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Even before the pandemic hit, online shopping subscription services had been around for a while. After all, Amazon Prime was first launched in 2005, and many large technology companies have brainstormed their own offerings since then.
Retail giant Walmart even decided to get into the game this year with the introduction of Walmart+, a new competitor for Amazon Prime. While Walmart+ may seem like it would be less useful than Amazon Prime, both of these services actually offer very similar benefits and features.
Walmart+: The basics
Like Amazon Prime, Walmart+ wants to be the main source you turn to when it comes to grocery delivery and the delivery of household essentials and supplies. You can try out the service for 15 days for free. This service offers convenient deliveries and discounts on some of your biggest expenses and features that aim to improve your shopping experience in brick-and-mortar Walmart stores.
Just keep in mind that Walmart+ lets you access a lot more items than you’ll find in their stores. Not only can you use the service to stock up on groceries, but you can choose from 160,000 items available on Walmart.com or the mobile app.
Walmart+ delivery benefits
When it comes to their delivery benefits, Walmart+ promises free delivery for members as soon as the same day. You get the same low prices available in Walmart stores since they don’t tack on extra charges, and one-hour delivery windows are available. Just keep in mind that free deliveries are only available for orders that cost $35 or more.
Walmart+ in-store benefits
In terms of in-store benefits, Walmart+ offers mobile scan-and-go that lets you shop and check out with your phone when you shop in Walmart stores. This lets you check out without any contact, and it can help you spend less time at the register overall.
Meanwhile, you’ll also get 5 cents off per gallon when you fill up at Walmart or Murphy USA gas stations. This perk can help you save considerable sums of money over time if you drive often for work or leisure.
While it has been rumored that Walmart+ will eventually include an entertainment component, this isn’t the case so far. If you want access to movies, e-books or other entertainment features, this service isn’t what you’re looking for.
How much does Walmart+ cost?
Currently, a membership with Walmart+ will set you back $12.95 per month or $98 per year. However, you can try out the service for free for 15 days before you commit.
Amazon Prime: The basics
Most of us are considerably more familiar with Amazon Prime considering how long this service has been around. Once you’re an Amazon Prime member, you’ll get delivery benefits on everything you buy, access to digital entertainment options and more. In terms of using Amazon Prime for grocery delivery, Amazon’s connection with Whole Foods opens the door to boutique and specialty grocery options from around the world.
Every year, Amazon has a huge Prime Day event offering savings on many big-ticket items, including deep discounts on Amazon’s own devices, like Echo smart speakers and displays, Fire tablets and Fire TVs, Kindle e-readers and more. This year, Prime Day runs from June 21 to June 22.
Amazon Prime delivery benefits
Amazon Prime offers free two-day delivery on millions of eligible items, free one-day delivery on more than 10 million items, free same-day delivery for over 3 million items on orders of $35 or more and free two-hour delivery on groceries. You can also get free no-rush shipping on eligible items.
Amazon Prime in-store benefits
While the general Amazon.com marketplace doesn’t have any “in-store” benefits, Prime members enjoy benefits in-store at Whole Foods, such as 10 percent off sale items (excluding alcohol) and special seasonal discounts throughout the year.
Amazon Prime entertainment
Amazon Prime really stands out from Walmart+ in terms of the entertainment options you get with your membership. With Amazon Prime, you’ll have access to Prime Video, Prime Video channels, Prime Music with more than 2 million songs, FreeTime Unlimited game options, Prime Gaming content each month and photo storage.
You’ll also get Prime Reading access, which includes unlimited use of more than a thousand eBooks, magazines, comics and audiobooks. Finally, you’ll get free release-date delivery, which means you can be among the first to get new video games, books, movies and more.
How much does Amazon Prime cost?
The cost of Amazon Prime is competitive with the cost for Walmart+.
At the moment, Amazon Prime Membership will set you back $12.99 per month or $119 per year. If you want membership with Prime Video access only, you can pay $8.99 per month, instead.
