Soon it won't be quite as cheap to shop at Sam's Club anymore. CNBC reports that the Walmart-owned warehouse store will be hiking annual fees to $50 from $45 for club members and to $110 from $100 for Plus members, who get additional perks.
This is the first price hike in nine years for the basic membership and the first ever for Plus membership, which began in 1999. The increases are slated to take effect on Oct. 17. The good news is that this year, the fee increase will be paid back to consumers with Sam's Cash, which can be spent in the store.
Even with the higher membership fees, it's still cheaper to become a member of Sam's Club than Costco. Costco Gold membership is $60 and Executive membership is $120. That could change, however, as Costco also might boost fees.
Sam's Club, which has seen a 9.5% bump in sales for the most recent quarter (compared with Walmart's 6.5% increase in the U.S.), seems to be betting that recent upgrades such as curbside pickup, same-day delivery, the Scan & Go shopping app, and higher-end brands will make membership valuable enough even to cash-strapped shoppers. Prospective members also can find deals through sites like Groupon.
@theclearancehunter Did you get your membership? #AEJeansSoundOn #WorldPrincessWeek #deals #offers #couponing #shopping #samsclub #sale #membership #food #inflation #savingmoney ♬ About Damn Time - Lizzo
Sam’s Club isn't hurting for business, though. The warehouse club has almost 600 stores across the U.S., and although the privately owned company won't release numbers, it recently stated that membership numbers are the highest they've ever been.