Sam’s Club Credit Card Review

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The Sam’s Club Credit Card, issued by Synchrony Bank, is a basic store credit card for Sam’s Club members with a less-than-stellar credit profile. It can only be used at Sam’s Club and Walmart stores, both owned by Walmart Inc.

Sam's Club® Credit Card

overall rating
1.3
Sam's Club® Credit Card
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Fair - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 24.4% variable
Annual Fee $0
Ratings Breakdown
for Interest
2.0
for Fees
1.9
for Rewards
3.8
for Credit
3.0

Who Is This Credit Card Best For?

  • Avatar for Deal Seeker Persona
    Diligently searches for the best products and delights in a good bargain See more cards
    Deal Seeker
  • Avatar for Family Shopper Persona
    Looks for good quality at a fair price while buying for the household See more cards
    Family Shopper
  • Avatar for Foodie Persona
    Gets joy from shopping for ingredients, making meals, and dining See more cards
    Foodie
  • Avatar for Brand Loyalist Persona
    Frequently shops with a particular merchant and wants to be rewarded for their loyalty See more cards
    Brand Loyalist

The Sam’s Club Credit Card can only be used at Sam’s Club and Walmart stores and doesn’t offer any rewards on purchases, so it’s mainly for borrowers who aren’t likely to qualify for a better credit card that can be used more broadly. If your credit is just fair (if you have a FICO score of 580 to 669) and you shop at Sam’s Club and Walmart frequently, this card can be a worthwhile financing tool, albeit with a steep interest rate. 

It may also be a good option if you’re looking for a card to build up your credit score and want to avoid an annual fee. Responsible use and on-time monthly payments can help your credit profile over time.

By the same token, if you’ve got good credit, you should consider the Sam’s Club Mastercard instead. This alternative can be used anywhere that accepts Mastercard, and it offers cash back on each dollar you spend. 

Just keep in mind that you must be a Sam’s Club member to apply for either card, and if your membership is suspended or canceled for any reason, you won’t be able to use it. The minimum cost to join the warehouse club is $45 a year.

Pros
  • Doesn't require good credit

  • Fee-free cash advances

Cons
  • Can only be used at Sam's Club and Walmart

  • No rewards on your purchases

Pros Explained

  • Doesn’t require good credit: Since store credit cards are typically easier to qualify for, you may be eligible for the Sam’s Club Credit Card even if you have a fair credit score. This could be a boon if you’re looking for a credit card to help build or rehabilitate a thin or imperfect credit profile. 
  • Fee-free cash advances: This card lets you access as much as $100 in cash at Sam’s Club registers (in $20 increments) as long as you’re making a purchase as well. These advances are treated as purchases, so the interest rate is the same and there’s no cash advance fee. 

Cons Explained

  • Can only be used at Sam’s Club and Walmart: This is a traditional store credit card in that it can only be used within the family of stores for which it’s branded. (The Sam’s Club Mastercard doesn’t have these restrictions, but you’ll probably have to have good credit to get that card.) 
  • No rewards on your purchases: Many credit cards—even for people with fair credit—offer points or a percentage of every dollar you spend in cash back, but you won’t be rewarded with this card. (Again, the Sam’s Club Mastercard is probably a better alternative if you have good credit because it does have rewards, including 5% cash back on gas purchases.)

Sam’s Club Credit Card Sign-Up Bonus

Through June 15, 2020, you can earn a $45 statement credit when you sign up for the card online and spend at least $45 at SamsClub.com in the same day. (The credit appears within 90 days of the purchase.) This means your first purchase could be entirely free.

While the dollar amount of this bonus isn’t earth-shattering, it’s a decent incentive for a store card, particularly if you don’t plan to spend a ton right away. Other store cards offer a 10% or 20% discount on your first purchase.

How to Get the Most Out of This Card

With no rewards to speak of, the Sam’s Club Credit Card is best for people who need time to pay off large Sam’s Club or Walmart purchases. According to the terms disclosed online, interest-free promotions are available from time to time, giving cardholders limited periods to carry a balance without accruing finance charges.

