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Sam's Club raises membership rates effective Oct. 17

Sam's Club, owned by Walmart, plans to raise basic membership rates to $50 annually, beginning Oct. 17. The Plus membership rate at Sam's Club will go to $110, according to CEO Kath McLay. Photo courtesy of<a href="https://www.facebook.com/samsclub/photos/a.10150750086537682/10160009813512682"> Sam's Club/Facebook</a>
Sam's Club, owned by Walmart, plans to raise basic membership rates to $50 annually, beginning Oct. 17. The Plus membership rate at Sam's Club will go to $110, according to CEO Kath McLay. Photo courtesy of Sam's Club/Facebook

Aug. 31 (UPI) -- Sam's Club said Wednesday it will raise its membership fees to $50 for a basic membership and $110 for Plus membership starting Oct. 17, up from $45 and $100 respectively.

These are the first membership price hikes in nine years for entry-level memberships to Sam's Club, which is owned by Walmart.

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According to CNBC, CEO Kath McLay said Sam's Club is "mindful of the financial pressure on wallets right now."

McLay said Sam's Club will soften the blow of the membership price hike by reimbursing that increase this year using Sam's Cash rewards that can be used in their stores.

"We're giving back $5 in Sam's Cash to Club members and $10 in Sam's Cash to Plus members shortly after renewal," McLay said in a message to customers.

Sam's Club operates nearly 600 stores across the United States and Puerto Rico.

Sam's Club rival Costco charges $60 a year for its basic membership and $120 for the "Gold" membership plan.

Sales at Sam's Club grew 9.5% in the most recently reported quarter versus 6.5% growth at Walmart stores.

According to Sam's Club Chief Member and Marketing Officer Ciara Anfield, Sam's Club raised membership rates due to investments it has made over the last few years that increased the quality of merchandise while adding new methods to make shopping more convenient.

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