3 Reasons a Costco Membership Is Better Than Sam's Club (2024)

Most Americans are looking for ways to save money, and many of them are looking to discount warehouse clubs to find good deals. Costco and Sam's Club boast impressive bulk item prices and a long list of perks, but which is best?

While everyone has their shopping preferences, here are three reasons why Costco comes out on top.

1. You want the best return policy possible

Admittedly, Costco and Sam's Club both have impressive return policies. However, Costco has fewer exclusions for returnable items and extends certain returns, like cellphones, to 90 days compared to Sam's Club's 14 days for phones.

Costco is also well known for its generous stance on taking back items long after they've been purchased, even without a receipt. You may have seen the viral story of a woman returning a sofa to Costco two years after she bought it. She received a full refund even without showing a receipt.

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While I don't recommend pushing the limit of Costco's return policy, the story is an excellent example of the company's commitment to customer service.

2. You want to maximize your perks

Sam's Club offers many member perks and services, including an optical center, pharmacy, car-buying services, and discounts on rental cars. However, Costco offers similar services and also expands its perks to include discounts on home, auto, and pet insurance.

Switching to Costco's CONNECT insurance, powered by American Family Insurance, could save you significant cash. The company says that for members who save money, the average reported savings on bundled home and auto insurance is $595.

If that's not enough to make you want to join Costco, remember that it also continues to serve its legendary hot dog and soda meal for just $1.50.

3. You want the best store brand products

Costco's Kirkland Signature brand has earned an excellent reputation for high quality that Sam's Club's own Maker's Mark brand simply hasn't. That doesn't mean Sam's Club's brand isn't good; it's just that Costco has focused a lot of effort on making Kirkland products just as good or better than many name brands.

Costco extends this quality to other products, too. Its gas is rated as a top-tier fuel, and Consumer Reports ranks Costco's furniture second out of all online furniture stores, while Sam's Club is ranked sixth.

Another great benefit of Costco

If you're already a Costco member or looking to sign up for membership, it's worth considering the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi. It's the official store credit card for members, and it comes with tons of additional perks, including:

  • 4% cash back on qualifying purchases of gasoline
  • 3% back on travel and restaurants
  • 2% cash back on other spending in Costco stores and at Costco.com
  • 1% on other eligible spending

Of course, you don't have to sign up for a Costco credit card to make membership worth the price, but some members make the most of their membership by earning cash back with the card.

My family shops regularly at Costco, and with food prices up 25% from 2019 to 2023, I don't expect us to change that habit anytime soon. Now, if I could just talk my wife into grabbing a cheap hot dog and soda for a date night, I could use Costco to save on our monthly eating-out budget as well.

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3 Reasons a Costco Membership Is Better Than Sam's Club (2024)

FAQs

3 Reasons a Costco Membership Is Better Than Sam's Club? ›

Costco has more stores across the globe, is expanding rapidly, and generally offers cheaper prices than Sam's Club does, although the latter charges slightly less for membership, has a bigger presence in the U.S., and stocks more name brands.

What makes Costco better than Sam's Club? ›

Costco has more stores across the globe, is expanding rapidly, and generally offers cheaper prices than Sam's Club does, although the latter charges slightly less for membership, has a bigger presence in the U.S., and stocks more name brands.

How does Sam's Club membership compare to Costco membership? ›

Each of Sam's club's memberships is $10 cheaper than its Costco counterpart. At the basic level, a Costco Gold Star membership is 20% more expensive than a Sam's Club Club membership, while at the premium level, a Costco Executive membership is 9.09% more expensive than a Sam's Club Plus membership.

What's good about a Costco membership? ›

RISK-FREE 100% SATISFACTION GUARANTEE

On Membership: We will cancel and refund your membership fee at any time if you are dissatisfied. On Merchandise: We guarantee your satisfaction on the products we sell with a full refund.

