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Are Sam’s Club Plus members on the verge of losing free shipping?

Are Sam’s Club Plus members on the verge of losing free shipping?

Sam’s Club is shifting its policy on free shipping for its higher tier members, according to reporting from USA Today.

Sam’s Club’s Plus members currently pay a $110 annual membership fee ‒ $60 more than the basic membership ‒ for premium perks, including free shipping on most online items. However, starting next month, Plus members will have to pay an $8 shipping fee on orders worth under $50.

The retailer did not respond to a request for comment in time for this story.

Sam’s Club’s new delivery, shipping, and curbside pickup policies are set to go into effect Aug. 19. The policy shift will affect both Plus Members and Club Members (who pay a $50 annual fee).

The changes include:

Shipping for Plus members: Free shipping will be available on orders worth $50 or more, with an $8 shipping fee applied to orders that don’t qualify. According to Sam’s Club, “some category exclusions apply whereby variable shipping will be charged.” As of July 10, Plus members still receive free shipping on eligible items with no minimum purchase

Same-day delivery for Plus members: Free same-day delivery will be available for qualifying orders above $50

Curbside pickup for Club members: Club members will get free curbside pickup “on eligible items” with a minimum spend of $50. Currently, pickup orders are free for only Plus Members, with Club Members paying a flat $4 fee applied to curbside pickup orders

Sam’s Club isn’t the only retailer making more drastic changes to shipping benefits — and inflation may be to blame. In 2023, Amazon began testing a $35 minimum on orders for non-Prime customers to qualify for free shipping, up from $25. In January 2023, the online retailer also tested a big change to its grocery subscription policy — charging a tiered fee for grocery orders under $150 (though that policy has since shifted, making grocery shipping for Prime members free on orders over $100).

 

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