sam's club gas payment options
The Sam’s Club Mastercard is one of my favorite credit cards and one of the few credit cards I carry in my wallet. Here is my review along with a calculator to show you if it makes sense for you to apply.
The rewards you earn are what make the Sam’s Club Mastercard such a great deal. The big advantage is that you earn cash, not points. Points are a hassle, difficult to redeem, and can be devalued at any time. When choosing a rewards program, go with cash.
With the Sam’s Club Mastercard, you earn a very generous 5% cashback at gas stations. The benefit goes further than that though.
In the city where I work, the Sam’s Club gas station is usually the cheapest gas in town. The problem with the Sam’s Club gas station is that other credit cards count it as a Sam’s Club, not a gas station. That means that if you have another credit card that pays a bonus cashback at gas stations, you won’t earn it at Sam’s gas stations. You will only get that bonus cashback with your Sam’s Club Mastercard. On top of that Sam’s Club members get a $.05/gallon discount at my local club.
So if the regular price of gas were $3.00, with the Sam’s Club Mastercard you would get $.05/ gallon off, plus earn 5% cashback making the net cost of gas only about $2.80. Getting $.20/gallon off of gas is a pretty good deal.
There aren’t a lot of credit cards out there that pay you extra cashback at restaurants, so this is a pretty good deal. Just remember that restaurants aren’t a very good deal and you could probably save money eating at home.
When I used to travel a lot for work, I took big advantage of this offer, but now that I am home just about every night I try to stay away from the restaurants. When I do eat at restaurants though, this is my go to card
Travel is defined as purchases on airlines, rental cars, trains, buses, cruises, timeshares (I don’t recommend every spending money on a timeshare), travel agencies, travel websites, and tour operators.
That is quite a list of businesses, so surely this is the card you will want to use when you go on vacation.
Meh. Any card can do this. Personally I have a 2% cashback card I use on purchases that don’t fit into one of the categories listed above.
With rewards credit cards, earning the rewards is only 25% of the battle. That is because many credit cards make it so complicated to actually get the rewards paid out to you that 75% of rewards are never paid out. I am a former bank auditor, and have verified these percentages myself.
With the Sam’s Club Mastercard, you don’t earn any ridiculous points, you earn actual cash that you can actually spend anywhere you want. The only downside is you can’t get the cash whenever you want.
Sam’s Club will mail you a check once a year with your rewards, you don’t even have to ask them for it. You then take your check to a Sam’s Club and use it for a purchase or take it to the customer service desk to get it cashed.
That isn’t too bad of a program. You have to be patient enough to wait for the once a year check, but after that the hassle factor in getting it cashed is fairly minimal.
I don’t know. Really, really high I would imagine.
The reason I am writing a review about a credit card without even bothering to look up the interest rates, is interest rates on credit cards are something I don’t care about.
Interest rates on credit cards are super high, and almost nobody can afford to pay them. Luckily, you don’t have to worry about them. Just pay your balance in full each month and the interest rate stays at 0%, right where it should be.
If you can’t pay your balance in full each month then you can’t afford a credit card, so I recommend not applying for any.
OK, so does it make sense for you to apply for the Sam’s Club Mastercard? How much would you actually earn? Use this calculator to figure out if there is a benefit of applying for this card instead of just using the card you already have:
Disclosure: I am not an affiliate of Sam’s Club and am not paid in anyway by them for either writing this article or for any readers who choose to apply.
New Credit Card Offers Sam’s Club Members 5% Back on. - Products News
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New Credit Card Offers Sam’s Club Members 5% Back on Gas
A new co-branded MasterCard available exclusively to Sam’s Club members offers 5% cash back on gas, 3% cash back on dining and travel, and 1% cash back on everything else starting June 23.
The Sam’s Club MasterCard 5-3-1 cash back program will let cardholders earn up to $5,000 in cash back benefits each year. In order to apply for the card, people must be members of Sam’s Club, but it’s accepted anywhere that takes MasterCard. There is no annual fee for the card.
