Sams Club Credit Card Review: Should You Apply or Not?
Are you a Sam’s Club member? This Sam’s Club credit card review will show you the pros and cons for 2013. Consider these before you fill out an application.
Note: The following review is for the store-only version of their credit card. For the Discover version, please visit this review: Sams Club Discover card
In times like these, we are all looking to cut back our budgets. One way to do that is shopping at wholesale clubs such as Sam’s Club and Costco. These can be great places to save money, especially if you have a big family or a lot of people to buy for. Not to mention, Sams Club has great customer service. But does their credit card live up to those same standards? Let's take a closer look...
Sam's Club Advantage Member Credit Card
WARNING: Understand how the financing promotions really work!
- Annual Fee: none
- Acceptance: This credit card is only accepted at Sam's Club. You cannot use it anywhere else.
- Issuer: GE Money Bank, whom is a big issuer of store cards. When it comes to customer service, GE Money doesn't exactly a good reputation, to put it nicely.
- Rewards: none
- Interest Rate: This is one of the highest APRs you will find. As I write this, the Sams Club credit card application lists an interest rate of 19.65% + prime rate (that's 22.90%). However I called customer service and they said the rate can vary between 9.73% and 27.90% if you are determined to be in a different risk tier. However (and I'm quoting the rep here) he said "like 90% of the time it's 22.90%."
- Benefits: There are hardly any. It does allow cash back at the register of up to $60 (like an ATM card does). The membership information is saved it, so there's no need to bring both the credit card and the membership card when shopping. Aside from those two things, I cannot find any benefits that would be considered unique whatsoever.
The Sam's Club Advantage credit card will occasionally offer 0% financing "deals" such a this:
"No Interest if Paid in Full Within 6 Months" What you may not realize is that this is a deferred interest promotion! It's buried in the application's fine print. With these types of no interest offers, if you do not pay off 100% of the financed amount before the promo period ends, then you will be charged interest going back to day one of the purchase!
So these these "deals" are a gamble because even if you think you will be able to pay it off in time, what happens if you lose your job or some other unexpected expenses arise that prevents you from being able to pay it off in time? If every penny isn't paid, you will be hit with high interest on the full purchase! And if the interest rate is 22.90% that is going to cost you a lot of money!
Sam's club also offers a business version of this card, which is very similar; few benefits and high APRs.
With no rewards, high interest rates, hardly any benefits, and unattractive financing terms, I think most people would agree the Sam's Club credit card belongs in the "Avoid" category!
Did you know that you can use any credit card from Discover to pay for your purchases at Sam’s Club? The following credit card is NOT affiliated with Sam's Club in any way, but you can still use it to pay for your purchases there:
The Discover It card gives up to 5% cash back on a wide variety of rotating categories including gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, department stores, airlines, home improvement, clothing stores, and more! It also has a unique program where you get 5% to 20% cash back at some of the most popular online retailers, nearly 200 of them! On top of that, there is absolutely no annual fee.
Credit Card Forum is running this limited time sponsored offer for the Discover It card: