HOUSTON – Are you ready to commit?
We’re not talking about relationships or marriage or anything like that. We’re talking about Sam’s Club and Costco memberships that, while not on-par with relationships or marriage, do also have a great impact on your financial life.
If you’re ready to pull out that credit or debit card and plunk down the cash on the promise to save, we’ve got a refreshing fact for you: It’s a lot easier right now because the mega retailers of big, big products are offering great limited-time deals.
Here’s how you can make the most of them.
- Sam’s Club is offering a de facto free 1-year membership right now. Here’s how it works: You get $45 off an in-store purchase of $45 or more. The transaction must be at one time and in a physical store on a register. The offer is valid for 60 days. A membership costs $45 for a year, so that means membership is essentially free if you jump through the qualifying purchases hoop. Act fast because memberships are going up in price -- and soon.
- Another membership opportunity is a flyer you get in the mail like this one. It’s a good deal on the Plus membership and even better if you sign up for the credit card at the same time, which gives an enhanced percentage back if you have the Plus membership.
If you’re about to click “purchase,” consider:
- Sam’s Club is really into auto-renewal. In a year, you’ll be re-enrolled automatically at the full price unless you cancel. If you want to cancel, this is what Sam’s Club says about that: “Members may cancel their Membership at any time in Clubs or by calling 1-888-746-7726. Members may cancel enrollment in the Auto-renew Program at any time in Clubs, by calling 1-888-746-7726, or online through their account. Members with a Sam’s Club Credit Account who are automatically billed for Membership renewal via that Account may also be required to contact the card issuer to unenroll from the automatic billing program.” Here’s more information.
- Offers -- like the first one above -- are valid for a large chunk of the year, so if you’re not inclined to buy right now, you can hold out and see if another surfaces. It’s probably a good bet that another deal will surface at some point around February 2023.
- If you’re already a Sam’s Club member, the deals are not open to you. However, if you’re a Sam’s Club Plus member, keep your accrued Sam’s Cash to put toward your next year’s membership. With this method, you earn throughout the year and put the money toward the next year’s membership and avoid that cost.
You may have heard there’s no such thing as a free lunch, well, we’re here to tell you there’s no such thing as a free Costco membership -- unless you work there (but that’s more like compensation, right?).
The thing about Costco is that you have to get really creative and technical in order to save on your membership.
Here are a few ways to save.
- Get yourself a Costco Shop Card, the store’s version of a gift card. These cards can be purchased by a Costco member and used by others. KTLA noted that a member can buy them online and have them mailed to another address -- yours -- and you can add money to it and use it -- without a membership -- in stores or online.
- Get yourself some online shopping going at Costco.com. Some items will be priced higher than in stores and other items are members-only purchases. Non-members will also pay for delivery, depending on purchase amounts.
Compound the membership deals if you’re really ready to commit -- with credit cards
If you’re really ready to commit to bulk buying and want to score the best deals, you might want to consider getting the store credit card when you’re signing up for your membership. The credit cards have a lot of perks and savings that go above and beyond the store’s deals.
- Here’s information about Sam’s Club’s cards. You have to sign in for the details, but here are some highlights: 2% for Plus members in Sam’s Cash on eligible in-store purchases and 3% with Sam’s Club Mastercard in Sam’s Cash on Sam’s Club purchases for Plus members and 1% back for Club members.
- Just remember to pay your bill on-time and if possible, in full. This is about savings, y’all. Don’t cut in on that by missing payments or only paying the minimum. That will defeat the purpose of maximum savings.
Fun and surprising facts about memberships
- You don’t have to have a membership to go to the store’s pharmacy and cafe. You don’t have to have a membership to buy alcohol.
- You could get your membership revoked if you do any of these things.
What deals have you scored on memberships at Sam’s Club and Costco? Let us know in the comments.
Take a look at all of our stories in this bulk buying series: