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Saturday, June 22, 2024

Sam’s Club Consumer Credit Card Review (Feb. 2024)

Sam’s Club Consumer Credit Card Review
Ray FitzGerald

Written by: Ray FitzGerald

Ray FitzGerald
Ray FitzGerald

Ray Fitzgerald has more than a decade of journalism experience, writing for national media outlets, including the Miami Herald and Investment Times. Ray is passionate about traditional and alternative investment strategies, but most enjoys sharing creative ways to budget and save money. Ray has personally written about hundreds of credit card offers from banks and credit unions across America and enjoys helping people find the best cards and rewards programs for their specific spending needs.

Edited by: Lillian Guevara-Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro
Lillian Guevara-Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro brings more than 30 years of editing and journalism experience to the CardRates team. She has written and edited for major news organizations, including The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the New York Times, and she previously served as an adjunct journalism instructor at the University of Florida. Today, Lillian edits all CardRates content for clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement.

See full bio »

Reviewed by: Ashley Fricker

Ashley Fricker
Ashley Fricker

Ashley Fricker has more than a decade of experience as a finance contributor and editor, and has specialized in the credit card industry since 2015. Her credit card commentary is featured on national media outlets that include CNBC, MarketWatch, Investopedia, and Reader's Digest, among many others. She has worked closely with the world’s largest banks and financial institutions, up-and-coming fintech companies, and press and news outlets to curate comprehensive content and media. Ashley holds a bachelor's degree in multimedia journalism from Florida Atlantic University.

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Advertiser Disclosure

Wholesale clubs like Sam's are a great way to save on items you use regularly. Buying in bulk can save consumers large amounts of money over time, plus it cuts down on the number of trips you make to the store. With Sam's Club's Consumer Credit Card, you're able to make purchases at any Sam's Club or Walmart location — but that's about it. The lack of rewards, perks, and a high 23.65% interest rate make this card unattractive to bargain seekers who turn to Sam's for deals.

Along with unfavorable terms are reports of poor customer service through card issuer Synchrony, and multiple problems when applying and using the card. For consumers looking to maximize their deal-making powers, there are other choices in the credit card space for your wholesale club shopping.

Better Cards to Use at Sam's Club

With the complete lack of frills offered through the Sam's Club Consumer Credit Card, it isn't a hard task finding better options for consumers with average credit. Even the most basic cash back or reward points card can offer qualified applicants lower APR terms and some sort of perk for your purchase. Sam's Club is a haven for people looking to save money, so why diminish your deal by using the wrong card for your purchases?

Cash Back

Sam's Club touts that one of the biggest perks of the Consumer Credit Card is its ability to doubles as your membership card, meaning when you meet the greeter at the front door, you can flash your credit card to get in. That doesn't move the needle for us, as we'd much rather flash a regular membership card and use a cash back card to get up to 5% back on all purchases made.

Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card Review

at Bank Of America'ssecure website

CASH BACK RATING

★★★★★

4.9

OVERALL RATING

  • $200 online cash rewards bonus after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.
  • Earn 3% cash back in the category of your choice, automatic 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (up to $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club quarterly purchases) and unlimited 1% on all other purchases.
  • Choose 3% cash back on gas and EV charging station, online shopping/cable/internet/phone plan/streaming, dining, travel, drug store/pharmacy or home improvement/furnishings purchases.
  • If you're a Bank of America Preferred Rewards® member, you can earn 25%-75% more cash back on every purchase. That means you could earn 3.75%-5.25% cash back on purchases in your choice category.
  • No annual fee and cash rewards don’t expire as long as your account remains open.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 billing cycles for purchases, and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days. After the Intro APR offer ends, a Variable APR that’s currently 19.24% - 29.24% will apply. A 3% Intro balance transfer fee will apply for the first 60 days your account is open. After the Intro balance transfer fee offer ends, the fee for future balance transfers is 4%.
  • Contactless Cards - The security of a chip card, with the convenience of a tap.
  • This online only offer may not be available if you leave this page or if you visit a Bank of America financial center. You can take advantage of this offer when you apply now.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR for 15 billing cycles for purchases
0% Intro APR for 15 billing cycles for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days (Balance Transfer Fee 3% for 60 days from account opening, then 4%)
19.24% - 29.24% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers
$0
Excellent/Good

Additional Disclosure: Bank of America is a CardRates advertiser.

