If you like to save a little cash by buying in bulk at your local Sam’s Club, you will be happy to learn that the warehouse now finally accepts MasterCard for payment. As a predominantly low margin retailer that profits from buying and selling on huge sales volume, Sam’s Club doesn’t operate like a typical retailer as it relates to credit cards. The typical retailer that accepts credit cards has to pay a credit card issuer, such as Visa or MasterCard, a percentage of sales, which is typically between 1-2%. So for a low margin business like Sam’s Club, having to pay out 1-2% on credit card transactions has never been feasible. Until now
I don’t have a Sam’s Club membership, but I have gone with a friend of mine on a few occasions. I was pretty frustrated the first time I went there when I realized they did not accept credit cards and wouldn’t even accept a check from me because I wasn’t a member. There I sat, with hundreds of dollars worth of food and other items (I was really stocking up since my trips are so few and far between) and no way to pay for it. And, do you know what the cashier told me?
“You can go to the Wal-Mart across the street and buy a gift card and then use the gift card to pay for your purchases.”
That’s hilarious. Luckily, my friend was kind enough to cover the bill and I just paid her back later. But what a hassle. So, I say it thankfully, Sam’s Club has worked out some sort of arrangement with credit card issuers and banks that will allow them to start accepting MasterCard as payment from consumers.
Most consumers don’t care about the financial ramifications of credit card transactions for the retailers that they do business with. They simply expect to be able to use a credit card for purchases. Buying a gift card across the street at Wal-Mart to pay for your Sam’s Club items doesn’t seem like a viable option for most consumers.
Three cheers for Sam’s Club for finally figuring this one out.