Should Sam’s Club MasterCard Be On My “Keeper” List?

The main focus of this blog is the analysis of long-term cards for an average family. I’ve said many times that churning isn’t for everyone. In fact, it’s not a good fit for the majority of people. In the past, I have put together a list of best “keeper” cards, as well as a post on 2-card combos.

What I have  in this write-up is a round-up of some candidates that could make a good case for a conversion from a card you plan to cancel.  Bank Americard and Capital One pay me commission, but I don’t recommend you use up your credit pull because the sign-up bonus is quite small.  Before I begin, let me mention  a card that actually qualifies to be on my main list… maybe. Let me know if I should add it there.

Sams’s Club MasterCard

I wrote about it when it first came out. The only reason I have’t added it to my list of “keepers” is because you have to have a Sam’s Club membership in order to apply and maintain it. I don’t shop at Sam’s Club, but plenty of families in America do.

You get 5% back on gas purchases (on up to $6,000 per year), 3% on dining and travel, 1% on everything else. Leslie from Tripswithtykes, do you shop at Sam’s Club? I am determined to convince her to ditch  Chase Sapphire Preferred and free herself from its evil clutches. It’s on!

This is actually  a strong card that rivals Chase Sapphire Preferred, plus has no annual fee. Unless you only eat out (as in “pig out” on the first Friday of the month), you would have to value your Ultimate Rewards point at 1.5 cents each just to break even.

That’s because Chase Sapphire Preferred earns 2 UR points on dining and travel, and Sams’ Club earns 3 cents per dollar on those purchases. Plus, don’t forget that if you already pay for a Sam’s Club membership, there would be no additional cost associated with this card, as  with CSP, you would have that pesky $95 annual fee to make up for.

Let’s say you spend $10,000 per year on dining and travel and designate Chase Sapphire Preferred for those expenses only. I realize most families won’t approach this amount, but let’s go with it for the sake of this post. You would get 20,000 Ultimate Rewards points if using CSP, or $300 if using your Sam’s Club card.

If you already have a Sam’s Club membership, we would have to add $95 (CSP annual fee) to that amount, so it would be  $300+$95=$395. So, if you decided to go with CSP anyway, you would be paying almost 2 cents per Ultimate Rewards point. I don’t know of anyone who values it that high, especially when mostly redeeming miles for economy flights.

This card could be a good companion pick to Amex Everyday Preferred if:

1) You pay for Sam’s Club membership anyway (the cost is $45 per year)

2) Spend a good bit on dining and travel each year

3) Prefer to collect a combination of flexible points and cash back

Do you only want to focus on cash back? Pair Sam’s Club  card with Amex Blue Cash Preferred. The latter earns 6 % cash back on groceries (on up to $6,000 per year) and has a $75 annual fee (vs. $95 fee on AEP card).

Both Amex Everyday Preferred and Amex Blue Cash Preferred pay me referral if you apply through my site. Sam’s Club MasterCard pays me no commission, and you can apply for it here

Now that we have that out of the way, here are a few other choices for you to consider:

1) Fidelity Investment Rewards Visa Signature card  

My take: This card is similar to Fidelity Amex, but with a somewhat different earning structure and is a Visa version, which is more accepted by merchants.

Earn 1.5 points for each $1 spent on the first $15,000 in purchases per year, and 2 points per $1 in purchases made thereafter.

Every 5,000 points can be converted into a $50 deposit into your eligible Fidelity account.

  • No limits on rewards
  • No annual fee
  • Travel and emergency assistance services

   You can  apply for it HERE

2) Bank Americard Cash Rewards

My take: Could be  a good choice if you spend a lot on gas and don’t have a card that offers bonus points in that category.

  • Online-exclusive $100 cash rewards bonus after you spend at least $500 on purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
  • 1% cash back on purchases everywhere, every time
  • 2% at grocery stores and 3% on gas for the first $1,500 in combined grocery store and gas purchases each quarter.
  • Get a 10% customer bonus when you redeem cash back into a Bank of America® checking or savings account
  • 0% Introductory APR for 12 billing cycles for purchases and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days, then, 12.99% – 22.99% variable APR
  • No annual fee
  • No changing categories and your rewards do not expire

3) Upromise World Mastercard

My take: Ultimately, I don’t think it’s the best fit for most regular families. Well, unless you do a ton of shopping online (which I hope you don’t). That is because it gives an extra 5 percent cash back through Upromise shopping portal. You also get extra cash back on certain restaurants and  gas stations purchases.

However, I have read several reports from readers who have had problems getting their payout from the Upromise shopping portal. There are much better bonuses available through Barclay’s at this time, so I would only convert  if the Sallie Mae Barclaycard option wasn’t available. 

You can also apply for it here

  • You can earn 10% or more cash back on eligible online purchases through Upromise
  • Start with a $25 cash back bonus after first use
  • Earn 4% cash back at thousands of participating Upromise dining restaurants
  • Earn 3% cash back on eligible gas purchases at Exxon or Mobil locations
  • Earn 2% cash back on eligible movie theater locations
  • Earn 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • No annual fee


4) Capital One Quicksilver card

My take: This could be  a good candidate for downgrading your Capital One Venture Rewards Visa.  That’s one of my top picks in the Bonuses page.

  • One-time $100 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • No rotating categories and no sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards
  • Redeem the cash back you earn for any amount, any time
  • Your cash back doesn’t expire
  • 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers until February 2015
  • No annual fee

6 thoughts on “Should Sam’s Club MasterCard Be On My “Keeper” List?

  1. Pingback: The Best “Keeper” Credit Cards for Family Right Now | Miles For Family

  2. I have Amex Blue Cash Preferred getting 6% back on groceries (up to 6k a year) and the “new” no annual fee Chase AARP card which gives 3% cash back on all gas and dining and the “old” no annual fee Chase AARP card which gives 3% back on all travel. By using these 3 cards and my no annual fee Chase Freedom card for quarterly bonus categories I save quite a bit.


    • Harv, that sounds like a powerful combination! When I run out of bonuses to apply for, I’ll have to come up with a similar strategy. For now, I’m content with constantly switching cards. I’m too lazy to keep up with quarterly category bonuses on my Freedom Visa. I like to keep it simple, and just go from one sign-up bonus to the next.


  3. Pingback: Most Underrated Credit Cards As Chosen By Your Favorite Bloggers - Doctor Of Credit

  4. Pingback: How I Divided My Ultimate Rewards Stash Before Converting Chase Sapphire Preferred to Freedom Unlimited | Miles For Family

  5. Pingback: Miles and Points Recap: Discounted Awards to Europe via United Program, New Credit Cards and More! | Miles For Family

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