What are the benefits of Sam's Club membership? ›

Membership Benefits
  • Member-Favorite Perks. Members-only gas prices. ...
  • Plus Member Perks. 2% Sam's Cash for Plus. ...
  • Sam's Cash. ...
  • Only at Sam's Club. 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. ...
  • Exclusive Savings. Members-only gas prices. ...
  • Fast & Convenient Shopping. Early shopping for Plus. ...
  • Health & Wellness. ...
  • Tires & Installation.

What does Costco have that Sam's doesn't? ›

Sam's Club, for example, serves soft pretzels and ICEE drinks, two items you won't find at Costco. Meanwhile, Costco's food courts offer chicken Caesar salads, massive chocolate chip cookies, Chicken Bakes, and as of last month, a new turkey Swiss sandwich. These are all options that you won't see at Sam's Club.

Why is Costco better than others? ›

When compared to other similar retailers, Costco's competitive advantage lies in its own private label, its discount prices, and its membership dues. This has provided customers with a product that they can rely on at low prices.

Do you really save money at Sam's Club? ›

Sam's Club wins for bulk purchases

You'll find a world of discounts at Sam's Club compared to big-box retailers like Walmart. But the true savings tend to arise in the context of bulk purchases. The quantity discounts you can get at Sam's Club are really hard to beat.

Does Sam's Club honor Costco prices? ›

Sam's Club does not price match competitors.

How much does Sam's Club pay compared to Costco? ›

Average employee pay

According to ZipRecruiter: Costco: Average hourly wage of $20.91/hour, or $43,493/year. Sam's Club: Average hourly wage of $19.31/hour, or $40,165/year.

What is Costco worth it for? ›

A retailer like Costco can be a good option if you are interested in buying in bulk and getting discounted prices on items. Costco is a wholesale club that sells products at reduced prices. You can access Costco by paying an annual membership fee.

What is unique about Costco? ›

Bryant, 2023) The last main reason Costco is different from traditional retailers is their membership services portfolio. Costco members get access to insurance, travel options, and other services not traditionally associated with a retailer. Let's explore what makes them unique compared to traditional retailers.

What benefits does Costco have? ›

Employee benefits include:
  • Health care.
  • Pharmacy program.
  • Dental care.
  • Vision program.
  • Paid bonding leave.
  • Health care reimbursem*nt account.
  • Dependent care reimbursem*nt account.

Is a Sam's Club membership really worth it? ›

This translates to fewer trips to the grocery store and more options on hand for meal preparation. Take advantage of perks. Even if you shop at Sam's Club just a few times a year, the money you save can make a membership worth it if you take advantage of all the included benefits.

What is unique about Sam's Club? ›

Club members can take advantage of Sam's Club Credit, Instant Savings, free health screenings, daily “Tastes & Tips” sampling demonstrations and members-only savings on fuel. Nothing mattered more to Mr. Sam than serving his customers, and it is to this commitment that he attributed his immense success.

Is the 14.99 Sam's Club membership real? ›

Ends tonight! Grab a 1-year Sam's Club membership for just $14.99 in addition to a free $10 eGift card, delivering warehouse club savings for a fraction of the retail cost. Update: This offer has changed to $14 for a 1-year membership with auto renew.

Does Costco treat their employees better than Sam's Club? ›

While Costco experiences a turnover rate of 17%, Sam's Club has a rate of 44%. In our opinion, that makes the final decision easier. Costco treats its employees better than Sam's Club treats its employees.

Who is Sam's Club biggest competitor? ›

Sam's Club main competitors are Overstock.com, Best Buy, and Target. Competitor Summary. See how Sam's Club compares to its main competitors: Walmart has the most employees (2,300,000).

Is Sam's Club return policy as good as Costco? ›

Guarantees and Return Policies

Both clubs offer 100% satisfaction guarantee on their memberships and merchandise, which means you can cancel your membership and receive a full refund anytime. Both Sam's Club and Costco will replace or refund merchandise purchased in the clubs or online.

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