Walmart+ vs. Amazon Prime: How much can you save?
How much you can save with Amazon Prime or Walmart+ depends on a whole host of factors including how much you spend and whether you’re able to take advantage of discounts and special perks. The chart below shows the main features of both Walmart+ and Amazon Prime and how they stack up.
Walmart+ and Amazon Prime comparison
|Monthly fee option||$12.95/mo||$12.99/mo|
|Same-day delivery included||Yes||Yes|
|Same-day delivery threshold||Orders of $35 and up||Orders of $35 or up|
|Entertainment features like video and games||No||Yes|
|Free trial||15 days||30 days|
As you can see, you can snag a Walmart+ membership for over $20 less than you’ll pay for Amazon Prime. However, you’ll give up the entertainment component you would get with Amazon, including Amazon Video, music options and photo storage.
Walmart+ does stand out in terms of its fuel savings benefits, however. If you buy 20 gallons of fuel per week and you score 5 cents off each for an entire year, your fuel savings alone would add up to $52 per year — more than half the cost of membership.
Both types of membership let you score free same-day shipping on orders or $35 or more, and they both offer free delivery within a day or two for thousands of items you can buy. Both also offer free grocery delivery options for members, which can help people save time and energy they would normally spend in the grocery store.
Interestingly, both of these services can be even more valuable if you sign up for each brand’s rewards credit card. If you’re an Amazon Prime member, for example, you can sign up for the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card and earn 5 percent back on Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market purchases, 2 percent back at restaurants, gas stations and drugstores, and 1 percent back on all purchases. This card doesn’t have an annual fee (Amazon Prime subscription required), but you’ll qualify for select travel insurance benefits as well as retail benefits like purchase protection and extended warranties. You’ll even get a $100 Amazon.com gift card upon account approval just for signing up.
On the Walmart front, you can consider the Capital One Walmart Rewards® Mastercard®, instead. This card doesn’t charge an annual fee, yet you’ll earn 5 percent back on Walmart.com purchases, including pickup and delivery. You’ll also earn 2 percent back in Walmart stores and on travel and dining and 1 percent back on other purchases. As an added bonus, you’ll earn 5 percent back in Walmart stores for 12 months when you pay with your credit card and use Walmart Pay.
Of course, you don’t have to pick a co-branded credit card with either of these stores to earn rewards when you shop online. You can also consider any rewards credit card, including cash-back cards and travel rewards credit cards. For instance, as of October 7, 2021, The Platinum Card® from American Express is offering cardholders a statement credit for the full cost of the Walmart+ membership when you use your Amex Platinum to pay the monthly membership charge (Plus Ups are excluded).
Which service is best for you?
While Amazon Prime and Walmart+ offer similar services, they may appeal to different types of consumers. After all, Amazon Prime offers a broad range of entertainment options like video and music in addition to delivery perks, yet Walmart.com focuses more on the shopping side of the experience.
Then again, Walmart+ may expand and grow to include entertainment options in the future, so it’s smart to keep an eye out for any updates.
At the end of the day, both of these services could provide the convenience you need when you shop online or order groceries. Make sure to consider the pros and cons of either service before you subscribe.
Pros and cons of Walmart+
- Get unlimited free deliveries on eligible orders
- Speedy grocery delivery
- Fuel discounts at Walmart and Murphy USA stations
- Mobile scan & go feature available in stores
- More affordable than Amazon Prime if you pay for a year upfront
- No entertainment options like video or music
- Fewer items available for delivery
Pros and cons of Amazon Prime
- Get free deliveries the same day, the next day or within two days
- Ultrafast grocery delivery within two hours
- Streaming and digital benefits like videos and music
- Access to reading benefits and free eBooks
- Photo storage included
- More expensive on an annual basis
- In-store shopping benefits limited to Whole Foods
All information about the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card and Capital One Walmart Rewards® Mastercard® has been collected independently by Bankrate.com and has not been reviewed or approved by the issuer.