Walmart+ vs. Amazon Prime: Here's what you need to know
How similar are the two services?
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Walmart+ launched earlier this month, and it’s a fantastic deal for folks looking to add some convenience to their grocery-shopping experience. The subscription-based membership offers fast, free delivery on groceries, a discount on fuel at select gas stations, and mobile scan-and-go service for in-store shopping.
But how does it stack up against Amazon Prime, a similarly priced service that offers comparable perks? It’s a little complicated, but we’re here to help you make your choice with confidence.
Here’s what you need to know before you hit subscribe.
Amazon Prime vs. Walmart Plus: What are the main benefits?
Both Amazon Prime and Walmart Plus are membership-based services that offer perks to subscribers. These may include free shipping, expedited shipping, streaming capabilities, and student discounts.
Here's a quick breakdown of the benefits of both services and how they stack up:
|Price / month||$12.99||$12.95|
|Price / year||$119||$98|
|Free trial||30 days||15 days|
|Free shipping||On all Prime products||On deliveries over $35|
|Free one-day shipping||Depends on the item||✔|
|Free grocery delivery||Depends on the item||✔|
|Early access to deals||✔||✘|
|Gas benefits||✘||Member pricing on gas|
|In-store perks||✘||Scan-and-go mobile shopping|
For what you get, Walmart+ is a great value. For either $13 a month or $98 a year, you get unlimited free delivery right to your door—arriving the same day you place your order, provided you’re near one of 2,700 participating locations. Not to mention streamlined, contact-free service in stores and member pricing on fuel at nearly 2,000 gas stations nationwide.
With Amazon, same-day delivery is only available to folks living in major metropolitan areas, so that’s something to weigh against Walmart’s thousands of same-day stores in the U.S. But it's important to note that Walmart+ cannot offer free delivery to cities outside its participating stores, which, at the time of publication, is most major cities.
Prime’s got a ton of other benefits that Walmart+ does not: Alexa integration for voice-command shopping; clothing on a “try-before-you-buy” basis; a discount at Whole Foods; 20% off baby food and diapers; thousands of movies and TV shows courtesy of Prime Video; ad-free music; free audiobooks, comics, Kindle ebooks, and magazines; and free video games and in-game perks.
Amazon Prime vs. Walmart Plus: What’s the difference in price?
Walmart+ will run you $98 a year, or $12.95 per month. Amazon Prime costs $119 annually, or $12.99 a month. But there’s a lot more to consider than just a $21 price difference.
Verified college students, for example, have the option of Prime Student for $59 a year, or $6.49 monthly, and that includes all the usual benefits of Prime. And, for the time being, Amazon’s membership has a lot more bells and whistles than what Walmart+ is offering right out of the gate.
Amazon Prime vs. Walmart Plus: Which offers the fastest delivery?
If you don’t care so much about streaming movies and TV, or in-game bonuses for your favorite video games, delivery speed’s where Walmart+ sets itself apart from Prime. Walmart+ requires a $35 minimum purchase to qualify for free delivery, while with Prime, any Prime-eligible product can be shipped for free. But there’s also the matter of coverage.
With Walmart’s existing infrastructure, the retailer’s able to offer free same-day delivery from 2,700 Walmart locations throughout the U.S. These are scheduled within one-hour time slots between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m., generally speaking. You can get same-day delivery on more than 160,000 items from the pickup-and-delivery section of Walmart’s website, but only if you live within an area optimized for Walmart+. You can check your zipcode on the site before signing up.
Amazon Prime vs. Walmart Plus: Which is better for groceries?
Right now, Amazon Prime encompasses two separate grocery-delivery services—Amazon Pantry and Amazon Fresh. With Pantry, Prime members can order essentials like laundry detergent, toilet paper, cleaning supplies, groceries, snacks, beverages, and pet food. These ship anywhere in the contiguous U.S. within one to four days. You have to hit a $35 shipping minimum on Pantry items (similar to Walmart+) to get free delivery.
Prime’s similar Amazon Fresh service offers same-day delivery, but only for select cities: Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. You also have to hit the $35 minimum threshold for Amazon Fresh deliveries.
Walmart+ requires a $35 minimum for all orders, but allows you to ship groceries along with any other good you can buy from a physical Walmart store, including TVs, games, and more. Prices are the same as they would be in-store, which is one of the main attractions of buying groceries at Walmart—the prices are objectively great.
Amazon Prime vs. Walmart Plus: The final verdict
If you’re just looking for groceries and household items delivered fast, Walmart+ seems like the better choice—if you live within an eligible city. Right up front, you can check the Walmart+ website to determine whether or not you can get same-day deliveries, and that should make or break the decision for many shoppers.
Amazon’s Prime Video offers a fantastic library of streaming content, including original movies and programming, as part of its service. Walmart+, on the other hand, hasn’t entered the streaming arena alongside Disney+ and Netflix. When it comes to streaming, Amazon has the advantage here, especially given its music streaming services and even digital textbook rentals.
Ultimately, if you live in one of the major cities that offers Amazon Fresh delivery and want a little more bang for your buck, it might be worth the extra $21 a year to stick with Amazon for now. But keep an eye on Walmart+ in the coming months to see if it unveils any streaming capabilities, or if it expands its reach to include more cities.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.