What is Walmart Plus and how does it compare to Amazon Prime?

Walmart is taking a page from Amazon’s playbook by starting to roll out its own bundle of benefits to subscribers. Walmart Plus isn't as robust as Amazon Prime, at least not at launch, but it still has a few decent perks and plenty of room to grow.
Written by Elizabeth Mauder, Editor

For those of you deciding which is worth subscribing to, here's everything you need to know about Walmart Plus, including how it compares to Amazon Prime. You can watch our video breakdown above, or you can read below to learn more about how Walmart Plus stacks up against Amazon Prime.

What is Walmart Plus?

Walmart Plus is Walmart's new membership program that, once you subscribe to it, gives you access to unique benefits. You need a Walmart.com account and the Walmart app to use it.

What does Walmart Plus include?

Cheaper gas

By signing up for Walmart Plus, you get access to reduced gas prices. You can save 5 cents per gallon on fuel at more than 2,000 Walmart, Murphy USA, and Murphy Express fuel stations. Walmart Plus is even expanding its members' access to Sam's Club member pricing at more than 500 Sam's Club locations. 

To enjoy your fuel discount, open the Walmart app, go to Menu and then your Account, and tap Member Prices on Fuel to get started. Walmart will show you the nearest locations. When you arrive at a Murphy station, enter your discount ID from the app at the pump. At Walmart stations, scan the pump's QR code with your camera. Then fill up.

Mobile Scan and Go

There's also a Mobile Scan and Go feature in the Walmart app that allows you to check out with your phone as you shop in the store. Open the Walmart app, go to the Menu, select your Account, and tap Mobile Scan and Go. You can then shop and scan item barcodes to add them to your cart. Once done, approach a self-checkout line, scan the QR code on the register screen, and checkout on your phone. 

The card on file with your Walmart account will be charged. You can then show your receipt or "exit pass" on your phone to a door greeter on your way out. This option saves you time waiting in lines and is mostly contact-free.

Free deliveries

Starting Dec. 4, just in time for the holiday season, Walmart Plus is offering its members free delivery for items ordered from Walmart.com -- as long as this perk is available in your area. Meaning, if you're in need of a $12-item from Walmart.com, the minimum purchase requirement is waived. 

With that being said, the $35 minimum purchase will still apply to some items purchased in stores, such as grocery nonperishables that can't be shipped from Walmart.com. To access your free deliveries perk, place your order in the "Pickup and delivery" section of the Walmart app, and then your delivery fee will be automatically set to $0.

How much does Walmart Plus cost? 

Interested in becoming a Walmart Plus member? You can sign up for $12.95 a month or pay $98 for the year. You can cancel your subscription at any time. 

How do you join Walmart Plus?

To sign up for Walmart Plus, go to Walmart's website. There's a free trial you can do first, too.

How does Walmart Plus compare to Amazon Prime?

Like Walmart Plus, Amazon Prime is a membership program that you must subscribe to in order to get access to benefits. Prime includes free same-day or two-day shipping on certain purchases, the option to use Prime Wardrobe and Prime Pantry, the ability to stream movies, shows, and music -- many of which are free to watch via Prime Video. Additionally, Prime members can shop Prime Day, Amazon's annual sale that it says is "bigger than Black Friday." 

Amazon Prime members have access to several other cool features, too, like Twitch Prime, which offers discounts on physical games, pre-orders, and new releases. It also gives Twitch.tv users who link their Prime account an ad-free viewing experience. Be sure to check out ZDNet's in-depth explainer on Prime, as there are dozens of more perks included in the program.

Is Walmart Plus cheaper than Amazon Prime?

Walmart Plus is slightly cheaper than Amazon Prime. 

If you want to become a Prime member, you must pay $119 for an annual membership (or $59 a year if you're a registered student). Alternatively, you can pay $12.99 a month (or $6.49 a month for students). But you can cancel anytime. 

So, while you're saving $20 a year by subscribing to Walmart Plus over Prime, you don't get as many benefits, like access to a video streaming service or an exclusive annual sale event.

Are you currently enrolled in either service or thinking about signing up for one of them? Let us know in the comments!

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