In some cases, these may be deferred-interest promotions, which should be considered with caution. If you don’t pay off your balance by the time a deferred-interest promotion expires, you will have to pay interest on the entire balance retroactively, including on what you’ve already paid off.

If you get this card as a tool to build up your credit, make sure to pay your monthly bills on time, with no exceptions. Establishing a good track record of payments is the single biggest factor in FICO credit score calculations.

If you shop more at Walmart than Sam’s Club, you may want to instead consider the Walmart Rewards Card, issued by Capital One. It’s a store card with similar credit requirements, but you’ll have the opportunity to earn rewards on Walmart purchases.

Customer Service

Synchrony Bank received a below-average rating in J.D. Power’s 2019 U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study, ranking 10th out of 11 national issuers examined. On the plus side, the company offers a digital help desk, online chat, and secure email messaging for credit card customers.

Security Features

Synchrony Bank offers standard security features including transaction monitoring and account authentication. 

Sam’s Club Credit Card Fees

The Sam’s Club Credit Card charges relatively standard fees for a store credit card with limited utility. One upside is its lack of fees for quick cash advances at Sam’s Club registers. 

Next Steps
For Sam's Club® Credit Card
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CURRENT CARD
Sam's Club® Credit Card
overall rating
1.3
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Fair - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 24.4% variable
Annual Fee $0
Our Methodology
At The Balance, we are dedicated to giving you unbiased, comprehensive credit card reviews. To do this, we collect data on hundreds of cards and score more than 55 features that affect your finances.
  • Our Reviews Are Always Impartial: No one can influence which cards we review, the way we present them to you, or the ratings they receive. The scores and reviews come directly from the data we collect and our editorial expertise, and we focus on three areas:
  • How Much Does It Cost? With credit card debt at an all-time high, we believe you should know the cost of carrying a balance. Because of that, we give regular purchase APRs significant weight in overall scores, and cards receive low marks if they have an array of pricey fees.
  • What Are the Rewards Worth? Cards accumulate rewards in different currencies—points, miles, cash back—and their values vary widely. To simplify the problem, we built a system that fairly compares rewards and gives them a dollar value. We do this by looking at the ways you can earn and use rewards, which includes evaluating Americans’ typical spending habits and analyzing common travel patterns.
  • Does It Make Your Life Easier? Our scoring system favors cards that accept a wide range of credit profiles and offer simple solutions for things like checking your credit score or contacting customer service. Finally, we give preference to credit cards that have several tools for dealing with fraudulent charges.
  • For every review on The Balance, we hold the credit cards to these standards, and we set the bar high. While we recognize the appeal of splashy features like six-digit sign-up bonuses, our approach ensures that credit cards with the best combination of value, affordability, and accessibility receive the highest scores. See our full methodology for more details.

Article Sources

The Balance requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy .
  1. Sam's Club. "Shop more, get more with a Sam's Club Mastercard." Accessed Jan. 10, 2020.

  2. Sam's Club. "SYNCHRONY BANK/RATES AND FEES TABLE/SAM’S CLUB® MASTERCARD® AND SAM’S CLUB® PERSONAL CREDIT CARD ACCOUNT," Page 6. Accessed Jan. 10, 2020.  

  3. Sam's Club. "Get the most out of your membership." Accessed Jan. 10, 2020.

  4. Sam's Club. "SYNCHRONY BANK/RATES AND FEES TABLE/SAM’S CLUB® MASTERCARD® AND SAM’S CLUB® PERSONAL CREDIT CARD ACCOUNT," Page 5. Accessed Jan. 10, 2020.  

  5. Sam's Club. "SYNCHRONY BANK/RATES AND FEES TABLE/SAM’S CLUB® MASTERCARD® AND SAM’S CLUB® PERSONAL CREDIT CARD ACCOUNT," Page 9. Accessed Jan. 10, 2020.  

  6. J.D. Power. "Credit Card Rewards War Reaches Inflection Point as Competition Grows, J.D. Power Finds." Accessed Jan. 10, 2020.