – you won’t be able to redeem your rewards.

How Do I Apply for a Sam’s Club Mastercard?

You can apply for a Sam’s Club Mastercard online. The application process is quick and easy, but make sure to have your Sam’s Club card handy. You’ll need your membership number to complete the application.

Who Issues the Sam’s Club Mastercard?

The Sam’s Club Mastercard is issued by Synchrony Bank under a license with Mastercard. Synchrony Bank is an FDIC-insured company and is listed on the S&P 500, with a market cap of $14.8 billion at the time of this writing.

Can I Use the Sam’s Club Mastercard Anywhere?

Yes. Because it’s a Mastercard, the Sam’s Club Mastercard can be used anywhere Mastercard is accepted. This includes online and real-world merchants, both inside the US and abroad.

Bottom Line: Sam’s Club Mastercard Review

The Sam’s Club Mastercard provides an excellent value for existing Sam’s Club members who want to earn cash back on their club purchases.

It also provides excellent fuel rewards, with no annual fee. If you do a lot of shopping at Sam’s Club and you want a good cash back card, this is a solid choice.

Other Store Credit Cards Reviewed:

Kim Pinnelli
Kim Pinnelli
Kim is a personal finance expert with a Bachelor’s degree in Finance from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She has been freelance writing for 13 years for a number of large publications. Kim thoroughly enjoys helping people take charge of their personal finances.