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Walmart to launch Walmart+, a direct competitor to Amazon Prime

Walmart is launching a new subscription service with free shipping and additional perks

Summary

Similar to Amazon Prime’s grocery shopping options, Walmart+ will offer free shipping on orders of at least $35.

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Online grocery shopping and curbside pickup have soared amid the pandemic, with many consumers avoiding shopping in person. As a result, many grocery retailers have seen their e-commerce sales grow – including Walmart.

On Sept. 1, 2020, Walmart announced a new membership service that should build on that success: Walmart+. Similar to Amazon Prime, Walmart+ will offer customers free shipping on many of the store’s items, including produce and groceries.

You can sign up starting Sept. 15, 2020 – but should you?

See related: Grocery shopping and COVID-19: What’s changed and how to save money

What we know about Walmart+ so far

Walmart+ will cost $98 per year or $12.95 per month and offer free shipping on orders of $35 or more. Compare this to Walmart’s current grocery delivery program, which charges a $10 fee on same-day delivery orders, also with a $35 minimum.

Walmart+ members will also receive a 5-cent-per-gallon discount at affiliated gas stations – including Murphy USA and Murphy Express – and can take advantage of Scan & Go, which allows customers shopping in-store to scan items on their phone and check out on their own via Walmart Pay, skipping the cashier.

Walmart+ will replace Delivery Unlimited, a subscription service that also offers an unlimited number of deliveries for a flat yearly or monthly fee. Current subscribers will automatically become Walmart+ members.

There have also been reports that a Walmart+ branded credit card is in the works. Currently, frequent Walmart shoppers can earn rewards with the Capital One® Walmart Rewards Mastercard*, which offers 5% cash back on Walmart.com purchases, including grocery pickup and delivery orders, 5% back on in-store purchases for the first 12 months when using Walmart Pay (2% after that), 2% back on dining, travel and gift cards at Walmart and 1% back on everything else.

Should you sign up for Walmart+ or stick with Prime?

If you already shop at Walmart frequently, the new subscription service might add convenience to your grocery shopping routine. For example, if you’ve often used the store’s curbside pickup option because it’s quick and free, you may enjoy having your groceries delivered straight to your door instead now that you don’t have to pay a hefty delivery fee for it.

On the other hand, Amazon Prime might still offer better value, even though the subscription is more expensive – $119 per year compared to $98 for Walmart+. Considering all the entertainment perks that come with Prime membership, from video streaming to free eBooks to unlimited photo storage, you may get more bang for your buck with Amazon.

See related: Is Amazon Prime worth it?

Plus, while Prime members also have to meet the $35 minimum to get free delivery on Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods orders, same-day and two-day delivery on regular Prime orders is free, and certain shelf-stable food items are eligible.

At the same time, it’s safe to assume Walmart will be adding perks to its subscription service in the future. It might make sense to wait and see which additional benefits will be rolled out before signing up for Walmart+. However, if you’d like to try it out now, you can use a 15-day free trial period included with the membership to determine whether it’s the right choice for you.

See related: Best credit cards for groceries

*All information about the Capital One Walmart Rewards Mastercard has been collected independently by CreditCards.com and has not been reviewed by the issuer. 

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