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If you like big box stores, I completely understand the sentiment. Buying in bulk and getting a month of grocery shopping knocked out in one go saves time and money – both of which are always worth saving.
I ignore the naysayers who over exaggerate what it means to buy in bulk. I have memberships at both Costco and Sam’s Club and use them both equally – especially now that both are around the corner from me at my pied-a-terre in Austin.
What I like about Sam’s Club:
- They have self-checkout
- You can scan your items as you go (with the, what else, Scan & Go app) and check out instantly
- Receipts are stored digitally online
- Club pickup – Costco does NOT offer this
- Digital membership card on your phone and in Apple Wallet
- Cheaper prices on tires
- They accept every payment method, not just Visa
- You can easily reorder your most common items
- Their app is way better
But they don’t offer free shipping on most items online like Costco does. And their food court offerings tend to be greasy, calorie-laden fiascos whereas Costco seems a *little* healthier. And in general, I find Costco stores to be cleaner and better laid-out. Sam’s Club locations can be hit-or-miss, whereas I feel like Costco has more consistency between the stores.
Also, there are more ways to save at Sam’s Club. A lot more ways. And that might seal the deal for some peeps, especially if both are nearby.
Let’s look at how to save money EVERY time you set foot (or web browser) in Sam’s Club.
In This Post
- 1 10 ways to build your own discounts at Sam’s Club
- 1.1 1. Save 2+% with the Dosh app
- 1.2 2. Discounts with Ibotta
- 1.3 3. Get 2% back with Acorns
- 1.4 4. Use any card to meet minimum spending, or get 5% cashback through the end of 2018
- 1.5 5. Get miles, points, or cashback when you shop online
- 1.6 6. Check for discounted memberships and coupons on Groupon or LivingSocial
- 1.7 7. Check for Amex Offers
- 1.8 8. Get $30 in rewards with a new membership if you’re active or former military
- 1.9 9. Get a $15 gift card for new student memberships
- 1.10 10. Consider a Plus membership
- 1.11 Bonus. Just check the website
- 2 Also, you MIGHT get Uber credit
- 3 Bottom line
10 ways to build your own discounts at Sam’s Club
Remember, you can stack many of these deals to save even more money. And with most, you can set it up once and let it go.
For others, it’s just clicking a link. When you stack, you can save 10+% when you shop – or more. That’s some serious savings on already discounted stuff!
1. Save 2+% with the Dosh app
- Link: Get the Dosh app
If you don’t already have the Dosh app, download it immediately! You only need to set it up once. Link your cards. Then, any time you shop at Sam’s Club, you’ll earn between 2% and 5% cashback instantly.
You can withdraw the money once you reach $25 directly to your PayPal or checking account. And you’ll get $5 free just for downloading it.
There’s seriously nothing else to do besides download it and link your cards.
You can also get $20 if you buy a new membership. Just use your linked card and you’ll get $20 automatically.
2. Discounts with Ibotta
I love the Ibotta app. You can earn cashback on a ton of common household goods.
You have to activate the offers and upload your receipts, but I usually browse the app while I’m in the store.
They regularly run bonuses and promotions. Sometimes the savings are for a few bucks. That’s a nice savings, especially if you can find multiple items you were already planning to buy.
You can withdraw the funds when you reach $20. And in my experience, cashback is credited within a day. Seriously love this app so much and check it all the time.
3. Get 2% back with Acorns
This one is another set it and forget it.
You’ll get $5 to start investing when you download the app (which I wrote about here).
What’s cool is their Found Money feature, which earns automatic cashback when you link a card and spend at certain merchants – Sam’s Club is one of them.
You’ll automatically earn $1 per $50 spent at Sam’s Club, which is an effective 2% return.
There’s no effort to get the cashback after you link your card.
If you’re a new member, you can also get $10 when you signup.
And yes, you can stack that with $20 back through Dosh (in #1) and the $5 from both Dosh and Acorns. That’s $40 back from a $45 membership!
4. Use any card to meet minimum spending, or get 5% cashback through the end of 2018
Sam’s Club takes all major payments, so you can use any card to pay for your purchases. That means you can earn an endless variety of points, miles, or cashback – depending on which card you use.
This quarter, you’ll earn 5% cashback at wholesale clubs with the Chase Freedom.
|Chase Freedom Flex||20,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points|
|• That's worth $200 in cashback rewards
• You'll also earn 5% cashback on grocery store purchases (not including Target or Walmart) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year
|• $0 annual fee||• $500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening|
|• Excellent rotating 5X categories every quarter|
• A great first Chase card
|• Compare it here|
You can essentially choose your own rebate because you have your choice of cards. But earning 5% cashback on top of all the other discounts you can stack means you can save north of 10% easily – and usually more.
