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Updated on Friday, December 14, 2018
The Sams Club® Mastercard® has some generous category bonuses for a no annual fee card. This credit card is not just for diehard Sam’s Club shoppers, and not just for Sam’s Club purchases.
The card can be used to earn 5% cash back on eligible gas worldwide, including gas at Sam's Club (on the first $6,000 per year, then 1% after). Earn 3% cash back on dining and travel. Earn 1% cash back on other purchases at Sam's Club and wherever Mastercard is accepted.
There is a $0 annual fee, but it does require a Sam’s Club membership. The cheapest Sam’s Club membership is $45 per year.
- $0 annual fee
- New cardmember offer: Earn a $45 statement credit when you open a new account and make $45 in Sam’s Club purchases within 30 days.
- Cash back program: Earn 5% cash back on eligible gas worldwide, including gas at Sam's Club (on the first $6,000 per year, then 1% after). Earn 3% cash back on dining and travel. Earn 1% cash back on other purchases at Sam's Club and wherever Mastercard is accepted.
- Includes identity theft resolution services
- Offers a product extended warranty coverage
- $0 foreign transaction fees
- Rewards are only paid out once per year (in February) in the form of a mailed check which must be cashed inside a Sam’s Club location.
- $5,000 annual cap on total cash back rewards
- 5% cash back on gas is limited to your first $6,000 in gas purchases each year, then 1%
There is some fine print to consider. First, gas purchases are considered as those made at “U.S. and Puerto Rico Sam’s Club and Walmart fuel stations, and at gas stations located in the U.S. and Puerto Rico (but excluding purchases at fuel stations at wholesale clubs other than Sam’s Club), certain supercenters, and supermarkets.” So, if you get gas at BJ’s, you won’t earn 5%.
The 5% cash back on gas is limited to your first $6,000 in gas purchases each year, then 1%. That’s not a big deal for most card users, but it’s worth noting.
Cash rewards are forfeited “if the Sams Club® Mastercard® account is not in good standing or is more than two months delinquent on the minimum payment, if the Sam’s Club Membership terminates or lapses, or if the cash back earned in a calendar year is less than $5.00.”
Although there is a $0 annual fee, the card requires a Sam’s Club membership (cheapest membership costs $45 per year).
Who This Card Would Benefit Most
Loyal Sam’s Club shoppers may want to pick this card. This way, the Sam’s Club membership requirement is a non-issue. People who drive a lot would do well with this card as long as they don’t enjoy the low-cost Costco fuel. This card is a strong candidate for users living in rural locations where driving long distances is necessary or those living where Sam’s Clubs are more prevalent than Costco’s.
How it Stacks Up Against Competition
Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer
The Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer is a worthy adversary. When using this card, Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.. Essentially, all purchases paid in full each month come with a 2% cash back reward. If a person averages out the 5%, 3%, and 1% rewards with the Sam’s Club card, they may not make the 2% this card offers. The Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer may rein superior.
- $0 annual fee
- Late fee waiver: the first late payment is forgiven
- Citi® Price Rewind: After a purchase is made, Citi will search online retailers to see if the product could have been purchased at a lower price. If, within 60 days, Citi finds a lower price on the same item, the difference in price will be refunded to the card. The maximum refund amount is up to $200 per item and up to $1,000 per year. This could be the end of price hunting.
- Pre-qualification available
- High interest rates after the intro 0% for 18 months on Balance Transfers. The entire premise of this card is to not carry a balance so avoid doing so when possible. After the intro period ends, expect an APR of 13.99% – 23.99% (Variable).
- If the card is paid using cash back funds, there is no additional 1% reward upon payment.
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
If you frequently shop at U.S. supermarkets, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express offers a rewards program tailored to that spending. Cardholders earn 6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%).
- Intro 0% on purchases for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers (after, 13.99%-23.99% Variable APR).
- ShopRunner: Receive free two-day shipping on eligible items at over 140 online stores. Terms apply; learn more at shoprunner.com/amex.
- Potential to shop before your card arrives: If you’re eligible, you can instantly use your new card number online or through digital wallets.
- $300 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months.
- There is a $0 introductory annual fee for one year, then $95 annual fee.
- Regular Purchase APR
- 13.99%-23.99% Variable
- Intro Purchase APR
- 0% on purchases for 12 months
- Intro BT APR
- Annual fee
- $0 introductory annual fee for one year, then $95
- Rewards Rate
- 6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%). 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions. 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and on transit (including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more). 1% Cash Back on other purchases.
- Balance Transfer Fee
To see rates & fees for the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, please click here.
Evaluate Your Spending Habits
While there is no ‘best’ rewards card for everyone, there are a lot of great cash back cards available. To decide which is best, it really comes down to a person looking at their spending habits and credit card which will give them the highest rewards. Enjoy the rewards.
The information related to Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer has been independently collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.