Sam’s Club Mastercard Credit Card Review: Big Cash Back on Gas Spending
If you’re a member of Sam’s Club, you may have given serious thought to the Sam’s Club Mastercard.
It's a rewards credit card that doubles as your membership card and it works anywhere that accepts Mastercard.
But, more interestingly:
The Sam’s Club Mastercard has a cash back program that is ideal for those who spend heavily on gas.
But, it's also good for big spending on travel and dining.
We review this card to see if you should choose it over other cash back credit cards available.
Sam's Club Mastercard Pros & Cons
Great Cash Back Rewards
Possibly the most important aspect of cash back credit cards is the rewards that you can earn. The Sam’s Club Mastercard offers solid rewards across multiple categories.
- 5% cash back on gas (on up to $6,000 in spending each year)
- 3% cash back on dining and travel
- 1% cash back on all other purchases
If you spend $500 on gas every month, you’ll earn $300 in cash back each year from that alone. You could earn hundreds of dollars in cash back each year.
Cash back redemption
The biggest drawback:
You do not have control over the redemption of your rewards.
You’ll receive a credit for all of your rewards in the February of the year after the rewards were earned.
You will not receive the rewards if your account is not in good standing, if you end your Sam’s Club membership, or if you’ve earned less than $5 in rewards.
Cash back isn’t worth much if you have to pay high fees to keep your card open. You always want to analyze whether a card’s rewards and perks cover the cost of its annual fee.
With the Sam’s Club Mastercard, you don’t have to do much math.
There is no annual fee to keep the card open and the card’s other fees are low.
There is no foreign transaction fee either, so you can use the card when you travel.
The Sam’s Club Mastercard offers a few other perks that make it a nice card to keep in your wallet.
Acts as a membership card
One perk is that you can use the card as your membership card when shopping at Sam’s Clubs. You don’t have to carry an extra card to get you through the door.
Cash advances at Sam's Club and Walmart locations
Sam’s Club and Walmart locations offer cash advances to Sam’s Club Mastercard holders. You can withdraw up to $100 in cash from a Sam’s Club or Walmart by using your card.
You should avoid doing this when you don’t have to because you’ll have to pay interest on the money you withdraw.
Shop with Confidence
The Sam’s Club Mastercard comes with many of Mastercard’s standard perks, letting you use your card and shop with confidence.
Identity theft protection
Identity theft is a common fear for many people when they use their credit cards.
If someone gets your card details they can make purchases on your card without your permission. Nobody wants to be left holding the bill for things that they didn’t buy.
Identity theft can be even worse than that if someone starts applying for loans and credit cards in your name. The Sam’s Club Mastercard comes with free identity theft protection that you can use if your identity is stolen.
This service includes 24/7 assistance, identity monitoring, credit monitoring, and automatic alerts of suspicious credit activity.
The card also offers extended warranty coverage on products that you purchase with the card.
You can extend manufacturers’ warranties by up to one year.
If your product breaks, Mastercard will replace it or pay for the repair. You’ll also be eligible for a refund if something you buy breaks or gets stolen within 90 days of purchase.
You’ll also get price protection. If a retailer starts selling something at a lower price within sixty days of your purchase, you can get a refund for the difference in price.
If you use your card to book travel, the Sam’s Club Mastercard has you covered if you run into trouble during your trip.
The card comes with complimentary travel insurance, including coverage for accidents and lost or delayed baggage.
You can also use the card when you rent a car to get complimentary rental car coverage.
If your car gets stuck during the trip, you can call Mastercard to get roadside assistance.
Compared to Other Credit Card Options
The Sam’s Club Mastercard is just one of the many rewards credit cards on the market.
It’s a fine choice for many people, but when it comes to rewards credit cards, you can earn a lot of money by optimizing your card choice.
Here are some of the Sam’s Club Mastercard’s closest competitors.
Sam’s Club Credit Card
The Sam’s Club Credit Card is a store card that can only be used at Sam’s Club and Walmart. You cannot use the card at other retailers.
Another drawback of the card is its lack of rewards. You won’t earn any cash back if you use the card, so you’ll be better off using a different card to shop.
The primary reason to apply for the Sam’s Club Credit Card over the Sam’s Club Mastercard is that store cards are often easier to qualify for.
The Chase Freedom offers 5% cash back on bonus categories that rotate every three months. You’ll also earn 1% cash back on every other purchase that you make.
The benefit of the Chase Freedom card over the Sam’s Club Mastercard is that you have flexibility when redeeming your rewards.
You can redeem your cash back at any time instead of waiting until February. You can even transfer your rewards to other Chase cards, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred, to get more value out of your points.
If you want a card that has rotating bonus categories, the Chase Freedom card is one of the best ones out there.
Citi Double Cash Card
Some people only want one credit card and don’t want to have to think about optimizing rewards and figuring out which card to use at each retailer they visit.
For people who want to keep things simple, the Citi Double Cash card is one of the best choices on the market.
You can earn up to an effective 2% cash back when you use the Double Cash card. You earn 1% when you make your purchase and an additional 1% when you pay your monthly bill. You earn these rewards regardless of where you shop. There are no bonus categories and no restrictions.
You can redeem your rewards for a statement credit or a deposit directly to your bank account. The only requirement is that redeem at least $25 at a time.
The Final Verdict
The Sam’s Club Mastercard is a great choice of card for Sam’s Club members who particular spend a lot on gas.
While it can be annoying to have to wait until February to use your rewards you can earn rewards at a decent rate with the card, even if you just use it to buy gas.
There are other cards on the market that offer similar rewards, but if you value the convenience of having one card for multiple uses and using your card as your Sam’s Club membership card, the Sam’s Club Mastercard might be the card for you.
Otherwise, you may consider other cash back credit cards if your spending pattern isn't quite as defined.