7 Ways to Shop at Sam’s Club Without a Membership

April 7, 2016 by Kyle
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(Updated 12/18/18) A while back I talked about the clever ways you can shop at Costco without a membership. The article was very popular and made me realize I should write the same article for Sam’s Club. Maybe you’re on the fence about dropping $45 for a standard membership, or you know you won’t buy enough in a year to make it worth it. Whatever the case may be, there are clever ways to get free access to the Sam’s Club warehouse throughout the year. Here is what you need to know to make it happen.

7 Ways to Shop at Sam's Club Without a Membership

1. Use a Free 1-Day Pass

The easiest way to get into Sam’s Club and shop without a membership is to Print This One-Day Pass for free.

Be aware that you’ll be charged a 10% fee on all purchases and the 1-day pass cannot be used on Black Friday. If you live in California or South Carolina you won’t have to pay the 10% surcharge.

This 1-day pass expires on 1/31/19.

This is a great way to get in and check out Sam’s and not have to shell out $45 or $100 for an annual membership.

2. Shop Items That Don’t Require a Membership

Here are the items at Sam’s Club that you can buy without an active membership:

Alcohol: According to Glamour Living, “Because of a law that prohibits the sale of alcohol through members-only arrangements, all Sam’s Club stores will sell beer, wine, and the hard stuff to nonmembers.”

Prescription Drugs: From the Sam’s site, “You do not have to be a Member to buy your prescription medications from Sam’s Club. For pharmaceuticals with a script there is no fee for non-members.”

Optical Services: Also from the Sam’s Club site, “A Sam’s Club Membership will be required to purchase optical products.

However, a Membership is not required to see the doctor of optometry.”

Do you know of any other items you can buy at Sam’s without a membership? Let me know if you do.

3. Shop During an Open House

Several times throughout the year, Sam’s Club hosts an open house event where all non-members are invited to shop the warehouse.

The best way to be kept in-the-know of upcoming open houses is to sign up for email alerts (look at bottom of page) from Sam’s or follow them on Facebook as they always let folks know in advance when an open house is in the works.

4. Have a Member Add You

If you have a family member who has a Sam’s membership and is the only person on the account, they can add you to their account for free.

You’ll get a separate membership card in the mail and be good to go (and save).

Important note: You must be the primary account holder to add a complimentary cardholder.

5. Shop at Sam’s Club.com

Another smart way to take advantage of Sam’s Club pricing and selection is by shopping their website.

You DO NOT have to be an active member to shop on SamsClub.com, BUT you’ll be charged a 10% surcharge on your online purchases.

If you’re making a significant purchase from their site, and you’re not a member, consider asking a friend or family member (who is a member) to make the purchase for you.

6. Shop With a Friend

Avoid the 10% fee you’ll get charged with a 1-day pass, and simply shop with a friend or family member that is a paying member.

They’ll use their card at checkout and you can simply repay them for your purchases. This tip seems fairly obvious but is often an overlooked way to shop at Sam’s without paying for a membership.

7. Earn Cash Rewards That’ll Pay for Your Membership

Okay, before you holler at me, this final tip does require you to buy a membership, but….it could easily allow you to get if for free in the end.

It works by you signing up for the Sam’s Club Plus membership ($100/year) which earns you 2% cashback on all purchases. The 2% back can easily pay for your membership if you spend $420/month on average.

While that number might seem big, if you’re buying all your groceries and household items for your family at Sam’s that number is fairly easy to reach.

Happy savings!


By Kyle James

Photo by Walmart.

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karen keel
karen keel

please let me know when open house day is. thanks

Mr. Yes
Mr. Yes

no. no, i will not

Dr. No
Dr. No

I refuse to accede to your demands; You can’t make me.

Mary Chapman
Mary Chapman

please let me know when the open house day will be . Is it possibly going to be before the holidays? Thank you so much.

Tesla
Tesla

Are EcoATMs things you can access without membership? If so, does lack of membership alter the amount offered for each item?

Jackieheavner
Jackieheavner

Please let me know when the next open house is

FLOY GRANT
FLOY GRANT

I just want a one day pass only to shop today

Lorraine Krasner
Lorraine Krasner

I would like a free pass to shop today thank yu

Elouise
Elouise

And for the cash rewards, if you let someone use your card, you get credit for their purchases

Eve
Eve

Can I shop today without paying the 10%

Glendalee Morales
Glendalee Morales

I would like a free pass today thank you

louis basile
louis basile

I want a pass for today thank you

The Voice
The Voice

I just recently reviewed the Sam’s club no membership required items. These include any third party vendor, such as Cell phones, Alcohol, Tobacco, milk, vision services, pharmacy, contractor services, delivery services, gift cards, auctions, taxi’s, and a few other ventures. EFFECTIVE 6/26/2017.You do need to be a member for the hot foods cafe.

Bobby eaves
Bobby eaves

Let me know when open house is.

Felecia
Felecia

I want a one day pass to shop

rose winke
rose winke

Join the discussion

Betty-B
Betty-B

Google

Betty-B
Betty-B

So unlike Costco, can’t get a gift card?

Sadietz
Sadietz

When’s open house, please

Mary
Mary

Free shopping days

Shirley
Shirley

I need a one day shopping pass, or when your having open house, both would work better. TY.

connie clay
connie clay

I would like open house alerts and or- day pass. Thank you

Joyce J White
Joyce J White

I would like very much to receive One Day Passes an Open House alerts..Thank You..

Rebecca
Rebecca

when is your next open house

Laura
Laura

E mail me for your next open house

Pamela Hayes
Pamela Hayes

Email next open house

Jim H
Jim H

I bought a $100.00 membership to be allowed to shop early. My understanding now is that membership cards don’t have to be presented at the door any longer. What is to stop a consumer from shopping early with the $45.00 card now that no id is required upon entering.

Barbara Davis
Barbara Davis

Please send open house alert. Thanks

E.Singleton
E.Singleton

Let me know when there is an open house

Clemonette K Hamilton
Clemonette K Hamilton

You can get a great lunch desert included from the kitchen.

Mae Dickens
Mae Dickens

I let me know when the open house is.

LaShawn CoxBroadus
LaShawn CoxBroadus

Can’t wait for the open house

Diana
Diana

Let me know when open house in st Joseph mo is please

Patrick
Patrick

You can get cafe items without a membership too at Sam’s I work here it is illegal to withhold restrooms and prepared hot foods to the public

Bill
Bill

Illegal? I doubt that. Stores can always restrict restroom access to customers. As for not being allowed to restrict prepared hot foods, that just sounds ridiculous. In any event, at my local Sam’s, the snack bar is outside the inner entrance to the store.

Darlene Lavern Archie
Darlene Lavern Archie

I need a free pass right now until I can apply for one

Janice
Janice

Please notify us of any open house events at Sam’s club

Joann
Joann

When I try to access 1- day pass it says I was denied pass???!

connie hodgins
connie hodgins

I was denied the pass also

Selinda vander waal
Selinda vander waal

When is next free shopping day

 
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