Katie Searcy | 

Sam's Club Delivery: How It Works and How Much You'll Pay

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Until a few years ago, Sam’s Club had been routing all online delivery orders exclusively through Instacart. But they have since rolled out their own same-day Sam’s Club delivery service if you live within 15 miles of a local club (any farther than that, and you’re stuck with Instacart).

As you might expect, this convenience comes at a cost — and by that I mean the Sam’s Club delivery fee is $12 per order for Club members and $8 per order if you have a Plus membership. And these delivery fees aren’t typically refundable under the Sam’s Club return policy.

But the main benefit is that you’re paying in-club prices on Sam’s Club deals without the Instacart markup, and without having to drive to the store for Sam’s curbside pickup. And if you place your delivery order by 1 p.m., you’ll get your items delivered the same day.

I’ve been using Sam’s Club delivery for a while now and can share a few tips and tricks I’ve learned along the way, including a hack some Plus members can use to get same-day delivery without the added fee.

For more smart shopping tips and savings hacks, download the KCL app or text HACKS to 57299.

You have two options for Sam's Club delivery: their same-day delivery service, or Instacart.

sams-club-same-day-delivery-groceries-official-media-1

As long as you live within 15 miles of a Sam’s Club that offers delivery, you’ll be able to place a same-day delivery order on SamsClub.com or in the Sam’s Club app. But a membership is required for this option. Once you add items to your cart and go to checkout, you’ll see a list of two-hour delivery time slots available that day (or the next day).

Time slots start as early as 7 a.m. and go as late as 7 p.m. As long as you place your order by 1 p.m. local time, your items will get delivered that same day. After you place your order, you’ll get an email confirmation with the option to track your order in real time. There’s no minimum order amount for Same-Day Delivery.

If you live more than 15 miles away from a Sam’s Club or you're not a member, you’ll have to order delivery through Instacart. You can enter your Sam’s Club Membership number (if you have one) and choose priority delivery, standard delivery, or schedule a delivery time in the future.

Again, you don’t have to be a Sam’s Club member to order through Instacart, but you do have to spend at least $10 to qualify for Instacart delivery.

KCL TIP: If you live more than 15 miles away from a Sam’s Club (like I do), you probably won’t have the option to choose Sam’s Club same-day delivery if you enter your ZIP code on their website. Also keep in mind that certain items aren’t eligible for delivery, like alcohol, gift cards, tires, and food court items (just to name a few).

Delivery fees apply to both Instacart and Sam's Club same-day orders.

The amount you pay in Instacart delivery fees depends on your order total, but with Sam’s Club, it’s a flat delivery fee that only varies depending on your level of membership. With both services, you have the option of adding a tip for the driver, too.

Here’s the quick summary of their delivery fees:

  • Sam’s Club delivery fee: $12 per order for Club members; $8 per order for Plus members

  • Instacart delivery fee: Ranges from $8.99 (for orders of $35 or more) to $12.99 (for orders under $35). Add $3 for priority delivery.

So Sam’s Club delivery is the cheaper option if you’re a Plus member, or if you’re a Club member placing an order under $35.

Surprisingly, Instacart is actually the cheaper option if you don’t have a Plus membership and your order total is $35 or more. But the price you pay for each item ordered through Instacart will be higher, and you’ll face a service fee (around 8% of your order total).

Plus member hack: If you live within 15 miles of a Sam’s Club and see that your local club has a certain item in stock, add it to your cart and place an order for shipping (not delivery). In many cases, the item will get delivered to your door the same day — without the same-day delivery fee — because it’s cheaper for your local Sam’s Club club to process the order.

You'll get Instant Savings offers on Sam's Club delivery orders — but you won't earn Sam's Cash.

First the good news: If you order same-day delivery directly from Sam’s Club, they’ll automatically load any Instant Savings offers from the monthly Sam's ad to your account.

You won’t get Instant Savings offer if you order from Instacart, though. But you might see different offers in Instacart (like “Spend $25, save $4).

But here’s a bummer for Plus members — you can’t earn Sam’s Cash on any same-day delivery orders, whether you place your order through Sam's or Instacart. So if your goal is to rack up 2% rewards as a Plus member, you’ll want to opt for curbside pickup instead.

Expect to pay a higher price per item with Instacart (even if you're a Sam's member).

With Instacart, Sam’s Club members get lower prices than non-members, but you’ll still pay more than you would in the warehouse. Instacart prices are slightly higher due to “convenience and industry norms.” In our calculations, we’ve found the the prices can be inflated by 12% for members and a whopping 27% for non-members.

Here’s a peek at a few items and their prices for my ZIP code in Orlando, Florida:

Item

In-club price

Instacart price (non-member)

Instacart price (member)

Markup

Member’s Mark Rotisserie Chicken Enchiladas, 1 pound

$3.98

$5.05

$4.46

12% - 27%

Kraft Original Mac & Cheese Dinner, 18 – 7.25 oz boxes

$14.96

$19

$16.76

12% - 27%

Smucker’s Uncrustables Peanut Butter & Grape Jelly Sandwiches, 18-count

$13.98

$17.75

$15.66

12% - 27%

Driscoll’s Blueberries, 18 oz

$5.17

$6.57

$5.79

12% - 27%

Pay for Instacart Plus if you place more than two delivery orders per month.

A woman in an Instacart shirt, putting avocados in a shopping cart inside Sam's Club

Instacart Plus costs an extra $8.25 – $9.99 per month, depending on whether you pay monthly or annually. The reward? Free unlimited Instacart deliveries and lower service fees. This means you won't have to shell out the $8.99 - $12.99 delivery fee each time you order.

That said, nothing about using Instacart is truly “free.” Even if you’re an Instacart Plus member AND a Sam’s Club member, the cost of ordering through Instacart is still more than it would be if you went to the warehouse (see my chart in the previous tip).

So you have to ask yourself: is skipping traffic and saving some time worth the extra cost? Some days it might be a yes, other days a no.

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