Sam’s Club Starts Taking Visa Credit Cards

The move means the popular wholesale club now accepts all major credit cards
Ben LuthiJan 22, 2016
Visa Cardholders Can Soon Swipe at Sam's Club

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Sam's Club customers no longer have to make sure they bring the right card with them to shop. The retailer announced that it would begin accepting Visa credit cards in its stores as of Feb. 1, 2016.

Previously, Sam's Club had accepted Visa credit cards only for online purchases. The physical stores took Visa debit cards, but not Visa credit.

The move came on the heels of a similar announcement in October 2015 that Sam's Club would begin accepting American Express.

What credit cards does Sam's Club accept?

With the addition of Visa and American Express, Sam's Club takes all major credit cards — Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover.

Sam's Club also has its own credit card, the Sam's Club® Mastercard® — although, unless you have a premium "Plus" membership, the card isn't great for purchases at Sam's. The card earns:

  • 5% cash back at eligible gas stations worldwide, including stations at Sam’s Club (on up to $6,000 spent per year, then 1%).

  • 3% back on dining.

  • 1% back on all other purchases.

Missing from the card's standard rewards is any bonus for shopping at Sam's itself. However, if you're a Plus member (which costs $100 a year, compared with $45 for a standard membership), the card also gives you 3% cash back on Sam's Club purchases. That 3% comes on top of the 2% rewards that all Plus members earn for in-store purchases at Sam's. (There's a reason the card makes our roundup of potentially confusing rewards programs.)

The card has no annual fee, but you have to be a Sam's Club member.

Good news for Visa cardholders

Sam's Club and wholesale-club rival Costco had been rare cases among major retailers by opting not to accept Visa credit cards in their stores. The decision by Sam's Club followed Costco's move to end its exclusive agreement with American Express and instead accept only Visa credit cards.

Whatever the reason for the changes, they were good news for consumers who do most of their shopping — and rewards earning — with Visa credit cards. For those who spend a lot on groceries and household items at Sam's Club, rewards can add up quickly.

If you regularly shop at Sam's Club or Costco, but don't have a Visa credit card — or are in the market for a new card — there are several options that may be worth your while. Check out our favorite Visa cards.

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