How to shop at Sam’s Club without paying for a membership

Sam's Club is a members-only store, but there are ways to shop there without a membership.

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Sam’s Club is a members-only store, but there are ways to shop there without a membership.
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Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

  • Sam’s Club is known for its bulk products and huge savings, but it’s a members-only store that costs at least $45 a year to join.
  • You don’t need to have a membership to make use of some of Sam’s Club’s services, like the optical center or food court.
  • Sam’s Club’s online store and guest pass policy have also made it easier to shop at Sam’s Club without a membership.

Warehouse clubs like Sam’s Club are known for their huge savings and the variety of items you can buy in bulk.

To access all of the savings Sam’s Club offers, you typically need to enroll in its membership program. The annual fee is $45 for a basic membership and $100 for a “Sam’s Plus” premium membership, which includes additional benefits like $10 back for every $500 spent and free shipping on any order.

But there are ways to get around spending that extra $45 or $100 a year, including using a Sam’s Club guest pass, buying non-member items like alcohol, and eating at the food court.

Here are more ways to shop at Sam’s Club without a membership:


Print out a single day guest pass from Sam’s Club’s website.

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Sam’s Club

The guest pass allows you to shop at Sam’s Club without a membership, but you’ll be charged a 10% service fee. California, South Carolina, and Elmsford, NY are exempt from the fee.

(Source: Sam’s Club)


Become a complimentary add-on member on a friend or family member’s account.

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Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

(Source: Reader’s Digest)


Shop at Sam’s Club’s online store.

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Sam’s Club

Non-members can shop online at samsclub.com, but a 10% service fee is applied unless you live in California, South Carolina, and Elmsford, NY.

(Source: Sam’s Club)


Use the grocery delivery service Instacart if you live in Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth, or St. Louis.

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Facebook/Instacart

Currently Sam’s Club only offers the same-day delivery service in these three cities, but it plans to expand the program in 2018.

(Source: Sam’s Club)


Wait for an “open house” event.

Sam’s Club hosts several open house events throughout the year, inviting non-members to shop at the warehouse for the day to try it out.

(Source: Reader’s Digest)


Buy alcohol.

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Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

In some states, alcohol sales can’t be prohibited through a club or a membership.

If that’s the case in your state, you can tell the Sam’s Club attendant you’re purchasing a non-member product and be allowed in to buy alcohol.

(Source: Wonder How To)


Use the pharmacy…

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Reuters/Gary Cameron

Like alcohol, prescription-drug sales can’t be limited through a club or a membership, meaning anyone can use the Sam’s Club pharmacy to fill prescriptions and buy over-the-counter medication.

(Source: Reader’s Digest)


…or use the optical center.

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Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

Though a membership is needed to buy glasses and hearing aids, nonmembers can get eye and ear exams at the Sam’s Club optical and hearing centers.

(Source: Reader’s Digest)


Eat at the food court.

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Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

The food court is open to members and nonmembers – and it’s insanely cheap. A large pizza is only $8.99 and fountain sodas are $0.89.

(Source: Reader’s Digest)


Go with a member.

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Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

Members are allowed to bring up to two guests with them when they go to Sam’s Club. Only members can make purchases, however, so you’d have to pay them back for whatever you buy on your trip.

(Source: Reader’s Digest)