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I paid for the $40 membership that didn't come with the coupons.

They promised if I got the upgraded membership, and I didn't like it, they'd prorate the difference on what I didn't save.

I looked at the coupons they were offering for the month, and none of them really seemed enticing enough to make me want to pay an extra $60.

Does anyone have this membership? Do you find it worth the money?

Member Summary
Most Recent Posts
Would you get any Cash Back without upgrading? E.g. with a regular Am3x, or maybe a debit card? At Sam's Club I'm payin... (more)

mrbudman (Sep. 12, 2010 @ 12:29p) |

I recommend for Sam's that people get a business membership. It's $35 for the year, and you have the privilege of going... (more)

HawkeyeNFO (Sep. 12, 2010 @ 1:51p) |

Yes, you get CashBack without upgrading, and an additional 2% when you upgrade.

Without upgrade
Costco Gas 3%
With upgrad... (more)

riznick (Sep. 13, 2010 @ 5:07p) |

Quick Summary is created and edited by users like you... Add FAQ's, Links and other Relevant Information by clicking the edit button in the lower right hand corner of this message.
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no its not worth it.
Its not fair for Sam's Club to charge 100 bucks for people to shop with them. Every store hands out coupons for free. I think even $40 is steep too. In general if you shop for only sale items in grocery store or shop in WalMart that's a lot cheaper

loyosewe said: no its not worth it.
Its not fair for Sam's Club to charge 100 bucks for people to shop with them. Every store hands out coupons for free. I think even $40 is steep too. In general if you shop for only sale items in grocery store or shop in WalMart that's a lot cheaper


Honestly, I'm really happy with my membership so far. I feel like I saved a lot of money on my first grocery trip.

You may feel like its not "fair" but compared to WalMart the price were better and the employees were a lot friendlier.

OP, I think you just answered your own question replying to loyosewe.

The reason I shop at SamsClub, and pay the membership fee, is because I know I get good prices without having to keep track of sales and coupons and other promotions. Paying more to play the coupon game again just felt wrong and defeating the whole idea.

Upgrading is questionable but the $40 basic fee is some of the best money you'll spend all year. The bulk savings are ridiculous.

i like my sams club membership because they carry yummy specalty meats/cheeses/etc that my local grocers don't carry.

Might I suggest doing Costco instead and getting the Costco AMEX? The rewards off of that card (3% restaurants unlimited, 3% gas up to $3k a year, 2% travel, 1% everything else...but I only use it for gas and restaurants) will pay for the $50 annual membership and then some.

I agree that Costco is definitely better than Sams club.. although there are better rewards credit cards out there. may be costco AMEX can be used only for gas and restaurant expenses.
ntwrkguy said: Might I suggest doing Costco instead and getting the Costco AMEX? The rewards off of that card (3% restaurants unlimited, 3% gas up to $3k a year, 2% travel, 1% everything else...but I only use it for gas and restaurants) will pay for the $50 annual membership and then some.

Please excuse for digressing further.

The Costco Exec membership ($100) has 2% reward. If shopping for $5000+ at Costco, membership fee is essentially waived. Not to mention that the products already have steep discounts.

ntwrkguy said: Might I suggest doing Costco instead and getting the Costco AMEX? The rewards off of that card (3% restaurants unlimited, 3% gas up to $3k a year, 2% travel, 1% everything else...but I only use it for gas and restaurants) will pay for the $50 annual membership and then some.
When Sams was 25 miles away and Costco was 40 miles away, I had a Sams card. Now that htere is a Costco within 10 miles, I dropped Sams and joined Costco. Paid the extra for the Executive membership and use the AMEX for everything - everywhere I can. Got off track but distance plays a huge part in which 'club' you're part of (at least for me).

But to respond to the OP, I don't think the $100 membership at Sams is nearly the deal of the $100 membership at Costco. I never upgraded when I was at Sams.

This kind of decision is so subjective, because everyone has differing needs and ways that they will use a warehouse club membership and/or premium membership.

Here's the rule of thumb I use: If I can predict, with confidence, that I am going to be able to recoup the cost of membership and then some (enough to make it worth the trouble to drive the extra miles to get to Sams, and wait in those ridiculous lines) I bite.

Here's an example to show what I mean. The first year I bought a Sam's membership, I needed a complete set of tires. Sam's prices beat the next-lowest price I could find by about $20 per tire. So I knew I'd net more than $40 on the deal. I signed up.

When it came time to renew, I looked back on my usage and realized I hadn't bought much else at Sam's. I did not foresee using the membership much, so I did not renew.

In your case, you have yet to see coupons that would earn you back the $60 upgrade cost. You can speculate that those coupons might be forthcoming ... but personally I'd wait and check out next month's batch to see if there's anything there that interests you.

The other benefit to waiting is that sometimes, if you upgrade a membership a few months in, they will extend the basic underlying membership to give you a full year's worth of premium at no additional cost, or prorate the upgrade fee (they seem to have a good bit of leeway on this, at least at the Sam's nearest to me.) I'd ask them about this possibility.

