Sam's Club vs. Costco: Where Can You Save the Most?

Both Sam’s Club and Costco advertise low prices, but which one comes out on top?

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Updated May 28, 2024
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Warehouse clubs like Sam’s Club and Costco cost money to join, but you often save overall with their low prices on available products. In addition, buying necessities in bulk is a smart money move and can help you avoid living paycheck to paycheck.

But which store offers the better deals? We compared prices of different items and products between both clubs to see where you can save more money. Let’s see whether Sam’s Club or Costco is the winner.

Basic club membership

sebra/Adobe Woman grocery shopping

This is your basic, lowest-cost club membership required to shop at either Sam’s Club or Costco.

Sam’s Club: $45 per year for Club membership
Costco: $60 per year for Gold Star membership

Winner: Sam’s Club beats Costco’s basic membership by $15 per year, which is about three more rotisserie chickens you get to eat. Or if you’re trying to quickly pay off debt, the extra savings could come in handy.

Michelin tires

charnsitr/Adobe Michelin tire

I searched for replacement tires at the nearest Sam’s Club and Costco tire centers for my car.

Sam’s Club: $179.99 per tire
Costco: $179.99 per tire

Winner: It’s a tie! For the Michelin CrossClimate2 tires, I found, both Sam’s Club and Costco had the same price of $179.99 per tire plus an installation fee.

Ninja Foodi air fryer oven

twinsterphoto/Adobe Family using air fryer

A 9-in-1 air fryer oven that can roast, broil, bake, dehydrate, toast, and air fry — all at the same time! OK, maybe not at the same time.

Sam’s Club: $167.98 (regular price $187.98)
Costco: $189.99

Winner: Sam’s Club edges out Costco here with $22.01 in savings. This is mainly because Sam’s Club has a $20 off deal happening right now.

Vitamix ONE blender

sonyakamoz/Adobe Person making green smoothie

A more budget-friendly offering from Vitamix in its blender lineup.

Sam’s Club: $239.98
Costco: $199.99 (regular price $249.99)

Winner: Costco spins away from the competition with a $39.99 savings over Sam’s Club. This can be attributed to a $50 sale happening, but even though the regular price at Costco is higher, the Costco deal also includes blender accessories that Sam’s Club doesn’t include.

Apple Watch Series 7 45mm GPS

Halfpoint/Adobe Apple watch

One of the most popular versions of the Apple Watch (that includes GPS). Different colors are typically the same price.

Sam’s Club: $414.98
Costco: $409.99 (regular price $419.99)

Winner: Costco beats Sam’s Club by one rotisserie chicken ($5,) since it currently has a $10-off sale. Without the sale, Sam’s Club has the price advantage.

Samsung Galaxy Book Pro laptop

xfit/Adobe Laptop and phone outside

A high-end Samsung laptop built to compete with similar products from competitors.

Sam’s Club: $1,299
Costco: $1,299

Winner: It’s technically a tie if you only look at the price, but looking at the specs for each listing reveals that the Costco offering actually has double the storage capacity. Costco wins this round.

Samsung 60-inch TV

M-SUR/Adobe Samsung tv

A Samsung 60-inch TU700D Series 4K UHD LED LCD TV. It’s a lot of acronyms, but the important thing is it’s the same model TV from both stores.

Sam’s Club: $507.99
Costco: $509.99

Winner: Sam’s Club is technically the winner, but the $2 difference is almost negligible for what you’re already paying. The TV comes with a three-year warranty from both stores.

Sonicare E-Series toothbrush head refills

New Africa/Adobe Woman brushing teeth

A pack of Sonicare E-Series toothbrush head replacements.

Sam’s Club: $30.98 for a 6-count
Costco: $39.99 for an 8-count

Winner: Costco barely edges Sam’s Club here. Both stores are having sales on these items, but Costco’s individual price of about $5 per head replacement is better than the $5.16 from Sam’s Club.

