5 Reasons Costco Is Better Than Sam's Club
Shoppers have a clear favorite when it comes to big box stores.
Choosing the big box store that's right for you can feel entirely overwhelming. The sprawling aisles and super-low prices make it hard to discern the difference between Costco and Sam's Club, but there's a reason Costco consistently comes out on top with loyal shoppers. The warehouse retailer offers beloved items at discount prices, has a food court that's earned a loyal social media following, and treats its employees with respect. Read on to find out why Costco is better than Sam's Club, from its Kirkland brand to credit card deals.
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The Kirkland brand has the best deals.
Costco's in-house Kirkland brand offers everything from vodka to clothing. Kirkland items are similar to name-brand products but are available for much lower prices. One reporter cited creme brûlée pots, giant cookie dough tubs, movie theater-style buttered popcorn, and smoked salmon as some in-house favorites. Redditor AlmostTheNewestDad raved, "Costco is great for many reasons. They still have very good warehouse prices and they have very, very strict vendor and partner requirements. Anything Kirkland brand is going to be a very solid product or it won't last on their shelves." Most Costco shoppers know they can buy reasonably priced snacks and liquor that would be much more expensive elsewhere. While Sam's Club has its own brand, Member's Mark, it's not as popular or successful.
Costco has a better member credit card.
The Costco Anywhere Visa offers two percent cash back on all in-store or online purchases, which is double the one percent that Sam's Club members get in an equivalent membership tier. Shoppers can earn Costco cash rewards anywhere Visa is accepted, and there are no annual fees. It's also your ticket to inexpensive gas. As Reddit user Graztine advises, "Something else to keep in mind is Costco tends to have the cheapest gas around but you have to use a Visa there. It may not be as high a percent back but you can make that up with cheaper gas." Gas purchases normally earn one percent cash back, but cardholders currently receive four percent cash back on eligible gas for the first year up to $7,000.
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Costco has more locations.
Costco currently has 829 warehouses worldwide, with 573 in the U.S., while Sam's Club has about 600 locations in the U.S. Plus, Costco is opening almost 30 new stores this year alone, so it makes sense to invest in a membership if a location is in or headed to your area.
Costco employees are happier.
If you want to support a company's culture, Costco employees are happier than those at Sam's Club, according to reviews on Indeed. Costco employees give high scores to the work/life balance, culture, and salaries. In fact, in 2021, Costco raised its minimum wage to $16 an hour. At the time, CEO W. Craig Jelinek said it "makes sense for our business and constitutes a significant competitive advantage for us." Vendors are also more impressed with working inside Costco. Reddit user electriccars explained that they've worked at both locales as a vendor and likes Costco more because they "prefer the in store atmosphere" and "like that the employee pay is better."
The Costco food court is superior.
The Costco food court is famous for its inexpensive hot dogs and pizzas that shoppers have enjoyed for years. Recently, the enormous $1.49 churros have gone viral on TikTok, with some shoppers visiting the store just to try the tasty dessert. While Sam's Club also has a food court, Costco fans say it can't compare. Reddit commenter ChaserNeverRests wrote, "I had heard a lot of people say Sam's was much better than Costco's, so I was really looking forward to trying it. It has so much more variety! …if only everything hadn't been unavailable."