Wholesale Club Membership Fees

Wholesale Clubs like Costco, BJ’s, and Sam’s can save you money on groceries and other items. However, there is an annual fee for all of them. That means you only save money after you have saved more than the amount of the membership. If you do a lot of shopping at these stores, you can save more by going with a higher level membership that costs more but offers rewards. Here is a summary of what each of these stores offers.

BJ’s
Regular membership = $45
Rewards Membership = $80 with 2% back on most purchases up to $500 per year. Reward checks, payable to BJ’s, are mailed twice a year.

  • If you spend $1750 per year ($146 per month) you get back $35 and it costs $45 which is the regular membership price. Therefore, if you spend over $1750 per year, you save money on your membership fee.
  • If you spend $4000 per year ($333 per month) you get back $80 covering the whole membership cost. Anything over that amount and you are making money.

Costco
Regular membership = $50
Executive Membership = $100 with 2% back on most purchases up to $500 per year. Reward certificate is mailed annually.

  • If you spend $2,500 per year ($208 per month) you get back $50 and spend as much as a regular membership. If you spend over $2,500 per year, you save money on the membership.
  • If you spend $5,000 per year ($417 per month) you get back $100 in rewards money and the membership costs you nothing. Anything over that amount and you are making money.

Sam’s
Regular membership = $40 with up to 1% back with Sam’s Club Discover
Advantage Plus Membership = $100 with up to 2% back with Sam’s Club Discover

In this case the regular membership is the best deal. Here’s why

  • Regular membership – spend $3,000 – $1,000,000 and get 1% back. You break even when you spend $4,000 and make money when you spend more than that.
  • Advantage Plus Membership – spend $3,000-$5,000 and get 1% back; $5,000 – 10,000 get 1.75% back; more than $10,000 get 2% back. You have to spend $5,700 to break even.

Shopping at these stores isn’t always the most frugal way to go. They seem to be most beneficial for people who are feeding a family and buy a lot of food. When gas prices were high, it didn’t make sense to be running to several stores every week to catch special sales. I shopped mainly at BJ’s. They take manufacturer’s coupons and offer store coupons. Since I now use their Visa card, I get an additional 2% back. I would occasionally go to Shoppers Food Warehouse to get items I couldn’t find at BJ’s, and would only stop at other stores if it was on my way. With gas prices lower however, I am buying less at BJ’s and venturing over to a new Aldi’s which is a bit out of the way, but offers better savings.

What stores do you shop at to save money on groceries?

You can see more Frugal Friday tips at Biblical Womanhood.




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Comments

  1. FishMama says:

    Thanks for doing the math. I’d been wondering if we should upgrade. It never seemed like we could make it pay.

  2. Sonshine says:

    Thanks for breaking down the numbers. :) I love shopping at Sam’s. :)

    Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Jennifer says:

    Thanks for breaking it down. We are members of Sams, but have been contemplating switching to BJs This helps.

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