Our time is valuable.
That’s why we’re willing to pay for fast and reliable delivery.
For over a decade, Amazon Prime has dominated the online shopping space, but retail giant Walmart introduced a competing service — Walmart Plus — in 2020.
With both offering similar online shopping experiences and free shipping options, it can be difficult to decide which membership service to join. In this article, we’re laying out the costs, benefits and drawbacks of Amazon Prime and Walmart Plus, so you can make an informed decision about which is best for you.
Walmart Plus vs. Amazon Prime: Comparison at a Glance
|Features||Walmart Plus||Amazon Prime|
|Free Trial Period||30 days||30 days|
|Shipping||Free next day or two-day||Free next day|
|Free Grocery Delivery||Yes, with $35 minimum||Yes, order minimums vary|
*Prices reflect increase which goes into effect Feb. 18, 2022.
What Walmart Plus Offers
Walmart Plus may be the new kid on the block, but it offers many services that rival Amazon Prime.
For $98 a year or $12.95 per month, a Walmart Plus membership gives you free next-day or two-day shipping on eligible items shipped by Walmart without any minimum purchase amount.
For instance, if you’re running low on toothpaste or shaving cream, you could put in an order for just that without having to add more to your cart to get free shipping.
With Walmart Plus, you can get free same-day grocery delivery — however, you do have to spend at least $35 to take advantage of this perk. Don’t expect free delivery if you have a craving for something sweet and want to order just one candy bar.
Grocery delivery service is based upon availability. With there being nearly 5,000 Walmart stores in the U.S., it’s likely that the service is available in your area, but you can check availability for your address during the sign-up process.
Same-day delivery is also based upon demand in your area. Delivery time slots are limited, and once they fill up, you’ll have to schedule your grocery delivery for the following day. For an additional fee, you could opt for Express delivery to get your order within two hours.
With the free grocery delivery, there is no mark-up on items. You’re getting the same low prices you’d see when you shop in store at Walmart.
Up to 180,000 items are available for free delivery — and not just groceries either. Eligible delivery items include select tech products, toys, clothing and more.
Another perk of having a Walmart Plus membership is that you can get early access to upcoming sales promotions, deals and game-console releases.
Walmart Plus members also get discounts on fuel. Save 5 cents per gallon when you fuel up at a Walmart or Murphy USA gas station, and pay member prices at Sam’s Club fuel stations without needing a Sam’s Club membership.
Other benefits included with a Walmart Plus membership are discounted prescriptions and the ability to scan items using the Walmart app when shopping in-store and paying with your phone for a streamlined, contact-free checkout experience.
What Amazon Prime Offers
Amazon Prime has been around for more than 15 years and has acquired 200 million subscribers worldwide, so chances are you already know a thing or two about this service. But are you aware of all the benefits Amazon Prime offers?
Starting Feb. 18 for new members, an Amazon Prime membership will cost $139 per year or $14.99 each month. That’s a $20 increase for annual subscriptions and a $2 increase for monthly subscriptions. Existing customers will see the new prices go into effect on their next renewal date after March 25.
Looking to cancel Amazon Prime before the price increase hits? Here’s how.
While Amazon Prime costs more than Walmart Plus, you get a great deal of benefits with this membership. You can enjoy free one-day delivery on millions of eligible items without any minimum purchase amount. You can even get free same-day delivery on certain items depending on when you place your order and where you’re located — although you’ll need to be purchasing at least $35 worth of eligible items.
Depending on availability, you can have your packages delivered directly into your garage. You can also schedule your deliveries so they all arrive on a particular day of the week of your choosing.
While Amazon’s grocery footprint may not be as large as Walmart’s, you can get unlimited free delivery on groceries with an Amazon Prime membership in select cities. Groceries are delivered via Amazon Fresh or Whole Foods, which is owned by Amazon, and can arrive at your doorstep in as fast as two hours. The minimum purchase amount varies based on location, but is usually either $35 or $50.
It’s notable to mention that Whole Foods and Amazon Fresh groceries tend to be more expensive than buying food from Walmart. However, Amazon Prime members can get exclusive deals on groceries and other items.
Beyond shipping and delivery, Amazon Prime really stands apart from Walmart Plus in that it offers access to streaming services and other entertainment options. Watch TV and movies with Prime Video and listen to over two million songs via Amazon Music.
An Amazon Prime membership also gives subscribers access to free gaming and a library of audiobooks. With Prime Try Before You Buy (previously Prime Wardrobe), you can have clothing shipped to you for free. You return what you don’t want and are only charged for what you keep.
Similar to Walmart’s membership program, Amazon Prime members can also benefit from discounted prescriptions.
It’s important to add that unlike Walmart Plus, Amazon Prime offers discounted membership plans for students and low-income individuals receiving government assistance. A student membership costs $69 a year or $7.49 a month starting on Feb. 18, up from $59 a year or $6.49 a month. Individuals on government assistance can get a Prime membership for $6.99 a month starting Feb. 18, up from $5.99 a month.
If you’re just interested in the entertainment offerings from Prime Video, you can opt into that service alone for $8.99 a month.
Which Service Is the Better Deal?
Now that we’ve laid out the benefits and drawbacks of each service, you can make a more informed decision about whether Walmart Plus or Amazon Prime is better for you.
If you’re making the call based on price alone, Walmart Plus will save you about $40 a year if you pay annually or $2 each month if you pay monthly.
However, if you’re looking for the most bang for your buck, Amazon Prime tops Walmart Plus by letting members stream TV shows, movies and music and have free access to audiobooks and gaming platforms.
Amazon Prime members can also get faster and more secure delivery options with same-day shipping and the ability to leave packages in the garage.
However, if you’re on the road a lot, you might really benefit from the fuel discounts from Walmart Plus. And frequent Walmart shoppers can save time at checkout with the Scan and Go option at their local store.
The right subscription service for you will ultimately come down to your individual preferences and needs. Location could also play a role in your choice if you live in an area where free grocery delivery isn’t available through Amazon Prime but is available from Walmart Plus.
Fortunately, both Walmart Plus and Amazon Prime offer 30-day free trials. Test out each service for yourself to determine which membership program is right for you.
Nicole Dow is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder.