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Why Doesn’t Sam’s Club Accept Visa Credit Cards?

Written by Nickel - 109 Comments

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Have you ever wondered why Sam’s Club doesn’t accept Visa-branded credit cards? I mean, they accept MasterCard (and Discover!), so why not Visa? It’s understandable that they don’t accept Amex, as many merchants avoid Amex due to their relatively high merchant processing fees.

But Visa and MasterCard credit cards have similar processing fees, so why accept one and not the other? As it turns out, Walmart (who owns Sam’s Club) has a deal with MasterCard for discounted processing fees. While they’ve decided not to limit people’s options at regular Walmart stores, they accept MasterCard over Visa at Sam’s Club as a cost-cutting measure.

What about Discover? As it turns out, Sam’s actually has their own Sam’s Club Discover Card that can be used not only at their warehouse clubs, but also at other locations that accepts Discover.

Published on March 31st, 2010 - 109 Comments
Filed under: Credit Cards

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Comments (scroll down to add your own):

  1. I didn’t know Wal-Mart had a sweetheart deal with Mastercard. I had heard before that typical processing fees are normally higher for Visa branded cards than Mastercard (although not as high as AMEX), so I always attributed it to that.

    Comment by Anonymous — Mar 31st 2010 @ 2:54 pm
  2. BTW – large merchants can negotiate these fees (so what is true for one merchant may not be true for another).

    Comment by Anonymous — Mar 31st 2010 @ 3:29 pm
  3. A lot of the big retailers have started getting fancy when you swipe a card. My local grocery store (not wal-mart) knows my card is a debit card and hence will default to a PIN-based (debit) authorization — same for their gas pumps. You have the option of running it through as credit/signature, but I stick with whatever they pick for the default. Kudos to those retailers to save a few bucks!

    Whenever I go into a convenience store, they always ask: “Credit or Debit?”, and I always reply “doesn’t matter to me”, and they _always_ run it through as credit. Hopefully these cashiers are trained to run it through the method that is cheapest for them (for my typical $10-$15 purchase amount), but I doubt they are…

    Comment by Anonymous — Mar 31st 2010 @ 3:47 pm
  4. The Sam’s club here in my area accept Visa, I’ve used my Visa debit card and ran it as “credit” many times.

    Comment by Anonymous — Mar 31st 2010 @ 7:26 pm
  5. RB: No matter how it gets run (PIN or signature) it’s still a debit card.

    Comment by Nickel — Mar 31st 2010 @ 8:19 pm
  6. It’s beyond me why a retailer would want to limit their customer’s ability to put money on the company’s bottom line, especially when a payment option is so ridiculously common everywhere else.

    Considering the volume that Sam’s runs, you’d think any credit processor would be more than happy to cut a sweetheart deal on Amex OR Visa.

    Comment by Anonymous — Mar 31st 2010 @ 8:20 pm
  7. Sam’s Club didn’t start accepting MasterCard until recently – 2007 or so? Prior to that it was only cash, check, or Discover.

    Comment by Anonymous — Apr 1st 2010 @ 1:57 pm
  8. The person in front of me at Sam’s tried to pay with a visa. The cashier explained Sam’s only accepts mastercard or discover (because Sam’s issues discover cards they must acccept all discover cards). However they will accept ANY debit card.

    Comment by Anonymous — Apr 1st 2010 @ 10:36 pm
  9. Sam’s Club started accepting Mastercard only a year or two ago. I have a Sam’s membership and have both MC and VISA. My VISA card gives better cashback rebates than my MC, so I use my VISA to buy Walmart gift cards at Walmart. These gift cards can be used at Walmart, Sam’s and Sam’s gas pumps. This is how I get around using MC or Discover at Sam’s.

    Comment by Anonymous — Apr 3rd 2010 @ 2:03 am
  10. Very similar to Costco — they only accept AMEX, cash, checks, or debit cards.

    Comment by Anonymous — Apr 3rd 2010 @ 12:56 pm
  11. ” You have the option of running it through as credit/signature, but I stick with whatever they pick for the default. Kudos to those retailers to save a few bucks!”

    The interesting thing is: I’ve read and thought that debit cards have smaller interchange fees than credit cards especially reward cards. Yet, a local French pastry shop accepts credit, but not debit. They also have a sign to please be considerable to their expenses and reserve credit cards for larger purchases i.e. over $20 or so which is fine with me as I really like the place and want them to be around forever. But I am really curious why they don’t accept debit – are debit fees not as small as I thought. One day I’ll ask, I am staying away for now – trying to lose a few pounds by summer.

    Comment by Anonymous — Apr 4th 2010 @ 11:16 pm
  12. This never occurred to me – I don’t go to Sam’s Club and wouldn’t know where the nearest one is – but this sounds like exactly the sort of deal Walmart would do.

    Comment by Anonymous — Apr 5th 2010 @ 4:49 pm
  13. Apparently I live in one of the two states devoid of Sam and his Club.

    Comment by Anonymous — Apr 5th 2010 @ 4:54 pm
  14. Well lucky for me I don’t shop at Sam’s Club (Costco!) and Walmart was smart enough not to pull the same trick at their stores.

    Comment by Anonymous — Apr 7th 2010 @ 4:36 am
  15. Yesterday (April 24) my visa debit card was refused at SamsClub. I’ve used it at Sams since the beginning of the year with no problems – heck I used it four days ago at a SamsClub without any issues!

    The cashier didn’t know anything about it, except to repeat over and over that they don’t take visa cards, only debit cards. My debit card had the words DEBIT CARD very clearly printed on it. And, yes, there was plenty of money in the account to cover the purchase. There’s nothing wrong with the card – I used it 10 minutes later at a grocery store.

    The people at the member desk (customer service) didn’t know why it wasn’t working either although they did admit that there were several people that had the same problem with their visa debit cards earlier that day.

    Is anyone surprised that SamsClub would change the rules and not tell anyone?

    Comment by Anonymous — Apr 25th 2010 @ 6:26 pm
  16. So why would Wal-Mart implement this policy only at Sam’s Club, and not at Wal-Mart?

    Comment by Anonymous — Nov 8th 2010 @ 2:53 pm
  17. Wal-Mart tried to force both M/C and Visa into lowering their rates. M/C agreed and Visa did not. At one point Walmart did not accept Visa at all, but it started to cost them too much business, so they opened it up to Debit cards only.

