How to Shop at Sam’s Club Without a Membership

Sam's Club
Jonathan Weiss /

Buying a Sam’s Club membership can save you money in the long run. But you can save a lot more by not buying a warehouse club membership at all.

You don’t need a Sam’s Club membership to shop at Sam’s Club — just as you don’t need a Costco membership to shop there.

We’ve rounded up several ways you can shop at Sam’s Club without a membership.

1. Use the pharmacy

Anyone can buy prescription medications from Sam’s Club pharmacies, according to the retailer’s website. Prescription drugs are also exempt from the nonmember fee.

Not all Sam’s Club locations have pharmacies. To find out whether a location has a pharmacy, search for a club. Once you select a location, you will see the word “Pharmacy” in the “Services at your club” section if that location has a pharmacy.

2. See the optometrist

In need of an eye exam? You do not have to be a member to see an optometrist at a Sam’s Club optical center, according to the retailer’s website.

Nonmembers cannot purchase optical items, however. So, it might be wise to first check out “Lookin’ Good! How to Get a Killer Deal on Eyeglasses.”

On the Sam’s Club’s website, locations with an optical center will have the words “Optical Center” in the “Services at your club” section.

3. Buy alcohol

You do not need a membership to buy wine, beer or spirits at Sam’s Club.

On the retailer’s website, locations that sell alcohol will have the word “Liquor” in the “Services at your club” section.

4. Eat at the cafe

You don’t need an active membership to purchase from a Sam’s Club cafe, either.

On the retailer’s website, locations with cafes will have the word “Cafe” in the “Services at your club” section.

5. Use a household card

If you live with a Sam’s Club member, you might be able to get a free membership card in the form of what Sam’s Club calls a “household card” or “complimentary card.”

Sam’s Club memberships come with one free household membership card. The latter card can be used by another member of your household who is at least 18.

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