Sam's Club Mastercard

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There's a couple old threads on this, but they have been archived so I can't add comments.
https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1478543

For those that have had this for a year now, is it worth it? Seems like a strong deal for me regardless of any upfront incentive. The 5% gas and 3% restaurant/travel are as good as anything else out there, though I don't know of any card that offers both. 

For those of you that have the card, can you confirm that you can cash this out at the customer service desk?

Thanks,

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Waiting in line at customer service for anything except returns is a deal breaker.
PenFed Platinum Cash Rewards is 5% on gas. Marvel MasterCard is 3℅ on dining and entertainment.

I understand that you can get the same % using multiple cards, but I want to avoid that. As far as I can tell, this is the only card that pays those % on those categories.

CSR pays effectively ~5% on restaurants and travel. An extra couple percent on gas is not worth it for most people because they don't buy that much gas. 250 gallons is $500 and gets me 10000 miles in a year. An extra 2% on $500 is a whopping $10. So, assuming the best i had on gas was 3%, it would take me 150+ years until it broke even with the CSR bonus even before accounting for time value of money (as only an example... And sure, that's the largest bonus example so not completely fair).

Plus chase freedom has gas at least one quarter per year at 5UR which is like 8% for me. Or i could go buy a couple gas cards at Staples with my Ink for 8% whenever needed.

If you have no restaurant or gas cards then maybe it's worth it. But it takes a LOT of spend at 3%/5% to make up for the missing $500-$1500 opening bonus.

One thing to note is that they exclude 5% cashback for gas from other wholesale clubs, supermarkets, and supercenters.

and you get the bonus back once a year

Citi Costco Visa is 4% gas and 3% restaurant/travel. The gas % is not quite as good as the Sam's MC, but Costco has top tier gas.

UncaMikey said:   Citi Costco Visa is 4% gas and 3% restaurant/travel. The gas % is not quite as good as the Sam's MC, but Costco has top tier gas.Do they really? Just don't put it in your bimmer
Either way Citi Costco Visa gives 4% on gas worldwide, not just at Costco, up to $7K/yr. Sams MC is up to $6K/yr, not sure if it's worldwide.

Yes, you can cash it out at the customer service counter. The cash back "checks" are sent at the beginning of February for the previous calendar years purchases. It's not as easy or convenient as some other cash back cards, but it's a good back up 2% on everything (after the initial spending tier) card for me.

I've had the card for years and I really like it.  I don't mind cashing the check at Sams Club service desk and since I get one check a year it tends to be a decent sized check ($400 or so for me).  This was my primary card for gas and travel/restaurants but now I just use it for gas and Sams since I have the CSR.  I'll keep the card since there is no annual fee and it doubles as my Sams card.

Snezz said:   One thing to note is that they exclude 5% cashback for gas from other wholesale clubs, supermarkets, and supercenters.
  
This is important to point out.  The closet stations to me with the best price are the Kroger/Dillions chain stores gas stations.  The Sams Card wont work there, but I use a combo of Penfed and Chase Freedom to get 5%(slightly less than 5% with Penfed actually due to the reward structure) year round.

Count me as one of the people who don't find 5% for gas very exciting. Now, if you have a family/long commute/etc maybe you spend a ton on gas but for me it's just a not a huge expense.

The 3% on dining/travel is nice, but it's only 1% more than the flat 2% you can get with many cards. If you are signing up for the Sam's card just for the cash back (and therefore paying for membership), it's probably not worth it unless you are spending a ton on dining and travel.

Also, as noted, redemption is inconvenient and can only be done once a year.

Well the biggest thing about this card is you can call SYNC bank and ask for a ridiculous credit limit and get it. Easily go from a $3k card to a $35k card. But you have to call.

Now if you run up 35K on the card at 26% interest, you have serious problems. But if you PIF eat our and travel a lot and shop at sams it's hard to beat.

We joined Sams Club as members back in 2010. That same year, I snagged the Discover (now MC) and have been using it for gas almost exclusively. My check this year will be about $145. I drove maybe 15k miles last year combined between two 2.0T cars and a HEMI V8. I don't think we're renewing our Sams membership this year so I'm not sure if I can maintain the CC without that--if anyone knows, that'd be great. If we can, still, I may just go the PenFed route. First world problems, I admit, but going into Sams just to cash in $100-200 is not worth my time (almost an hour round trip).

