11 Sam’s Club Questions Everyone Is Too Embarrassed To Ask

You are not the only one wondering these things about the warehouse retailer.
Updated Nov. 27, 2023
Sam's Club gas station

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Are you thinking of becoming a Sam’s Club member? Doing so can be a great way to keep more money in your wallet, as buying in bulk often leads to savings.

However, there are some important things you should know about both the benefits and drawbacks of getting a membership.

Take the guesswork out of your decision by getting answers to these questions you might be afraid to ask.

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Can you really save with a Sam’s Club membership?

stokkete/Adobe women comparing grocery receipts

Yes, you can save money by paying for a Sam’s Club membership. Buying in bulk can be a great shopping hack that cuts costs. But there are some caveats.

First, consider whether you’re going to use the membership. It might not be worth signing up if you don’t shop at Sam’s Club regularly. A membership costs either $50 or $110 annually.

Buying in bulk also comes with more upfront costs, even if you save money over the long run. For instance, you'll have to shell out more to buy 20 cans of soup at once than if you bought a can or two.

What if I lose my Sam’s Club card?

Oleksandr/Adobe client using mobile payment at cafe

Don’t fret if you lose your Sam’s Club membership card or forget to bring it with you. Talk to an employee at the membership desk when you walk in, and they can help you out.

You can also download the Sam’s Club app to your smartphone, which includes a digital version of your membership card. That means you don’t have to worry about forgetting the card, as the digital version works just as well as a physical membership card.

Is membership worth it if I live alone?

Heorshe/Adobe products on shelves at sam's club

You might suspect Sam’s Club is best for families or people who buy items for large groups. But a Sam’s Club membership can be worth it, even if you’re just buying things for yourself.

Singles can use their membership to buy staples in bulk, such as toilet paper or trash bags. This might result in savings over time. And don’t forget benefits such as purchasing lower-priced furniture or getting vacation deals thanks to your Sam’s Club membership.

Do I have to be a member to shop at Sam’s Club?

Lek/Adobe male pharmacist prescribing medicines to patient

You do have to be a member to take advantage of most of the deals at Sam’s Club, but it’s not necessary for some items.

For example, you don’t have to be a Sam’s Club member to take advantage of the in-store pharmacy.

Some states also have laws that forbid restricting alcohol sales to members of stores. So, you might be able to get discounted alcohol from your local Sam’s Club without a membership.

Is free shipping available on all items?

Игорь Головнёв/Adobe sam's club logo on tablet

The Sam’s Club website can be a great option if you don’t want to shop in a Sam’s Club store. But keep in mind that free shipping might not be available to all shoppers on all items.

For example, your membership level can determine whether you can take advantage of free shipping.

It’s also good to check the listing for items you’re interested in, as not all items are eligible for free shipping.

Is gas cheaper at Sam's Club?

billtster/Adobe car at sam's club gasoline station

Check your local Sam’s Club and compare the cost of gas to what you would pay at a gas station in your area. Typically, you can save money if you fill your tank at Sam’s Club.

Generally, you will need a Sam’s Club membership to fill up at the retailer. But there are exceptions, with some stations open to the general public.

What is Scan & Go?

Игорь Головнёв/Adobe sam's club logo on tablet screen

Have you ever wanted to wander the aisles of Sam’s Club and then walk out the door without standing in line? You can with Scan & Go.

This option on your Sam’s Club app allows you to scan items as you walk through the store. This adds the item to the list of goods you’re purchasing.

Then, you simply pay using the app and walk out of the store.

Can I test out Sam’s Club before I get a membership?

Heorshe/Adobe inside of sam's club warehouse

Perhaps you want to test out Sam’s Club before committing to a membership. You might want to check out the parking situation, or wander through the aisles to see if they have what you want.

Most people who are not already members can sign up for a free trial membership at Sam’s Club. Check with your local club to learn more.

How good is the Sam’s Club return policy?

Kenishirotie/Adobe gift cards in sam's club store

Sam’s Club has a generous return policy. Most items can be returned at any time. While the original receipt is helpful, it might not be necessary when returning an item.

However, restrictions apply to returns of some items, including electronics and cell phones. And you can’t return gift cards and some other items.

Can I save money on a car with a Sam’s Club membership?

Syda Productions/Adobe car dealer dealing with happy couple

Yes, your Sam’s Club membership might help you save money on your next vehicle purchase.

Check out the Sam’s Club Auto Buying Program to see if it can help you earn extra incentives and other savings on your purchase.

Can I use any credit card at Sam's Club?

deagreez/Adobe confused woman with card

Just like at Sam’s Club, there are some great Costco hacks that members use to save money at the latter retailer. However, you can only use Visa-branded cards when you shop at Costco.

Sam’s Club does not have similar restrictions and accepts most major credit cards. Check the Sam’s Club website to see if your favorite payment methods are included.

Bottom line

jetcityimage/Adobe car parking at sam's club warehouse

Sam’s Club is a great option if you’re trying to save money, but it’s also important to make sure a membership is right for you.

Remember that besides food and other in-warehouse purchases, a membership might save you money on things such as furniture, vacations, prescription medication, and more.

If you become a Sam’s Club member, consider using a great rewards credit card that will allow you to earn cash back or other perks when shopping at Sam’s Club.

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Author Details

Jenny Cohen Jenny Cohen is a freelance writer who has covered a bit of everything, from finance to sports to her favorite TV shows. Her work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and FoxSports.com.

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