How to Use Sam’s Club Rewards

If you’re a Sam’s Club member and you shop there often, you may want to consider the Sam’s Club Plus membership so you can earn Sam’s Club Rewards, which they recently renamed Sam’s Cash. Even though they have a new name, the rewards are the same or even better as they recently revamped them with the promise to provide even more ways to earn cashback soon.

The Sam’s Club Rewards can come in handy if you shop there often because it’s cashback you earn just for shopping at Sam’s Club. Of course, like any rewards program, it’s not for everyone especially since it isn’t free.

Here’s what you must know to help you decide if Sam’s Club Rewards is right for you.

What are Sam’s Club Rewards or Sam’s Cash?

Sam’s Club Rewards or Sam’s Cash, is money you earn by shopping at Sam’s Club with a Plus membership. This option isn’t available to basic club members, only Plus members. The difference in membership is $55 ($45 for basic and $100 for plus members). 

It’s not hard to make up that $55 and then some, though, which is why many people pay for the higher members.

As a Plus member, you earn 2% cash back on ‘most’ Sam’s Club purchases both online and in-store. You can earn on purchases of up to $2,000 at one time and up to $500 per year.

Your accumulation starts over again each membership year, but you can use the rewards earned in your new membership year too. There’s no rush to use them right away.

How Does it Work?

Purchases you make in Sam’s Club or online at earn you 2% cashback if you have a Plus membership. You earn cashback on purchases of up to $2,000 at a time and can earn a maximum of $500 in Sam’s Cash per year (membership year not calendar year).

Your earnings accumulate throughout the year and Sam’s Club will load your earnings into your account around 2 months before your membership expires. For example, if your membership expires on March 30, you should see your Sam’s Club Rewards around the end of January.

Your Sam’s Club Rewards may only be used at Sam’s Club (in-store or online) and you must be an active member when you redeem them. Fortunately, they give you a couple of months before your membership expires to use them should you not want to renew your membership for the next year.

Do Add-on Members Earn Cash Back?

The Sam’s Club Plus membership allows you to add on members at a cost of $40 each. You can have up to 16 members added to your membership. However, add-on members do not earn you or themselves cashback. Only the primary cardholder earns the cashback.

Exclusions to Sam’s Club Rewards

While you can earn 2% back on most purchases at Sam’s Club, there are some exclusions including:

  • Tobacco or alcoholic beverages
  • Gas
  • Some dairy products including milk
  • Gift cards
  • Any services or items coming from a third party even if sold on the Sam’s Club website
  • Membership fee
  • Prescriptions
  • Stamps

Redeeming your Sam’s Cash

Redeeming your Sam’s Cash is easy. Sam’s Club automatically loads the balance onto your membership. You can use the cash toward a purchase in-store or online. You can also visit the customer service desk and request the cash as a store credit or cash.

You can also use your Sam’s Cash to pay your membership fee for the next year. This is a great way to put your cashback to use and make the extra $55 in membership costs worth it. If you spend $2,750 per year, you cover the extra $55 membership fee and anything you spend beyond that is money in your pocket. 

Keep in mind that only the primary member on the card can redeem the accrued Sam’s Cash.

Checking your Sam’s Cash Balance

It’s easy to find out how much Sam’s Cash you have. You can check online or ask in-store.

Checking your Balance Online

If you want to check your Sam’s Cash balance online, simply log into your account and click ‘Cash Rewards.’ You’ll find this in the ‘Your Account’ section of your dashboard. The balance is updated in real-time.

If you don’t want to log into your dashboard or you want to know what your balance is when you are in the store, you can go to the customer service desk and provide them with your membership card. They can tell your balance instantly.

Other Ways to Earn Sam’s Cash

Sam’s Club is continually finding new ways for members to earn Sam’s Cash. Right now the easiest way is by becoming a Plus member, but you can also earn Sam’s Cash by applying for the Sam’s Club Mastercard.

