Which is Better Costco or Sam’s Club?

There’s a age-old debate: which is better, Costco or Sam’s Club? Both have their pros and cons, but which one is really the best? Let’s take a closer look and see which one comes out on top.

Costco or Sam’s Club – Which One is the Best

There are many different membership clubs available to consumers these days. Two of the most popular are Sam’s Club and Costco. So, which one is better?

Costco and Sam’s Club are both membership clubs that offer discounts on a variety of items, including groceries, electronics, and more. They also offer other benefits, like gas discounts and travel deals. Both clubs have a similar business model, but there are some key differences between them.

Which is Better Costco or Sam’s Club

Here’s a look at some of the key differences between Costco and Sam’s Club:

  • Pricing: Costco’s prices are generally lower than Sam’s Club prices. This is especially true for items like groceries and gas.
  • Selection: Costco has a wider selection of products than Sam’s Club. This includes both branded and generic items.
  • Membership: Costco requires a paid membership for access to its store, while Sam’s Club offers both paid and non-paid memberships. Non-paid memberships come with some restrictions, like not being able to use credit cards at the store.
  • Locations: Costco has stores in more locations than Sam’s Club. This includes international locations.

The bottom line is that both Costco and Sam’s Club have their pros and cons. It really depends on your individual needs as to which one is the better choice for you.

History of both Costco and Sam’s Club

Costco and Sam’s Club are two of the largest membership-only warehouse clubs in the United States, and both have a long history.

Costco was founded in 1976 by James Sinegal and Jeffrey Brotman. Sinegal had worked for Sol Price at FedMart and Brotman was a lawyer. They opened their first warehouse in Seattle, Washington. In 1983, they changed their name to Costco Wholesale Corporation and began expanding into other states. Today, Costco has warehouses all over the world, including in Australia, Canada, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, Taiwan, and the United Kingdom.

Sam’s Club was founded in 1983 by Sam Walton. Walton also owned Walmart, which he had started in 1962. Sam’s Club is a division of Walmart Stores Inc. Today, there are over 600 Sam’s Club locations in the United States.

Services of Costco and Sam’s Club

When it comes to membership clubs, many consumers are loyal to either Costco or Sam’s Club. But which one is better? It depends on what you’re looking for.

Costco is known for offering a wide variety of merchandise, including food court, clothes, home goods, and electronics. Sam’s Club, on the other hand, focuses more on general merchandise and groceries.

In terms of pricing, both Costco and Sam’s Club are generally cheaper than retail prices. However, Costco tends to be slightly more expensive than Sam’s Club.

In terms of customer service, both companies are known for providing excellent service. However, Costco’s customer service is often lauded as being slightly better than Sam’s Club.

So which one is better? It really depends on your needs and preferences. If you’re looking for a wide variety of merchandise at a slightly higher price, then Costco might be the better option for you. If you’re looking for cheaper prices on general merchandise and groceries, then Sam’s Club might be the better choice.

Locations Spread across

Costco is known for its large membership warehouses that sell everything from food to furniture. Sam’s Club is Walmart’s membership club, selling groceries and other merchandise in bulk.

While both club stores offer similar products and services, they have different strengths. Here’s a breakdown of how Costco and Sam’s Club compare on key factors like prices, selection, and member benefits.

Costco vs. Sam’s Club: Prices

Costco is typically cheaper than Sam’s Club on bulk groceries, including meat, produce, and dairy. However, Sam’s Club sometimes offers better deals than Costco on specific items, like alcohol and snacks.

Costco vs. Sam’s Club: Selection

Both clubs offer a wide variety of products, including food, electronics, home goods, and apparel. However, Costco generally has a better selection of higher-end products, while Sam’s Club typically carries more budget-friendly options.

Costco vs. Sam’s Club: Member Benefits

Both clubs offer member-only prices on gas and other merchandise as well as exclusive coupons and savings opportunities. However, Costco provides more comprehensive benefits for members, including travel discounts and extended warranties on certain purchases.

Membership (Costco – Sam’s Club)

To shop at Costco or Sam’s Club, you must purchase a membership. Both stores offer different membership options to fit your needs. Below is a comparison of the two store’s membership options.


  • Basic membership: $60/year.
  • Executive membership: $120/year 2% cash back on eligible purchases.

Sam’s Club

  • Membership: $45/year or $100 for a 3 year subscription.
  • Plus Membership: $100/year 10% cash back on eligible purchases.

Costco / Sam’s Club Price Range

Costco and Sam’s Club are both membership-only warehouse clubs. They offer similar products and services at discounted prices. Prices at both stores are generally lower than at traditional retailers. However, there are some differences in pricing between the two stores.

Costco typically has lower prices on electronics, while Sam’s Club typically has lower prices on office supplies. Both stores offer discounts on holidays, but Sam’s Club typically offers deeper discounts. Overall, Costco may be a better choice if you are looking for lower prices on electronics, while Sam’s Club may be a better choice if you are looking for lower prices on office supplies.

Costco Vs Sam’s Club Quality of Materials

Costco Food product quality is generally considered to be better than Sam’s Club’s. In a Blindfolded taste test of eight common grocery items, a panel of three testers unanimously chose Costco’s Kirkland Signature products over Sam’ Club’s Member’s Mark equivalents every single time.

Additionally, a Consumer Reports survey of more than 50,000 readers found that 84% of respondents who shopped at Costco felt that they were getting good or excellent value for their money, compared to just 73% of Sam’s Club shoppers.


In conclusion, both Sam’s Club and Costco offer a great selection of merchandise at very competitive prices. Which store you prefer is really a matter of personal preference. Do you value convenience or price? Whichever store you choose, you’ll be sure to find everything you need and more.