The 40 dollar personal memebership is silly. Get the $30 buisness membership they do notr actually require you to have a buisness and you can have unrelated members on your membership. So I split one with a friend of mine. We each have obnly $15 cost and get all the savings. Plus you get extended hours. Even if not splitting with a friend why pay $10 extra when you do not need to.

Leaving Costco out of the mix, I don't think the $60 difference in fees is worth it. I find that you'll have to be a very savvy and somewhat heavy shopper to make up for it in eValues and Discover card benefits. Early hours isn't something that I think most people really need either.

When they started eValues last year, at our nearest club they claimed that you were 'guaranteed' to save at least $200 since eValues was targeted to your purchasing habits. So it came to the end of the year on my membership and I requested the total of all my eValues savings. It amounted to $46, so I brought up the guarantee -- they apologized and refunded $60 (on the last day of my plus membership). I then renewed for a $40 membership. Maybe ask them if they have a guarantee this year?

lithalum said: Please excuse for digressing further.

The Costco Exec membership ($100) has 2% reward. If shopping for $5000+ at Costco, membership fee is essentially waived. Not to mention that the products already have steep discounts.

You should consider calculating it based on the upgrade cost. That lowers your break even to $2500 which is about $50 per week.

riznick said: lithalum said: Please excuse for digressing further.

The Costco Exec membership ($100) has 2% reward. If shopping for $5000+ at Costco, membership fee is essentially waived. Not to mention that the products already have steep discounts.

You should consider calculating it based on the upgrade cost. That lowers your break even to $2500 which is about $50 per week.


However Costco guarantees each year to refund part of the Exec membership fee if you didn't save at least the amount of the Exec membership fee, so there is no risk in upgrading. When you get the rebate check at the end of the year if it isn't at least $100, you can ask for a refund of the difference (ie if the rebate check was $60, they will refund you $40).

ananthar said: riznick said: You should consider calculating it based on the upgrade cost. That lowers your break even to $2500 which is about $50 per week.
However Costco guarantees each year to refund part of the Exec membership fee if you didn't save at least the amount of the Exec membership fee, so there is no risk in upgrading. When you get the rebate check at the end of the year if it isn't at least $100, you can ask for a refund of the difference (ie if the rebate check was $60, they will refund you $40).

Would you get any Cash Back without upgrading? E.g. with a regular Am3x, or maybe a debit card? At Sam's Club I'm paying with a MC that gives me 1% CB (same as everywhere else). If so, that needs to be taken into account in the calculations.

My opinion to upgrading is if you believe that you will use the benefits than it is worth it. As an employee that is what I tell members. While I would prefer to get coupons on an Advantage Membership like Bj's or Costco may print out. Sam's does not do this. For the most part I think the program is weak. There are other benefits to the plus membership as in Up To 2% Cash Back when you use the sam's discver CC. Discounts at the pharmacy, extra year of warranty when you buy a service plan and car facts reports for the plus members. If you want to shop earlier like the business members that is also available. Check the EValues for the month like another person mentioned and if they appeal to you go for it. We will downgrade your membership for you later if you want.

Membership is guaranteed so it is really a no risk trial. On day 364 will we give you your money back. But if the membership has expired than you lose the option to get your membership fee back. Hope this helped you some.

Would you get any Cash Back without upgrading? E.g. with a regular Am3x, or maybe a debit card? At Sam's Club I'm paying with a MC that gives me 1% CB (same as everywhere else). If so, that needs to be taken into account in the calculations.

Yes when you use the Sam'sClub Discover as an Advantage member you can get up to 1% CashBack. No CashBack is earned with a debit card. Regular discover is weak here because the most you can get in big box stores is .25% No matter what level you are at.

I recommend for Sam's that people get a business membership. It's $35 for the year, and you have the privilege of going in earlier than 10am, when nobody else is shopping. The $100 upgrade at Sam's is pathetic unless you get in when they are offering travel discounts. Otherwise I don't recommend it at all. The coupons are for items that already cost more than most other brands in the store, so we never used them. I like Sam's, but Costco is better.

olegos said: ananthar said: riznick said: You should consider calculating it based on the upgrade cost. That lowers your break even to $2500 which is about $50 per week.
However Costco guarantees each year to refund part of the Exec membership fee if you didn't save at least the amount of the Exec membership fee, so there is no risk in upgrading. When you get the rebate check at the end of the year if it isn't at least $100, you can ask for a refund of the difference (ie if the rebate check was $60, they will refund you $40).

Would you get any Cash Back without upgrading? E.g. with a regular Am3x, or maybe a debit card? At Sam's Club I'm paying with a MC that gives me 1% CB (same as everywhere else). If so, that needs to be taken into account in the calculations.


Yes, you get CashBack without upgrading, and an additional 2% when you upgrade.

Without upgrade
Costco Gas 3%
With upgrade
Costco Gas 5%

Without upgrade
1% back at Costco
With Upgrade
3% back at Costco

Standard CashBack:
3% Cash Back for gasoline everywhere(for annual gasoline purchases of up to $3,000 1% thereafter)
3% Cash Back for restaurants everywhere
2% Cash Back for travel
1% Cash Back everywhere else



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