0% APR

No introductory perks, teaser rates, or rewards, means you're left with nothing but a 23.65% interest rate. If not paid off every month, that can make that pallet of pantry items something you'll be paying on for months. A low-rate card, like the one suggested below, decreases your interest charges — and increases the amount you can spend, since you won't be giving all of your hard-earned cash to interest charges.

Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card Review

at Bank Of America'ssecure website

0% INTRO APR RATING

★★★★★

4.8

OVERALL RATING

  • $200 online cash rewards bonus after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.
  • Earn 3% cash back in the category of your choice, automatic 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (up to $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club quarterly purchases) and unlimited 1% on all other purchases.
  • Choose 3% cash back on gas and EV charging station, online shopping/cable/internet/phone plan/streaming, dining, travel, drug store/pharmacy or home improvement/furnishings purchases.
  • If you're a Bank of America Preferred Rewards® member, you can earn 25%-75% more cash back on every purchase. That means you could earn 3.75%-5.25% cash back on purchases in your choice category.
  • No annual fee and cash rewards don’t expire as long as your account remains open.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 billing cycles for purchases, and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days. After the Intro APR offer ends, a Variable APR that’s currently 19.24% - 29.24% will apply. A 3% Intro balance transfer fee will apply for the first 60 days your account is open. After the Intro balance transfer fee offer ends, the fee for future balance transfers is 4%.
  • Contactless Cards - The security of a chip card, with the convenience of a tap.
  • This online only offer may not be available if you leave this page or if you visit a Bank of America financial center. You can take advantage of this offer when you apply now.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR for 15 billing cycles for purchases
0% Intro APR for 15 billing cycles for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days (Balance Transfer Fee 3% for 60 days from account opening, then 4%)
19.24% - 29.24% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers
$0
Excellent/Good

Additional Disclosure: Bank of America is a CardRates advertiser.

Travel Rewards

You may not be able to take that 20-jar case of pickles on an airplane, but you won't need it with the proper travel rewards card. Take those purchases you make for the family and let them accrue into a trip that you'll all remember. It's a great way to create memories for purchases you'd be making anyway.

Discover it® Miles Review

at Discover Card'ssecure website

AIR MILES RATING

★★★★★

4.9

OVERALL RATING

  • UNLIMITED BONUS: Unlimited Mile-for-Mile match for all new cardmembers—only from Discover. Discover gives you an unlimited match of all the Miles you’ve earned at the end of your first year. You could turn 35,000 Miles to 70,000 Miles. There’s no signing up, no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a Miles-for-Miles match.
  • Automatically earn unlimited 1.5x Miles on every dollar of every purchase
  • No annual fee
  • Turn Miles into cash. Or redeem as a statement credit for your travel purchases like airfare, hotels, rideshares, gas stations, restaurants and more.
  • 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases. Then 18.24% - 28.24% Standard Variable Purchase APR will apply.
  • Discover could help you reduce exposure of your personal information online by helping you remove it from select people-search sites that could sell your data. It’s free, activate with the mobile app.
  • Discover is accepted nationwide by 99% of the places that take credit cards.
  • Terms and conditions apply.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR for 15 months
0% Intro APR for 15 months
18.24% - 28.24% Variable APR
$0
Excellent/Good

With a litany of limitations, and plenty of consumer complaints, there's not much punch in the Sam's Club Consumer Credit Card. When stacked up against the competition, it's cut and dry that there are better options out there for any consumer with credit solid enough to qualify for this card. If you're looking to save money on your purchase, and on the back end, look elsewhere.

Sam's Club Card Overall Rating: 1.3/5.0

Before you can even apply for a Sam's Club Consumer Credit Card, you need to pay $45 for the basic one-year Sam’s Club membership. While the bulk-buy savings you get inside the store can offset the cost of membership — especially with the use of Sam's Club coupons — there really isn't much of an incentive for using the Consumer Credit Card once you're in.

