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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (WDAF) — Shopping at wholesale clubs can help shoppers save big bucks, depending on their needs. Both Sam’s Club and Costco are currently offering ways to save on memberships — here’s how.

Sam’s Club

Sam’s Club has a deal through September 11 that will basically get you a free 1-year membership.

The membership cost is $45 for one year, however, members will get $45 in instant savings when they spend that amount or more on qualifying purchases. The purchases must be made on one transaction within the first 60 days of membership, Sam’s Club says.

The fine print says you must show the offer on your phone when you buy a membership to get the deal.

If $45 is too much right now, Sam’s Club has another offer.

You can buy a 1-year membership for $14.99. The same membership normally costs $55 a year.

If you purchase before August 31, you’ll also receive a $10 Sam’s Club e-gift card. After factoring this in, membership will cost $4.99.


  • If you take this deal, you’ll be enrolled in Sam’s Club auto-renewal and will be charged normal price when it’s time to renew your membership, unless you cancel before then.
  • Existing members are not eligible for the deal.
  • The $10 e-gift card will be emailed instead of being loaded onto membership cards. Contact Sam’s Club, or the membership desk in a store location if you don’t receive it.


Some locations offer other perks, like free health screenings/tests, discounted gas at Sam’s stations, and use of the Sam’s Club vacation program.


Southern Living editors recommend purchasing Sam’s Club’s $5 rotisserie chickens and gas, which can be offered at up to 5 cents per gallon below the average cost.


Costco doesn’t offer free memberships, but there are several ways you can still save.


If you have a friend with a Costco membership, ask them to buy you a Costco Shop Card. It’ll be be mailed to you with a zero balance, but you can add money to it. While you have to be a member to buy a Costco Shop Card, you don’t have to have a membership to use it in stores or online.

You can also use a Costco Shop Card at Costco gas stations.


Non-members can technically shop online at, though some items are priced higher than in stores, and other items are members-only purchases. Non-members will also pay for delivery, depending on purchase amounts.


Keep an eye on Groupon if you’re thinking of taking the Costco plunge. Once or twice a year a Costco deal will be offered.

It’s typically in the realm of $60 for a 1-year-membership that includes a $40 Costco Shop Card and a coupon for $40 off $250. If you use both bonuses, you’ll technically make $20.

Costco last offered the deal in July.


Among a list of other items, Parade recommends Costco’s rotisserie chicken ($4.99) and egg cartons (up to 34% cheaper than other retailers), as top picks from the beloved retailer.

BJ ‘s Wholesale Club

Though the company ended its three-month free trial membership, it now offers a free One Day Pass, but it can only be used on BJ’s “Ship It” service.

Meanwhile, the cost for BJ’s Inner Circle membership is $55 per year and includes a complimentary membership for one person in your household, in addition to three add-on members for $30 each annually. BJ’s Perks Rewards membership is $110 per year and includes 2% cash back on most BJ’s purchases, in addition to exclusive events throughout the year. BJ’s business memberships are also available for $55 and $110 tiers and allow “tax exempt and resale privileges.” Business members can also add on eight memberships at a discounted rate.

The company also offers discounted Inner Circle memberships in some, but not all locations.


CNBC recommends buying baby supplies (similar quantities sold for less than at other membership stores) and fresh meats (up to $1.37 cheaper per pound than other membership stores, per CNBC).