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For the cost of an annual membership fee, wholesale clubs offer deals on groceries, gas, and more. These stores stock a much greater variety of goods than your average neighborhood supermarket or specialty retailer, and you can even order big-ticket items online.
Many wholesale clubs offer their own credit cards with rewards for purchases made at their stores, and other cards are designed to give wholesale club members even greater savings at their club of choice.
Here are three credit cards for savvy wholesale club shoppers.
1. Bank of America Cash Rewards
Rewards: 3% cash back on gas and 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs for up to $2,500 in combined quarterly purchases; 1% cash back on other purchases.
Sign-Up Bonus:Online $150 bonus cash if you spend $500 in the first 90 days of your account opening.
APR:0% APR for 12 months on purchases and on balance transfers made within 60 days of account opening, then variable 13.99% to 23.99% APR.
Why We Picked It: This card’s cash back rate isn’t limited to a specific wholesale club.
For Wholesale Clubs: You’ll earn 2% cash back on all wholesale club purchases, no matter your club of choice. So if you switch wholesale clubs, you can bring this card along without losing out on cash back.
Drawbacks: Special cash back rates for gas, groceries, and wholesale club purchases are capped at $2,500 in purchases per quarter. Once you reach that limit, your cash back will drop to 1% for the remainder of the quarter.
2. Sam’s Club Mastercard
Rewards: 5% cash back on up to $6,000 in gas purchases per year (1% cash back after that threshold is met); 3% cash back on dining and travel purchases; and 1% cash back on other purchases.
Sign-Up Bonus:$45 statement credit if you open a card and make a purchase of $45 or more at SamsClub.com on the same day.
Annual Fee:$0 with a paid Sam’s Club membership.
APR:Variable 15.90% or 23.90% APR on purchases, depending on your creditworthiness.
Why We Picked It: Sam’s Club members can earn cash back on a wide variety of purchases.
For Wholesale Clubs: Making a $45 purchase at SamsClub.com on the first day of your card will get you a $45 bonus statement credit (offer ends December 31, 2017). Oddly enough, the card’s best value is on gas, dining, and travel purchases that can be made outside of Sam’s Club. Sam’s Club purchases will earn 1% cash back.
Drawbacks: While the special cash back rates are competitive, you earn only 1% cash back on Sam’s Club purchases. Many basic cash back cards can match or beat that rate.
3. My BJ’s Perks Elite Mastercard
Rewards: 5% cash back on eligible BJ’s and BJs.com purchases; 2% cash back on eligible dining and non-BJ’s gas purchases; and 1% cash back on other purchases.
Annual Fee:$0 with a paid BJ’s membership.
APR:Variable 15.99% or 25.99% APR, depending on your creditworthiness.
Why We Picked It: BJ’s members earn strong cash back in-store and online.
For Wholesale Clubs: Eligible in-store and online BJ’s purchases earn 5% cash back. You’ll also automatically save 10 cents per gallon at BJ’s gas stations.
Drawbacks: If you don’t shop at BJ’s, you should keep looking.
Choosing a Credit Card for Wholesale Club Shopping
You should check the credit card offered at your favorite wholesale club, as it will likely provide great cash back rates on its own products.
But don’t jump on your wholesale club’s card without checking out the competition. General cash back cards may offer equal or greater cash back value. And if you ever cancel your wholesale club membership, a branded wholesale club card won’t be quite as valuable.
Make sure to check the fees and APR associated with any cards you’re considering, as they may eat into the value of your cash back earnings.
What Credit Is Required for a Credit Card for Wholesale Club Shopping?
Cash back cards frequently require good to excellent credit. You should check your credit score before you apply, and submit an application only if you have a decent shot at approval—a hard inquiry into your credit can lower your score a few points. You can check your credit report free at Credit.com.
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