Like its direct competitor Costco, a membership to Sam’s Club gives you access to bulk pricing on items that you and your family use often. Sam’s Club provides a military appreciation gift card for those in our community who choose to purchase a membership to the retail warehouse club.
But what does Sam’s Club offer you as a military community member? Is this Sam’s Club military discount worth it? Let’s take a look.
What Does Sam’s Club Have to Offer?
The most significant savings of a Sam’s Club membership is in the cost of joining. Sam’s Club offers two membership levels Sam’s Club Member ($45 per year) and Sam’s Plus ($100 per year).
Your Sam’s Club membership gives you access to the warehouse, discounted gas at a location that features a gas station, access to the pharmacy, eye care center, tire & battery center, and more.
The Sam’s Plus membership offers 2% cash back on purchases (up to $500 per year), free shipping, additional discounts, early shopping hours, discounts on eyeglasses, free select prescriptions, and more.
What Is the Military Discount?
For members of the military community, Sam’s Club issues a $10 gift card when a new membership is purchased. This gift card generally takes about four weeks to arrive via mail.
From time to time, Sam’s Club may offer additional military discounts, generally around holidays such as Veterans Day.
Who Is Eligible for the Military Discount?
Sam’s Club offers a $10 gift card to active and former members of the US military and their spouses. This discount is offered for membership renewals as well as new memberships.
How to Get the Sam’s Club Military Discount
To receive the gift card, proof of valid US military service identification is required.
How Much Can You Save?
How much you save depends mainly on what you’re buying at Sam’s Club and which membership you purchase.
Most bulk shopping “experts” agree that going in without a list will leave you with a cart full of unintended but well-meaning purchases. So, the best way to make sure you don’t get out of hand with the purchases is to prepare a list ahead of time for the items that you need specifically from Sam’s.
Depending on your family’s needs, this might range from bulk supplies of diapers to stocking up on dry non-perishable items like rice or pasta. Canned vegetables, spices, and other things that you know your family uses a lot of are all good choices when making your Sam’s list as well.
Sam’s Club offers similar benefits as Costco in terms of low prices on quality and name-brand products. It also boasts a significant satisfaction guarantee policy that applies to the membership and most items you purchase from the warehouse.
Sam’s Club offers complimentary florist services, tire installation, and tech support. The app that Sam’s Club users have access to far outweighs that at Costco, both in its ease of use and accuracy. Additionally, if you choose to purchase a Sam’s Plus membership, you get access to the store three hours early.
Sam’s Club members also have access to new business services, which include countless services needed to start a business, including loans, payment choices, and printing options. Sam’s also features an auto buying program, a hearing aid center, tax preparation services, free health screenings, and inexpensive immunizations.
Both Sam’s and Costco have pharmacy options. However, Sam’s is superior regarding the cost of medication. Sam’s Plus members can fill up to five prescriptions completely free. This discount applies to pet medication, too! Other services exclusively offered at Sam’s Club include home improvement help, legal services, check printing services, tire installation, and an array of inexpensive gift card options.
How Does this Military Discount Compare?
There are three major warehouse companies in the U.S., Sam’s Club, Costco, and BJ’s Wholesale Club, though the latter is primarily located on the East Coast. While BJ’s Wholesale Club offers a military discount, it’s regional locations are not an option for everyone. So we’ll compare Sma’s Club to Costco, as these two stores have the widest reach.
Sam’s Club vs. Costco
Compared with Costco, joining Sam’s Club is cheaper – to the tune of only $45 a year compared to $60 per year for the Costco Gold Star membership. A Sam’s Plus membership offers cash rewards and free warehouse-to-home shipping costs $100 a year, compared to $120 for the Costco Executive membership.
While Sam’s Club membership costs slightly less than a Costco membership, Costco does offer a $30 military discount, making the cost for your initial membership comparable. However, Costco only offers the discount one time, while Sam’s Club offers a military discount for renewals.
Which is Better – Sam’s Club or Costco?
Sam’s Club and Costco have many similarities, including the warehouse layout! Both warehouses offer similar kinds of products, operating hours, and have excellent return policies.
Sam’s Club membership is slightly less expensive, making it more attractive for some people. The extended hours for Sam’s Plus members can also be attractive, especially for people with busy schedules.
However, some other differences may make Costco a better option for some. For example, Costco generally has a larger selection of deeply discounted gift cards that can be used at other stores (for example, you can buy a $100 gift card to a local restaurant in our area for only $80). Costco generally has more organic and non-GMO products than Sam’s, as well as a more comprehensive selection of pre-prepped meals.
Personally, my family and I are open to either option. When we lived at Fort Sill, we were Sam’s members because Costco wasn’t available. Living in the DC area, Costco is closer, so we have a membership there. Ultimately, the shopping experiences and products are similar between both warehouses, so you may be better off choosing to become a member at the most convenient warehouse location.