Sam’s Club just put a huge incentive on the table for shoppers considering opening a store credit card: New cardholders will get double cash back within the first 90 days of opening their account. Here’s what you need to know about the card if you’re considering applying.
How the Promotion Works
Anyone who opens a Sam’s Club Consumer MasterCard between Oct. 1 and Nov. 12 this year will have 90 days of 10% cash back on gas purchases, 6% cash back on travel and dining purchases, and 2% cash back on in-club and other purchases made anywhere MasterCard is accepted. The 90-day period starts when you’re approved for the card, and after the promotional period expires, you earn 5% cash back on up to $6,000 of gas purchases, 3% on travel and dining, and 1% for everything else.
The promotion is limited to new applicants — and no, you can’t cancel your current card and open a new one to boost your rewards earnings. (Plus, closing a credit card can hurt your credit, as can applying for a new one.) The double-cash-back promo only applies to new consumer credit card accounts, not business accounts. Though you have the potential to earn the most cash back at gas stations, you need to be strategic about where you fuel up. According to the card’s details: The 10% (or 5%, under normal conditions) cash back reward excludes “purchases at fuel stations at wholesale clubs (other than Sam’s Club), certain supercenters, and supermarkets.”
Cardholders can earn a maximum of $5,000 in cash back rewards in a calendar year. Each February, Synchrony Bank (which issues the card) cuts cash-back checks for earnings made in the previous calendar year, and you can only cash those checks at Sam’s Club. You lose the cash back if your account is not in good standing, if your Sam’s Club membership is terminated or lapses or if you earn less than $5 in rewards.
The card carries a variable 15.15% or 23.15% annual percentage rate, depending on creditworthiness. Sam’s Club memberships start at $45 a year, which make you eligible to apply for a Sam’s Club Consumer MasterCard. Approval is another thing: It requires a credit check, so if your credit isn’t in great shape (or is nonexistent), you may have trouble qualifying for a card. Before you apply for a credit card, whether it’s a store card or otherwise, it’s a good idea to see where you stand. You can do that on Credit.com, where you can see two of your credit scores for free, with updates every month.
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Image: Anna Zielinska