Guest passes allow customers who do not have valid memberships to enter a Sam's Club store. These passes are available at the membership service desk near each store's entrance. Prospective customers may also visit the Sam's Club website to learn about the store and print a pass before visiting.
Unlike most retail stores, Sam's Club requires a membership for entry and to make purchases. The one-day pass is designed to allow customers to walk through a Sam's Club and get acquainted with the variety of merchandise in stock. Prospective members may also make purchases on the day they visit the store with a pass, but in most locations a 10 percent surcharge is added to product prices. The surcharge amount is considerable on a large purchase and offers shoppers a nudge to sign up for a paid membership plan.
Customers who enjoy their preview visit to Sam's Club can purchase a one-year membership. As of August 2014, several types of memberships are offered at prices from $45 to $100 per year. While any membership level is sufficient to gain entry into the store and make purchases, the Plus membership offers cash rewards and early shopping hours that are not available with the cheaper savings membership. A satisfaction guarantee is offered with all memberships, so members who join and subsequently feel they are not enjoying their membership experience can receive a refund.