Posted by Chuck on January 12, 2018

Published on January 12th, 2018 | by Chuck


[Expired] [Negative Change Being Enforced] Sam’s Club: Get a Membership Refund Check or a Free 3-Month Extension

Update 04/04/18: Opportunity for refund is no longer available, click here for other Sam’s Club deals/news.

Update 1/17/18: Emails were just sent out stating that the 3-month extension offer will not be honored for those not in targeted area, even those who did this before the terms changed. Refund requests are not being honored for those out of the target area either.

Update 1/12/18: Terms now stated that the offer is “only to members in closing clubs.” 🙁 Not sure if it’s being enforced yet. Let us know if you try. 

Sam’s Club is offering a free 3-month extension to your membership. Or you can request a full membership refund.

Direct Link to offer (our affiliate)

By way of background, Sam’s Club just announced 63 of their stores will be closing, that’s more than 10% of all locations. You can see a list of closures here. Apparently, Sam’s Club is aware that people in those areas may no longer need membership, and are thus offering refunds to everyone on their membership fees with the alternative option to get a 3-month extension.

There are three available options:

  • 3-month membership extension
  • Get a full refund in the form of a Sam’s gift card via email within 10 business days
  • Get a full refund via check within 6 weeks

This offer is valid until March 31, 2018. Sounds like you can get a full $45 refund for regular Sam’s membership or $100 refund if you have Plus membership. Just be aware that if you have cash back tied to your Sam’s membership, you may forfeit that by choosing the refund option.

The promotion is a bit startling: someone whose Sam’s membership is nearing the end of it’s year will obviously choose the refund, causing Sam’s to lose out on vast amounts of membership fees. This type of refund offer would make more sense for those who live in the area of the closures or as an option to offer for those who call in. I guess they figure most unaffected people won’t find out about the deal.

The Sam’s e-gift card refund option is a bit odd because if you don’t have Sam’s membership there isn’t much way to use it. Of course we know that it can be used at Walmart and that it can be resold, but from their perspective it’s peculiar.

Ironically, it can actually be profitable to buy a Sam’s membership now due to the Amex Offer deal which offers $25 or 2500 points back on a membership purchase. Seems like you’ll still be able to get a refund anytime before the end of March. (It’s possible they’ll only allow refunds for those who already signed up before today; more likely it’ll all run through the same system and grant a refund.)

If you really want to skin the bear, use one of the gift card signup deals listed here to get a bonus when signing up; also, go through a portal for another few dollars back. The $20 referral gift card bonus has not been working properly (I’ve contacted Sam’s about it, hopefully it’ll get sorted out eventually) – probably smarter to use one of the public offers, like this $15 link.

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So I assume you can’t cancel a Sams membership anytime the way you can a Costco membership?

Yes, you can. Sam’s Club has the 100% Satisfaction guarantee like Costco. You always could cancel your Membership any time and would get a full Refund — and at least at our store — they asked if I want cash.

I did the Sam’s Club membership when it was actually free due to an Amex Offer, but I ended up canceling after a few months because I ended up never going there. I did expect a pro-rated refund back to my card but was surprised to learn that I get a full refund and cash.

I don’t see anywhere where requesting a full refund cancels your membership….

Thanks for keeping us on the loop Doc. If it wasn’t for you I would have not known about this. My membership is about to expire on March 17. I opted for the check refund.

I originally signed up the the Sam’s club membership last year to try to max a Discover 5% quarter Warehouse Club category. I was only able to successfully use it once to buy a One Vanilla Mastercard GC before Sam’s club decided to no longer accept credit cards for their One Vanillas . On top of that they no longer stock those in shelves anymore.

This is not anything special, you can walk to the service desk, cancel your membership and you’ll get a full refund ( Not sure why they are touting it that much now.

The difference in this promo seems to be that they don’t cancel your membership, but in your case cancellation seems not to be an issue — especially, if in return you get cash now versus ‘a check in a few weeks, maybe’.

Having gone the route of in-store cancellation before, I’d say being able to request a refund online is a huge advantage. Some Sam’s Clubs have notoriously long lines at the service desk. It almost seemed as if it was structured like SiriusXM (where it’s so painful to cancel, they know people will just give up and keep paying).