    Debit card transactions are a flat rate, usually .50 per transactions, while credit card transactions are more, anywhere from 2-4% of the transaction (depending on a lot of different factors). The cost savings to Walmart/Sams Club would be significant.

    If you use a Debit card as a “credit card” and sign the receipt rather than put in your PIN, it does cost Walmart/Sams Club more, but this is also a decision on their part to accept this.

    Comment by Anonymous — Nov 17th 2010 @ 8:38 am
  18. Mike: Around here, Walmart accepts all major credit cards (MC, Visa, and Amex).

    Comment by Nickel — Nov 17th 2010 @ 9:47 am
  19. boycott Sam Walton !!! Walmart’s partnerships with the Chinese are taking jobs away from Americans.

    Comment by Anonymous — Dec 2nd 2010 @ 8:56 am
  20. I just joined a local Sams Club, thanks for the info. BTW a quick correction, RCP Says: Costco does not accept debit cards, “not true” in fact they only accept debit (of any issue) and Amex. Im looking forward to using my MasterCard at Sams.

    Comment by Anonymous — Jan 25th 2011 @ 6:52 pm
  21. My husband’s business has a visa card and we are Sam’s Club members. Because I do most of the shopping for supplies, I only shop at Sam’s for a limited amount of items, such as paper dispenser towels and I have to be sure to have a business check with me. As a result, I buy most other office supplies from other vendors such as Office Depot, where I don’t have to make a special trip to the office to pick up a check or wait for my husband to bring home a blank check. So Sam’s may be saving on card fees by not accepting Visa, but they are losing out on business too. We have one credit card for the office and have no interest in getting an additional Discover or Mastercard. They should re-think this policy.

    Comment by Anonymous — Jan 30th 2011 @ 1:08 pm
  22. I do the same as Pat Kelly. Paper supplies, cups, and some cleaning supplies from Sams, then all other supplies from Office Depot. Fascinating that you can pay with visa at sams gas pumps but not inside their stores. Sams is losing lots of sales because of their greed need!!!

    Comment by Anonymous — Feb 3rd 2011 @ 1:32 pm
  23. According to their website, Sam’s Club accepts Visa credit cards online, but not in the store. You can see a list of accepted payment methods here:

    Comment by Anonymous — Feb 25th 2011 @ 4:44 pm
  24. Sam’s just lost $1300 from me today (LED tv and a car seat) because of this silly policy.

    Comment by Anonymous — Apr 10th 2011 @ 1:50 am
  25. This is just one more reason to avoid any Wallmart owned company. Just had this same thing happen on church purchases. 160 of purchases just went down the tubes. I guess it was worth it to Sams’s Club but 3% on 160 is 4.80 a small amount. So someone else will get the business.
    Personally I have never liked the Wallmart family of stores, it is stupid little stuff like this, aside from the mess and dirt, that simply turns me off.

    Comment by Anonymous — May 19th 2011 @ 5:05 pm
  26. SAMs doesn’t accept visa for one reason. To be price leaders. If SAMs decided to take visa, cost goes up, prices go up. If you were to shop at every store in town and buy 100 items at sams, 97 of them would be the best price ( every day price, not a sale price) that being said, why would you not want to shop at sams, there is a reason 48 million people shop at SAMs. Because they save money. Instead of being mad at a company who’s number one goal is to save people money so they can live better, be mad at the visa corp. For charging companies millions of dollars to use the credit that they over extend to people in hopes those will either miss a payment and default. Because that’s how they make money, not by saving people money and wanting repeat shoppers because of that fact…..

    Comment by Anonymous — Jun 23rd 2011 @ 9:23 pm
  27. John –

    The prices aren’t that great on most items at Sam’s Club (or Walmart). I get much better prices with coupons combined with sales at other stores. Walmart’s motto is just to get sales it’s not their guiding principle or mission statement. Other smaller businesses can afford to accept VISA and so could Sam’s Club if the chose to do so.

    Comment by Anonymous — Jun 25th 2011 @ 7:12 pm
  28. I often find great values on electronics at Sam’s Club. However, I like to use my Visa Credit Card to double the regular manufacture warranty. This is an issue because Sam’s Club doesn’t except Visa Credit.

    Well there is a loop hole in the payment system. You can use a Visa Credit and other payments online that normally aren’t accepted in the store. Also, select pick up at club and then they will have your shopping done for you.

    It’s crazy to deny one type of payment in person but still offer it as a store online.

    Comment by Anonymous — Jul 24th 2011 @ 12:20 am
  29. A lot of people shop at Sam’s not for the prices but for items that are not available elsewhere. And these are mostly high ticket-high quality items. Just as is the case with Costco. In fact, this was always the case with Costco, since the days of Price Club (Costco merged with Price Club in 1993). Members were signing for the quality and availability of goods not found elsewhere. Selling gas at club prices has attracted a broader clientele and opening up the membership to everyone (you had to be affiliated with a member organization to become a member earlier on) has done wonders in expanding the customer base.

    But it is true, that although people associate the warehouse clubs with quantity worthy of big families (or businesses) the number or single or two people households that are members of the clubs is astonishing. We go for the quality. We certainly don’t need the quantity…

    As for the credit card acceptance issue, I just checked because a colleague told me that Sam’s accepts Mastercard. So far I have had a Discover (which is free to have) exclusively for Sams, although I use a Visa for gas there. I don’t use the Discover anywhere else because the card’s incentives suck. It is the worst in points and rewards. I have the ‘Travel’ Discover and just about the only semi-OK reward is when used to pay travel expenses. But it does not offer the extras Visa and Mastercard offer for tickets and car rentals (free insurance), so I only redeem for the very very occasional hotel stay. Now that I know I can use my Mastercard I will only use the Discover until the next level award.

    Comment by Anonymous — Aug 10th 2011 @ 8:59 pm
  30. sams club sucks as being customer friendly with paying for your purchase. I drove 12 miles to a sams and was paying with a VISA card,,,, the same card that is more popular than any card in the world. Those dicks don’t except this card. you talk about being pissed. i drove 24 miles round trip without any purchase. you go to the mother store walmart and can buy all day long useing visa. SAMS SUCKS.