Vitafusion Multivitamin Adult Gummy

shurkin_son/Adobe Woman looking at vitamins

A 260-count container of adult multivitamin gummies from Vitafusion.

Sam’s Club: $11.48
Costco: $17.99

Winner: Sam’s Club wins by a fair margin for these popular gummy vitamins. If you’re running low on some daily vitamin supplements, you know where to look.

Emergen-C Variety Pack, 90-count

globalmoments/Adobe Emergen-C drink powder

A 90-count variety pack (orange, raspberry, tangerine) of Emergen-C drink mix packets.

Sam’s Club: $20.98
Costco: $26.99

Winner: Sam’s Club pulls away from Costco again in the supplements category, this time with a $6.01 savings.

Warehouse brand dog food

Pixel-Shot/Adobe Feeding dog

A 35-pound bag of dog food from each club’s own brand (Member’s Mark or Kirkland Signature).

Sam’s Club: $30.74
Costco: $51.99

Winner: Sam’s Club knocks it out of the park with $21.25 in savings. However, you should account for these products having different ingredients, so the cheapest option may not be right for man’s best friend’s stomach.

15-pound box of dog biscuits

Mat Hayward/Adobe Dog with biscuits on nose

Comparing a 15-pound box of Milk-Bone dog biscuits (Sam’s Club) to a 15-pound box of Kirkland Signature dog biscuits (Costco).

Sam’s Club: $10.36 (regular price $13.36)
Costco: $12.99

Winner: Sam’s Club stays in front on this dog biscuit comparison because it has a $3 sale happening. Though, you might prefer one brand over the other.

Charmin toilet paper

Roman/Adobe Charmin toilet paper

Comparing a 32-roll pack (Sam’s Club) vs. a 30-roll pack (Costco) of Charmin Ultra Soft toilet paper.

Sam’s Club: $23.98
Costco: $29.99

Winner: Sam’s Club is the clear winner since it saves you $6.01 and also offers more product for the price. 

Warehouse brand laundry detergent

vladdeep/Adobe Pouring laundry detergent

Comparing Member’s Mark 196-ounce vs. Kirkland Signature 194-ounce laundry detergent.

Sam’s Club: $13.88
Costco: $14.79

Winner: You get two additional ounces and about a dollar’s worth of savings with Sam’s Club. Not much, but it all adds up!

ProForm Trainer 8.0 treadmill

NDABCREATIVITY/Adobe People running on treadmill

A treadmill from ProForm that includes speed and incline controls.

Sam’s Club: $739
Costco: $599.97

Winner: Costco is the clear winner with over $100 in savings, but because it’s such a popular item, it might not be in stock in your area.

Final verdict

wolterke/Adobe Sams club sign

Perhaps surprisingly, Sam’s Club is the overall winner when comparing these products. This might be a tough thing to hear for Costco enthusiasts (myself included), but don’t worry, many of these comparisons were very close.

However, Sam’s Club pulled out some commanding leads when it came to a few products, specifically with supplements. Neither Sam’s Club nor Costco had sales going on with the adult gummies or Emergen-C packets, but the prices weren’t even close — Sam’s Club was the easy winner.

Bottom line

JC/Adobe Grocery store

Whether you choose Sam’s Club or Costco, the best way to save money with shopping is to shop smarter. As you could see from this comparison, sales and discounts were often the deciding factor for which store had the better deal. Be sure to keep an eye out for everyday savings as you’re shopping.

This type of smart shopping can help you save money and stay on budget, which can lead to paying off debt. 

(prices are as of Dec. 2021 and may include sale prices)

Author Details

Ben Walker, CEPF, CFEI®

Ben Walker, CEPF, CFEI®, is credit cards specialist. For over a decade, he's leveraged credit card points and miles to travel the world. His expertise extends to other areas of personal finance — including loans, insurance, investing, and real estate — and you can find his insights on The Washington Post, Debt.com, Yahoo! Finance, and Fox Business.