We first heard about Walmart+ in February back in the Before Times, but you may have forgotten about the announcement, what with *gestures broadly* everything that’s been going on. But Walmart has officially released a launch date for its Amazon Prime competitor — the membership program will be available to customers starting Sept. 15.
While Walmart+ isn’t delivering on all of our wish list items, it does have some solid benefits that the company says will grow over time. Maybe we’ll get that free soda eventually.
Benefits of Walmart+
Unlimited free delivery: Previously known as Delivery Unlimited, this service gets you free shipping, with some products available on the same day when available to ship from nearby stores. It includes in-store pricing and free delivery on more than 160,000 items like tech, toys, household essentials, and groceries. Current Delivery Unlimited subscribers will automatically become Walmart+ members without missing a beat on free shipping.
Scan & Go: This feature allows customers to avoid long checkout lines and head to self-checkout regardless of how many items they have by scanning items in the Walmart app as they shop and paying with Walmart Pay for a speedy, touch-free experience.
Fuel discounts: This is a biggie. With Walmart+ you can save up to 5 cents per gallon at about 2,000 Walmart, Murphy USA, and Murphy Express gas stations. Sam’s Club stations will be added to this lineup soon, too.
As we expected, Walmart+ is cheaper than Amazon Prime — though, not by a whole lot. A Walmart+ subscription costs $98 per year or $12.95 per month (choosing the annual subscription saves you about $60, so we suggest going down that route). Prime costs $119 per year or $12.99 per month, but that includes streaming services and many more benefits. Walmart+ really stands out due to the fuel discounts that Amazon doesn’t offer.
If you aren’t quite sure whether you want to commit to Walmart+, the program does include a 15-day free trial period for you to test the waters. And don’t forget, Walmart is planning on expanding the service to add even more benefits for members in the future.
As for now, we don’t see Walmart+ poaching any Amazon Prime subscribers, but we imagine customers who do their regular shopping at Walmart will tack this on as an additional subscription service they use.