    Comment by Anonymous — Aug 20th 2011 @ 9:05 am
  31. I’ll stick with Costco and my awesome 3-2-1% cashback Costco AMEX card OR my 2% across-the-board cashback Fidelity AMEX card OR my 1.5% across-the-board cashback Fidelity VISA card thank you very much.

    Sorry Sams Club, I would switch from Costco and give you my THOUSANDS of $$$ per year that Costco now gets but only if I can use my AMEX or VISA. Your loss…. retards.

    Comment by Anonymous — Aug 30th 2011 @ 6:26 pm
  32. As of August 2001, a local Walmart is telling customer that they (not unlike their affiliate SAM’S CLUB) are no longer accepting CREDIT payment (Visa, etc). Instead, they are only accepting DEBIT + PIN purchases.

    Sam’s Club has been telling me this for over a year, every weekend I make a grocery purchase, but IT IS COMPLETE BULL$HIT. All you need to do to pay using a Visa credit card is (1) swipe card, (2) press CANCEL, (3) choose CREDIT. That’s all there is to it.

    I actually had a cashier call over the store manager who then proceeded to engage me in a heated argument that it “was impossible” to make a CREDIT payment in Sam’s Club. I asked him ALOUD why they are lying to customers (I had lots of customers listening) and then proceeded with my aforementioned steps to his dismay.

    Today, a Walmart goon told me the same story; “Sorry, we don’t accept Visa any longer – only DEBIT PIN purchases”. I verbally protested and she MIRACULOUSLY rang the $240 order as CREDIT … telling me “You’re lucky I’m doing this for you”. I laughed saying “and you’ll do it again next time”.

    This situation is truly getting out of hand. Even a local gas station (unrelated to Sam’s) immediately prompts for a PIN NUMBER after swiping my card. No instructions (on screen or otherwise) telling you how to process as CREDIT. Yet, the CANCEL BUTTON produces the same result; prompts me for credit and then asks for my ZIP CODE to (poorly) authenticate the card’s ownership.

    My prediction for the near future is that retailers will begin to add the merchant fees onto their customer’s bill who choose / prefer to pay with credit.

    As a reminder, a DEBIT purchase REQUIRES *available* funds, in order to be approved at the register. In this economy, this will become a HUGE issue for many patrons. As I don’t always have sufficient funds in my realted account (EG: It’s Sunday and I am buying groceries but I’ll get paid the next day Monday), I won’t be able to shop if stores don’t allow me the luxury of a credit purchase where the amount is physically withdrawn 1-2 business days after the transaction date.

    Comment by Anonymous — Sep 1st 2011 @ 10:20 pm
  33. Just switch to BJs! They accept all credit cards- even AMEX. They take debit and food stamps too. The prices are comparable to Sams but with better sales. Plus you can stack BJs coupons with multiple MFCs. I bought a 4 pk of Degree deoderant. Originally $7.99 but after my $2 BJs coupon, my two $1.00 MFcoupon, and my buy one get one free coupon I ended up paying 49 cents for 4 big sticks of deoderant. I’ve paid 60 cents for 4 tubes of colgate and I got a rotisserie chicken for $1.00. It’s worth the membership fee for milk alone. At Walmart a gallon of Hood Milk is $4.58. At BJs I get a Land O Lakes gallon for $2.48! I love BJs!!!

    Comment by Anonymous — Sep 6th 2011 @ 9:40 pm
  34. I just had to walk out of Sam’s without the things I wanted. They didn’t accept my visa/debit card…wouldn’t even run it. I’d been shoping for two hours and had about a mounths worth of food in my cart. Wow just wow…

    Comment by Anonymous — Sep 10th 2011 @ 12:42 pm
  35. @Tracy: I had this exact thing happen to me recently with a cart overflowing with products. I walked out as well. The cashier was angry but too bad for them. What ever happened to the phrase “The customer is always right”?

    This happened in Tampa, Florida. I’d like to encourage others who blog here to list the city/state as well. If Walmart and Sams (same owner) start losing business or gaining HUGE amounts of negative publicity, perhaps this situation will improve in favor of the consumer. With their power position, however, it’s extremely unlikely. BOYCOT SAMS and WALMART!

    Comment by Anonymous — Sep 10th 2011 @ 2:19 pm
  36. Just use the credit to buy walmart card and then use that at sams

    Comment by Anonymous — Sep 14th 2011 @ 1:40 pm
  37. Just use the credit to buy walmart card and then use that at sams

    Comment by Anonymous — Sep 14th 2011 @ 1:40 pm
  38. Costco (Wheat Ridge, CO) have changed their policy — no debit or credit cards, only American Express and cash.

    Comment by Anonymous — Oct 10th 2011 @ 3:28 pm
  39. Costco never accepted anything but Amex, cash and checks from its members and only cash from non-members (shopping with member friends).

    Comment by Anonymous — Oct 12th 2011 @ 11:24 am
  40. Went to Sam’s, shopped for 2 hours and acculated about $400-500 in my cart. Went to get a membership and check-out, was told they do not accpet visa. Left my full cart at the counter, walked out, drove 5 minutes down to BJ’s. Done deal… will never go back to Sam’s again.

    Comment by Anonymous — Oct 29th 2011 @ 1:13 am
  41. Just went to buy a tv with my credit card(visa) at sans and they would not except it? Really…,,,, ?????!!!!

    Comment by Anonymous — Nov 28th 2011 @ 10:16 am
  42. Just went to Sams in Winston Salem NC. Wanted to get the wife a entertainment center with fireplace and some Tiffany lamps and a few other items. Total bill was $1400.00, swiped my Chase Freedom VISA, got the “We don’t accept Visa here, well I don’t accept your answer! Left a very heavy load at the register and drove across the street and bought the same items from Lowe’s! Sam’s sucks nearly as bad as Walmart! My wife loves shopping there but I have stepped in there for the last time…I would rather kick my own ass as to shop at Walmart or Sam’s Club! At least my ass will get a break now!

    Comment by Anonymous — Dec 5th 2011 @ 8:36 pm
  43. I just got the shocker of the year(for me at leadt). I went in Sam’s and loaded up a buggy with around $1000 worth of christmas presents. I also planned to go back after ringing that stuff up and get a smoker and a 42″ TV which would have been another $800. When the cashier told me they don’t take Visa credit I was dumbfounded. I had never heard of such a thing. They lost the $1800 sale. Then I thought I’d just go to Wal Mart and buy the stuff BUT I changed my mind. I decided I would stop making major purchases from WalMart or Sam’s. It amazes me that Sam’s would give up their customer base that only carry the Visa credit card.

    Comment by Anonymous — Dec 7th 2011 @ 9:35 am
  44. I’am a cashier at sams and what i cant stand is when we tell you we dont take visa or amex you get pissed off at us its not our fault we dont take it yall act like we make the decisions for the company i wish us employees could be as rude as you sams club members.

    Comment by Anonymous — Dec 23rd 2011 @ 12:09 pm
  45. I’m closing my membership with Sam’s Club and opening one at Costco. They don’t discriminate against us VISA card holders!

    Comment by Anonymous — Jan 3rd 2012 @ 1:16 pm
  46. The original sweetheart deal was between Sam’s and Discover. Originally Discover was the only one willing to give Sam’s Club cheaper discount rates, and so then Sam’s Club only accepted Discover cards, cash and checks. Then later MasterCard decided it was willing to lower their rates too to get in on the action.

    Comment by Anonymous — Jan 30th 2012 @ 10:04 pm
  47. Waited at customer service 40 freaking minutes today to open a membership. After the application, picture etc, was told no Visa. With this economy they turn customers away? there was no one in line, not many in the store. Good luck to them, don’t whine when you have to close stores. Opened one at BJs.

    Comment by Anonymous — Feb 1st 2012 @ 6:15 pm
  48. What a lot of cashiers do not know is that you can use a Visa card, ONLY if the card specifically says “Debit” on the card. You can use it as a debit/PIN transaction, OR if you choose to run it as credit, simply press cancel and select credit. Sam’s Club does not accept Visa CREDIT cards, however it does accept Visa DEBIT cards ran as a credit or debit.

    I know this because I am/was a trained cashier. At the Sam’s Club I work/worked at, cashiers were not trained to know why we do not accept Visa Credit cards, just that we don’t accept them. (Cashiers often mistake this as Sam’s Club does not accept any Visa card whatsoever. That’s not the case!!)

    I politely explain to the member/customers that we cannot run the Visa Credit card, but we are more than happy to accept Discover, Mastercard, and ALL debit cards. This includes Visa debit cards to be ran as credit.

    Now with that said, as a cashier it hurts me personally being yelled at by members because of something I did not do. I never came up with the rules, I just have to abide by them. Why do customers yell at me when I’m trying to explain a policy that not even I agree with?

    Comment by Anonymous — Feb 10th 2012 @ 12:37 pm
  49. I know members can run there visa debit as a credit I dont agree with us not taking visa either we lose a lot of business because of this I just hate fact that members think that us cashiers make the rules. Dont yell at me call corporate and talk to them about.

    Comment by Anonymous — Feb 10th 2012 @ 2:47 pm
  50. Sams Club just lost another customer. My membership expires the end of this month and I won’t be renewing it. I have a credit card that’s Visa, and a Visa debit card at a local credit union that’ll only work when run as a credit card. So, the $300-400 a year I spent there for the last 2 years will go somewhere else.

    Comment by Anonymous — Feb 12th 2012 @ 9:19 am
  51. First of all, I found this article researching the benefits of a Sam’s Club/Costco membership. As far as people’s frustrations I sympathize, and I am against the Walmart Corp. and their nasty business practices as a whole. But what really got my attention was the rude way most of the commenter’s on here feel that it is appropriate to treat the employee’s at their local Sam’s Club.
    These people are just like you, and they deserve to be treated with respect. If you have a problem you should communicate it directly to the corporation, call, send a letter and make yourself heard appropriately. People seem to think that yelling at a cashier or low-level supervisor is ‘doing something’. Even the store manager is useless in most cases, they are just doing their job and enforcing store policy to the best of their ability. They are UNABLE to change it just for you. And why would they want to? If you are a nasty rude and classless jerk who just made an already hard and thankless job that much more soul sucking. I’m sure you just love to help people that treat you like dirt at your jobs right?
    The phrase ‘The Customer is always right.’ Is just that, a PHRASE, it’s certainly not true. If you really want to effect some change, stop shopping there(and Walmart) and let the corporation know the amount of the sales they are losing.(by notifying them directly, they don’t read this website or care) Unfortunately Walmart has the USA by the balls and many times we will shop there even when it’s not the best thing.

    The next time you are in a situation where you feel frustrated, remember that the person who you are abusing just because you can, most likely has NO power to change it for you, stop being ridiculous and think. Do a little research before you bust into a store, it’s not a requirement that stores except every form of payment that you want to use, it’s an expectation but not a law, avoid the hassle and use your brain.

    Comment by Anonymous — Feb 28th 2012 @ 4:30 pm
  52. There is away to use AmEx at Sam’s, go to Wal-Mart, get
    a gift card for whatever amount and pay for with AmEx.
    Pay Sam’s with gift card.

    Comment by Anonymous — Mar 4th 2012 @ 1:39 pm
  53. Just went to Walmart for my last time. They now want my pin# from my bank to process my debit/credit card. Are fricken kidding me!!!! NO MORE WALMART FOR ME!!!

    Comment by Anonymous — Mar 10th 2012 @ 12:48 pm
  54. People complain about silly things, I work for Sam’s Club 4820 in Pooler Ga and people just don’t realize what we do… Sam’s Club and Walmart ARE owned by the same corperation BUT are extremely different, I can honestly say there aren’t many businesses around here that do not require our store! Our community has flourished by the money we’ve put into it, you might think that we hurt jobs but ask our City Council why they won’t allow a Costco here. I’m the Marketing Lead at Sam’s and also a member of 3 local chambers of commerce because of the job. I get to see what we do to help all the time… we donate hundreds of dollars in giftcards to local business, supply free food to local events, raise hundreds of thousands in donations from our own pockets (not from our members alone) to help at Ronald McDonald House, Relay For Life, American Cancer Society, MS, Children’s Miracle Network and more, we volunteer in the community, and treat people with respect. Sorry we don’t take Visa but you have no right to hate us because of trying to cut costs, every business cuts costs somewhere.

    Comment by Anonymous — Mar 24th 2012 @ 12:34 am
  55. Sam’s sucks, and if you work for these scumbags that’s your own fault. You can whine or try and make excuses all you want, but the fact is your working for a crappy company that cares about as little for you as it does for the individual consumer. By working there, you are part of the problem, deal with it.

    Comment by Anonymous — Mar 26th 2012 @ 8:57 am
  56. Yeah and I’d like to know what you know about Sam’s NOT Walmart. This company that “doesn’t care about its employees” just gave out a part time bonus of 700 dollars and full time bonus of 1500 on the 15th of March, also, all the employees here have eaten steaks cooked by the store manager (for free) the last two Thursdays and will be again this Thursday.

    Comment by Anonymous — Mar 26th 2012 @ 9:55 am
  57. I have worked for the company almost seven years and have seen alot of changes. The prices are for the member. For the last three or so years we started accepting mc and ebt. We have several members that rather get gift cards to buy from us . One member spends around 40 gs a week using giftcards. So if you wanna throw a fit about not getting your way. Its your loss . Sams is a great company if you allow and understand why rules and policys are in place.

    Comment by Anonymous — Apr 15th 2012 @ 5:08 pm
  58. About an hour ago, I walked out of Sam’s Club in Dothan, Alabama, after being told they do not accept VISA DEBIT. I told the cashier I had been using the same bank issued debit card for about 4 years at the same Sam’s Club every week without a problem because it is not a credit card, but a debit card. The cashier told me there was no way I had been using the card because Sam’s Club does not accept any type of VISA card. When I asked the cashier to call the supervisor over to clarify the issue, she said she could not hold up the line and I should speak with someone at the customer service desk. I said forget it and I will not ever come back, and left the cart with about $400 worth of items sitting there. So do the math, thats $20,000 a year Sam’s just loss.

    I had already boycotted Wal-Mart, now Sam’s Club will be boycotted as well. I will pay twice the price before I ever set foot in a Wal-Mart company again! Customer service is a joke when it comes to Wal-Mart companies.

    Comment by Anonymous — May 1st 2012 @ 1:57 pm
  59. Well, in a previous comment, Sam’s lost a sale because of a poorly trained cashier. Maybe she was new, but she is totally wrong and doesn’t understand how debit cards work, nor understand Sam’s own policy.

    Comment by Anonymous — May 1st 2012 @ 3:43 pm
  60. There are still merchants out there (not just Sam’s) that believe we don’t want choice. Although usually it is American Express and Discover card holders who get rejected. Thanks to Sam’s Club, Visa card holders now know what it feels like to be told your card is not accepted. In my opinion, it is better to accept all card brands.

    Comment by Anonymous — May 1st 2012 @ 3:50 pm
  61. Just went to the Sam’s Club in Tulsa, Oklahoma to buy
    a flat screen TV. Was told at check out that they would not accept my Visa Credit card. Left the TV at the check out counter and went down the street to Best Buy and bought a TV with my Visa Credit card. I have traveled all over the world on business and never had my Visa Card rejected only to have it rejected in my home town. I cut up my Sam’s card and will never shop in their store again. I will also encourage all my friends not to freqent any Sam’s Club.

    Comment by Anonymous — May 11th 2012 @ 12:31 am
  62. Paul, I was in a similar situation as yours, but decided to use my MasterCard instead of heading down to Best Buy. Why? Simply put, Sam’s Club’s return policy (180-day return period) is vastly superior to Best Buy’s (30-day return period). And best of all, Sam’s Club don’t charge restocking fees at all, unlike Best Buy that charge a ridiculous 30% restocking fee.

    Although Sam’s Club’s refusal to accept Visa credit card was an inconvenience, that would be nothing compared to the potential breakdown of a flat screen TV and considering those TVs have a higher chance of breaking down in the second month (well outside Best Buy’s 30-day return period), that was a deciding factor in choosing Sam’s Club over Best Buy.

    Comment by Anonymous — May 23rd 2012 @ 5:00 pm
  63. I also had the experience of getting my membership online with my Visa, shopping for 2 hours and then finding out upon checkout that Visa is not accepted.

    The frustration shoppers have is spending all that time in the warehouse only to find out at the very end that what what is widely accepted as payment worldwide is not accepted at this store. Perhaps Sam’s Club could do everyone a favor and post in obvious places what forms of payment they accept/don’t accept.

    I would probably still shop, but now that I’m frustrated about wasting my time and have an upset hungry child because he thought he was going home with a box of 80 waffles . . . well, you get the point.

    Comment by Anonymous — Jun 29th 2012 @ 4:06 am
  64. In July 2012, I received a copy of a Class Action Lawsuit against Sam’s Club, sent from Rust Consulting Inc PO Box 2759, Faribault, MN 55021-9759

    The Civil Action# is 11-60826-CIV-ZLOCH
    and filed by one Susan Gringauz against Wal-Mart Stores, Sam’s East and Sam’s West.

    While this is not directly related to the topic of discussion here, I am very glad to see the public pushing back and continuing to put Sam’s / Walmart in the negative (lime)light.

    In summary, the Class Action Lawsuit is in regard to how Sam’s would backdate renewals for persons renewing PAST their expiry date. In other words, if your membership expired on 3/1 but you renewed on 4/1, you would pay for 12 months BUT still expire on 3/1 of the following year.

    Just another blatant example of this company’s GREED and disregard for their patrons.

    Comment by Anonymous — Jul 31st 2012 @ 11:02 pm
  65. Cudos to Suzan Gringauz and the ‘Class’. Once Sam’s has to settle this, then Coscto will – hopefully – change this policy too. My Costco membership expired 3rd week of May. I was out of the country (and continent, because there are Costco and Sam’s in Canada) and of course had no use for the card. Returned mid July and I wanted to renew July 16. I had a lot of back and forth with customer service because their renewal was going to be effective retroactively to May 26… More than a month and a half lost time on my membership, in other words. After lots of talking in the end I could only renew July 1 to July 1. Still I am out half a month.

    Comment by Anonymous — Jul 31st 2012 @ 11:51 pm
  66. I’m a new member at Sam’s and I wasn’t aware of this little fact until check out… Visa is all I had with me & all the cashier could say was ‘sorry’. It made me so mad I don’t know if I’ll ever go back. It was such a waste of my time!

    Comment by Anonymous — Aug 2nd 2012 @ 7:40 pm
  67. “all the cashier could do was say sorry”

    Really what else could have they done for you.
    Typical Sam’s Club Member ***hole

    Comment by Anonymous — Aug 2nd 2012 @ 7:52 pm
  68. While I agree it’s not the cashier’s fault that her greedy employer chooses to disregard the best interests of their patrons and turn away business in the process, patrons need to exercise their ability to STOP going to Sam’s and Wal-mart … and, instead, give BJs a chance. I’ve switched to BJs and haven’t looked back once.

