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Subject:  Re: Considering Sam's Club MasterCard Date:  7/14/2014  3:49 PM
Author:  Patzer Number:  308371 of 312956

I've been getting similar offers from other entities other than Sam's Club. AAA had a similar offer. I wouldn't want to be limited to gas bought only at Sam's Club.

That was one of the first things I looked at. It's not just gas at Sam's Club, it's gas at Sam's Club or anywhere in the United States or Puerto Rico, excluding warehouse clubs other than Sam's Club.

. . . the first thing I would look at is the 5% on the first $6000 in purchases per calendar year. I would make sure that it is the first %6000 in gasoline purchases, not all purchases. I would be concerned that you could go out and buy $6000 in furniture and then the next time you fill up with gas, you'll find you are no longer getting 5% back on gasoline.

I'm pretty sure that it's just gas, but I'll be read it again before pulling the trigger, if I do pull the trigger. Finding a hook like that would make this a no-go, on the assumption that I might have missed worse hooks.

A back of the envelope analysis of my spending patterns says this is worth between $30 and $50 per year to me, over the cash back I get with my current cards. AJ's cautionary tale is one strike against it. I have to think about the in-club redemption and whether the hassle (plus possible customer service incompetence on the part of Synchrony Bank) is worth the added rewards.

It also sticks in the back of my mind that the major point of the offer is to make the Sam's membership stickier. That's good for me as a Walmart shareholder, but not necessarily good for me as a consumer.

There is a Costco being built locally. It's being built in about the most inconvenient location possible without being an hour drive away, but I'd like to check it out. Lots of Fools say Costco is superior to Sam's, but until this one is built I'm not able to check on that for myself. If it turns out that Costco is enough superior to Sam's to overcome the location inconvenience, it would not be a good thing to be tied to Sam's by the rewards card.

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