Sam started out as a print-ad and TV commercial model. At the age of 10, she got her first modelling job, appearing in the posters for Coca-Cola. Other TV and print-ad credits include Sunsilk, SMART, Voice combo sandwich, Colgate, Palmolive, and Mc Donald's. She was also an endorser for a clothing brand, BAYO.
She became known to people after being a part of the reality series, Pinoy Big Brother: Double Up. Originally a House B housemate, she moved to House A after a week of her stay inside Big Brother's House. She has been saved by her fans through voting on several eviction nights before finally getting the boot on the night of January 9, 2010.
Before her stint on the reality show, she was seen acting with Mark Herras on a Maynila episode in GMA Network. She was also a finalist in the Myx VJ Search 2008. Her first regular appearance was in a television show called Midnight DJ, opposite Oyo Boy Sotto. She joined the show as a cast regular in the middle of season 4. She played Max, the Midnight DJ crew's resident psychic. Her character was first introduced in the "Oink! Oink!" episode.
Pinto was featured on Shehyee's single Trip Lang in 2013.
Sam has been dubbed as the 'IT-girl of the moment'. She has appeared on the cover of various magazines such as Woman Today, Gadgets Magazine, and most notably the covergirl for the July issue of FHM magazine in 2010.
She played Amanda, a "mangkukulam" and Elias' (Jake Cuenca) love interest in the weekly primetime series Agimat Presents: Elias Paniki in ABS-CBN. Sam will soon be seen on the big screen via Petrang Kabayo, a remake of the popular 80's film, with Vice Ganda in the titular role.
After endless rumours and speculation of her transfer to ABS-CBN's rival network, Sam herself confirmed the news in her Twitter account: "Thank you KAPUSO family for welcoming me! I'm so excited. So finally I can answer, yes I'm a KAPUSO now :)." She signed a three-year exclusive contract with the Kapuso channel and starring in several upcoming shows of GMA Network.
Sam played Samara, a warrior princess, in the 2010 Official Entry to the Metro Manila Film Festival, Si Agimat at Si Enteng Kabisote. The movie is top-billed by Sen. Bong Revilla and Vic Sotto; Sam played the former's love interest.
In 2011 and 2012 she was voted as FHM Philippines' Sexiest Woman in the World. In 2013 she was rejected by Marian Rivera on her threepeat attempt (which was similar to Katrina Halili's threepeat attempt in 2008), as she fell on the second spot until 2014. As Rivera vacates her crown, she faced Ellen Adarna and fellow Bubble Shaker Andrea Torres who become a heavy favourite. However she fell at the fourth spot in 2015 which was won by Jennylyn Mercado.
Since December 2015 Pinto has been dating Filipino footballer and dentist Misagh Bahadoran.