Unlocking Savings: How To Get Sam's Club Senior Discount Membership

Published: September 13, 2023
Last updated: December 21, 2023

In an era where every dollar counts, seniors are increasingly looking for ways to stretch their budgets. Sam's Club, a leading warehouse club, presents an opportunity for savings. From 2010 to 2020, the U.S. population aged 65 and over grew by 38.6%, reaching 55.8 million.[2] This rapid growth in the senior population underscores the increasing importance of understanding and catering to the needs and preferences of older adults in various sectors, including retail and membership clubs.

This guide explores whether Sam's Club offers a senior discount, alternatives for senior discounts, and additional tips to maximize savings at Sam’s Club. 

Background On Sam's Club

Sam's Club is a prominent chain of membership-only retail warehouse clubs established in 1983 by Sam Walton, the founder of Walmart. The first store was opened in Midwest City, Oklahoma, marking the beginning of a significant venture into the warehouse club market. This initiative was a result of Sam Walton's analysis of the success of similar ventures at the time​​​​​​​​. As of early 2019, Sam's Club ranked second in sales volume among warehouse clubs with a substantial $84.3 billion in sales, indicating its prominent position in the market​​. As technology adoption rises among seniors, Sam's Club offers a tech-focused shopping experience that's aligned with the growing use of smartphones and wearable devices.[1]

Fast Fact

“Seniors have significantly increased their annual tech spending, going from $394 to $1144, showing a growing comfort and reliance on technology.”

Does Sam's Club Offer A Senior Discount?

As of 2023, Sam's Club does not have a specific senior discount policy for its memberships. This means there are no dedicated senior discounts, senior hours, or senior concierge services offered by the club. However, they do facilitate early shopping hours for Plus members, which can be advantageous for seniors who prefer to shop in less crowded times​​.

Interestingly, while there isn't a direct senior discount, Sam's Club does offer a discount to AARP cardholders. The standard membership costs $45 annually, but for AARP cardholders, this can be reduced significantly​​. Additionally, there are claims of a Sam's Club Senior Discount Membership which is available for $10 per year, providing a 10% discount on various items. However, this information should be verified directly with Sam's Club as it may vary by location or be subject to specific terms and conditions​​.

For those considering a membership, Sam's Club offers two main types: the Club membership for $50 and the Plus membership for $110 annually. These memberships grant access to various exclusive deals and perks, including special pricing and a satisfaction guarantee​​.

Additional Considerations For Seniors

While the absence of a broad senior discount might seem limiting, it's important to note that Sam's Club offers various other benefits that can be valuable for seniors. These include savings on pharmacy items, optical services, and other essentials. Seniors can also benefit from the early shopping hours available to Plus members, providing a more comfortable and less crowded shopping experience.

Fast Fact

“Among seniors, smartphone usage for activities such as ordering groceries has dramatically risen from 6% to 24%, reflecting a shift towards digital convenience in daily life.”

Alternatives To Sam's Club For Senior Discounts

While Sam's Club does not offer specific senior discounts, there are other warehouse clubs that seniors might consider for discounts and savings opportunities.

Overview Of Warehouse Clubs: Warehouse clubs are general merchandise retailers offering a limited assortment of inventory, usually selling in bulk. These clubs typically offer a no-frills shopping experience with a focus on fast-moving items sold in large quantities​​.

Benefits For Seniors Shopping In Warehouse Clubs: Shopping in bulk can lead to significant savings for seniors. Larger quantities typically mean lower prices per unit, and many warehouse clubs offer monthly coupons for additional savings. These clubs can offer cost savings on everyday items and larger purchases like electronics and vacations. Some warehouse clubs also have pharmacies with competitive pricing​​.

Considerations For Senior Memberships: Seniors should consider their needs and storage capacity when considering warehouse club memberships. Buying in bulk can be cost-effective for non-perishable items, but perishable goods might not be as economical if they're not used before spoiling. Additionally, it's important to compare prices with local grocery stores to ensure real savings​​.

Special Rates Or Discounts For Seniors At Warehouse Clubs: Most warehouse clubs do not have specific senior discounts for memberships. However, they often offer introductory discounts for new members, and many have discounts for veterans and military personnel. Some also offer special shopping hours for seniors, especially helpful during peak times​​.

Top Warehouse Club Memberships For Seniors:

  • Sam's Club: Offers the lowest membership fee among major warehouse clubs. They sometimes provide trial memberships and reduced fees for new members.