5. Get miles, points, or cashback when you shop online
Always always check Cashback Monitor if you shop the Sam’s Club website. Right now, you can get up to 7% cashback with TopCashback and Giving Assistant. Again, that’s on top of all the other discounts!
Note this does NOT work for pickup in-store. So it won’t work for perishables like meat, produce, and dairy. But if you need to get something delivered to your home, this is an easy way to earn extra money for simply clicking a link.
6. Check for discounted memberships and coupons on Groupon or LivingSocial
Hell yeah, you can usually find some coupons on Groupon.
For example, I found this one on the site:
And sometimes, you’ll find discounted memberships. Right now, for example, you can get a $15 e-gift card or $45 off when you buy a membership.
And on LivingSocial, I found a couple of membership offers:
For example, you can pay $35, and get a membership (valued at $45), $25 in gift cards, and $20 in free food. That’s a crazy good deal!
I always check both of these for coupons I might not have found otherwise.
7. Check for Amex Offers
If you have an Amex card, check your account, because they’ve had a LOT of Sam’s Clubs offers recently. Like this one:
And again, you can stack this with rewards from shopping portals to get up to 30% cashback (20% back from Amex Offers, up to 7% back from shopping portal, and 3+% back in the form of rewards points)!
You can’t beat that with a stick.
8. Get $30 in rewards with a new membership if you’re active or former military
- Link: Military membership
If you ever served, you can get rewards on your new membership.
With it, you’ll get lots of gifts:
You’ll have to decide whether this is the best deal, or if you can do better through Groupon or LivingSocial. But either way, military members can always access this version of membership. Thank you for your service!
9. Get a $15 gift card for new student memberships
- Link: Student membership
If you have a .edu email address, you can get $15 to spend when you join Sam’s Club.
I wish I’d known about this in college – I could’ve saved so much money stocking up on snacks instead of paying the prices at the school’s cafe. Again, students can get this any time – but other discounts might be a better deal, depending on what’s available when you join.
10. Consider a Plus membership
- Link: Plus membership details
- $10 back for every $500 you spend (2% back in the form of a rebate check)
- Free online shipping with no minimums
- Deeper discounts
- Early shopping hours
- More gas discounts
It’s $100 per year instead of $45. But here’s what’s cool. If you don’t earn enough in a year to justify the upgrade, they’ll refund the difference and let you keep the regular membership.
It’s highly worth it if you shop the website a lot and don’t want to deal with hitting a shipping threshold each time.
Bonus. Just check the website
Seriously. While researching this article, I found this coupon just sitting at the bottom of the site:
No promotion, no special deal. It was just there as I shopped around. So keep an eye out – there are so many ways to save at Sam’s Club!
Also, you MIGHT get Uber credit
On October 9, 2018, I made a purchase for $46.21 at my local Sam’s Club. Right as I swiped my card, my… Uber (?) app said I earned $2.31 in Uber credit, which is 5% back toward my next Uber ride.
I tried to find some sort of promotion to share, but nothing came up.
If you link a Visa card, you can earn Uber credits through Visa Local Offers. I don’t know the terms of the Sam’s Club offer, but it worked for me – YMMV. Can’t hurt to link your Visa debit or credit card and see if it works for you.
I ended up getting 5% back from Dosh, 5% back from Uber, and 5% back from my Chase Freedom card – 15% back in total, and it all happened automatically. Not bad at all.
Depending on which deals you use, you can easily save 10%, 20%, up to 30% at Sam’s Club. That’s at the high end. But there’s no reason you can’t reach 10% back every time you shop by stacking some combination of these deals:
- 2% to 5% cashback with the Dosh app
- Ibotta savings when you upload your receipt
- An effective 2% back (as a free investment) with Acorns
- Rebates with a credit card of your choice – Chase Freedom (compare it here) has 5% cashback this quarter at wholesale clubs
- Up to 7% cashback with TopCashback and Giving Assistant when you shop online
- Groupon and LivingSocial coupons and discounted membership deals
- Amex Offers
- Military and student memberships
- Risk-free upgrade to Plus membership for free shipping and additional rebates
- Promotions you find on the Sam’s Club website
Between the sales, gas discounts, coupons, and savings from buying in bulk, most peeps can save a lot of money with a Sam’s Club membership. And with a little finesse, you can stack more discounts on top of all that and make good deals even better.
Do you have other ways to save at Sam’s Club? Please share in the comments!
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