    Oh, and don’t be mad at Brandon’s personal attack; you’d be angry too, if you worked for Sam’s and had to daily disappoint so many patrons … all the while, wondering how long until you’d lose your job due to lack of patronage.

    Comment by Anonymous — Aug 2nd 2012 @ 11:26 pm
  69. @DontBeAHater

    “and, instead, give BJs a chance. I’ve switched to BJs and haven’t looked back once.”

    BJ’s is hardly a solution since it is not available in my state. I guess I’ll have to stick with Sam’s Club and Wal-mart for the time being.

    Comment by Anonymous — Aug 4th 2012 @ 2:50 am
  70. My wife and I was in Sams Club in Austin Tx. After I paid for membership and shopped for 3 hrs. NO ONE told us that yall didn’t accept visa credit card. Everyone takes visa (Hobby Lobby, WalMart, target) yall make plenty of money. It is all about customer satisfaction.
    I’ve always wanted a Sams membership. We even purchased the 100.00 account. I will be going to Costco, they accept visa. Come on now.

    Comment by Anonymous — Aug 27th 2012 @ 7:19 pm
  71. So you can go right next door to Walmart and get a Walmart prepaid Visa with your visa then go to Sams and use the prepaid visa. Now how is Sams saving any money on card fees cause last time I checked both stores were owned by the same person.

    Comment by Anonymous — Nov 7th 2012 @ 12:49 pm
  72. 1. I have never has a problem with gas stations ( non Sams club ) for Visa payments, some ask after swipe for debit or credit, but this is a programing issue, as you cannot debit on a Visa CC.

    2. Most places I go to when I swipe my Visa ask credit or debit, I think they are just are just trained this way or think everyone is using debit card with Visa logos, they do not check the cards ( when is the last time you had a CC or debit card checked for the signature ? ).

    3. GE must also have some sort of deal ( with Sams Club ) since their own Sams Club credit card is through GE credit and that’s how I pay for my purchases at Sams Club.

    4. My Local Walmarts accept Visa CC no problem in store.

    5. I almost never pay with ATM card ( Visa backed ), I used it strictly for ATM use only. I like the protection that a Visa CC offers both online, on warranties and so one ( even with Paypal, since I do not link my bank account, after the 10k send limit is hit, I merely delete the account and start up a new one with the same credit card ). I as listed as non verified on Paypal but have never had a problem with purchases on eBay ).

    Comment by Anonymous — Nov 24th 2012 @ 3:50 am
  73. For those who have had trouble running their visa debit card it’s not necessarily because you don’t have the money. The machine may have trouble reading the magnetic strip or the bank is not responding.

    Comment by Anonymous — Nov 25th 2012 @ 9:17 pm
  74. I will probably not renew my membership. After an experience when trying to purchase presents I was informed at the register that they don,t take visa any more. I am stunned that the seller attempt to control it,s customers to this level. Big business is out of control. Wo do they serve anyway, the vendor or customer???

    Comment by Anonymous — Dec 21st 2012 @ 7:59 pm
  75. Made the 1hr 15min one way drive to Sam’s yesterday in Tuscaloosa,AL, spent two hours shopping to stock up for the month and my Regions Visa Credit Card was denied …. I was told they don’t take Visa credit cards. There was no use in me making a scene in front of my children so I told them that was my only form of payment so they could have fun putting it all back. I’m shocked that we pay to be members there and we are put thru such inconvenience. Before I went in the store I used my visa credit card to fill my tank up at the Sam’s gas pump. Makes no sense. I felt better when my child looked up at me and said “mommy it’s ok, we got our money out of them with all the free samples we ate. I’m full now so we don’t have to buy dinner” lol We live and we learn!

    Comment by Anonymous — Jan 6th 2013 @ 12:28 pm
  76. I’ve been running my Visa “unofficially” for 6 years. My Chase bank card is a Visa. Oddly since January 2013, my visa stopped working at the gas pump, but it worked earlier this month in the store? Might have an issue next time I go shopping inside this weekend.

    Comment by Anonymous — Jan 23rd 2013 @ 12:55 pm
  77. This thread has been building since 2010. So for three years, Sam’s hasn’t taken Visa? It wasn’t an isue for us until,January 2013, we had to leave a cart full of supplies due to Sam’s refusing Visa credit. I am in the merchant services business, and find this a bit confusing. Visa has the lowest interchange rates of all four credit cards(Visa, MC, Disc, Amex). I understand why they want to accept debit, now that it is regulated and only costs .o5% + $.21 per transaction, but even Visa credit is cheaper than MC.
    As far as being able to refuse a card type; every merchant can decide what cards they will or will not accept, which usually means no Amex, as their starting rate is 2.89% + $.30 per transaction. I’m not going to spend all day explaining interchange, but I would really like to know what supposed “sweetheart” deal Sam’s got from MC? Unfortunately for Sam’s, I had to start using Office Max to get supplies, because they take my preferred form of payment. After calculating the gas expense to get to and from Sam’s, we figured it is actually about the same cost for us since we live in a rural area.
    The bottom line is that you all have other options. Due a little math and you may find that Sam’s club is not all they make it out to be.

    Comment by Anonymous — Feb 27th 2013 @ 9:13 am
  78. Take 10 minutes go fill up a grocery cart by walking down sam’s aisles and just taking stuff off the shelves en masse. Then check out. Make sure the total is over $500 worth of groceries. Tell them all you have is visa, then when they tell you that they don’t accept it, just walk out. and let them put the groceries back. If enough people did this they would change their mind about accepting visa.

    Comment by Anonymous — Mar 20th 2013 @ 6:13 pm
  79. If wal mart and sams are the same company, then their policies should be basically the same especially regarding getting paid and not pissing off customers. Theyve been around long enough to “grow up” and thousands of people walking out empty handed should have opened there eyes by now. Stupid Idiot millionaires just dont care anymore about customers. We are just sheep to them who have to use mastercards. They could care less when we walk out and never come back.

    Comment by Anonymous — Jun 16th 2013 @ 6:22 pm
  80. Hello there! This post could not be written much better!

