When you think of free deliveries, member discounts, and exclusive perks, the one thing that comes to mind is usually Amazon Prime—but did you know that Walmart has a similar subscription service that competes with Prime (even though they say it’s not meant to)?
In this article, we’ll talk all about Walmart+, its features, benefits, and how it compares to Amazon Prime.
What Is Walmart Plus?
Walmart+ (or Walmart Plus) is an add-on subscription service to shopping on Walmart launched in 2020. It provides members with various benefits, just like Amazon Prime, which launched much earlier in 2005.
Although Walmart claims that it launched Walmart+ as a standalone service that’s not meant to compete with Prime, it has essentially the same model and comparable member benefits, including free unlimited deliveries, and cashierless transactions. The next section goes over some key perks that makes Walmart+ worth it to subscribers.
What Are the Benefits of Walmart Plus?
Walmart Plus’s biggest benefits include free unlimited grocery deliveries, fuel discounts, cashierless in-person shopping, and even access to a streaming service. Note that this list is not exhaustive, as Walmart is planning to expand its features to cater to Walmart shoppers better.
Free Unlimited Deliveries
Walmart+ subscribers are able to shop for groceries, household essentials, and other goods from its over 5,000 retail units and online marketplace and have them delivered at their doorstep at no cost. Additionally, minimum order requirements are also waived for most of its products, which is particularly useful for members who love shopping in bulk or those who love sniping good deals for their retail arbitrage businesses.
Membership Deals and Exclusive Access
Walmart Plus members have access to exclusive member prices on the thousands of products sold on its marketplace. These prices are typically lower than the prices available to non-members, providing even more value to the subscription.
More recently, Walmart added the Paramount+ streaming service to its membership benefits—Amazon Prime already grants access to the company’s proprietary Prime Video streaming service.
Also Read: The Complete Guide to Amazon Fresh
Mobile Scan & Go
For members who enjoy in-person shopping, Walmart+ grants access to the Mobile Scan & Go feature on the Walmart app, which lets you scan items as you shop and check them out without having to line up. Sound familiar? It’s pretty much the same as the “just walk out” technology inside Amazon Go and Amazon Fresh stores. The big advantage for Walmart, though, is that it is a legacy brick-and-mortar retailer boasting a massively larger physical footprint across the US than Amazon, which has only a handful of physical stores in select areas at the time of writing.
Rewards and Discounts on Gas
Walmart Plus members can save up to 10 cents per gallon at Walmart, Exon, Mobil, and Murphy USA gas stations across the country. This feature alone makes Walmart+ worth it to a good number of its subscribers, particularly those who are frequent drivers or who drive large vehicles, and especially considering the soaring inflation rates and general uncertainty in various industries coming out of the pandemic.
How Much Does Walmart+ Cost?
As of writing, a Walmart+ membership costs $12.95/month or $98/year. It comes with a 30-day free trial. Noticeably, it’s a bit cheaper than Amazon Prime, however, the next section reveals that its feature set is also not as robust.
Walmart+ vs. Amazon Prime
Although Walmart+ and Amazon Prime share a lot of similarities in terms of business model and shopping benefits, there are marked differences between the two services that could make you decide to go for one over the other—of course, nothing stops you from subscribing to both and making the most out our your separate memberships. To help you decide, here are some things that set them apart:
|Price||$12.95/month of $98/year||$14.99/month or $139/year|
|Subscriber count||Over 11 million||Over 200 million|
|Features and Benefits||Largely focused on grocery and household essentials, gas discounts, and access to special shopping events or limited-time offers||Includes member perks for shopping on Amazon, huge discounts during Prime Day, and access to its exclusive content offering, including Prime Video, Music, Photos, Prime Gaming, etc.
Amazon has also started to offer a similar fresh grocery service through its Amazon Fresh initiative
|Delivery perks||Free unlimited deliveries on groceries and fresh produce, provided they are in stock at your local Walmart and you meet the $35 minimum order minimum||Free same-day or two-day shipping on most of the millions of items sold on the Amazon marketplace; Free returns
Shopping with Alexa
|Coverage||Leverages Walmart’s massive physical footprint, making it ideal for shoppers who live within kilometers of a Walmart||More ideal for shoppers who live in more rural areas, as Amazon has a more robust fulfillment and logistics network across the US despite its lack of physical stores|
|Shopping convenience||Mobile Scan & Go feature within the Walmart app lets you avoid checkout lines to save time
More convenient and accessible as there are way more Walmart stores than Amazon physical stores
|The “Just walk out” technology enables staffless transactions within Amazon’s physical stores—bills are generated on the Amazon app and charged to your Amazon account; Physical Amazon stores are sparse in comparison to Walmart|
|Prices and Inventory||Walmart is known for offering affordable grocery prices and household essentials
More limited inventory and product categories than Amazon—you might be better off buying electronics and gadgets elsewhere
|Amazon-owned Whole Foods is known for more expensive, locally-sourced healthy produce, but the company has invested in competitively priced groceries in Amazon Fresh
Boasts the widest range of product categories in all retailers, and generally offers lower prices for school and office suppliers, electronics, and other niches
Based on the comparison above, Amazon Prime is significantly pricier than the much newer Walmart+, but it also offers more benefits to members, including exclusive content from Amazon’s media business and a retail ecosystem tied to its robust Amazon FBA fulfillment network. Although Walmart has taken strides to launch its own streaming benefit and fulfillment service, Amazon is much ahead of it on those fronts.
Conversely, Walmart’s cheaper pricing could be a huge selling point if you’re only focused on the free grocery deliveries and gas discounts and can live without access to entertainment content.
When it comes to shopping convenience, both services are pretty much head to head in terms of technology, but Walmart has a lot more to leverage because it has way more physical stores than Amazon.
Should I Cancel Amazon Prime for Walmart+?
Whether you should go for one subscription over the other entirely depends on your wants and needs as a shopper. Walmart+ is great if you’re focused on day-to-day affordable grocery shopping (whether online or in-person), home essentials, and discounts on fuel. On the other hand, Amazon Prime is ideal if you shop almost exclusively online for a lot more categories other than groceries and are more drawn to bonus benefits like exclusive entertainment content.
Another way of looking at it is that as of 2023, Walmart+ is tailored to needs, while Amazon Prime is tailored to needs plus wants in terms of member perks. That said, there’s always the middle ground of subscribing to both and trying to make the most out of your separate memberships.
Walmart+ is relatively new, but it’s also a great reminder that Amazon is not the only player in the various industries in which it operates. The brick-and-mortar giant’s subscription service is ideal for those who shop frequently at Walmart, and for $12.95, the savings could add up in the long run. The company is also adding more and more perks as its membership grows.
Planning to subscribe to Walmart Plus? Let us know what you think in the comments below.