How to Shop at Sam's Club If You're Not a Member

Sam's Club

Sam's Club

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Sam's Club
Sam's Club by Ambrosia LaFluer (CC BY)

Benefits Without the Fee

All the major warehouse retailers charge an annual fee to take advantage of their membership benefits — and Sam’s Club is no exception. But what if you want to bend the rules and shop at Sam’s Club without paying for the basic $45 annual membership? Whether you’re a rulebreaker, cheapskate, or Costco loyalist who refuses to join Sam’s Club, here are nine ways to shop at Sam’s Club without a membership (or without paying the full annual fee).

Related: How to Shop at Costco If You're Not a Member

Happy Asian mother and her teenage daughter using smart phone while sitting on sofa in living room at home

Shop at Sam’s Club Online

Non-members can shop on the Sam’s Club website with a 24-hour guest membership. Simply create a guest account when you check out online. But there’s a catch: Sam’s will apply a 10% service fee, you won’t have access to member pricing, and you’ll miss out on perks like curbside pickup and Scan & Go.

Related: Costco or Sam's Club Purchases That Make Back the Membership Fee

Sam's Club cafe counter
Sam's Club Liquor
Will H. / Yelp

Buy Alcohol

You can enjoy Sam’s affordable Maker’s Mark liquors — not to mention name-brand alcohol — without a membership. It’s all thanks to an obscure legal loophole that prohibits alcohol vendors from discriminating between members and non-members. Not everyone knows about this rule, so we recommend taking a screenshot of Sam's policy, which states that “liquor purchases do not require an active membership.”

Related: The Best Sam's Club Liquors to Buy — and Which to Leave on the Shelf

Sam's Club, Santa Clarita, CA
Sam's Club/Yelp

Get an Eye Exam

Need an eye exam? While non-members won’t be able to purchase optical products, they can see an optometrist at Sam’s Club optical centers.

medicine pills and bottles

Shop at the Pharmacy

Anyone can buy prescription medications from Sam’s pharmacy without paying extra. However, non-members won’t benefit from the RxSavings program, which sells generic prescriptions for as low as $4.


Order Groceries on Instacart

Consumers who shop through Instacart won’t need a Sam’s Club membership to purchase groceries and everyday essentials, though non-members will miss out on exclusive discounts. The delivery service also charges fees starting at $4.

Sam's Club samples
Sam's Club

Shop with a Friend

Members can bring “their children or guardians and up to two guests per visit,” according to Sam’s terms and conditions. So buddy up with family and friends who are members, or split a membership with your housemates.

Shopper leaving Sam's Club
Kat Wade / Getty

Wait for a Sam’s Club Membership Deal

Shoppers say that Sam’s Club continually offers membership promotions, which incentivize newcomers to sign up for its $45 basic membership. Most recently, the Walmart-owned retailer offered new shoppers $45 off their first in-club purchases. While we know that’s technically not shopping at Sam’s Club without a membership, the promos often pay for the annual fee.

Sam's Club Membership
Sam's Club

Take Advantage of the Sam’s Club Guarantee

Sam’s Club offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee on shoppers’ memberships, meaning that you can receive a refund at any time. While we aren’t encouraging consumers to exploit this policy, it might push reluctant shoppers to reconsider a Sam’s Club membership. Become a member — and if it’s not worth it — just ask for a refund.