Membership fees set to rise at Sam's Club

File-This Feb. 23, 2018, file photo shows the company logo of Sam's Club on the facade of a store in Concord, N.H.. Walmart’s Sam’s Club is teaming up with several health care companies to offer discounts on everyday care its customers might delay or skip because of the cost. Starting early October, Sam’s Club members in Michigan, Pennsylvania and North Carolina, will be able to buy one of four bundles of health care services ranging in annual fees from $50 for individuals to $240 for a family of up to six members. The pilot program could potentially be rolled out to members in all the states, says Lori Flees, senior vice president of Sam’s Club Health and Wellness. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)

Sam's Club, Walmart Inc.'s members-only warehouse division, is raising its annual membership fees.

Starting Oct. 17, annual membership fees will go from $45 to $50. A "plus" membership, which includes perks such as pharmacy discounts and free shipping on most online items, will go up by $10 to $110 a year.

In a letter to members, Sam's Club Chief Executive Kath McLay said this is the first time the price of a plus membership has changed since it was introduced in 1999. It has also been nine years since the club membership fee has changed, she said.

To ease any financial pain from the increase, McLay said, "this year's renewal is on us." Sam's Club will give $5 in Sam's Cash -- a new rewards program -- to members and $10 in Sam's Cash to plus members shortly after they renew.

While Sam's Club doesn't reveal how many members it has, company executives said in last month's August earnings call that membership is at a record high.