Perks of shopping at BJs (without paying for membership)

Did you know there are a lot of ways to take advantage of warehouse club prices without ponying up for membership? The East Coast chain BJ's has especially sweet perks for non-members! Did you know there are a lot of ways to take advantage of warehouse club prices without ponying up for membership? The East Coast chain BJ's has especially sweet perks for non-members!

1. The prices online are the same for non-members. When you shop at Costco.com, non-members pay a 5% surcharge except on prescription drugs and gift cards. Non-members cannot shop at SamsClub.com.

2. BJ's accepts manufacturer coupons from the Sunday newspaper and they issue their own. Costco only accepts their own coupons and Sam's Club does not accept manufacturer or competitor's coupons.

3. You can get a free 60-day BJ's membership before July 5, 2010. The free membership comes with a secondary free membership for a member of your household. I don't know if any free membership trials for Costco. Sam's Club gives a $15 gift card to any college student who joins.

4. At BJ's you can pay with cash, checks, all major credit cards, and EBT cards. Sam's club does not accept American Express or Visa for in-store purchases. Costco.com accepts all major credit cards. In store, Costco accepts American Express, major debit cards, check, cash, and Costco cash cards.

The major drawback of BJ's is that membership is $45, while Sam's Club is $40 and Costco is $50. Plus, there are locations in just 15 states, including Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Virginia. This means most folks don't have access to BJ's. If you have a Costco but not BJ's near you, no worries. There are many ways to shop at Costco without paying for membership.

Full disclosure: BJ's sponsored a free membership giveaway on my personal blog, BargainBabe.com three months ago.

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