The Sam’s Club Mastercard is in addition to a Plus membership, so you could have both ‘double dipping’ on your cashback.

Here’s how the Sam’s Club Mastercard works.

  • Earn 5% cashback on gas anywhere (not just Sam’s Club) on the first $6,000 per year, after that earn 1% cashback
  • Earn 3% cashback on all Sam’s Club purchases, PLUS earn 2% cashback if you are a Plus member for a total of 5% cashback at Sam’s Club
  • Earn 3% cashback at restaurants (dine-in and takeout)
  • Earn 1% cashback on all other purchases

Your Sam’s Club Mastercard is also your membership card to Sam’s Club. It has no annual fee and you can use it anywhere Mastercard is accepted.

Other Benefits of a Sam’s Club Plus Membership

The Sam’s Club Plus membership pays you 2% cashback on your purchases, but it offers other benefits too including:

  • Free shipping 
  • Savings at the pharmacy 
  • Savings on optical needs (20% off glasses)

Plus you have the option to add additional members at $40 apiece. If you own a business, this can be a nice benefit to offer your employees. They won’t earn cashback for themselves or you, but having a basic club membership can be a nice benefit for them.

FAQs – Sam’s Club Rewards

How much Sam’s Cash do you need before you can use it?

Sam’s Club doesn’t have a minimum amount of cashback you must accumulate before you can spend it. You’ll receive your cashback a few months before your membership expires whether you earned $1 or $500. 

You can spend the money how you wish whether you spend it in-store, online, to cover your membership, or you cash it out at a Sam’s Club store.

Does Sam’s Cash expire?

The good news is that Sam’s Cash does not expire. You aren’t obligated to use it by a certain time, however, you must be an active Sam’s Club member to use it. This is why it’s good that they give it to you a few months before your membership expires in case you decide not to renew.

Can you use your Sam’s Cash at Walmart?

Sam’s Club and Walmart are sister companies, but unfortunately, you can’t use your Sam’s Cash at Walmart directly, but there’s a workaround.

You can cash out your Sam’s Cash at a Sam’s Club service desk and then use the cash at Walmart. So you are using your Sam’s Club Rewards at Walmart but with a little extra leg work.

Can you redeem Sam’s Cash if you aren’t a member?

No, you must be a Sam’s Club member to redeem your Sam’s Cash. If you earn Sam’s Cash using your Sam’s Club Mastercard but don’t have an active membership with Sam’s Club, the rewards don’t expire. Once you renew your membership, you can use the rewards again.

Do you have to opt-in to receive Sam’s Cash?

You don’t have to do anything to receive Sam’s Cash. As long as you are an active member and use your Sam’s Club membership (or Mastercard), you automatically receive Sam’s Cash. You aren’t obligated to redeem/spend it, but who would turn down spending free money?

Final Thoughts – Are Sam’s Club Rewards Worth It?

Since you have to pay for the Sam’s Club Rewards, it’s important to determine if the Sam’s Club Rewards are worth it for you.

At an additional cost of $55, I’d say it’s best for those who frequent Sam’s Club often or make large purchases annually. While there are some additional benefits of being a Plus member, the largest benefit is the 2% cashback you earn. If you spend at least $2,750 per year, you’ll break even and anything you spend beyond that is a bonus.

If your family buys in bulk and you enjoy the other products Sam’s Club offers, such as home goods, furniture, outside decor, and kid’s toys, it can be worth your while to sign up for the Plus membership and/or apply for a Sam’s Club Mastercard and more than double your earnings.

Kim Pinnelli is a personal finance freelance writer and contributor. She lives in the Chicago suburbs, writing from home for the last 13 years. Kim enjoys helping people understand personal finances and writes on topics about saving money, investing, planning for retirement, and ways to increase income. In her free time, Kim enjoys hanging out with her 3 children, reading, crocheting, and spending time outdoors.

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