Sam’s Plus members get more cash back with card
Sam’s Club offers consumers three levels of membership: Sam’s Savings, Sam’s Business, and Sam’s Plus. Each tier comes with different benefits, and Plus is the premium option.
Sam’s Savings and Sam’s Business memberships cost $45 a year. For $100 a year, Sam’s Plus members have access to early shopping hours, an extra year for warranties purchased at the store, and discounts on optical and pharmacy purchases.
In addition to those perks, Sam’s Plus members who sign up for the card will have two ways to earn extra cash back starting June 12. On that date, all Sam’s Plus members will begin earning $10 cash back for every $500 they spend at Sam’s Club—no matter how they pay for their purchases. They can earn up to $500 a year through the Sam’s Plus Cash Rewards program, in addition to the $5,000 possible cash back from being Sam’s Club MasterCard members.
Cash back rewards can be used to pay for purchases at Sam’s Club, put toward their Sam’s Club annual membership fee, or redeemed for cash.
High-security EMV technology
Issued by GE Capital Retail Bank, the Sam’s Club MasterCard will be the first major store credit card to come with EMV technology. EMV, or chip cards, utilize a more secure type of technology to keep customers’ purchase information safe. Used widely in Asia, Canada, and Europe, chip credit cards have been slow to come to the United States.
Chips embedded in EMV cards encrypt each transaction with unique data and make it nearly impossible for thieves to duplicate the cards. Countries where chip cards have replaced older magnetic stripe cards have seen credit card fraud rates plummet.
The Sam’s Club MasterCard: Earn Big Bucks Back for Buying in Bulk
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It seems like there’s a cash-back credit card out there for every type of shopper. For instance, there are great cards on the market for people who spend a lot on gas, dining and travel. But what if you spend a lot in all of those categories and want a card that will earn a good rewards rate across the board? The Sam’s Club MasterCard might be the right choice for you. If you shop frequently at this warehouse retailer and devote a lot of your income to gas, dining and travel purchases, this card’s unique 5-3-1 cash-back rewards program is definitely something to consider. Ready to hear more? Take a look at the details below.
Are you a Sam’s Club Discover customer? The Sam’s Club Discover card is being gradually phased out and will be replaced by the new Sam’s Club MasterCard shortly. If you have a Sam’s Club Discover card, you will receive information (if you haven’t already) about transitioning to the new card. Of course, you can always contact your card’s customer service center for more details about getting the Sam’s Club MasterCard.
- Someone who spends a lot on gas, dining and travel
- Someone who shops a lot at Sam’s Club and won’t mind redeeming rewards in-store (see below for details)
- Someone who values the security of a chip-enabled card
- Someone who wants more convenient and/or varied rewards redemption options
- Someone who doesn’t shop at Sam’s Club
- Someone who travels frequently
Sam’s Club MasterCard: The basics
The cash-back earning structure of the Sam’s Club MasterCard is equal parts lucrative and simple. Plus, the card offers some other really good features:
- Earn 5% cash back on purchases at gas stations in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, up to $6,000 spent per year. After you hit the $6,000 cap, you’ll earn 1% back at the pump. Sam’s Club fuel stations are eligible for the 5% rewards rate, but other warehouse club gas stations are excluded.
- Earn 3% cash back on travel and dining purchases.
- Earn 1% cash back on all other purchases
- Earn up to $5,000 in cash back per year
- Cash back is paid in the form of a check every February (checks must be cashed at Sam’s Club stores)
- Card comes chip-enabled
- Extended warranty coverage
- Identity theft resolution services
- No annual fee (Sam’s Club membership required — $45 per year for standard membership)
Where the Sam’s Club MasterCard shines
The Sam’s Club MasterCard, which is slated to replace the Sam’s Club Discover card, hit the scene on June 23, 2014. Since then, it has made a big splash in the media. Here’s why:
High rewards rate on diverse categories – Earning 5% cash back on gas (up to $6,000 spent at the pump per year), 3% cash back on dining and travel, and 1% cash back on other purchases is a sky-high rewards rate that’s hard to come by. Even though you’re limited to $5,000 in cash back rewards earnings per year, you’re getting an above-average return on a diverse range of spending categories.