  • Costco: Known for its high customer satisfaction, Costco offers an Executive Membership with a rewards program, although there is a cap on the rewards. They charge a five percent surcharge for non-members.

  • BJ's Wholesale Club: Accepts manufacturers' coupons, which is unique among the major warehouse clubs. BJ's offers a rewards program through their Mastercard and sends out monthly coupon booklets to members. They charge a 15 percent surcharge for non-members​.

Additional Tips For Saving Money At Sam's Club

While Sam's Club does not offer a specific senior discount, there are numerous ways for all members, including seniors, to save money while shopping at Sam's Club:

  • Choose The Right Membership: The basic Club membership starts at $45 a year, offering significant savings over the Plus membership, which costs $100 a year. While the Plus membership has additional benefits like early shopping and free shipping, the basic Club membership is often sufficient for many shoppers​​.

  • Understand Price Codes: Sam’s Club uses specific price codes. Items ending in .01, like .81, are discounted, while full-priced items end in .99. The labels 'A', 'N', and 'C' also provide insights into the likelihood of price changes on products. This knowledge can help in making informed purchasing decisions​​.

  • No Promo Codes Or Coupons Needed: Unlike many retailers, Sam’s Club does not use promo codes or coupons. All discounts and savings are automatically applied to your account, simplifying the process of saving money​​.

  • Instant Savings: Members receive instant discounts on a wide range of products, with these deals directly applied to their accounts without needing coupons or discount codes​​.

  • Sign Up For Email Alerts: By signing up for Sam’s Club's email newsletter, members can receive notifications about "Shocking Value" deals, which offer savings between $5 and $100 on various products​​.

  • Use The Sam’s Club App: The Sam’s Club app features a 'Scan & Go' option, allowing shoppers to scan and pay for items with their phone, skipping long checkout lines. This can save both time and potentially money, as it allows for more efficient shopping trips​​.

  • Save On Alcohol Purchases: Sam’s Club offers significant discounts on liquor, wine, and beer, often 15-25% lower than typical retail prices. Notably, these discounts are available to both members and non-members due to liquor licensing laws​​.

  • Shop On Wednesday Mornings: For the best deals on discounted items, shopping on Wednesday mornings is recommended. This is when markdowns typically occur, following audits and inventory adjustments on Tuesday evenings​​.

  • Online Shopping Without Membership: For those who prefer online shopping, Sam's Club allows non-members to make purchases on their website. However, a 10% surcharge is applied to these purchases, and certain member benefits are not available​​.

Frequently Asked Questions

We've answered some of the most common questions about Sam's Club senior discount membership to help you gain a more clear understanding of this.

Does Sam's Club offer a dedicated senior discount?

As of 2023, Sam's Club does not offer a specific senior discount for its memberships.

What are the benefits of a Sam's Club membership for seniors?

Seniors can benefit from bulk purchasing savings, early shopping hours for Plus members, and technology-driven shopping experiences like the Scan & Go feature.

Are there alternative warehouse clubs that offer senior discounts?

Costco and BJ's Wholesale Club are alternatives that offer different benefits and savings opportunities, although they do not have specific senior discounts.

How can seniors save money at Sam's Club without a senior discount?

Seniors can save by choosing the right membership type, understanding price codes, using the Sam’s Club app, and taking advantage of instant savings and online shopping options.

Is it worth joining a warehouse club like Sam's Club for seniors?

Yes, especially for seniors who are comfortable with technology and can benefit from bulk purchases, as well as those who enjoy the convenience and savings offered by warehouse clubs.

Can non-members shop at Sam's Club online?

Non-members can shop online at Sam's Club, but they will miss out on certain member benefits and will need to pay a 10% surcharge on purchases.

Senior Shopping Beyond The Sam's Club

While Sam's Club doesn't provide a specific senior discount, its diverse membership options, technological innovations, and cost-saving strategies offer substantial value for senior shoppers. Understanding the nuances of Sam’s Club's pricing, embracing technology for convenience, and exploring alternatives like Costco and BJ's Wholesale Club can significantly enhance the shopping experience for seniors. Armed with this knowledge, seniors can confidently navigate the world of warehouse shopping, making informed decisions that optimize their savings and shopping experience.

Our detailed guide explains Rabers Discount grocery shopping in 2023. Learn more by visiting Senior Strong and exploring our comprehensive resources on modern digital tech.

William Rivers is an editor with a master’s degree in Human Services Counseling at Maine State University. He has more than 20 years of experience working in the senior healthcare industry.
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