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If you’ve been on the fence about getting a Sam’s Club membership to get their warehouse deals, you might want to get on that soon. The Sam’s Club membership cost increased on Oct. 17, 2022, with the entry-level membership jumping from $45 to $50 per year and their Plus membership increasing from $100 to $110 per year.
But there’s a catch. To soften the blow to our wallets, Sam’s Club is offering to pay for the increase if you’re a current member — as long as you renew sometime between Oct. 17, 2022, and Oct. 16, 2023. So how do you get paid for the increase? And is there a way to avoid it? Let’s dig in.
P.S. This isn’t the first time we’ve had Sam’s Club price increases on our radar, as the cost of goods has gone up by as much as 52% on some of their items.
1. Basic Sam’s Club membership went from $45/year to $50/year on Oct. 17, 2022 — an increase of 11%.
Surprisingly, the cost of an entry-level Sam’s Club membership (the “Club” membership”) hasn’t increased since 2013. But starting Oct. 17, the cost to join Sam’s Club increased to $50 per year, which marks an 11% increase. If you signed up or renewed before that date, your yearly rate will remain at $45 — until it comes time to renew, of course.
If you want to add on an extra membership to your account (you can add up to eight separate membership cards at the Club level), that cost also went up — from $40 to $45 each.
2. Sam’s Club Plus membership went from $100/year to $110/year — an increase of 10%.
The Sam’s Club Plus membership cost hasn’t increased since it was first introduced in 1999. At the Plus level, you get all the perks of the Club membership, plus 2% cash back on qualifying purchases, free shipping with no minimum, early shopping hours, and more.
On Oct. 17, 2022, the fee for Sam’s Club Plus membership went up from $100 to $110 per year. If you signed up or renewed before that date, you’ll remain at the current rate of $100 per year until it comes time to renew.
TIP: Not sure if Plus membership is worth it for you? Read our Sam’s Club membership guide to compare all the perks.
3. If you renew after the price increase, you’ll automatically get $5 or $10 in Sam’s Cash.
They’re calling it the “Sam’s Cash offset,” and it basically means you’ll get a $5 credit to your Sam’s Club account if you renew between Oct. 17, 2022, and Oct. 16, 2023. If you’re a Plus member, you’ll get a $10 credit. Since the cost to add an additional membership to your account is also going up (see Tip #1), you’ll get a $5 credit if you’re the primary account holder.
So what do you need to do to get the credit? Nothing. They say they’ll automatically apply it to the member’s Sam’s Cash account within 24 hours.
4. Use your Sam’s Cash rewards in store, online, or just cash it out.
According to the Sam’s Cash FAQ, any credits you have 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 it to your membership cost. If you’d rather just have the cash, stop by Member Services at your local Sam’s Club to cash out.
5. You had to renew before Oct. 17 to lock in one more year at the lower rate.
If you opted to renew early (before Oct. 17, 2022), you could lock in the lower rates. Just keep in mind that you’re only delaying the inevitable, as you’ll have to renew next year at the higher rate anyway.
How to Renew Your Sam’s Club Membership
They make it pretty easy to renew your Sam’s Club membership. Here are all the ways to choose from:
- Online at SamsClub.com
- In the Sam’s Club app
- In person at the membership desk
- In person at the register
- Over the phone; call Member Services at 888-746-7726
7. Even after the price increase, Sam’s Club membership is still 17% cheaper than Costco.
An entry-level membership to Costco — a major competitor to Sam’s Club’s — costs $60 per year, which is 16.7% more than the price of a yearly Sam’s Club membership. So you’re still 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% higher than a Sam’s Club Plus membership.
8. Not happy about Sam’s Club membership cost increases? Cancel to get a full refund.
If you’re not happy with your Sam’s Club membership or the price increase, they let you cancel anytime and get a full refund, thanks to their 100% satisfaction guarantee.