Update: while the Sam’s Club store shutdowns were a few years ago, the lessons on how to get a Sam’s Club membership fee refund and thoughts on switching to Costco still apply. Read on for those details. 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 shop at Sam’s Club without a membership, got a free Sam’s Club membership or a significant Sam’s Club discount promo, the first question you may ask is “Can you get the Sam’s Club membership fee refunded?”
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 can get a Sam’s Club membership fee refund at any time. According to the Sam’s Club membership satisfaction guarantee,
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 cancellation or downgrade refund per household 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 3 Sam’s Club membership cancellation options available to you.
1. Cancel your membership and 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. You will receive your refund via Sam’s eGift Card, which is valid for use at Sam’s Club, SamsClub.com, Walmart, and Walmart.com.
3. Cancel your Sam’s Club membership through your online account
Cancelling your Sam’s Club membership online wasn’t an option for years, but it is back. Here are the steps:
- Go to the Sam’s Club site.
- Log in to your account.
- Select “Membership” from the dropdown.
- Click “Cancel Membership” and finish the process.
Note: with this last option, you won’t be able to get the membership fee refund, unfortunately.
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.