A few year’s ago, Sam’s Club had shut down 63 of its locations, laying off 10,000 of its employees, without notice. No warning. No thank you’s. Just break off the keys and run. This would be annoying and objectionable in any news cycle, but in light of Walmart (Sam’s Club’s parent company) receiving a juicy taxpayer-funded handout in the form of a roughly $2.87 billion annual tax cut (projected, based on their $20.5 billion in pre-tax income that year) from tax reform – it was comically insulting. Hey Walmart – the Jerk Store called. It turns out it was YOU.
Walmart/Sam’s has never been an employee-friendly organization, but this move was a spit in the face of its customers. And, as a result, its customers should respond appropriately. Whether directly impacted by a local store closing or not, it’s time to take action. Let’s talk about how you can get a Sam’s Club membership fee refund, at least.
Can you Get Your Sam’s Club Membership Fee Refunded?
Unless you’ve been shopping at Sam’s Club without a membership or got a free Sam’s Club membership, the first question you may ask is “Can you get your Sam’s Club membership fee back?”
Yes, you can – and not only if you are a customer that uses one of the 63 closed stores – but any Sam’s Club customers. According to the Sam’s Club Terms and Conditions,
100% Membership Satisfaction Guarantee
If at any time you’re unsatisfied with your Membership, let us know and we will cancel your membership and provide a refund of the amount paid for your current year Membership fee. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary, there’s a limit of one Plus Membership refund per member or business per year.
Lovely. And it applies to both Sam’s Club membership options:
- Sam’s “Club” membership: $50 fee
- Sam’s “Plus” membership: $110 fee
How to Get a Sam’s Club Membership Fee Refund
Now that we’ve established that you can get your Sam’s club membership refunded, let’s discuss how to get it refunded. There are 2 options available to you.
1. Request a refund at the membership customer service desk in any Sam’s Club store
Simple enough. However, this requires there actually being an open store near you, which may no longer be the case. If there is not (or you don’t want to waste the time/money to go there), there are other options…
2. Call Sam’s Club customer service to cancel your membership and request a membership fee refund
The phone number is: 1-888-746-7726. If you cancel, you will receive your refund via a Sam’s egift card. Sam’s Club Gift Cards/eGift Cards are valid at Sam’s Club, SamsClub.com, Walmart, and Walmart.com.
Previously, you used to be able to cancel a Sam’s Club membership online, but this is no longer possible.
Switching from Sam’s Club to Costco
If you’re left wanting for a membership warehouse to fill all of your 32 oz peanut butter jar needs, I would also like to suggest that you give Costco a look. Costco pays its employees significantly more than Sam’s does, for starters. But the biggest thing you’ll notice is that Costco is just… better.
I’ve been both a Sam’s Club and Costco member and previously wrote a comprehensive Sam’s Club versus Costco review, where Costco did (and still does) come out ahead in most categories.
If you want a no-risk way to check out Costco, there are many ways that you can get yourself in the door and shop at Costco without a membership. Though the easiest thing to do is pay for a membership (I think it’s worth it), and if you don’t see the value, ask Costco for a membership fee refund. Among other things, Costco is superior to Sam’s Club in its:
- Food quality: a superior collection of organic and high quality food.
- I always find Costco gas is cheaper than other gas stations.
- Low-Cost Kirkland Signature house brands – including an extensive Kirkland Signature alcohol selection and Kirkland dog and cat food.
- Pharmacy: where it offers low-cost prescriptions and the cheapest flu shots of any retailer.
- Costco credit card: 2% cash back, versus 1% cash back at Sam’s. And an extended warranty on appliances and electronics.
You probably won’t look back.
I don’t understand how a tax cut is a taxpayer-funded handout. As far as I know, my taxes are not going to subsidize Walmart. And if you are offended by a store closing it’s doors you should grow a thicker skin.
It is a handout because Government expenses were not reduced at the same time. That means that the National Debt is going to grow, which is proportionally owed by all Americans. Therefore, but reducing taxes on another entity, your effective taxes were increased because that debt needs to be covered at some point in the future.
I’m offended that a company that is profitable to the tune of $20 billion a year is eliminating 10,000 jobs (without warning to employees/customers) after the American people were bilked out of $180 billion a year ($3 billion of that directly to Walmart shareholders), based on the promise of new jobs and higher wages. You should be too, Mike.
Michael, I agree. Gov’t spending needs to be cut. The national debt is growing and our dollar value is shrinks when the Fed monetizes the debt.
G.E., I’m not. If they are closing stores it is probably because those stores were not profitable. It is certainly not to spite their consumers. A PR message would have been nice though.
No advance warning to employees. That’s a terrible thing to do to paycheck to paycheck class people.
lol someones mad about the tax bill
lol yeah, it sucks
It seems odd to me that you have such a financially conservative blog and yet you are a liberal politically. A lot of what you write is how to save money and live within your means. That’s the stuff I like & why I come here. I would guess most of your readers are politically conservative. I count myself as libertarian. Small government, low taxes. You should poll your readers to see where they lie on politics. I’d be interested in the results.
That government is best which governs least :)
It should not be odd at all. What about blowing up the deficit by $1.8 trillion with unfunded tax cuts for those who don’t need them, spending $25 billion on an ego monument that Mexico was going to pay for, and wanting to increase military spending by another $100 billion per year despite spending 7X more than any other country already is “financially conservative”?
But this is nothing new. In recent decades, budget deficits shrink under Democratic rule (Clinton, Obama), and rise dramatically under Republican rule (Reagan, both Bushes, Trump).
It rose under Oboma and Clinton walked into a good economy. Fact
Sam’s Club has not refunded my membership fee. I paid for the membership plus at $1oo
on June 25, 2017. I Cancelled in January when they closed the store and have been getting the run around ever since. I think they are trying to wait until my membership is up in July so they can say too bad, so sad. Is this happening to anyone else? Or is it just me? I talked to them today and they said the account is still active.
I need a Sam Club card
You can’t cancel your sam’s membership and receive a refund online anymore.