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Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Sam’s Club Consumer Credit Card Review (2022)

Sam’s Club Consumer Credit Card Review ([current_year])

Store Credit Card

Ray FitzGerald

Written by: Eric Bank

Eric Bank

Eric Bank has been covering business and financial topics since 1985, specializing in taking complex subject matters and explaining them in simple terms for consumer audiences. In addition to his work on CardRates.com, Eric has appeared regularly on Credible.com, eHow, WiseBread, The Nest, Get.com, Zacks, Chron and dozens of other outlets. A former software engineer, Eric holds an M.B.A. from New York University and an M.S. in finance from DePaul University.

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Edited by: Ashley Dull

Ashley Dull

With more than a decade of experience as a content manager and marketer, Ashley has specialized in finance coverage since 2015. 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 campaigns. Her credit card commentary is featured on national media outlets that include CNBC, MarketWatch, Investopedia, and Reader's Digest, among others.

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Reviewed by: Adam West

Adam West

Adam corresponds with finance experts to publish industry news coverage related to helping consumers achieve greater financial literacy and improved credit. He has more than 12 years of storytelling, editing, and design experience in print and online journalism and is most knowledgeable in the areas of credit scores, financial products and services, and the banking industry.

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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.

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 May 2021
  • 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.

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.

CASH BACK RATING

★★★★★

5.0

OVERALL RATING

  • INTRO OFFER: Earn an additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) - worth up to $300 cash back!
  • Enjoy 6.5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, our premier rewards program that lets you redeem rewards for cash back, travel, gift cards and more; 4.5% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and 3% on all other purchases (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year).
  • After your first year or $20,000 spent, enjoy 5% cash back on Chase travel purchased through Ultimate Rewards®, 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back. You can choose to receive a statement credit or direct deposit into most U.S. checking and savings accounts. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open!
  • Enjoy 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 17.24% - 25.99%.
  • No annual fee - You won't have to pay an annual fee for all the great features that come with your Freedom Unlimited® card
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR on Purchases 15 months
0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers 15 months
17.24% - 25.99% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent

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.

0% INTRO APR RATING

★★★★★

4.9

OVERALL RATING

  • Start off strong with 0% Intro APR for 18 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers. A variable APR of 17.24% - 25.99% on balance transfers and purchases after the introductory period ends.
  • Lower your interest rate by 2% each year. Automatically be considered for an APR reduction when you pay on time, and spend at least $1000 on your card by your next account anniversary.
  • Raise your credit limit. Get an automatic, one-time review for a higher credit limit when you pay on time, and spend $500 in your first six months.
  • All for no annual fee - You won't have to pay an annual fee for all the great features that come with your Slate Edge℠ card
  • Keep tabs on your credit health - Chase Credit Journey helps you monitor your credit with free access to your latest score, real-time alerts, and more
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR on Purchases 18 months
0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers 18 months
17.24% - 25.99% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent

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.

AIR MILES RATING

★★★★★

4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Enjoy two complimentary visits per year to Capital One Lounges or to 100+ Plaza Premium Lounges through our Partner Lounge Network
  • Earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
18.99% - 26.99% (Variable)
$95
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.

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.