The Sam’s Club Mastercard is one of my favorite credit cards and one of the few credit cards I carry in my wallet. Here is my review along with a calculator to show you if it makes sense for you to apply.
The rewards you earn are what make the Sam’s Club Mastercard such a great deal. The big advantage is that you earn cash, not points. Points are a hassle, difficult to redeem, and can be devalued at any time. When choosing a rewards program, go with cash.
5% Cashback at gas stations
With the Sam’s Club Mastercard, you earn a very generous 5% cashback at gas stations. The benefit goes further than that though.
In the city where I work, the Sam’s Club gas station is usually the cheapest gas in town. The problem with the Sam’s Club gas station is that other credit cards count it as a Sam’s Club, not a gas station. That means that if you have another credit card that pays a bonus cashback at gas stations, you won’t earn it at Sam’s gas stations. You will only get that bonus cashback with your Sam’s Club Mastercard. On top of that Sam’s Club members get a $.05/gallon discount at my local club.
So if the regular price of gas were $3.00, with the Sam’s Club Mastercard you would get $.05/ gallon off, plus earn 5% cashback making the net cost of gas only about $2.80. Getting $.20/gallon off of gas is a pretty good deal.
3% cashback at restaurants
There aren’t a lot of credit cards out there that pay you extra cashback at restaurants, so this is a pretty good deal. Just remember that restaurants aren’t a very good deal and you could probably save money eating at home.
When I used to travel a lot for work, I took big advantage of this offer, but now that I am home just about every night I try to stay away from the restaurants. When I do eat at restaurants though, this is my go to card
3% cashback on travel
Travel is defined as purchases on airlines, rental cars, trains, buses, cruises, timeshares (I don’t recommend every spending money on a timeshare), travel agencies, travel websites, and tour operators.
That is quite a list of businesses, so surely this is the card you will want to use when you go on vacation.
1% cashback everywhere else
Meh. Any card can do this. Personally I have a 2% cashback card I use on purchases that don’t fit into one of the categories listed above.
With rewards credit cards, earning the rewards is only 25% of the battle. That is because many credit cards make it so complicated to actually get the rewards paid out to you that 75% of rewards are never paid out. I am a former bank auditor, and have verified these percentages myself.
With the Sam’s Club Mastercard, you don’t earn any ridiculous points, you earn actual cash that you can actually spend anywhere you want. The only downside is you can’t get the cash whenever you want.
Sam’s Club will mail you a check once a year with your rewards, you don’t even have to ask them for it. You then take your check to a Sam’s Club and use it for a purchase or take it to the customer service desk to get it cashed.
That isn’t too bad of a program. You have to be patient enough to wait for the once a year check, but after that the hassle factor in getting it cashed is fairly minimal.
I don’t know. Really, really high I would imagine.
The reason I am writing a review about a credit card without even bothering to look up the interest rates, is interest rates on credit cards are something I don’t care about.
Interest rates on credit cards are super high, and almost nobody can afford to pay them. Luckily, you don’t have to worry about them. Just pay your balance in full each month and the interest rate stays at 0%, right where it should be.
If you can’t pay your balance in full each month then you can’t afford a credit card, so I recommend not applying for any.
The bottom line
OK, so does it make sense for you to apply for the Sam’s Club Mastercard? How much would you actually earn? Use this calculator to figure out if there is a benefit of applying for this card instead of just using the card you already have:
You can apply for the Sam’s Club Mastercard here.
Disclosure: I am not an affiliate of Sam’s Club and am not paid in anyway by them for either writing this article or for any readers who choose to apply.