Walmart’s paid membership program promises same-day delivery on more than 160,000 products the retail giant sells. But what makes the service, called Walmart+, different from similar programs like Amazon Prime and Target’s Same Day Delivery (shopped by Shipt)? And is it actually worth the yearly subscription fee? Here’s everything you need to know about Walmart’s new membership program, how it differs from the other same-day delivery services available to shoppers, and how to get the most out of a membership if you do choose to join.
What is Walmart+?
When Amazon Prime launched in 2005, it single-handedly changed the way people shop online. It introduced a kind of convenience that shoppers have now come to expect from all retailers—so it only makes sense that Walmart, in an effort to go toe-to-toe with its biggest competitor, would launch a similar service. Walmart has tried once before with Jet.com, an e-commerce store (similar to Amazon) that Walmart bought in 2016. As Reuters reported in 2019, Jet.com didn’t take off the way Walmart had intended, so the company decided to refocus its efforts on its own website and phase out the Jet.com e-commerce site.
Walmart+, launched in September 2020, may be the company’s latest venture into the e-commerce world, but it offers something that Jet.com couldn’t—same-day delivery on any product available at Walmart’s brick-and-mortar locations, including grocery items. Returns are also infinitely easier since buyers have the option to return purchases in-store, and the ability to use the Walmart+ app to streamline in-store shopping is another perk that makes the new service stand out from its competitors. Walmart+ also allows members to save money at gas stations, a benefit that neither Amazon Prime nor Target can offer its members.
Here’s a breakdown of what you can do with Walmart+.
Home delivery: Shoppers who have signed up for the service can order anything from Walmart, from tech and toys to household essentials and groceries, for free same-day delivery. (Before signing up, though, check to make sure delivery is available in your area.) When Walmart+ launched, your order needed to meet a $35 minimum to qualify for free shipping; as of December 4, 2020, that minimum has been waived, so now you don’t have to worry about shipping fees. Walmart+ delivery slots are first-come, first-serve, and you can order as often as you’d like (even twice in one day if time slots are available) and track your driver’s location in the app once your order has left the store. Delivery is contact-free, with no signature required.
In-store: Members who are willing to use the Walmart app and mask up have the benefit of the Scan & Go feature, which lets you scan items in-store as you shop. To pay, load a debit card or credit card into your app ahead of time, and then scan the QR code at a self-checkout kiosk—this step provides your receipt and lets a Walmart associate check your ID if you’ve purchased age-restricted items. You can also bag your purchases at the kiosk. Unfortunately, Walmart doesn’t accept coupons through Scan & Go, so you have to skip the service if you’re looking for discounts.
At the pump: When Walmart+ first launched, members had the opportunity to save up to 5¢ a gallon at Walmart, Murphy USA, and Murphy Express gas stations—but as of April 27,2022, members can now save up 10¢ off per gallon at Exxon & Mobil stations, as well as up to 10¢ off at select Walmart & Murphy stations and member prices at Sam’s Club fuel centers. (There are nearly 14,000 participating gas stations across the country; check this map to see if any are near you.) To unlock gas station savings, you need to select member prices for fuel in the Walmart app and follow the on-screen instructions. You’re required to pay at the pump, rather than inside, meaning payments likely need to be cash-free (contact-free, too). There are no limits on how many discounted gallons you can get, and if you find yourself filling up more than once a day for whatever reason, you receive member prices every single time.
How much does Walmart+ cost?
A Walmart+ membership is $98 a year or $13 a month if you decide against a yearly subscription. If you shop at Walmart often, signing up for the entire year up front saves you about $58 annually. You can switch between monthly and yearly memberships at any time, though Walmart does not clearly state if it will refund you for the months you’ve paid for up front if you decide to switch from yearly to monthly.
If you would rather test-drive the service before making a commitment, Walmart offers a 30-day free-trial period. At the end of the trial, you’re automatically placed in the membership plan you selected when you first signed up—if you don’t want to continue the service, we suggest setting a reminder for yourself so that you can cancel before your card is charged. If you forget, no need to worry: You’ll have 48 hours after the beginning of your paid membership to cancel and receive a refund.
What’s the difference between Amazon Prime, Target’s Same Day Delivery (shopped by Shipt), and Walmart+?
Amazon Prime, Target’s Same Day Delivery (shopped by Shipt), and Walmart+ are very similar delivery services with a few distinct differences. Some differences, such as the length of the free trial, are negligible, but others, like the amount of products available for same-day delivery, might be something to take into consideration as you’re choosing among the three.
Similarities and small differences:
- Amazon Prime costs $139 a year, Walmart+ costs $98 annually, and Target’s Same Day Delivery (shopped by Shipt) costs $99 a year. Target's monthly membership is $11 per month, while the monthly subscription fee for Prime is $15 per month and Walmart+ is $13 per month.
- Amazon, Walmart, and Target all let customers test out the services for a full 30 days.
- All three deliver groceries to members in eligible areas.
- Amazon Prime has more than 3 million products available for same-day delivery, while Walmart+ offers only 160,000 for same-day delivery. We couldn’t find any data on how many products are available through Target’s Same Day Delivery (shopped by Shipt).
- As part of the membership fee, Amazon offers streaming benefits: Prime members have access to Prime Video, Prime Music, and Prime Gaming. Target’s Same Day Delivery (shopped by Shipt) doesn't offer media streaming at this time, but Walmart+ is now offering subscribers 6 months of Spotify Premium for free.
- Prime and Target’s Same Day Delivery (shopped by Shipt) offer same-day delivery on orders of $35 and more, but Walmart+ now offers free shipping with no minimum required. Target’s Same Day Delivery (shopped by Shipt) is the only service that you can use without a membership, though non-member deliveries are charged a $10 delivery fee.
- Walmart+ offers members the chance to save on fuel at participating gas stations; Amazon Prime and Target’s Same Day Delivery (shopped by Shipt) don’t offer gas discounts. (Costco members, however, have a similar perk—fuel is cheaper at Costco’s member-only gas stations.)
Is Walmart+ worth it?
As with many same-day delivery subscriptions, Walmart+ is worth the yearly fee only if you intend to shop at that retailer often. If you look to Walmart for the majority of your shopping, grocery and otherwise, it makes sense to subscribe and save. And if you own a car that you’re constantly gassing up, saving 10¢ a gallon can certainly add up—especially as gas prices across the country continue to rise. Casual Walmart shoppers, on the other hand, might want to pass. Folks still on the fence, even after the free trial, always have the option of signing up for the monthly subscription plan. Just remember to cancel at the end of the month if you’re not using Walmart+ as often as you thought you would.