That’s True. I too, generally prefer anything that can be done online or via chat — asking people to call like a cave man or drive somewhere usually annoys me.

In my case, there was actually no huge line and we were canceling one basic and two business memberships at once. The outlook to deal with them on the phone when the check didn’t arrive seemed worse.

Oh shoot, I just joined last week because of the discover quarterly 5%. I didn’t know they stopped accepting cc for the vgc. Last Sunday i went there and didn’t see any $500 vgc. I just assumed they ran out of stock. Looks like canceling the membership is the way for me.

I was able to buy a couple of old stock $500s (black and blue package) a week ago with Discover.

This is not true in my Sams. I went there on Jan. 10th, 2018 (literately yesterday) and purchased six Vanilla Mastercard Gift Cards with two or three different credit cards (including the Discover IT card with the Q1 bonus). All transaction went through smoothly. I have already liquidated those cards by purchasing Money Orders (3,000 money orders).

Suggestion: 1. My local Sams sometime ran out of the 500 dollar MSGCs. But you can wait for several weeks. At least for me club, they will eventually come back.
2. The fee for one MCGC is only 4.94 dollars, lower than the ones in other places such as Korger. So, I think that Sams is a good place to go to purchase Gift Cards.
3. Those 500 MCGCs would not work in Wamlart to purchase a Money Order. So, you need to find another place to liquidate them.

Hi wangxinqing,

Where do you purchase MOs with the MSGCs Money Orders? USPS no longer accepts gift cards for purchasing MOs.

I do that in HyVee. They accept those cards well.

Are the MSGCs cash advance capable?

If we used the Amex offer to get membership, and they are writing us a check, how will Amex withdraw the offer? They have no way to notice.

with 10 day left, chose an e-gc:

“Your request has been processed. Thanks for entering your information. Your request is being processed. Your e-gift card will arrive in your inbox within 7 business days”

I have $50 cash rewards with my plus membership but I get that in March. If I ask for refund, will I loose that? Any input on this? TIA

I work for Sam’s Club. Do not refund your membership yet! Wait until you get your cash rewards out and THEN refund your membership. Your club is closing, right? Is there another nearby? And I realize that ‘nearby’ is a loose term.

dang my membership expired in December!

Drats! The Sam’s club by my house will be one of the stores closing down. I guess I’ll be switching to Costco. 🙁 Since Costco the 2nd closest wholesale store by my house.
At least it will give me an excuse to product change my barely used Citi AA Platinum Mastercard into a Citi Costo Visa.

The Sams in West Windsor that is closing is basically across the highway from a Costco that opened recently, Lawrenceville NJ. I purchased tires from Sams, and this closure is a negative change, making Sams less convenient when it’s time for rotation. Had I known the closure was pending, I would’ve bought elsewhere.
As for PC’ing, I was told several times that I could not PC to the Costco Visa, either personal or business.

I product changed to the Costco Visa last year

The discussion not being heard as yet is the fact that the Sam’s Club (and COSTCO) club model is broken. WMT naturally is putting lipstick on this — claiming they’re closing 10% of their SC’s stores — ‘cuz growth didn’t pan out in those areas. Balderdash. I long ago stopped finding Sam’s a bargain for anything…… (other than tires — and I finally stopped paying annual membership fees to keep the service contract access — better tire deals & service too at…. tah dah… Walmart) has long loved to heap far too personalized scorn at “Dying Sears” — anything but objective journalism. (even as I too loathe the “Eddie” and his real estate con job with Kmt)

I’m looking forward to the headlines blaring “dying Costco” or “dying Sam’s Club.”….. unless of course they find a way to keep the club feel – WITHOUT the gatekeeper fees…. (the recent Amex deals for both are in that direction)

PS: speaking about the club feel, wonder if hack journalists have actually visited any Sam’s Clubs lately — every time I go…. it has feel of a giant cave — with the few customers present outnumbered by the blue-vested staff scurrying around trying not to be bothered…. Reminds me of Staples.

