It's no surprise that after Costco raised its membership prices $5 to $10 a year on June 1 that competitor Sam's Club decided to offer a Groupon deal.
Sam's Clubs memberships are normally $45 for a Sam's Savings card, $15 less than Costco's Goldstar membership. But anyone who is not a current member of Sam's can pay $30 with the Groupon deal. Sam's also throws in a $5 e-gift card and a rotisserie chicken ($5 value). Groupon also offers a $45 Sam's Savings package that includes the $5 e-gift card, chicken and $105 in instant savings coupons loaded on your membership card.
The offer cannot be used toward renewals or to former members who dropped Sam's within the last 6 months. The fine print also states that anyone who accepts this offer will be auto renewed. That may sound onerous, but you can cancel for a full refund at any time.
This Groupon deal isn't as generous as a LIving Social deal that Sam's did a year ago when Costco stumbled badly with its Citi Visa launch. That $25 deal included a 1-year membership, a $10 e-gift card and $100 in coupons.
Sam's Club needs more members. From 2013-2015, Costco generated almost twice the revenue as Sam's with only about 10% more square footage, according to Seeking Alpha.
Sam's bright spot has been in e-commerce where it's added "Club pick-up" service, according to Fortune. FYI, bot clubs allow most items on their sites to be purchased by nonmembers for a small surcharge. I had previously reported that Sam's does not allow nonmembers to shop online. They do allow it with a 10% surcharge.