Amazon Prime has been around for a while now and comes with a lot of great benefits, but late last year, Walmart released “Walmart+”—a similar service that seems to be gunning for Prime in a few key areas. So the question is then, is it worth it to switch to Walmart+ from Amazon Prime? Get both? Or maybe you don’t have either and want to determine if a service like this is even worth it. Let’s take a closer look.
Update, 2/8/22: After a price hike, Amazon now costs $140 a year. We’ve updated this article to reflect the price change.
Let’s start with the price, as Amazon Prime and Walmart+ aren’t far off from each other in that regard. Currently, Amazon Prime costs $14.99 a month or $139.99 a year, with Walmart+ undercutting it at $12.95 a month or $98 a year. Walmart+’s annual plan being cheaper is a noteworthy advantage over Prime, and it’s also worth remembering that Amazon has raised the price of Prime a couple of times in the past and might in the future—although, it’s been a few years since the last increase.
Amazon Prime’s claim to fame is the free two-day shipping it provides, and that’s also the largest overlap with Walmart+ when it comes to benefits. As long as the item you’re looking at has the “shipped from Walmart” tag, you can expect free next-day or two-day shipping for any item. This excludes any large freight items or those sold by third-party sellers, but there is still a large selection of products available through this program.
Faster and free shipping is always nice, but Walmart+ doesn’t really provide any unique features to this to make it better per se than Amazon Prime. It’s worth noting you’ll likely have a harder time finding more obscure items through Walmart+ than Amazon Prime, but that may not affect you, depending on what you typically order.
So if the shipping arrangement is fairly similar to Amazon Prime, what does Walmart+ offer that’s more unique? The most attractive benefit for most will likely be the free grocery delivery of orders totaling at least $35. You can schedule these orders for the very next day, or even same-day in certain areas (but keep in mind, time slots are first-come, first-served). Speaking of which, you need to live near a Walmart for this to work (you can check availability on Walmart’s site).
Amazon also provides grocery delivery, but it’s far more limited than what Walmart+ offers—especially because it’s run through Whole Foods, which isn’t nearly as commonplace as Walmart. Walmart+ also offers a couple of other benefits that have to do with the brick and mortar stores. At any Walmart and Murphy gas stations, you’ll get five cents off every gallon, and you can receive the membership pricing at Sam’s Club gas stations (even without a Sam’s Club membership). You can also walk into any Walmart and use the mobile scan and go feature through the Walmart app if you’re a Walmart+ member. This allows you to scan barcodes with your phone as you’re walking through the store to pay, but you have to stop by the self-checkout to finalize the payment—-still a nice time saver if you need to walk into the store.
Overall, Walmart+ comes with a lot of great features, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be missing out on a few things if you jump from Amazon Prime to Walmart+.
Amazon Prime is a lot more than a way to receive free shipping—there are a lot of services under the Prime umbrella. More popular services like Prime Video and Prime Reading are great bonuses that supply you with a lot of entertainment, but lesser-used stuff like Amazon Music Prime shouldn’t be overlooked.
Amazon Key, which allows Amazon delivery drivers to drop off orders in your garage, past the front gate, or even your car, is a great feature to have when it comes to deliveries. You can try out clothes risk-free with Prime Wardrobe, store unlimited photos in Amazon Photos, claim free video games through Prime Gaming, and even gain access to yet to be released Kindle books through Amazon First Reads. Prime mostly focuses on online interaction with its features than Walmart+, which does both online and in-store perks.
Of course, most of the additional features of Prime are simply bonuses, they likely aren’t what you’re subscribing for and might go underused—if you even knew they existed in the first place. Regardless, this is still an important thing to take into account when it comes to comparing the services.
What’s the Verdict?
Walmart+ and Amazon Prime both offer plenty of things to differentiate themselves from each other, so which one is the better deal for you? To readdress the price, Amazon Prime costs $14.99 a month or $139.99 a year, with Walmart+ costing $12.95 a month or $98 a year. While the monthly plans are practically the same, Walmart+’s annual plan is significantly cheaper than Prime’s, which makes it a more attractive option right off the bat.
But just because something is cheaper doesn’t mean it’s the better deal, and at the end of the day, this isn’t a one-to-one comparison—the services are different enough where personal preference and habits are going to be the decision-maker. Walmart+’s great deals on shipping, free grocery delivery, and discounted gas make it an attractive subscription for most people, but the same can be said of Prime’s wide range of bonuses on top of the same shipping deal.
Getting both services guarantees you don’t miss out on any of these features, and is what we recommend to most people—but if you can only get one then a difficult decision has to be made. If you live nearby a Walmart and can make full use of all of Walmart+’s benefits, then it’s hard to argue the service isn’t fantastic—the inherent convenience of Walmart being everywhere gives Walmart+ a big boost in value.
However, if Walmart is a bit further away, or you prefer the more obscure selection of items and services Prime has on offer, then it’s probably best to stick with Amazon on this one. Either of them are great deals, and for many people, Walmart+ is the better choice. But generally speaking, Prime definitely gives you more for the money, which is enough to give it an edge despite its higher price. Hopefully, as Walmart+ develops, we can see it introduce more features to give Amazon a better run for its money.
Walmart’s subscription service which grants free shipping, free grocery delivery, and cheaper gas.