With more than 47 million members in the United States, Sam’s Club is an undeniable force in the national retail market. If you already shop there, then you know that this warehouse store is one of the best places to purchase the everyday items you need in convenient, bulk quantities.
While per-item prices are already competitive, there are ways to save even more money the next time you shop. Today, we’re sharing a few of the little-known financial perks that come with a Sam’s Club membership!
The Annual “Free” Membership Deal
Any time you sign up to join Sam’s Club, you can rest assured you’re getting a great deal. Members can enjoy exclusive discounts on everything from televisions and computers to diapers and gas.
A basic Sam’s Club membership usually costs $45 per year, plus tax in some locations. If you want additional perks and benefits, you can opt into the company’s “Plus” program, which costs $100 per year.
While those are economical prices on their own, there are ways for savvy shoppers to score a new membership for $0.00. That’s right! With the right strategy, you can eliminate your Sam’s Club membership cost altogether.
Here’s how to do it.
First, check to see if there’s a new member sign-up promotion running. Right now, there’s one in place that lasts through July 31, 2022. This means that if you sign up to join Sam’s Club before August 1, 2022, you can cash in on the offer.
When you do, you’ll automatically receive a voucher that allows you to take $45 off your first in-store purchase. Considering the fact that a new Club Membership costs around $45, that’s like getting your payment back in your pocket! You should be able to make the purchase in any Sam’s Club location.
The only caveat? You’ll need to make that initial purchase within 60 days of opening your Sam’s Club membership account. Yet, as soon as you step inside the shopping oasis, you’ll discover that this won’t be hard to do!
Note that there are a few items that are unlikely to qualify you for any Sam’s Club membership deals. These include:
- Alcoholic beverages
- Tobacco products
- Gift cards
- Membership costs
- Shipping costs
As long as you don’t try to apply these to your promotion, you should be good to go!
Check For Routine Promotions
While the initial sign-up deal is a great perk, Sam’s Club is all about rewarding its members. Once you’re officially in, keep an eye out for specials and promotions, which are routinely updated.
A few of the most common ones that you might see include:
- Half-off membership costs
- Free items with the cost of membership (e.g. food, merchandise, gift cards)
- Lower prices on essentials (e.g. fuel and eyeglasses)
If you need a particular item, check to see if there are any special deals that you can cash with your membership perks before paying the price you see on the shelf.
Understand Store Price Codes
Want to save money on the next Sam’s Club sale? If so, it’s important to understand how the store’s pricing strategy works. If the price ends in the number “1” (such as $X.91 or $X.51), then that means that the item has been discounted from its original price.
On the other hand, prices that end in “99” (e.g. $5.99) are full-price. In addition to these numbers, you’ll also notice that each item is also labeled with a unique code. This code will contain one of the following letters:
The “C” means that the item has been canceled, and stock levels are low. This could indicate that its price will drop soon as Sam’s Club looks to move it out of its shelves.
If you see an “N”, this means that the item is never out. In other words, it’s always in stock and Sams’ Club may run a promotion on it at some point in the future.
Finally, an “A” means that the item is active. It indicates that the store has an adequate supply of that item in stock, so an upcoming discount is unlikely.
As you move from one aisle to another, read these labels closely and use them to help direct your purchases. If you can afford to wait on a “C”-labeled item, for instance, you could save even more money in the coming weeks.
Monitor Stock Levels
Did you know that each shelf in a given Sam’s Club is leased by a specific vendor? For instance, Pampers might lease a shelf and use that space to hold all of its diaper products.
If an item isn’t selling as well or as quickly as expected, Sam’s Club will usually lower the price. This is a tactic designed to help move the inventory along before the vendor’s lease period expires. Most of the time, these discounts aren’t advertised and you’ll have to walk around to spot them.
Read the Weekly Ad
Whether you opt to receive yours in the mail or online, it’s worth taking the time to read the weekly Sam’s Club Ad. On these pages, you can see which items are currently on sale, and how much money you can save on them.
Flip the pages, circle the deals you want to activate and find those items in the store to save!
Redeem Instant Savings
Instant Savings are limited-time promotional discounts. These offer members a way to save even more money on the already-discounted products available in the warehouse.
Sam’s Club will automatically load the digital coupons onto your membership card as they become available. If you purchase any of the items during the active period, the discount will be applied as soon as you scan your card.
Earn Cash Back
As a Sam’s Club member, you can extend your savings by applying for a Sam’s Club Mastercard. If you use this card to make a purchase as a basic Club member, you can enjoy the following perks:
- 5% cash back on gas
- 3% cash back on dining
- 3% cash back on travel
- 1% cash back on all other items
If you spring for a Plus membership, you’ll earn 3% cash back on every in-store purchase made with the Mastercard, as well as the 2% cash back already included in your plan.
Leverage Your Sam’s Club Membership Savings
There are many reasons to join Sam’s Club. Your membership card can help you unlock savings on basic items, and you can even earn money back for every purchase you make.
Knowing how to shop at the warehouse is the first step toward maximizing your Sam’s Club membership. Once you know how to scan the labels, check the ad, and redeem your applicable savings, you’ll discover the real reward of making the leap.
Want to learn more about ways to save while you shop? When you sign up for Deal Alerts, you’re always the first to know about special online deals, promotions, and specials!