Sam's Club Extends Credit Easily but Doesn't Offer Many Incentives
Jan 25, 2009
Review by Bryan Carey
Rated a Very Helpful Review
User Rating: OK
Web Site Experience:
Pros:No annual fee; Good for making quick gas purchases
Cons:High interest rates; Lame promotional offers
The Bottom Line: Sam's Club credit card is easy for member's to obtain, but the interest rates are high and there are no good incentives to keep cardholders happy.
Warehouse clubs do offer some advantages. Customers can make purchases in bulk and save money on a per- unit basis. Customers can also find good deals on non- bulk items and as long as enough purchases are made throughout the year, the savings easily pays for the cost of membership. Sam's Club is among the best known of these warehouse clubs and to assist members in making payments, this business offers the Sam's Club Advantage Member Credit Card. Let's find out more about this method of financing:
Recommend this product?
What Does This Credit Card Offer?:
Sam's Club Advantage Member Credit Card is a store credit card and it offers benefits similar to those that you get when you use other store- brand credit cards. There is no annual fee with this credit card and it renews itself automatically each year. Also, it makes it easy to continue your Sam's Club membership because your member dues will post automatically to your Sam's Club Advantage Member Credit Card account.
Sam's Club Advantage Member Credit Card offers a few other benefits to members. There is fraud liability protection in case your card is lost or stolen. You can even access extra cash, but only up to $60. Interest rates on the Sam's Club Advantage Member Credit Card are high, going for about 18.5 percent annually.
One other nice feature of this arrangement is that your Sam's Club card also serves as your Sam's Club Advantage Member Credit Card. This makes shopping a little more convenient because you don't have to carry both cards in your pocketbook. Also, the Sam's Club Advantage Member Credit Card can be used at either Sam's Clubs or Wal- Mart.
Sam's Club is a large warehouse club brought to you by the same people who own and operate Wal- Mart and it is a store I have been visiting on and off for many years. I have been a Sam's Club member in the past and I joined up with them again when I made my recent move to the Lone Star State. I decided that the bulk goods and other deals could be worthwhile once again, since I now have a small family so I went ahead and started a new membership with Sam's Club.
Once you become a Sam's Club member, it is only a matter of time until you get another offer- an offer to sign up for a Sam's Club Advantage Member Credit Card. I was fully aware that Sam's Club had its own credit card but once I became a Sam's Club member, I was quickly reminded about this fact through my e-mail and in person, at my local Sam's Club location. It was through an in- store promotion that I agreed to sign up for a Sam's Club Advantage Member Credit Card. I can't recall what the offer was at the time, but it was good enough to convince me to join. There is no annual fee with this credit card, so I saw no reason to not give it a try.
Sam's Club Advantage Member Credit Card does offer a few additional promotions to its credit card holders, and these extra benefits go above and beyond the offers you get in the mail as a Sam's Club member. Sam's Club Advantage Member Credit Card holders get additional benefits like special promos on specific merchandise, special holiday deals, and special discounts on general purchases. These go beyond the offers normally extended to members and they are better than nothing. But, if I had to compare them to the offers I get with other store credit cards, the Sam's Club Advantage Member Credit Card comes up far short of expectations. Just to offer one quick example, my Kohl's store charge card offers all sorts of great cash discounts, like 20 to 30 percent off purchases, and I get these offers every month. The special offers for Sam's Club Advantage Member Credit Card members are not as enticing or as frequent as those offered with other cards.
One thing that really bugs me with Sam's Clubs in general is they don't accept many forms of payment. As any Sam's Club visitor already knows, Sam's Clubs are not the most customer friendly places when it comes to paying for merchandise. They do not accept several of the major credit cards (like American Express and Visa), greatly limiting the means for making an in- store payment at the check- out. Visa and American Express are the two cards I use most frequently and I cannot use either one of them to pay for my Sam's Club purchases. This is why I decided to sign up for a Sam's Club Advantage Member Credit Card in the first place.
Sam's Club Advantage Member Credit Card is offered to any Sam's Club member and I have recently learned that there is another (possibly better) Sam's Club credit card offered through Discover. This carries added benefits like cash back and the ability to use your credit card anyplace where Discover is accepted. With the Sam's Club Advantage Member Credit Card, you are limited to using your card only at Sam's Club and Wal- Mart. This is okay since, after all, this is a store- specific credit card and I can't expect to be able to use it anyplace I choose. But the Discover card option would probably be better for the extra benefits it provides.
Interest rates on the Sam's Club Advantage Member Credit Card are a little higher than other credit cards, but this is standard for a store credit card. Like other store credit cards, it is best to pay the balance in full each month to avoid these high finance charges. The present rates vary by state and the terms vary also, but one can expect a rate of about 18 to 20 percent. Fail to make your payment in a timely manner and you can expect your interest rate to jump to about 28 percent from that point forward- until the entire balance is paid in full.
Overall, I can't say I am too thrilled with the Sam's Club Advantage Member Credit Card. There is no annual fee, gasoline purchases are easy (and cheaper) to make, and the card makes shopping at Sam's Clubs more convenient. But I expect more benefits when I have a store credit card: More special offers, more discount offers, etc. Sam's Club Advantage Member Credit Card just doesn't have many great things to offer and for this and other reasons, it's a credit card I do not recommend.
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