Who is This Credit Card Best For?
Diligently searches for the best products and delights in a good bargain
Looks for good quality at a fair price while buying for the household
Gets joy from shopping for ingredients, making meals, and dining
Frequently shops with a particular merchant and wants to be rewarded for their loyalty
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.
Doesn't require good credit
Fee-free cash advances
Can only be used at Sam's Club and Walmart
No rewards on your purchases
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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.