Walmart+
Walmart+
PHOTO: Walmart

Jeff Bezos may have a record-setting net worth, but Walmart is gunning for a major chunk of the Amazon CEO’s business. The company has finally launched the much-anticipated Walmart+, a subscription service widely heralded as an Amazon Prime rival. Members can expect fast, free delivery on groceries and thousands of other items — often as soon as same-day — plus fuel savings and other benefits.

Here’s everything you need to know about Walmart+ — including how it stacks up to its main competitor — in order to decide whether membership is right for you.

What is Walmart+?

Walmart+ is Walmart’s new membership program offering customers, among other perks, unlimited free delivery, often including same-day delivery on groceries and other items from its huge network of brick and mortar stores. The program had been slated to launch earlier this year but got held up by the pandemic, and has now officially launched on September 15.

How much does Walmart+ cost?

Walmart+ membership costs $98 a year or $12.95 a month (meaning you’ll save $57.40 by making a yearly commitment). Membership also includes a 15-day free trial period so you can test the service out.

What are the benefits of Walmart+ membership?

The major draw of a Walmart+ membership is undoubtedly unlimited free delivery on a wide selection of groceries, toys, tech, beauty, household essentials and more. More than 160,000 items can be delivered as soon as same-day.

Walmart+ also aims to make in-person shopping both smoother and contact-free by granting members access to “Scan & Go” technology, which lets you scan and pay for items directly with your smartphone while shopping.

Members can expect to save up to 5 cents per gallon at affiliated fuel stations as well, and the company says more member benefits will be added in the future.

Is Walmart+ different from Delivery Unlimited?

Walmart is phasing out its previous Delivery Unlimited subscription program, which, as the name suggests, offered unlimited free deliveries for a flat yearly or monthly fee. If you’re a current Delivery Unlimited subscriber, there’s no need to do anything; you’ll automatically become a Walmart+ member on September 15.

How does Walmart+ compare to Amazon Prime?

With 150 million members, Amazon Prime is the undisputed juggernaut of online retailers. At $119 a year or $12.99 per month, it’s also slightly more expensive than a Walmart+ subscription ($21 more, to be exact). Yet while a Prime membership also gets you access to Amazon’s huge streaming library of movies and shows, Walmart+ is — for now at least — focusing on beating the competition when it comes to actual shopping.

For one thing, Walmart is known for its inexpensive groceries, which might be a draw for those who balk at the prices at Amazon subsidiary Whole Foods.

Walmart also has the added benefit of being a huge chain, with a network of 4,700 physical stores across the country — 2,700 of which offer same-day delivery. For comparison’s sake, Amazon has just 75 fulfillment centers and 476 Whole Foods stores in the U.S.

Amazon does offer free same-day delivery on orders over $35 for Prime members in eligible zip codes, but with so many retail locations, Walmart is banking on getting goods to more customers faster. With delivery direct from stores to customers’ homes, the thinking goes, food should stay fresher and costs lower overall.

The bottom line

Walmart+ is a promising addition to the world of retail memberships, and certainly worth checking out for a potentially even faster shopping experience — both online and in-store.