Sam’s Club Refreshes Mastercard Offering With Enhanced Cashback for Plus Members
Over the last year, the way that many Americans shop for groceries and other items has changed significantly. Similarly, many consumers have recently seen their spending shift toward essentials. With that in mind, Sam’s Club and their co-branded credit card partner Synchrony have just announced a refresh to the Sam’s Club Mastercard that not only emphasizes in-club shopping but also the warehouse chain’s Plus membership option.
With the updated card, Sam’s Club Mastercard customers who are also Sam’s Club Plus members will earn a total of 5% back on in-club purchases — 2% back from their Plus membership and 3% back from the Mastercard. Meanwhile, cardholders with regular Club memberships will earn just 1% cashback on in-club purchases (and most other purchases, for that matter) with their Sam’s Club Mastercard. For context, a Club membership currently costs $45 a year while a Plus membership goes for $100 a year. Plus members also enjoy other perks such as early shopping, pharmacy and optical discounts, and free shipping on eligible orders in addition to the aforementioned 2% cashback rewards.
In addition to refreshing the Sam’s Club Mastercard’s rewards, the card is also getting a new look. Previously, it featured a green checkerboard-esque pattern and blue Sam’s Club logo akin to the club’s membership cards. Now, Sam’s and Synchrony have opted for a simple, solid black design with silver “Sam’s Club Plus members” text as well as the Mastercard logo. While the new cardholder benefits will be effective as of January 27th, the new card design will be available beginning in March.
Aside from the bump in cashback on Sam’s Club purchases and the new card design, much of what the Sam’s Club Mastercard has to offer is staying the same. This includes cardholders earning 5% back on gas (up to $6,000 a year in spending, then 1%), 3% back on dining, and 1% back on everything else. However, the previous “3% back on travel” category has been dropped from the updated product. Also notable is that the card is retaining it’s $5,000 cashback annual cap, meaning that cardholders will not be able to earn more than that amount in a calendar year.
Commenting on the updated credit card, Sam’s Club EVP and chief member officer Tony Rogers said in a statement, “We are always looking for ways to give our members a better experience, including ways to help them save money and earn rewards. This new Sam’s Club Mastercard rewards program builds upon Sam’s Club as an essential business during the pandemic where we saw sales increasing by millions of transactions per week.” Rogers continued, “Now more than ever, our members need savings. They now have a new tool in their toolkit to make their money go further.”
Overall, the changes Sam’s Club and Synchrony have made to the Sam’s Club Mastercard make a lot of sense given the current environment. Although some cardholders may be disappointed about the removal of the travel category, shifting that 3% to in-club purchases seems logical. That said, while the Mastercard itself doesn’t carry any annual fee, customers will now need to upgrade to the $100 a year Plus membership if they want to get the full benefits of the credit card. With that, while it’s possible that this will be a win for some consumers, it would behoove Sam’s Club members to run the math and ensure that the upgrade and credit card are worth it for them.