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Walmart Plus Launches Today: How It Stacks Up Against Amazon Prime
Walmart is launching its own subscription delivery service with same-day delivery to compete with Amazon Prime.
Amazon Prime has been a go-to membership for years for many consumers in large part because of its free two-day--sometimes one- or same-day--shipping on a huge selection of products. For gamers and entertainment junkies, Prime routinely offers release-day delivery, making it a popular method for securing physical releases without heading to the store. Over the past 15 years, Amazon has racked up over 150 million subscribers. Now Walmart is trying to chip away at that subscriber base with its own delivery-focused subscription service that expands upon its Delivery Unlimited grocery service. Walmart+ launches today, September 15, so let's see how it stacks up against Amazon Prime.
Amazon Prime vs. Walmart Plus at a glance
|Features||Amazon Prime||Walmart Plus|
|Delivery||same-day to two-day||same-day|
|Eligible products||3 million||160,000|
|Release day delivery||Yes||Yes|
|Free trial||30 days||15 days|
When it comes to cost, Amazon Prime and Walmart+ charge basically the same amount If you go month-by-month (Amazon Prime is $13/month, Walmart+ is $12.95/month). Paying for a year membership upfront saves you a significant amount of money no matter which service you choose. That said, Amazon Prime is $119 per year, while Walmart+ is $98. Students, however, can get an Amazon Prime membership for $59.
Before you commit to either, you can sign up for free trials. Amazon offers a 30-day free trial, while Walmart+ has a 15-day free trial.
Delivery speeds are trickier to nail down because they are often dictated by your location. Generally, Amazon Prime has at the very least two-day free shipping for Prime members, though same-day and next-day shipping are available depending on your location.
Walmart+ is a little different in this regard. Walmart is touting same-day delivery for all eligible items $35 and up, which makes sense considering the retailer already offers two-day and next-day delivery for a ton of products.
While Walmart may have Amazon beat when it comes to delivery speeds--as long as you live in an eligible area--Amazon has far more products that fall under the Prime umbrella. Amazon Prime boasts more than three million eligible items to Walmart's 160,000. Both retailers offer products across every category, from gaming, tech, and entertainment to toys, groceries, and home goods.
Release-day delivery and game discounts
Both subscription programs offer release-date delivery on select games, entertainment, and tech products. It's worth noting that as of late, Amazon has slipped up with release-day delivery on a number of bigger games. This is in large part due to the coronavirus pandemic, but Walmart has generally held firm with its release-day delivery, provided you order at least a few days in advance.
Walmart also regularly offers in-store discounts for new release video games. Typically, these $10 discounts haven't been available for online orders. However, Walmart+ subscribers get in-store discounts on everything they order online for delivery. This means you could potentially take advantage of Walmart's in-store release day discounts online and have them shipped to you by release day as well, but it's unclear how many games will be eligible. A Walmart rep told GameSpot the release day discounts will be available for games "on a case by case basis depending on inventory," including "a handful of new release games in Q4."
Amazon used to offer 20% discounts on preorders for select new games, but that perk has been removed from Prime memberships. If you buy a lot of games at release but don't want to go into your local Walmart to pick them up, Walmart+ could be a solid option.
Walmart+ additional perks
Walmart+ has a couple of additional perks in addition to the core delivery benefits. First, you can save up to 5 cents on every gallon of fuel at Walmart and Murphy gas stations (typically located in front of stores). You'll also gain access to a Scan & Go app that lets you scan items as you pick them off the shelf to save time and avoid checkout lines. This feature is offered for free at some grocery chains already, so locking it behind a subscription isn't exactly ideal.
Amazon Prime additional perks
When it comes to added benefits of your subscription, the two services don't really compare. Amazon Prime has a lot more to offer beyond fast and convenient shipping. Amazon Prime comes with a Prime Video subscription, one of our favorite streaming services. You also get access to Prime Music, which has more than 2 million songs to stream. You can get five free games each month with Prime Gaming--and you typically get even more thanks to bonus games. Amazon also has Prime Day, an annual sale exclusive to Prime members that offers massive discounts on a huge selection of products.
Amazon Prime or Walmart+?
It's worth noting Walmart has said that Walmart+ is not trying to compete with Amazon Prime, but rather meet the needs of its customers. Naturally, these services will be compared to one another due to their similar focuses. That said, it is clear that Amazon Prime remains the better option for most, as it has more products and far better perks.
However, if you shop at Walmart a lot already, Walmart+ could be a good subscription simply for same-day delivery at in-store prices. The fuel perks are a nice bonus as well. We could see Walmart+ being a great option for those who handle their grocery shopping at Walmart, too. Even if you go into the store, you can save time with Scan & Go. And for those who buy a bunch of games at Walmart, getting in-store discounts on new releases delivered to your home could be a very convenient perk.
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