    Looking through this article reminds me of my previous roommate!
    He continually kept talking about this. I will forward this information to him.

    Pretty sure he will have a good read. Many thanks for sharing!

    Comment by Anonymous — Jun 28th 2013 @ 11:56 am
  81. I joined Sam’s Club as a business, I went to place a very large purchase, $5000.00. I went to pay for it using my Visa, they refused it, I told them to stick up their asses then, I use MY card if you want to loose this business from my company so be it. I will not renew my membership and I will not ever recommend Sam’s Club. I wasted $100.00, but I kept my dignity in a company that is a part of the reasons why our country is failing.

    Comment by Anonymous — Aug 27th 2013 @ 10:24 pm
  82. MJR you can technically refund your membership for the full amount at any time during that year. I know this because I used to be a membership marketing manager there. Speak to a manager if they don’t let you… On the other hand I’ve also seen the actual numbers for profit margins on most items in the store and the difference that processing fees do to the bottom line versus cash… If they were to allow your credit card without a deal with the merchant, your purchase probably would have not been a 5000 dollar one. Due to processing fees prices on items would be raised by the same percentage the increase of the fee was.

    Comment by Anonymous — Aug 27th 2013 @ 10:39 pm
  83. Just stumble on this thread when I look up online for what credit cards, if any, Sam’s Club accepts before heading to register. Costco is everywhere in So Cal and the most common, this is the first time ever I go into a Sam’s Club because I got a pretty good Groupon deal for membership which pretty pay off itself for the vouchers I got.

    It’s interesting to see some people here blamed Sam’s Club doesn’t accept Visa and said Sam’s Club was losing their business because they wouldn’t shop there. Seriously, why did you go to Sam’s Club the first place? if not because you expect lower price there then why did you even bother?
    (And most of us know these warehouse club give low regular price if you don’t want to wait, but if you can wait for coupons or sale, you can get better price somewhere else)

    Anyway, if you stop shopping there just because you don’t have a Master, Discover (and they now even take JCB and China UnionPay) but pay more at elsewhere, who is losing? Certainly, smart shoppers don’t do stupid thing like that.

    Sam’s Club and Costco set the rules, in exchange for lower regular price, not you.

    I have at least one for each Visa, Master, Discover and AE, but I only carry 2 that used most often and bring others when I need that. All my credit cards give me at least 1% cashback, so I rarely use debit cards other than ATM purpose. What’s the big deal of having credit cards? I autopay off every month and have 800+ credit score. If you’re afraid of owning credit cards, you’d better learn how to manage your finance first.

    Comment by Anonymous — Nov 17th 2013 @ 4:14 am
  84. Another customer lost. Forgot Sam’s won’t take VISA, because everyone else I deal with does. Did my shopping, the cashier refused my card – screw them, I will not be renewing or shopping there again.

    Comment by Anonymous — Jan 26th 2014 @ 7:36 pm
  85. They opened a new SAMs in my town and my son added me on his family membership. The first time I tried to make a purchase my Visa card was denied. I thanked the cashier, told her we were done and left. I had used the same card at the gas station outside and they accepted it. It is my only card, and I won’t carry enough cash to shop there, so very glad I did not buy an expensive membership.

    Comment by Anonymous — Jan 31st 2014 @ 2:09 pm
  86. My Chase Freedom Credit Card MasterCard is getting switched to a Visa after over 15 years, which will cause me a huge problem with purchases inside Sam’s Club. I wonder if I could do anything other then purchase Gift card on-line or at Wal-mart to work around this? This doesn’t offer the same extended warranty that MasterCard offered or the fraud protection offered if the gift cards or lost or stolen while carrying like cash. Anyway maybe we as consumers need to complain to Sam’s corp. to make a change! Anyone got any ideas? I am sure I am not the only one this will effect? Chase view is that its Sam’s problem and I can’t disagree, makes BJ’s seem better to honest, wish they were close to me. Sam’s will take Visa online however special deals are often on available in store and cheaper in store so as a VISA payer we miss out on these deals especially if you want to get the extra protection and full benefits offered to VISA card holders.

    Comment by Anonymous — Apr 29th 2014 @ 5:34 pm
  87. A multi billion dollar corp can’t accept visa, because you want to save a few bucks. You underpay your employees and now cut visa. You should have a big sign on the front door saying we do not accept visa. Instead of loading a cart and getting to the checkout line to find out you don’t take the card and in turn paying an employee to put back all the stuff you can’t purchase. I will not shop here anymore, ill go to Costco instead.. sincerely pissed off customer.

    Comment by Anonymous — May 10th 2014 @ 7:07 pm
  88. Sam’s Club will accept my Visa Debit which can be ran as credit but not my Visa credit card. I thought it was a bit strange. I’ve been to other retailers that do the same with Master Card.

    Comment by Anonymous — May 25th 2014 @ 2:19 pm
  89. Sams Club attracted my business because they have the best prices on Michelin tires. They sold me on the discounted over the counter medicines. Now if only they would take Visa or AMEX in person.

    Comment by Anonymous — May 29th 2014 @ 8:52 am
  90. What’s the big deal about Sams Club credit card policy? Costco ONLY takes American Express credit card. So, Costco must have a sweet deal with American Express, just like Sams has with MasterCard.

    If you don’t like the clubs credit card choices, then pay with a check or cash. Or just don’t shop the warehouses!

    Comment by Anonymous — Jul 16th 2014 @ 6:38 pm
  91. Sams store cash register wouldn’t accept Visa. Told them to shove it! Wallmart next door accepted it as well as Sams gas pumps in front of the same store! You figure it!!!

    Comment by Anonymous — Aug 10th 2014 @ 9:42 pm
  92. It’s an obnoxious policy and it cost them my business – there is a BJ’s near me and they take visa. Nicer produce too.

    Comment by Anonymous — Sep 17th 2014 @ 1:43 am
  93. I am really disappointed that Sam’s Club will not take Visa. My master card changed to a Visa card recently. I do not use more than one credit
    card. I will not be shopping at Sam’s Club much and I used to buy alot.
    You are losing customers and more money than you are probably saving. It is very poor public relations on your part. If Walmart does this, I will quit buying there, too. Walmart, Corp. gets poor press, so you are just undermining yourself more.

    Comment by Anonymous — Nov 8th 2014 @ 8:21 am
  94. Lost $3800 on two LED TV’s, mounts and surround system today since they denied my VISA credit card.

