Sam’s Club Merchant Services Review

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Atlanta, GA



Similar to Costco’s credit card processing, Sam’s Club also offers merchant account services to its members. And much like Costco, Sam’s Club resells the services of another credit card processor, which in this case is First Data.

I’m not going to write a traditional review for Sam’s Club’s credit card processing, because I’ve already written one for First Data. And since a merchant account with Sam’s Club means that you’ll be signing up with First Data, then everything that applies to the First Data review, pretty much applies to Sam’s Club.

Now that we’ve established that Sam’s Club is just a reseller of First Data’s services, what would be the benefit of going through Sam’s Club? Well, on the surface it seems that Sam’s Club members get “discounted rates” on their merchant accounts. But the truth is, that a merchant account through Sam’s Club isn’t as cost-effective as you might think.

There have been quite a few articles that have been written (here, here and here) which show that buying credit card processing services through membership warehouses like Costco and Sam’s Club aren’t exactly the “discounted” solutions that they claim to be. If you read those articles, you’ll learn that although Sam’s Club does a wonderful job of offering low prices on everyday goods, they aren’t doing the same when it comes to merchant accounts.

With that said, I think you’ll have a much better shot at saving money if you just negotiate yourself a good interchange-plus rate with a processor that doesn’t charge an early termination fee, like Flagship Merchant Services or CDGcommerce.

In conclusion, I gave Sam’s Club a lower score than First Data because I don’t think that Sam’s Club should be in the business of reselling credit card processing services. By doing so, they’re just adding a layer between the merchant (You) and the processor (First Data), and that layer isn’t really offering anything special, except for a little confusion.

Although offering merchant services is a great way for Sam’s Club to make some extra money, there’s isn’t much of a benefit in it for you. If you already know what rate structure to ask for (interchange-plus), and what rates are fair, then you might as well go directly to First Data, OR go with another provider who’s main business is credit card processing. Anybody that understands merchant account pricing, and is willing to negotiate will have a better chance of getting a superior deal than what Sam’s Club is offering through First Data.

Stick with the wholesale goods Sam’s Club. That’s what we love you for. :)

Tom DeSimone
Tom loves asking tough questions and getting straight answers, so he has a lot of fun calling payment processors for Merchant Maverick to cut through their smoke and mirrors and find the real deals. He has run a full-time editorial business from his home in New York’s Hudson Valley since 2010 and could not imagine a better job. When not busy writing and keeping credit processors honest, Tom enjoys backpacking in the mountains.
Tom DeSimone
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    My sister is considering using Chase Paytech merchant services for her upcoming independent retail pharmacy since she banks with Chase. Chase site is offering for Retail discount rates + Auth. fees at 1.99% + $ 0.25 qualified; 2.68% + $0.25 mid and 3.75% + $0.25 non. qual; monthly fee of 9.95; set up fee $100 and monthly min of $25. How does this compare with Helcim which you rate so highly”

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    Tom DeSimone

    Hi Larry,

    While I actually like Chase Paymentech in many instances, that quote is way too high. I’d much prefer to see a quote with no setup fee and no monthly minimum. You should also be sure that there is no PCI compliance fee, as this is a common fee and can add about $100 annually. Also watch out for early termination fees and non-cancelable equipment leases.

    Helcim has no monthly minimums, no set up fees, no early termination fees, no PCI compliance fees, and no predatory leases. Overall, your sister can expect to pay about 2% or less (depending on her monthly volume and average transaction size), with no mid- or non-qualified surcharges.

    Hope this helps. Good luck.

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    Velvet Schweitzer

    Is there a company you would suggest using for credit card processing. I am opening a ladies boutique and after months of researching, I am more confused about who to use and I don’t know who or what to trust. Any advice would be welcomed.

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    Tom DeSimone

    Hi Velvet,

    Try our merchant account finder! All of our highest rated processors have been extensively researched and vetted so that we can vouch for their trustworthiness.

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    Tota Lee Hadenuf

    Fraud with a big happy we gonna get a lot of money out of you smile. Signed what i was told was a 2 year contract. It was a four year contract. Was told i would get a free Sams Club Membership, I did not. Immediately after signing the contract there were 2 rate hikes. Service was hell, no mail or email correspondence available. 2-6 hours typical phone time attempting to resolve an issue which may never be resolved to your satisfaction. They will overcharge you and will not compensate you for bank fees their actions incurred. How much? They withdrew over $1200 from my bank for not returning a terminal which WAS returned. They are masters of deception and here’s clear proof – upon cancelling the service they stated there would be no further charges. 3 months later they began withdrawing $66.95 per month from my bank account. I mistakenly ignored it specifically because the description of the withdrawal was “Deposit”. 20 hours so far on the phone and all i was able to accomplish is reducing the monthly withdrawal from $66.95 down to $12.00. They would rather drive you insane than give you a refund! DO NOT DEAL WITH THEM!

    Rob M

    I acquired a practice from a doctor whose CPA spouse was the manager. I assumed she made a good choice in merchant services. After several years of use and ignorance, Sams’ stopped offering a Sam’s membership fee waiver. This waiver made me look elsewhere, and thank goodness because I am now saving thousands per year by switching services. I was getting robbed and didn’t know it. There are many significantly less costly options out there. Avoid this one.

    Larry Bierman

    Sam’s Club switched credit cards on me without giving me any choice, and without providing proper equipment or training at the store to handle the new technology in the card. The first time I used the card at Sam’s it took an extra thirty minutes just to check out because after waiting in line I was told the machine at the line could not handle the new card and that I would have to check out at customer service. I used the card a couple of other times, but it was always slow to “communicate” and really seems to have not advantage over my Discover or Visa cards (without the chip). The way the new card was rolled out was a really bad and some executive at Synchrony Bank and/or Sam’s should get their ass chewed good. I switched to the plan membership card and am closing the Sams Mastercard account.