No annual fee – Most cards that carry a rewards rate as high as that of the Sam’s Club MasterCard charge an annual fee. But the only yearly cost you’ll need to pony up with this card is your Sam’s Club membership, which amounts to $45 per year. (Sam’s Club Plus is $100.) If you spend a lot on gas, dining and travel, that $45 membership could easily end up paying for itself.
Chip-enabled – The main reason the Sam’s Club MasterCard made waves when it was first released is because it comes chip-enabled. While this is a common feature in travel credit cards, the Wall Street Journal reports that the Sam’s Club MasterCard is the first mass retail credit card in the United States to include an EMV chip in every card. This is meant to provide a more secure shopping experience, and will come in handy when all U.S. credit cards migrate to EMV technology.
Sam’s Plus members have the opportunity to earn even more
If you’re a Sam’s Plus cardholder, you’re probably already familiar with some of the benefits of this premium membership. These include early-morning access to Sam’s Club stores, optical and pharmacy discounts, and other exclusive savings.
But as of June 12, 2014, there’s another great perk to add to the list. With the Cash Rewards program, Sam’s Plus members will earn $10 for every $500 in qualifying in-store purchases. Earnings are capped at $500 per year, and you don’t have to use any special method of payment to collect them. But if you want to, you can combine your Cash Rewards with the cash back you’re racking up with your Sam’s Club MasterCard. This means that Sam’s Plus members who also have the Sam’s Club MasterCard could earn up to $5,500 in cash-back annually.
That’s a hefty reward for showing loyalty to Sam’s Club and its co-branded card!
Where the Sam’s Club MasterCard falls short
Although the Sam’s Club MasterCard has some serious advantages, there are definitely drawbacks to consider. For example:
Inconvenient redemption options – Undoubtedly, the main downfall of the Sam’s Club MasterCard is how rewards are redeemed. Unlike most other cash-back cards, you can’t log in to your account and redeem for a statement credit or direct deposit into your bank account. With the Sam’s Club MasterCard, your cash-back is mailed to you in the form of a check. But the catch is that you can only cash this check at a Sam’s Club Store. Plus, the rewards check only comes once per year; this means that you don’t have the flexibility to redeem your rewards whenever you please.
What’s more, there are certain restrictions surrounding the redemption of your cash-back check. For instance:
- Your account must be in good standing to cash your rewards check; this generally means that you’re not delinquent on your payments.
- You can’t redeem rewards of less than $5.
- You can’t redeem your rewards check if you’re not a Sam’s Club member at the time the check is issued.
- You can’t redeem your rewards check if you cancel your Sam’s Club MasterCard account before the check is issued.
- Rewards checks expire after 180 days of their issue date. If you don’t cash your check within this timeframe, your rewards expire.
If you can meet these requirements and don’t mind cashing your annual check in-store every year, you might not find any of this problematic. But if you’re interested in a card with more convenient and frequent redemption options, you’ll have to look elsewhere.
Cash-back earning isn’t unlimited — $5,000 is a very high cash-back earning limit, but it is a limit nonetheless. If you’re a very big spender and don’t like the idea of caps on the rewards you’re earning, another card might be a better option.
Small signup bonus – It’s typical for cash-back cards to offer new customers a $100 signup bonus for spending $500 in the first three months of opening their accounts. The Sam’s Club MasterCard provides a much smaller signup bonus of only $20, and you must spend at least $50 on SamsClub.com on the same day you’ve opened your account in order to get it. This is probably not a deal breaker, but it’s worth mentioning.