I’m not sure what you think is broken about the Costco model. Business is booming there. I can go virtually any day of the week, any time of the day, and the place is busy, if not packed. I don’t recall hearing about any costco stores closing down
Yes not everything at costco is a great deal. Some things can be had cheaper elsewhere if you pay attention to sales and coupons, which I used to do when I had more time and less money. Now it’s just easier to get it from costco and get maybe not the best deal but a pretty darn good one. But at the same time, there are a ton of things at costco that actually are a good deal, and which cannot be gotten elsewhere for cheaper. And this becomes especially true when you start looking at some of the higher end items, as well as the big ticket items.

I just bought a fridge+warranty for about $250 cheaper than anywhere else offered. That savings pays for my executive membership for 2 years (which, by the way, most years the executive pays for itself as I get a refund check greater than the entire membership cost). I just bought a new battery for my car…$95 while the cheapest available anywhere else was $155 (possibly available cheaper online, but I didn’t look as I can’t wait 2-5 days to get my car working again) .

Costco’s model is built around big spenders (and honestly I’m not really even that big of a spender). They cater to those people, and those people seem to be flocking to costco. So I have a bit of trouble seeing anything broken about their model.

Sam’s club, perhaps, though honestly they’re usually fairly busy most times I go. But I don’t feeling like they have the same level of high end items that costco does. It feels more like a low end club when I go there, and even though I find some deals there I generally come out feeling disappointed in some way. So perhaps their model is more at risk (which is evidenced by these closings). But I definitely wouldn’t lump them in with Costco in that regard.

I actually like that Sams isn’t as high-end as Costco, because I don’t always want the highest-end product. I’ve had “all three” (including BJ’s) at one time or another, but as a membership is due for renewal, I look at what I’m buying and cancel the membership if it’s no longer worth it.
I plan to look into the three month extension because even though I still one Sams near me, losing the other Sams means I will be less likely to visit the warehouse.
Downsizing without fixing the root cause isn’t the best solution. Sears/Kmart has tried downsizing and is quickly finding that as they get smaller there is less and less reason for customers to visit, which forces them smaller, in a vicious cycle.

I read CostCo is doing quite well. They focused on consumers first though. Sams roots is selling to small businesses. Consumers picked up on it because it was cheap, but I remember for a long time you had to show you owned a business to join. Silly in retrospect. Over time Sam’s evolved to include consumers too but they were always a few steps behind. They never quite got it when it came to the type of consumer that will drop $30 on a lifetime supply of cheese snacks because they had a sample in the store. Their ecommerce platform is still atrocious. They also never really produced anything that rivaled name brands, something CostCo prides itself on and rightfully so(I’m a member of both). I always said Costco to Sams is like Target to Walmart. Right now stores that woo the middle class and up are doing pretty well. Even Target staged a pretty big comeback this year. Sucks though, I had one 5 minutes away that closed and I used it for all the essentials.Now I have to drive 30 minutes. Not worth it.

Wow I just signed up for small money maker… i am very curious to find out if this refunds the membership fees without cancelling the membership. That would be pretty great.

I have 8 days left on my Sam’s Plus membership. Are you serious, they will refund me? I’m angry enough about all this to go ahead and do it. Though I want to go there today (our club is still open until Jan 26th) and spend my gift cards.

Membership fees are completely refundable at any time regardless of whether or not your club is closing. So, you can refund your membership fees at your club before it closes as long as it is still active. In other words, you better go get that refund before it before it goes into expired status unless you are planning on shopping at a different club or at Sam’s If that’s the case then I would definitely recommend asking for the 90 day free extension 🙂 .

What about cancelling current memership to get the refund and then signing up again using Amex offer? Possible?

I don’t recall the terms of the AmEx offer, but I know the usual online offers that give your a $15 or $20 gift card for signing up only apply to new memberships. For it to qualify as a new membership, I believe you have to have cancelled your previous membership at least 3 months ago.

the terms were modified today and it now says valid only for members of closing club

Maybe it’s as simple as changing ‘your club’ to one of the closing ones. But as Chuck said, who knows if they enforce it at all.

Never mind. They seem to be not available for selection anymore.

I thought you could cancel membership anytime for full refund already anyways, regardless of your store closing.

Whoops looks like other commenters hit that on the head already! Nice to avoid a phone call though, I did submit this yesterday!

yeah! now they the new conditional terms written in the bottom of the page. Thankfully, at least you can always cancel your membership, and get a refund, by going to their customer service desk in their store.

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