How Upgrading My Sam’s Club Membership Saved Me a Fortune


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Sometimes paying a little more pays off.


Key points

  • Sam’s Club is a popular warehouse club that offers wholesale discounts.
  • I recently upgraded to a PLUS subscription.
  • It saved me money on glasses and gave me other benefits.

My husband and I are members of Sam’s Club, and we were recently offered the option of getting a PLUS membership instead of the level membership we had in place. This opportunity cost me $55, but this extra expense actually saved me a fortune. Here’s why.

PLUS Membership comes with perks that justify the price

Paying extra for PLUS membership paid off for me immediately after signing up. By paying an extra $55 we were able to save $80 on prescription glasses. So even though I didn’t get any other benefits from my upgraded membership, the cost was worth paying since I immediately covered the membership fee and I got more savings back in my pocket.

However, this is not the only advantage of a PLUS membership. I also get free shipping on purchases. And Sam’s Cash is available on club purchases, including those I receive using curbside pickup. I get 2% back on purchases with Sam’s Cash, without having to subscribe to a Sam’s Club credit card.

Since we regularly have things shipped from Sam rather than trying to drag a toddler and newborn around the store while picking up bulky items, we’ve already saved a ton on shipping costs than we would otherwise have paid for our orders. And that in addition to getting money back every time we buy something. The 2% cashback combines with our credit card rewards to cover our shopping expenses and make everything we buy a little cheaper.

Sometimes it’s better to pay more

My upgraded Sam membership is a clear example that it often pays to buy something better upfront. It’s important to not think only of the immediate upfront expenses, but to have an overview of how each expense could ultimately benefit or cost you in the long run.

Joining Sam’s Club still comes with an upfront cost, even if you don’t get the Plus membership. But paying the warehouse club fee can be worth it because of discounted prices on many of the items we buy, from paper towels to laundry detergent and more. And Membership Plus costs even more, but the added benefits it offers more than make up for the extra expense.

Of course, not everyone can afford the upfront costs to take advantage of the benefits that Sam’s offers – or that Membership Plus offers. But for those with a little extra cash, it’s worth doing the math to see if membership makes sense, and to gauge which level of membership will be the best overall long-term value.

Rather than confusing a cheaper price with a better deal, do a personalized assessment to see which financial decision is right for you. Like the decision I made to get a better Sam’s Club membership, this approach could pay off for you over time.

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