Sam's Club Shopping Guide
About Sam’s Club
Sam’s Club is owned by its parent company, WalMart, which was founded by Sam Walton. Since the first Sam’s Club opened in Midwest City, Oklahoma in April 1983, the company has since expanded to 47 US states, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Mexico, and China. There are over 650 warehouses in the US, operating in every state but Vermont, Oregon, and Rhode Island. Sam’s Club has a wide selection of items ranging from food and furniture to pharmacy and health items. You must be a member to shop with Sam’s Club, so check out your membership options and benefits below:
Sam’s Club Savings Membership
This is the most basic membership package. Sam’s Club Savings includes access to Sam’s Club retail and online inventories, discounts on eyeglasses, and eligibility for the Sam’s Club MasterCard. Plus, get instant savings deals and club pick-up options for purchases.
Sam’s Club Business Membership
If you own a business, you could get access to even more benefits than the basic package offered to regular members. Not only does this card give you early access to Sam’s Club warehouses (7am, Monday through Saturday), but also the option to add-on memberships to your account for $45 each so your employees are also covered.
Sam’s Club Plus Membership
Sam’s Club says their “best value” membership is the Plus membership, which gives you all the basic amenities offered to regular members, as well as cash rewards back on purchases ($10 for every $500 spent, up to $500 back annually), extra protection service plans on non-electronic items purchased through Sam’s Club, extra discounts on prescription medicines, and $50 off your first pair of glasses purchased through the Sam’s Club Optics Center.
Other Membership Options
Sam’s Club has options for military members and college students as well. When you sign up for a Sam’s Club membership with valid military or college I.D. (and a .edu email address for college students signing up or renewing a membership online), you could receive a Sam’s Club e-gift card worth between $15-25 just for becoming a member.
Sam’s Club Auto
One of the unique perks of holding a Sam’s Club membership is access to the Sam’s Club Auto Center. Here you’ll find great deals on tires. Find deals like $60 off a set of four new tires from a well-known brand. Auto services included in the price of membership range from free battery tests and tire balancing and rotation to free flat tire repairs, decent warranties on auto items, and access to the Sam’s Club Auto Buying Program. With this program, you’ll see cars for sale in the Certified Dealer Network and be able to save an average of $3,279 off MSRP (according to Sam’s Club’s records). The buying program also has a $1,000 bonus for Sam’s Club members in some instances, so it’s worth looking into if you’re a member and also in the market for a new or used car.
Sam’s Club Business Center
Sam’s Club was originally designed with small businesses in mind, and although the company has since branched out to serve individuals, they still retain several services for their business members. The Business Center on SamsClub.com offers services such as business payment solutions and legal solutions, as well as inventory items for retail locations and office supplies for corporate centers.
Sam’s Club has its own area just for moms on its website called Mom’s Corner. There you’ll find baby gift sets for your friends’ baby showers, diapers and potty training tools for the little ones, cribs, and clothing for both babies and kids.
To give their members even greater discounts, Sam’s Club has a section on their website with “Shocking Values.” Items in this category are priced even lower than they normally are for Sam’s Club members, whether it’s a pair of Oakley sunglasses or a new smartphone with $30 knocked off the regular value. Items are listed in limited quantities and for a limited time, so be sure to sign up for the Shocking Values e-newsletter to get the scoop on Sam’s Club’s latest deals.
Sam’s Club Online Auctions
If you’re a Sam’s Club member who wants to snag a deal on anything from cooking appliances to computers, then checking out the Sam’s Club Auctions is a must. You’ll find numerous items up for grabs for a limited amount of time, with starting bids of $1. On the product page, you can see how many folks are currently bidding for the item, as well as the current bid price. You can sign up for the Sam’s Club email newsletter to get daily updates on new auction items or sign up for text message alerts if there’s an item you particularly don’t want to miss out on.
Sam’s Club Sensory Lab
Did you know Sam’s Club has its own Sensory Lab where it tests as many as 36 food items each week? Food scientists test the texture, flavor, and appearance of foods that will soon show up in Sam’s Club locations, such as pizza and sauces. Sam’s Club associates try out new offerings and give feedback to provide nothing but the best items for Sam’s Club members when the new products hit the shelves. Since 2008, Sam’s Club Sensory Lab has tested over 10,000 items, many of which appear in warehouses today.
Free Samples at Sam’s Club
If you’re a member who lives near a Sam’s Club warehouse, you have special access to free sample offerings from mid-morning through the afternoon (usually on weekends, but occasional weekdays too). Many clubs offer food sampling booths throughout the food section of the warehouse with everything from meats and cheeses to chips and dips to try before you buy.
Sam’s Club MasterCard
Sam’s Club has its own branded MasterCard with huge cash back deals for cardholders. You’ll get 5% cash back on gas purchases. Plus, many Sam’s Club warehouses have their own cheap gas stations. You’ll get 3% cash back on dining and travel, and 1% cash back on everything else. Sam’s Club doesn’t accept Visa as a form of payment, so getting a Sam’s Club MasterCard is a safe bet if you’re going to be shopping here frequently.
Checking Out With Promo Codes
At checkout, there is also an area to enter any promo codes you might’ve found for Sam’s Club to give you the biggest discount possible before paying.
Sam’s Club Customer Service
Sam’s Club customer service is available 7 days a week. Contact them from 7am to 11pm (CST) Monday through Saturday and 10am to 8pm (CST) on Sundays. You can reach a representative by calling 888-746-7726 or contact them through their email form on their website. You can also visit your nearest Sam’s Club location if you require assistance with an item. Use their handy Club Locator to find your nearest location.