BJ’s Optical Review: 5 Things to Know Before Your First Visit

If you wear glasses, then you know how expensive and inconvenient it can be to replace them. I’ve worn glasses for years and have gone way too long without replacing them in the past because I’ve wanted to avoid the hassle. 
In this article, I’m going to take a look at BJ’s Optical, a convenient option for purchasing glasses and contact lenses.

5 Things to Know Before Visiting BJ’s Optical

Whether you need an eye exam, new glasses or contacts, BJ’s Optical may be a place to consider. You don’t have to have a BJ’s Wholesale Club membership to make a purchase or an appointment, but know that eye exams are only available in some states
You can purchase contacts online, but glasses must be purchased in person. When I checked out my nearest BJ’s Optical, I found a great selection of brands, frames and styles at competitive prices. I also learned that you can save even more by bringing in your own frames to get new lenses.
Before you place an order or book an eye exam, take a look at these five things to know about BJ’s Optical: 

What’s Available at BJ’s Optical?

BJ's Optical offers a selection of prescription and non-prescription eyeglasses, sunglasses and contact lenses. If you don't already have a prescription, some BJ's Optical locations also offer eye exams.

Unfortunately, you can't order prescription glasses online from BJ's Optical. That means you'll have to visit a nearby optical center in person to view the available selection, see the current prices and place your order. However, you can order contact lenses online by visiting this website. There, you'll find popular contact brands including Acuvue, Air Optix, Dailies, Biofinity and more.

When I checked out my nearest BJ's Optical Center, there were dozens of different brands with hundreds of different styles available for men, women and children. The warehouse carries glasses by Berkley Jensen as well as other popular brands and high-end designer styles

In addition to a great selection of frames, BJ's Optical also offers a few different lens materials and types. These include polycarbonate or high-index single-vision lenses and progressives including no-line bifocals.

How Much Does an Eye Exam Cost at BJ’s Optical?

If you need a new prescription for glasses or contacts, you may be able to schedule an appointment at your nearest BJ's Optical. Unfortunately, eye exams aren't available at all BJ's locations

On average, an eye exam at BJ's Optical costs $65-$70 depending on where you live. Compared to other popular optical centers, this is a pretty good price!

Of course, if you're being fitted for contacts or renewing your contacts prescription, you can expect an additional fee. Be sure to call ahead of time to see if your nearest warehouse offers eye exams and to ask for an exact price for an eye exam, as it varies by location.

To find the phone number of your nearest BJ's Optical, you can use the club locator online.

Simply enter your ZIP code or state and town to find the nearest location. You can also check the “Optical” box under “Club Departments” to narrow your search.

COVID-19 Response

Many of BJ’s Optical centers have reopened with their normal hours. Still, it’s best to contact your nearest location or use the club locator online to see each store’s specific hours. 
According to the company’s website, face coverings must be worn in order to conduct eye exams or eyewear fittings. Additional protective equipment is being used including gloves, face shields, breath guards and hand sanitizer. 
Some of the sanitation protocols put into place at BJ’s Optical locations include: 
  • Social distancing 
  • Consistent sanitization of products and surfaces
  • Paper-free environment
  • A limited number of members in the Optical space

You can find the latest information on BJ's COVID-19 response online or by calling your local warehouse.

How Much Do Glasses Cost at BJ’s Optical?

The frames you’ll find at BJ’s Optical vary in price based on the materials and the manufacturer. Contact lens prices also vary based on the features you want and what your prescription requires.

BJ's Optical offers frames that begin as low as $44.99, though you'll find bigger price tags on high-end styles. You'll find brands ranging from Berkley Jensen to Oscar de la Renta. 

In addition to frames, there are a few different options available for lenses. Unlike some of its competitors, BJ’s Optical doesn’t offer free plastic single-vision lenses. Instead, you can choose between polycarbonate and high-index lenses. 

Single-vision lenses start around $54 while progressives and no-line bifocals begin at $154. Progressive lenses run around $240 on average. For this price, you'll get HD polycarbonate lenses with UV protection, blue-light protection, no-glare coating and scratch-resistant coating. Single-vision lenses with the same coating cost around $99. 

If you take the time to comparison shop, you'll likely find lower prices at online competitors like Zenni Optical and EyeBuyDirect. BJ's Optical offers savings more comparable to Sam's Club Optical. These prices will most likely beat those at Warby Parker, Target Optical and even Costco

All BJ's Optical glasses come with a one-year limited warranty. If you already have a pair of glasses that you like, you can bring in your frames and get replacement lenses. This service costs $25 plus the cost of lenses. 

Contact lenses begin as low as $20.99 per box at BJ's, but that price varies greatly depending on what brand you buy. Be sure to check the prices at a few reliable online retailers to make sure you're getting the best deal on contacts. 

Fortunately, you don't have to be a BJ's member to take advantage of these prices! That means you can get a pretty good deal on glasses and contacts at BJ's while avoiding the annual membership fee. At the time of writing, that membership fee was $55 annually. 

What Insurance Does BJ’s Optical Accept?

According to the website, BJ's Optical doesn't accept any form of insurance on purchases at this time. However, there is a possibility that the optical center will be accepting insurance in the future. 

If you do make a purchase at BJ’s Optical, you may be eligible for out-of-network reimbursement from your insurance provider. You will get a receipt to submit your claim. 

If you have a Flexible Spending Account (FSA), you may be able to use those funds for a purchase. For more information on using your FSA at BJ's Optical, check out this FAQ page.

How Long Does It Take to Get Glasses From BJ’s Optical?

You can’t order prescription glasses or sunglasses online, and an associate at the optical center you visit will most likely have to order the frames and lenses from the manufacturer, so that adds to the time it takes to get glasses from BJ’s Optical.

Generally, prescription glasses and contacts will arrive within 5-7 business days after you place your order.

You may be able to get your order shipped directly to your home or to the optical center for free in-store pickup. To discuss shipping options and times, contact your nearest warehouse.

Final Thoughts

Overall, I found that BJ’s Optical could be a great place to buy your next pair of glasses or contact lenses. You’ll likely find great prices on optical services, too, but exams aren’t offered at all locations. While you won’t find the prices of glasses online, you will find a great selection with good deals at your nearest warehouse. 

For single-vision polycarbonate lenses and frames, you can expect to pay around $99-$145. After I compared prices, I was able to beat that cost at other online retailers. It's up to you to decide if the coverage and convenience of BJ's Optical are worth the difference in price. 

To optimize your savings, be sure to see if there are any promotions or offers available. At the time of writing, you could get 50% off a second complete pair of glasses. 

Use FSA funds if you have them, and see if your insurance provider will give you an out-of-network reimbursement after your purchase. These are great ways to stack your savings and get the best overall deal. 

Have you ever had an eye exam or bought glasses/contacts at BJ’s Optical? Tell us about your experience in the comments below!

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