The Sam’s Club MasterCard versus the competition
If you’re a Sam’s Club junkie and spend a lot on gas, dining and travel, the Sam’s Club MasterCard might be a no-brainer. But if you find some of the card’s drawbacks a turnoff, you may be wondering if there are similar cards on the market that would fit your needs better. Good news! The Nerds have a few suggestions:
If you want a cash-back card with convenient redemption options: Chase Freedom®
The Chase Freedom® is one of the Nerds’ favorite cash-back cards for a reason: You’ll earn 5% cash back in quarterly rotating bonus categories (up to $1,500 in combined purchases per quarter) and unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases. Since the Chase Freedom® has historically featured gas as a 5% category for two out of four quarters per year, you’re getting an annual average cash-back rate of 3% at the pump.
Plus, it usually features restaurants as a 5% category at least once per year, which means you’re getting an annual average cash-back rate of 2% on dining out. And, of course, you’ll enjoy 5% back at other popular retailers (such as Starbucks, Lowes and Kohls in 2014) throughout the year. This is a pretty high rewards rate for a card with an annual fee of $0.
But where the Chase Freedom® really bests the Sam’s Club MasterCard is in how cash-back is redeemed. You can use the rewards you earn with the Chase Freedom® for gift cards, at Amazon, or for a statement credit or direct deposit. This provides a lot more options than the Sam’s Club MasterCard, so it’s something to consider. Finally, the Chase Freedom® also provides a decent signup bonus: Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. You might be wondering what else you could ask for in a cash-back card, but actually there’s more – see our Nerd note below.
If you want unlimited rewards on gas and dining: Wells Fargo Propel 365 American Express® Card
If you spend a lot on gas and dining and don’t like limits on the rewards you can earn, the Wells Fargo Propel 365 American Express® Card is a card worth considering. With it, you’ll earn 3 points per dollar spent on gas, 2 points per dollar spent on dining out, and 1 point per dollar spend on all other purchases. There’s no limit to the points you can earn, and each point is worth $.01 apiece. Points can be redeemed for travel, gift cards, merchandise or cash back through the Wells Fargo Rewards site, which is much more varied than the single redemption option you get with the Sam’s Club MasterCard.
The Wells Fargo Propel 365 American Express® Card’s $0 for the first year, then $45. But this brings it in line with the annual cost of the Sam’s Club MasterCard, since you have to have a Sam’s Club membership to get the card.
If you’re a jet setter who spends a lot on dining and travel: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
If you like to travel and don’t spend a lot on gas, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is probably a better fit than the Sam’s Club MasterCard. As far as rewards go, Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card has great earning power: Every time you use the card, you’ll be getting 2 points per dollar spent on dining in restaurants and travel and 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases. Generally, Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card points are worth one cent apiece.
However, they’re worth 25% more when redeemed for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards, which drives the value of each point up to 1.25 cents. You can redeem credit card points for cash back, gift cards, travel through the Ultimate Rewards portal or by transferring them at a 1:1 ratio to participating frequent traveler programs.
These travel redemption options are what makes the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card a better choice than the Sam’s Club MasterCard for globetrotters. Also, if your plans include an international trip, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card comes with an EMV chip and charges no foreign transaction fee. Plus, the card offers a stellar signup bonus: You’ll Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. However, it does carry an $0 for the first year, then $95.
Nerd note: If you’re looking for primo rewards on gas, dining and travel, but don’t shop at Sam’s Club enough to make the Sam’s Club MasterCard worthwhile, consider getting both the Chase Freedom® and the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. You can use each card wherever you’ll get the highest rewards rate, then, if you want to, transfer the rewards you’ve earned with the Chase Freedom® to your Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card account. This strategy will give you a wide variety of high-value redemption options and allow you to earn big rewards for all different types of spending.
Should you consider the Sam’s Club MasterCard?
The Sam’s Club MasterCard is ideal for people who fit a specific profile: big spenders on gas, dining and travel and loyal Sam’s Club shoppers. If you fit this description, you’ll get a lot out of the card’s rewards earning structure and won’t mind redeeming your cash back at your favorite warehouse retailer. In this case, the Sam’s Club MasterCard is definitely worth serious consideration. Otherwise, the Sam’s Club MasterCard should be on your radar, but don’t rush to apply without checking out other options. There might be something else out there that fits your spending and lifestyle just a little bit better.