Is Costco or Sam's Club Best for Your Wallet?
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Costco vs. Sam's Club: Which Warehouse Club Is Best for Your Wallet?

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With more than 600 locations each, Costco and Sam's Club are the most popular warehouse clubs in the country.

We checked how they stack up in several categories -- from who has the better return policy to store credit card. Here's what we found.

SEE ALSO: Guide to Scoring the Best Deals in 2017

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Is Costco or Sam's Club Best for Your Wallet? | Slide 2 of 6

Better Prices

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Our pick: Sam's Club

A recent Consumer Reports review found that both stores offered comparable prices. But Costco's annual membership is $55 -- $10 more than Sam's Club's fee. And Sam's frequently discounts its fee or throws in freebies for new members.

SEE ALSO: 6 Ways to Save Even More at Discount Retailer Big Lots

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Is Costco or Sam's Club Best for Your Wallet? | Slide 3 of 6

Better Products

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Our pick: Costco

Costco's Kirkland brand has earned more kudos for quality than Sam's Club's products. Kirkland olive oil was one of only a few imported oils that met international and U.S. standards for extra virgin olive oil in a chemical and sensory study by the University of California, Davis. And Kirkland Signature Tequila AƱejo received an "exceptional" score from the Beverage Tasting Institute's Tastings.com. Consumer Reports has named Kirkland's Colombian Supremo whole bean coffee, Greek yogurt and super premium vanilla ice cream as best buys.

SEE ALSO: Kirkland Products You Should Buy at Costco

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Is Costco or Sam's Club Best for Your Wallet? | Slide 4 of 6

Better Store Credit Card

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Our pick: It's a tie.

For those who spend a lot at their warehouse club, we pick the Costco Visa (0% APR for seven months, then 15.99%; membership fee of $55 includes the card's annual fee). The card will pay you 4% on up to $7,000 in annual gas purchases at Costco and other gas stations, 3% on dining and travel, 2% at Costco and 1% on everything else.

But if you buy a lot of gas, the Sam's Club MasterCard (15.40% or 23.40% APR) gets the nod. It pays an impressive 5% on up to $6,000 in gas purchases each year. You also get 3% back on dining and travel, and 1% on all other purchases.

SEE ALSO: 12 Things You Must Know About Grocery Shopping at Publix

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Is Costco or Sam's Club Best for Your Wallet? | Slide 5 of 6

Better Financial Services

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Our pick: Costco

Both big-box stores offer an array of membership benefits free or at discounted prices, including health insurance, car-buying services and identity protection. But Costco has more: mortgages; auto, home and life insurance; rental cars; and travel packages.

SEE ALSO: Best and Worst Things to Buy at Aldi

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Is Costco or Sam's Club Best for Your Wallet? | Slide 6 of 6

Better Return Policy

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Our pick: Costco

At Costco you can return virtually any item anytime, no questions asked, without a receipt or the original packaging -- unless you're returning a PC or other electronics, in which case you have 90 days. That's similar to Sam's Club, except Sam's highly recommends that you have the original packaging and a receipt.

SEE ALSO: 11 Tricks to Shopping at Whole Foods Without Going Broke

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