Everything you need to know about Walmart+
Walmart's Amazon Prime competitor is finally here
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Walmart+ is finally here. After months of speculation, the new membership service from Walmart went live Sept. 15, offering free unlimited delivery, member prices on fuel, and mobile scan-and-go capabilities for in-store shoppers.
The membership also provides free same-day delivery on certain grocery items—a feature that beats out competitors like Instacart, Shipt, and Amazon Prime. While groceries are a large part of the benefit package, you can get free delivery on any number of household items that are in high demand right now, like paper towels, toilet paper, and cleaning sprays.
If you're thinking about signing up for Walmart+, here's everything you need to know about the membership service.
What is Walmart+?
In short, Walmart+ is the retail giant’s answer to Amazon Prime. It's a membership-based service that provides benefits to in-store and online shoppers. Walmart+ doesn’t offer all the same bells and whistles you get with Prime—there’s no video-streaming library or gaming perks or anything like that. After all, Amazon has had years to establish this sort of membership service; Walmart’s new to the party. But, right off the bat, Walmart+ has pricing options, added benefits through the Walmart mobile app, and thousands of physical stores across the U.S. to set it apart from the competition.
What are the main benefits of Walmart+?
Depending on what’s available in your area, there are three main benefits to becoming a Walmart+ member:
Free unlimited delivery
The first benefit is easily the biggest selling point for the subscription: free unlimited delivery. With nearly 5,000 stores delivering nationwide—and 2,700 of those offering same-day service—Walmart+ allows you to order fresh groceries and household items without leaving your home.
With more than 160,000 items available from Walmart and the mobile app, whatever you might need can be sent right to your doorstep in no time at all. Walmart+ offers one-hour delivery windows between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m., and it’s all contact-free—meaning you don’t even have to be home to receive an order.
Similarly to Instacart, if an item in your order is not available, you’ll be alerted before your delivery, so you can decide whether or not you’d like a substitution. Each delivery requires a $35 minimum per order, and is limited to the items in the pickup-and-delivery section of Walmart's website.
Members-only gas prices
The second big perk for Walmart+ subscribers is access to member pricing on fuel. Members get 5 cents off per gallon at Walmart, Murphy USA, and Murphy Express gas stations.
Currently, there are almost 2,000 locations offering these prices. Sam’s Club stations will honor Walmart+ pricing in the near future.
Mobile scan-and-go service
The third major benefit of a Walmart+ membership is scan-and-go service through the mobile app. If you’re headed to a physical Walmart location, download and install the Walmart app for a “touch-free” payment experience. Like wearing a mask, this is one more way to stay safe and smart during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Simply scan your items in-store with your phone, pay with a credit or debit card, and head to the self-checkout station when you’re done.
Once you’re finished shopping, you’ll scan the QR code generated by the app to get your receipt and let a store associate know you’ve already paid. This also facilitates ID checks for things like alcohol purchases and other age restrictions.
Coupons won’t work with the Walmart app just yet, and it may take a bit learning to get the hang of it during the first couple trips. But limiting contact with others and bagging your own items is a good precautionary measure—and it’ll of course save you having to wait in a long checkout line.
What can you buy with Walmart+?
Currently, anything you can purchase from Walmart's grocery section is eligible for Walmart+ free unlimited delivery benefits. Even though you're shopping from Walmart's grocery landing page, you can purchase far more than just food and household goods—anything sold at your local Walmart store is eligible for Walmart+ shipping benefits. Think of it as virtually shopping at your local Walmart.
If you toggle to the standard Walmart website, you'll be able to get next-day shipping on certain products (ones that call out "NextDay Shipping"), and you'll keep free unlimited delivery on items over $35, but you won't always get that guaranteed speedy shipping guarantee.
Who is eligible for Walmart+ benefits?
Currently, free unlimited delivery benefits are limited to consumers who live near a physical Walmart store. You can still use mobile scan-and-go services when you shop at Walmart, and you can still unlock member prices on fuel, but you can't take advantage of grocery deliveries from Walmart. If you're not sure whether you can unlock Walmart+ benefits, check your zipcode on the site.
How much does Walmart+ cost?
Walmart+ offers two pricing plans, both of which are cheaper than Amazon Prime.
You can become a member either for $12.95 per month or for $98 billed annually. That’s $21 cheaper than Amazon Prime, provided you’re willing to pay for a whole year up front.
Can you sign up for a free trial?
Currently, you can sign up for a 15-day free trial for Walmart+, meaning you can try out the service before committing to paying for a full year. You'll have to provide a credit card number to sign up for the trial, but you can cancel it before you get charged if the service isn't to your liking.
How to cancel Walmart+
If you need to cancel the service for any reason, cancellation is—thankfully—easy. Navigate to your account overview, then select "Cancel Walmart+ membership" under your membership plan. You don't need to call or email customer service, and you can easily sign back up if you change your mind.
Should you sign up for Walmart+?
If you're a fan of grocery delivery services like Instacart and Shipt, it's worth giving Walmart+ a try. The service is cheaper than other grocery delivery services and offers similar benefits, so for those who want to avoid grocery shopping in person, the service is a great investment. If you prefer shopping in-person at Walmart, the service can save you a great deal of time—using scan and go is a great way to avoid long lines and long waits.
Walmart+ doesn't have all the features of Amazon Prime, and geographically, it's limited to areas that are close to physical Walmart stores. If you frequently shop online and in-store at Walmart, the service is worth it. If you're an occasional Walmart shopper living in a big city, wait for the service to unveil more benefits before joining. And if you're not sure, you can always sign up for the free trial to give the service a go for yourself.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.