    Comment by Anonymous — Feb 8th 2015 @ 3:11 pm
  95. I have neen using my visa card at Sams for over a year just to earn points and i go there today and it wont except my card….them i asked the manager why and she wants to argue with me about how they have never excepted visa credit card until I showed her on my phone several transactions that were purchased on it in the past then she tells me to don’t want another credit card no thanks all just take my business elsewhere thanks u ave a nice day I wont be returning…i have spent $4000 in 2 months yoou just lost a regular customer

    Comment by Anonymous — Feb 8th 2015 @ 8:54 pm
  96. Only have one credit card due to buget my husband and I try hard to keep our bills paid we do not need anymore payments or credit cards I will be rethinking keeping my Sams Card

    Comment by Anonymous — Apr 11th 2015 @ 4:04 pm
  97. SamsClub card had been dead for about 2 years. Needed tires and searched the website. Renewed membership for $45.00 with a Visa card and ordered tires. Figured they changed the credit card policy in the last two years.

    The website said the tires would be shipped in about 5 days, but no need to pay until the installation. Got the email, drove 40 minutes and was about to checkout before the tides were installed. We don’t accept Visa! I sai that you can ship the tires back. Got a refund of the membership renewal plus state tax. Net profit of $2.70 and got similar tires at NTB for $170.00 less.

    Comment by Anonymous — May 20th 2015 @ 6:36 pm
  98. I just ran into this today, since my company used to have a Mastercard, but just switched to Visa a couple weeks ago. I headed off to Sams to make my monthly purchases, and had about $300 of stuff in the cart. I got to the checkout, and I went to pay, but, lo and behold, I had no way to do so. I didn’t yell at the cashier – there is no reason to do that. However I doubt the staff was too pleased at having to put all my stuff away. I was in a hurry, and had to go, so I had no choice but to just leave the cart there.

    Comment by Anonymous — May 21st 2015 @ 4:43 pm
  99. This happened to my husband and I yesterday. Quite embarassing to have the cashier try and try time and time again to run the card to have her finally say duh its a Visa, we don’t accept those. I was able to use my Visa debit thank goodness. I didn’t get mad at the cashier, its not their fault. I wouldn’t even be that mad at Sams in general if they would, like another poster said earlier, let customers know ahead of time, in big letters somewhere, that they do not accept Visa. I’m not talking about the little sign at the door as you come in that tells what they do accept. People would be less angry, and come prepared with a different form of payment, if they knew ahead of time.

    Comment by Anonymous — Jun 15th 2015 @ 9:27 am
  100. I have a Sams membership simply because both my children work there. I also pay a reduced rate for a BJ’s membership. We do all our Business shopping at BJ’s because Sams won’t take the business Visa. Sorry its all we have no MasterCard. So Sams loses out on all that revenue. Oh an yes while at BJ’s we might as well do our personal shopping as well. Sams one of these days you will get with the consumer program. When we have a choice we will go where it is most convenient

    Comment by Anonymous — Jun 29th 2015 @ 12:08 pm
  101. Sams just lost another customer. I purchase things in there all the time on my bank cards (visa debit), my Capital One Visas, and when I go in to buy a bunch of stuff to fill my freezer, around 400.00 worth, I find out they won’t take my Amazon Visa. I just said I’m done, took my membership card back, and walked out.

    I purchased the club membership for the privilege of shopping there, but when they will take one form of Visa and not another, I’m done. No more money will I spend there. I rarely go to Walmart as it is, so I guess I’ll just not go there anymore either.

    I walked away with 400.00 of stuff just sitting in a card and the cashier gave me a dirty look, too bad.

    Comment by Anonymous — Jul 3rd 2015 @ 6:23 pm
  102. well I just want to let you know as much as I love shopping at Sam’s after my membership runs out I will not be renewing it because I can’t use my Visa credit card. That was the reason I got it.

    Comment by Anonymous — Jul 13th 2015 @ 6:59 pm
  103. To all of you saying sams club just lost this amount of money LMAO STFU they get so much more than your little 2000 dollars . Yall probably make that shit in like a month sams makes MILLIONS !

    Comment by Anonymous — Sep 11th 2015 @ 1:01 am
  104. Briana, we’ll worry about your opinion when you’re actually old enough to have a credit card.

    Comment by Anonymous — Sep 14th 2015 @ 1:00 pm
  105. As of October 1, 2015, Sam’s club now accepts amex.

    Comment by Anonymous — Oct 26th 2015 @ 6:56 pm
  106. It is comical that people get so twisted up about Visa. It is as if having a Visa card makes a few people feel entitled.

    My rewards are better on my MasterCard, but only slightly. If I had to use Visa, I would.

    I’m a cashier at Sam’s, and the pain felt by some Visa holders (very few, as most simply use something else) makes me laugh. The credit card companies are directly responsible for driving up business costs across the board, and some crybabies get their feelings hurt that Sam’s won’t take it. Boo hoo. 🙁

    Eventually, I suspect Visa just like all other credit card companies, will come to an agreement with Sam’s. Until then, its not difficult to find a card with good rewards, and if you’re credit sucks to the point that you’re stuck with whatever Visa you have; sucks to be you.

    Sam’s MasterCard might be OK for some people. And usually you get a discount if you sign up for one. The rewards aren’t so good IMO, but that depends on how you use it. I never signed up for one.

    Comment by Anonymous — Oct 26th 2015 @ 8:10 pm
  107. My wife and I went to sams two days ago and had an order close to 400 dollars I tried to use my visa credit card but wad told they do not accept it I have a visa debit card but was so mad that you are not told until you get to the register I told them to put it all back I did not want it. How many sales like that do you think they lose witn this policy. It does not surprise. Me to much look at what they have for a CEO.

    Comment by Anonymous — Dec 26th 2015 @ 4:15 pm
  108. I have used my Cap1 visa at Sams gas pumps, but the store won’t take it. Go figure?

    Comment by Anonymous — Dec 28th 2015 @ 10:39 pm
  109. If Walmart stops visa they will loose business. My card can be credit or debt and now has the chip in it. I don’t think they can afford to stop. They have already raised their prices and I hope this will close some stores. Its the worst place to shop, no help and always long lines and ride people

    Comment by Anonymous — Jun 12th 2016 @ 7:39 pm

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