While the 23.65% APR is on par with many store cards, the lack of rewards or discounts makes the card the last resort for financing big purchases. There's no annual fee, so owning the card won't cost you anything. But for the true deal seeker, a cash back rewards card is better suited for maximizing the bang for your buck with each trip to the store.

Sam's Club Credit Card

  • APR: 23.65% as of Feb 2024
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Rewards: Doubles as your membership card
1.3/5.0

With the absence of any introductory rates or perks, this basic card is really only good for making everyday purchases at Sam's Club (or Walmart) — and it's not very good at that. The only way to avoid interest is by paying your balance in full each month, and if you can do that you'd likely qualify for a card that offers a better deal.

Many cardholders report issues with card issuer Synchrony taking long periods of time to process payments, as well as problems with the card being locked up due to suspicious activity regularly. As a card that requires good credit to be approved, there's little under the hood to draw attention to it.

Approval Requirements & Application

This card is Sam's option for consumers who don't qualify for the more rewarding Sam's Club Mastercard®. That means this card is for consumers who have less-than-perfect credit. You can apply for a Sam's Club Consumer Credit Card at any Sam's location, or online through the link below.

What Others Say About the Sam's Club Credit Card

With no rewards, the Sam's Club Consumer Credit Card should rely on a spiffy interest rate and great customer service to bring customers in. Unfortunately, it seems to fail on both accounts according to the reviews we scoured. Many cardholders report issues with making payments, as well as using their card when it's needed. Most problems require a call to card issuer Synchrony, which reportedly extended the time needed to reach a resolution.

CreditKarma.com
A review from CreditKarma.com says:

Opening an account was a nightmare, the employee entered the wrong address and it took over a month to get the card activated. Once activated, Synchrony Bank was unable to activate my mobile number, and they kept blocking the card without reason. Each time, I had to call them. Today I paid my card in full and they blocked the card after payment was made in Sam's Club. No one is able to activate it and kept saying, "We have to send you a letter in few days with a code." I canceled the card, got compensation from Sam's Club and left. Worst Bank service I have ever encountered. Literally, they are useless and unprofessional! Stay away from Synchrony bank, too many issues in two months. — CreditKarma.com

1/5.0
FinanceGlobe.com
A review from FinanceGlobe.com says:

I applied for Sams Credit Card and received instant approval for $900 in March 2013. My credit scores are in the high 600's, with one late payment that was over 6 months old. Since having the card, I am making sure I pay on time every month and keep the balance low. Hopefully, I will get a credit limit increase soon. A good card to have to help build your credit up. — FinanceGlobe.com

★★★★ 4/5.0
ConsumerAffairs.com
A review from ConsumerAffairs.com says:

I used the Sam's credit card to pay for my membership. A week later, I went to the store and was required to pay for the membership again for it showed as expired. It's been almost a month and I'm still trying to get a refund. I'm starting to distrust this company. I get the feeling that this is not the only time they have charged me for something I did not get or failed to refund my account for things returned. — ConsumerAffairs.com

1/5.0

Is the Sam's Club Card Right for You?

As one of the top destinations for bargain seekers in America, Sam's Club, and parent company Walmart, have carved a niche with consumers who want to save a few bucks. That reputation does not seem to extend to its Sam's Club Consumer Credit Card offering. With a high 23.65% APR, and no perks, rewards, or frills to speak of, this card offers nothing that thrifty customers would crave.

With higher approval standards that reportedly require scores at least in the high 600s, consumers eligible for this card are better suited elsewhere, where the APR is much lower and the perks higher.

Advertiser Disclosure

CardRates.com is a free online resource that offers valuable content and comparison services to users. To keep this resource 100% free, we receive compensation for referrals for many of the offers listed on the site. Along with key review factors, this compensation may impact how and where products appear across CardRates.com (including, for example, the order in which they appear). CardRates.com does not include the entire universe of available offers. Editorial opinions expressed on the site are strictly our own and are not provided, endorsed, or approved by advertisers.