Sam’s Club does not currently accept any version of the American Express credit cards. “Currently” is used because at one time American Express was accepted, back in 2006 or so. The reason for it does not seemed to be disclosed but taking a note from the reason why Sam’s Club does not accept any version of a Visa credit card, the apparent reason is higher than desired transaction fees charged by American Express to the vending store. Sam’s Club accepts the Discover Cards, and recently began to accept the MasterCard. The club accepts debit cards that are pin-based, which unfortunately leaves out the MasterCard debit card because it is also signature-based and Sam’s Club wants no part of that. American Express is apparently accepted for payment on the “samsclub.com” online store, which is odd except it is conceived to be a different entity than the brick and mortar club stores. Sam’s Club accepts checks (!), Walmart and Sam’s Club gift cards. They also recently began to accept local or state EBT cards or benefits. Sam’s Club itself has a Sam’s Club Discover card and an Advantage type of card for Businesses. As an aside, the Sam’s Club Discover card servers as the holder’s Sam’s Club member identification card.
Some people say that Sam’s Club gas stations do accept the variety of Visa cards, along with all of the others listed above, but still does not accept the American Express cards. The official statement on the Sam’s Club site says that both Visa and Amex cards are NOT accepted at Sam’s Club stores or Sam’s Club gas stations. Certainly is difficult to understand why there seems to be this discrepancy. It certainly also means that one must ask about acceptable payment options before buying then trying to pay with an unacceptable Visa and Amex card. It would be rather embarrassing.
In many areas of the country a Sam’s Club store is very often very close to, if not right next to, a Wal-mart store. But this is not the case in all instances for all Sam’s Clubs. The point about this is made because a few very astute, clever people had a very nice suggestion to get around the Visa and Amex card lockouts with Sam’s Clubs. What these people would do is go to the local Wal-mart and buy one or more Wal-mart or Sam’s Club gift cards using their Visa or Amex cards which are accepted at all Wal-marts. These people then mosey on down to the local Sam’s Club and purchase whatever they wanted and pay for it with the gift cards. That was very clever, indeed. It does take additional time to make it happen, but the consumer gets whatever points he or she wants on the Visa or Amex card and then gets the value of buying at the Sam’s Club store. This play also worked very nicely at the local Sam’s Club gas stations.