- Sam’s Club is known for its bulk products and huge savings, but it’s a members-only store that costs at least $US45 a year to join.
- You don’t need to have a membership to make use of some of Sam’s Club’s services, like the optical center or food court.
- Sam’s Club’s online store and guest pass policy have also made it easier to shop at Sam’s Club without a membership.
To access all of the savings Sam’s Club offers, you typically need to enroll in its membership program. The annual fee is $US45 for a basic membership and $US100 for a “Sam’s Plus” premium membership, which includes additional benefits like $US10 back for every $US500 spent and free shipping on any order.
But there are ways to get around spending that extra $US45 or $US100 a year, including using a Sam’s Club guest pass, buying non-member items like alcohol, and eating at the food court.
Here are more ways to shop at Sam’s Club without a membership:
Print out a single day guest pass from Sam’s Club’s website.
The guest pass allows you to shop at Sam’s Club without a membership, but you’ll be charged a 10% service fee. California, South Carolina, and Elmsford, NY are exempt from the fee.
Become a complimentary add-on member on a friend or family member’s account.
Shop at Sam’s Club’s online store.
Non-members can shop online at samsclub.com, but a 10% service fee is applied unless you live in California, South Carolina, and Elmsford, NY.
Use the grocery delivery service Instacart if you live in Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth, or St. Louis.
Currently Sam’s Club only offers the same-day delivery service in these three cities, but it plans to expand the program in 2018.
Wait for an “open house” event.
Sam’s Club hosts several open house events throughout the year, inviting non-members to shop at the warehouse for the day to try it out.
In some states, alcohol sales can’t be prohibited through a club or a membership.
If that’s the case in your state, you can tell the Sam’s Club attendant you’re purchasing a non-member product and be allowed in to buy alcohol.
Use the pharmacy…
Like alcohol, prescription-drug sales can’t be limited through a club or a membership, meaning anyone can use the Sam’s Club pharmacy to fill prescriptions and buy over-the-counter medication.
…or use the optical center.
Though a membership is needed to buy glasses and hearing aids, nonmembers can get eye and ear exams at the Sam’s Club optical and hearing centres.
Eat at the food court.
The food court is open to members and nonmembers – and it’s insanely cheap. A large pizza is only $US8.99 and fountain sodas are $US0.89.
Go with a member.
Members are allowed to bring up to two guests with them when they go to Sam’s Club. Only members can make purchases, however, so you’d have to pay them back for whatever you buy on your trip.
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