    James O'Neal

    Flat out FRAUD! Sam’s Club offers a “One Rate” plan to sucker you in and they get you used to paying the flat rate monthly fee. Just when you think all is well, they move you into an interchange plus fee schedule without telling you which will increase your costs dramatically. They increased my rates by 6X without even a phone call to notify me of any changes. I had no idea until I received my monthly statement with a ridiculously inflated fee schedule compared to previous months. When I called the agent in charge of my account to get things straightened out, she informs me that they were losing money with the plan that I was on and that they had to put me on a more expensive plan to make up what they had lost. When I asked for an explanation about how she could unilaterally change my plan with out notifying me, she said she’d email me the new plan and then hung up on me. I will never use Sam’s Club again, and will do everything in my power to inform anyone who might be thinking about using them about their bait & switch tactics. Save yourself a headache and take a pass on Sam’s Club processing…

    Dana Sweeny

    This was the WORST company to work with. I have been in business 20 years. I switched companies to save money. I only had their service for 2 months it was so bad. They repeatedly delayed funds quoting”security issues”. It was a nightmare! I have had a merchant account for 20 years and have never before had delays like this. When I went to close my account they charged me $90 as I was under a 3 year contract. I don’t feel they fulfilled their contract by repeatedly delaying funds.
    beware of using this company! It will not save you money it will cost you money by delaying your funds!

    Donnie RIcketts


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    Pauline Faulk

    Your operators are the most unreliable source of information,
    For one week could not get to talk to a live person.
    Cancel my account
    Thank you,

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    Pauline Faulk

    Your service is THE WORST.

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    pauline connor

    i have just signed up with company and very very disappointed….very poor customer service. I have many business card users and cannot get them to work through the service. I have called many times to get resolved and cannot. I will lose many customers. The last customer service person i talked to was very rude and when i asked to talk to management to cancel she hung up on me. I will keep trying until they handle this situation but i recommend not to sign up with company.

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    Judy S

    Thank you for your invaluable reviews and comments! You have spared me many days of frustration I am certain! My processing will definitely be contracted with a more reputable company than Sams/Walmart.

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    Barbara Veres

    I am shocked to see all of the good reviews. Something is not quite right with that.
    Be aware of this credit card processing agreement for the following reasons:
    1. In my case, what I agreed to verbally, did not translate to the written contracts that come after you verbally sign up —which is how the process works.
    2. In the event the credit machine processor breaks—you are out of luck. You are expected to send an exhorbitant amount of money to send it back for shipping, and you have nothing to use while they take their time fixing it.
    3. After realizing you didn’t get what you paid for and cancel, they charge you $90 for an early termination fee. Even though their own agreement says no charge if you cancel within 90 days. In my case it has been months and I’m still fighting to get it back. The company loses the paperwork which supposedly says “I was approved to get the termination fee back since I cancelled it within 90 days.”
    4. The lease buy back fees in the amount of $59 was supposed to be refunded since the credit card processor broke and I wasn’t able to use it. Still fighting for that and 3 months later and I’m told, “we made a mistake and we need to resubmit.”
    4. Poor customer service—they are good about taking your money, but not good about refunding costs they charge against your account that they take by mistake. They are nice before they get your business, but head to the hills after they get it and you need help fixing their billing errors.
    5. To protect yourself, you might think I should close my checking account so they can’t keep taking money from it. They trick you into keeping it open so you can get your fees refunded but instead they take more money. In my case the early termination fee of $90 which is in violation of their contract since I cancelled within 90 days.
    6. Words of advice–beware. I don’t want what happened to me to happen to you. They will not ware me down, I will keep after them until I get my money back.

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    Qwanda J

    I am a victim also of this and like u said u cant get answers or ur locked into something u didnt agree on… this is someone credit and livlihood ur dealing with.. the bad part is they never told me i was being finance through another company and that i was locked in a contract with another company also… all he told me is when i needed to close my account all i had to do is pay $90 to opt out and i tried and they dont no what im talking about then they tells me i signed a contract and thats not true but they tells me they have a signature… so who signed my name a federal offense… wow this is the worst company ever and im surprised Sams Club is help advertising this SCAM SCAM SCAM

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    rita khouri

    most terrible people to deal with. It shows if you try to call and you wait an hour.

    Dr. Francesca Marino

    I have First Data terminal in my practice, acquired through Sams Club and its been a huge disappointment. Conveniently, the account executive from Sams Club Merchant Services who opened set up our account does not return phone calls or emails. I have even gone as far as to have many conversations with several analysts at First Data in an effort to resolve technical issues – No Such Luck.

    Short of emailing the CEO of Sams, [edited: name removed], I would really like to contact a more senior level person at Sams Club Merchant Services/First Data in Marietta, GA. Does anyone know of any senior level management in this division?

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    Jack Cooper

    I had a Sams Club Credit Membership thru GE. I found it to be cumberson to process and not as useful as my regular credit card. I was doing on billing and when I cancelled the card & destroyed it could not get statements online because I didn’t have the ccv #. I call repeatedly and was promised a hard copy statement. I finally received one after 6 weeks. I paid what I had incurred and refused late fee’s. The rewards accrued were double the late fee’s but were never mentioned. If this cannot be resolved I will cancel Sams completely. Jack Cooper [edited: email address removed]


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