Bend3r said:   CSR pays effectively ~5% on restaurants and travel. An extra couple percent on gas is not worth it for most people because they don't buy that much gas. 250 gallons is $500 and gets me 10000 miles in a year. An extra 2% on $500 is a whopping $10. So, assuming the best i had on gas was 3%, it would take me 150+ years until it broke even with the CSR bonus even before accounting for time value of money (as only an example... And sure, that's the largest bonus example so not completely fair).

Plus chase freedom has gas at least one quarter per year at 5UR which is like 8% for me. Or i could go buy a couple gas cards at Staples with my Ink for 8% whenever needed.

If you have no restaurant or gas cards then maybe it's worth it. But it takes a LOT of spend at 3%/5% to make up for the missing $500-$1500 opening bonus.

  How is the CSR paying 5% on restaurants and travel? They're both 3%. I assume you're counting the 50% bonus when booking travel to make it 4.5%?

Similary, how is the Chase Freedom 5% worth 8%? 

I actually have both cards already, and am using the CSR for pretty much everything. 

I see what you mean on the gas %. I drive more than you and gas costs more where I live. And it does not appear that I get the same MPG as you. But if I actually did the math, it wouldn't make much of a different to have an additional 2%. 

fungo45 said:   
Bend3r said:   CSR pays effectively ~5% on restaurants and travel. An extra couple percent on gas is not worth it for most people because they don't buy that much gas. 250 gallons is $500 and gets me 10000 miles in a year. An extra 2% on $500 is a whopping $10. So, assuming the best i had on gas was 3%, it would take me 150+ years until it broke even with the CSR bonus even before accounting for time value of money (as only an example... And sure, that's the largest bonus example so not completely fair).

Plus chase freedom has gas at least one quarter per year at 5UR which is like 8% for me. Or i could go buy a couple gas cards at Staples with my Ink for 8% whenever needed.

If you have no restaurant or gas cards then maybe it's worth it. But it takes a LOT of spend at 3%/5% to make up for the missing $500-$1500 opening bonus.

  How is the CSR paying 5% on restaurants and travel? They're both 3%. I assume you're counting the 50% bonus when booking travel to make it 4.5%?

Similary, how is the Chase Freedom 5% worth 8%? 

I actually have both cards already, and am using the CSR for pretty much everything. 

I see what you mean on the gas %. I drive more than you and gas costs more where I live. And it does not appear that I get the same MPG as you. But if I actually did the math, it wouldn't make much of a different to have an additional 2%. 

Yes, that's what I'm counting, and why I said "effectively".  Straight cash it's 5%/3%.  Transfer to travel partners or travel portal (I'm not really counting the travel portal though, as I haven't found something usable on it yet for myself, but may in the future.  The Hilton hotel stays I looked at were ~40% higher through travel portal than booking directly and using a 20% off rate code.).
Transfer to travel partners is worth a pretty steady minimum of 1.5cents/UR for me,  example being transferring to SouthwestRR.  About a week ago I just booked 13 flight legs for <48k points total.  I will be cancelling 7-9 of them based on what weather looks like near the flight dates, but the flexibility lets me get the cheap rates while the travel is 3+months out and was only ~$55 one-way including the $5 TSA fee.  Any of Chase's premium UR cards (CSP, CSR, Ink+ /Ink Ultimate) let you transfer to travel partners, and you can transfer points earned on non-premium cards to the account of the premium card so the Freedom points can also be transferred to travel partners.

If you have extra unused chase cards (from the many chase cards with high opening bonuses) and high "other" spending you could always convert one to freedom unlimited and get 1.5UR, but for me it's not worth it with my spending amounts being low in "other" categories.  I also tend to use Citi cards for a few other category larger purchases for the better extended warranty.  I actually converted my CSP to a standard freedom in case there's a good quarterly category I can now do $3000 spend in a quarter, for a ~$200 rebate.  I now have 2 Freedom, 2 Southwest, CSR, and Ink in Chase cards.  I could kill off the Southwest cards but the AFs almost cancel out with anniversary points and I am currently using the rolling 0%APR/2%fee transfer offers Chase gives me on those cards.



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