Can family members use my Sam’s card? (No, but…)
Sam’s Club is a membership-only warehouse club, which means you can only shop at Sam’s Club if you have a membership. Warehouse clubs like this are membership-based to ensure customers get the lowest prices.
Shopping at Sam’s Club can really help you save a few bucks if you’re having a good time. You can get a lot of stuff for less, like groceries and household items.
But sometimes it’s a hassle to get everyone to make their own Sam’s card just for monthly purchases. What if you, the cardholder, are busy? What if your family has to run very quickly to the nearest Sam’s Club to get cheese for your deli?
Can family members use my Sam’s card?
Technically, no family member cannot use your Sam’s Club card. According to Sam’s Club policy, the cardholder must be present when shopping at any Sam’s Club. In most cases, family members over the age of 18 are not allowed to use the Sam’s Club card in the name of another family member.
It’s unclear if Sam’s Club makes an exception for minors, but it’s wise to consult with your nearest Sam’s Club staff member for clarification.
Why can’t I use a family member’s Sam’s Card?
The primary reason Sam’s Club prohibits family members or anyone other than the cardholder from using the card is for security reasons. This is primarily to prevent any worst-case scenarios involving identity or card theft and membership abuse.
Sam’s Club even requires users to provide a passport-sized photo copy to use on their Sam’s Club card when shopping to match their face and ID.Therefore, there is no escape from using someone else’s card at the counter, even if you look real similar.
What can family members do?
Cardholders cannot be present when shopping is required. The family members still live in the same home and have to buy things from each other from time to time. What should I do?
Sam’s Club offers add-on memberships, usually for families or businesses. Sam’s Club cardholders can add up to 8 members and Plus members can add 16 members. Note that even for Plus members, the extras on their card are only Club memberships, not Plus memberships.
Advantages and disadvantages of Sam’s Club add-on membership
Each add-on costs $40. While the benefits are the same as a standard club membership, it’s not a small expense. For most people, the savings from having an Add-On membership instead of just having their own membership is almost nothing.
Most people would also run the risk of using a family member card at the nearest Sam’s Club anyway. However, there’s still $5 in savings per card, and it’s better than nothing if add-on cardholders shop as often as primary cardholders.
Another problem with the Add-On system is that membership cards cannot be used by other Add-On members. Each additional member must use their own card, even within the same household.
It’s a tough place, but Sam’s Club has pretty strict policies on its membership and membership card usage.
American Express and Sam’s Club
Still, American Express users can sometimes pan for gold. From time to time, Sam’s Club offers AmEx users a limited-time free Sam’s Club membership. To claim this offer, be sure to check the AmEx Offers section when logged in to view your card details online. Please note that this offer is only available to users who do not already hold a Sam’s Club card.
If you’re lucky, you can get a one-year Sam’s Club membership by choosing add to card. With this, you can use your AmEx card as a Sam’s Club card for a whole year.
The Sam’s Club card is for the cardholder’s use only and not for use by anyone else. Wholesale clubs have several policies that prevent multiple uses of any membership card, even by family members.
If you’re lucky, you might meet a sympathetic cashier the next time you shop at a Sam’s Club, but that’s a risk to take.
Want to learn more about Sam’s Club and other members? Check out these articles:
Do you have any questions about Sam’s Club and its policies, as well as anything about your Sam’s Club experience you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments below!