Katie Searcy | 

Sam's Club Membership Cost: What You'll Pay (And What You Get)

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Whether you’re on the fence about which Sam’s Club membership to get or just curious about what’s included with the price, let’s take a peek behind the curtain so you have all the facts. Spoiler alert — there’s a whole lot that’s included in that $50 per year fee. And you don’t often have to pay full price for a Sam’s Club membership at all.

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The basic Sam’s Club membership costs $50 a year — which is like paying $4.17 a month.

Hand holding a Sam's Club Card in front of Furniture

The entry-level Sam’s Club membership (aka the “Club” membership) costs $50 per year. As soon as you join (either online or in person at the Member Services desk), you’ll get a digital membership card. They no longer mail out physical membership cards, but if you really want a printed card, you can ask for one at the Member Services desk.

With the Club membership, you get an additional free membership you can share with someone else in your household. If you want to add more people, they allow you to add up to eight separate membership cards at the Club level for $45 each.

Here's the current deal on a basic Sam's Club membership.

The standard Sam's Club membership gives you Instant Savings, discounted gas, and some free car services.

hand holding an instant savings book in front of sams club

A basic Sam’s Club membership also gives you access to additional perks like:

  • Free membership for someone else in your household

  • Fuel savings at the Sam’s Club Fuel Center

  • Free flat tire repair, battery testing, and wiper blade installation at the Tire and Battery Center

  • Ability to add on up to eight additional memberships (for $45 each)

And of course, you get the ability to shop at any Sam’s Club location or online at SamsClub.com.

The upgraded Plus membership costs $110 per year, which is like paying $9.17 a month.


Once you get the hang of shopping at Sam’s Club, you might find that you’re ready to upgrade to the Plus membership, which is their next higher tier. At the Plus level, you get all the perks of the Club membership, plus 2% cash back on qualifying purchases, free shipping with no minimums, early shopping hours, and more.

If you want to get into the nitty-gritty details, we wrote a whole post on why a Sam’s Club Plus membership is worth it. But here’s a quick overview of the additional perks:

  • Earn 2% cash back on qualifying purchases (up to a maximum of $500/year)

  • Free shipping with no minimum

  • Free curbside pickup (normally $4 per order)

  • Early morning shopping hours

  • Additional prescription discounts

  • 20% discount at Sam’s Club Optical

  • Ability to add on up to 16 additional memberships (for $45 each)

You can join as a new Plus member with this current deal:

TIP: If you spend more than $250 a month at Sam’s Club, it’s worth it to upgrade to the Plus membership just for the cash back rewards.

Use any Sam’s Cash rewards you earn in-store or online — or to pay for your membership cost.

A person looking at the Sam's Cash Bonus Offers webpage on a laptop

Any credits you earn in the form of Sam’s Cash can be used for purchases you make at the club, online at SamsClub.com, or in the Sam’s Club app (iOS / Android). You can also apply them to your membership cost. If you’d rather just have the cash, stop by Member Services at your local Sam’s Club to cash them out.

Take advantage of new membership deals to save up to 50% on the upfront cost.

Members service and return counter at Sam's Club.

You don’t have to pay full price for a Sam’s Club membership if you know what deals to look out for. If you’re a military member, a veteran, or a student, you can show your ID (military or student) and get discounts when you sign up. For military members, you get 60% off a new Club membership and $5 off your first in-club purchase. For students, you get 30% off a new Club membership or $40 off a Plus membership.

And we see a Sam’s Club membership deal pop up every few months that can save you anywhere from 50% – 70% on the cost of a new membership.

TIP: If your membership has been expired for at least six months, you’re allowed to re-join as a new member (and claim the new membership deal).

Sam’s Club membership is 17% cheaper than a Costco membership.

A person's hand holding a Sam's Club member card over a wallet with a Costco card in it.

An entry-level membership to Costco — the major competitor to Sam’s Club — costs $60 per year, which is 16.7% more than the price of a yearly Sam’s Club membership. So you’re technically saving money by going with Sam’s Club over Costco.

If you compare the higher levels of membership, Costco’s Executive Membership costs $120 per year, which is 8.3% more than a Sam’s Club Plus membership ($110/year).

You don’t actually have to be a member to use the pharmacy or food court.


Similar to how you can use the Costco pharmacy without a membership, you can get your prescriptions filled at the Sam’s Club pharmacy even without a membership card. Just have your doctor send it to the nearest Sam’s Club pharmacy location, and then you can pick it up like you would at any other pharmacy. Just mention at the door that you’re picking up a prescription.

The same goes for the Sam’s Club food court, where you can get their hot dog combo for the low price of just $1.38 — even as a non-member. You just won’t be able to take advantage of the Scan & Go in-app ordering perk as a non-member.

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