Walmart+: Is it Worth It? What the Paid Subscription Offers

Walmart+: Is it Worth It? What the Paid Subscription Offers

For nearly two decades, Amazon Prime has grown from a niche membership to a ubiquitous must-have for consumers. Because of this, when retail giant Walmart launched Walmart+, many saw it as their attempt at taking on Prime. But, does the service actually compare?

If you’re curious about Walmart+ and what it has to offer, let’s take a closer look at the benefits as well as my personal experience as a member.

Walmart+ Review
Walmart+ Can Pack a Lot of Perks for the Right Person
4
Cost
$98 annually or $12.95 a month
Free trial?
30 day free trial available
Walmart+ is largely regarded as the retailer’s answer to Amazon Prime and happens to offer some similar benefits, such as free shipping and delivery. However, Walmart+ sweetens the deal with gas savings, a convenient Scan & Go feature, Walmart Cash deals, a Paramount+ subscription, and more. The result is a fairly solid deal — if you order from Walmart enough to make the $98 annual cost worth it.
Pros
Cons
  • Costs $98 a year (or $12.95 per month)
  • Gas station perk limited to certain stations

What is Walmart+ and What Does It Include?

Walmart+ shipping boxes and products

Pricing

When it comes to Walmart+, there are currently two plan options: yearly and monthly. If you choose to pay for a year upfront, it will cost you $98/year. Meanwhile, selecting a monthly option instead comes at a cost of $12.95/month.

Also notable is that Walmart+ offers a free trial. At this time, you can sign up for a 30-day free trial of the service. During this trial, members will have access to most of the account’s features, although Walmart notes “Exclusive access are available for members only after their free trial.” In those cases, members also have the option to skip their free trial, become paid members right away, and take advantage of any special Walmart+ exclusive sales that may be happening at the time.

Shipping and pick-up perk

Perhaps the main benefit of Walmart+ — and the one that makes it most comparable to rival Amazon Prime — is that it enables customers to enjoy free delivery or shipping on orders. Specifically, the free shipping applies to any size order while the free same-day delivery (from local stores) applies to orders of $35 or more.

A few months ago, I had a chance to try out the delivery perk for myself. In fact, while Walmart+’s free delivery typically only covers standard delivery, a promo at the time allowed me to upgrade to Express Delivery at no cost. What I found was that the experience was somewhat comparable to Instacart, where I could select potential replacement items, see when my purchases were checked off, and follow the delivery to my door. Overall, this worked well… although there was a delay in my Express delivery that took it outside of the stated timeframe (although, without Express, I would have had to wait until the next day). I suspect that this minor delay was partially because of the discounted offer that surely spiked demand. Plus, the fact that I was able to order my items and they arrived at my door within 90 minutes was pretty amazing.

Gas discount

Another Walmart+ benefit is a gas discount that applies at more than 13,000 locations nationwide. As a member, you’ll be able to save 10¢ per gallon at participating Exxon, Mobil, Murphy, and Walmart stations.

Save 10¢ per gallon at 13,000+ locations nationwide including Exxon, Mobil, Walmart & Murphy stations. Interestingly, this is limited to 5¢ per gallon in 5¢ Alabama and Oklahoma. Alternatively, the Walmart+ FAQ notes that Walmart+ customers can also get member prices at Sam’s Club fuel centers.

To use this offer, you’ll want to select the fuel benefit in the Walmart app. From there, you’ll be asked to scan a QR code at most stations or enter a discount code at Murphy stations.

Walmart+ Scan & Go app

Scan & Go feature

As small as it may be in the scheme of things, one of my favorite Walmart+ perks is access to Scan & Go. Using the Walmart app while shopping in-store, you can scan items as you place them into your cart. Then, after scanning the Walmart Pay QR Code at a kiosk, you can complete the transaction in the app, bag your items, and be on your way.

Although this feature is slightly different from its Sam’s Club counterpart in that you’ll still need to visit a self-checkout kiosk rather than heading straight to the exit, it can still be a timesaver. That’s especially true at Walmart locations that have added dedicated Walmart+ Scan & Go kiosk banks. I’ve seen at least a couple of these now and they’ve been great for those times where even the self-checkout lines get long.

Walmart Cash offers

When you’re a Walmart+ member, you may notice special deals on certain items. These are akin to “digital coupons” and allow you to earn Walmart Cash back. This particular feature is powered by Ibotta.

By happenstance, I encountered a Walmart Cash offer while shopping at a Walmart Neighborhood Market. After scanning one pint of Ben & Jerry’s, the app let me know that it was eligible for a deal: if I bought a second pint, I’d earn $2 Walmart Cash. Naturally, I went ahead and did this.

To find current Walmart Cash offers, tap the Account tab in the app, click “Get More” next to your Walmart Cash balance, and then select “View Eligible Items.”

Walmart+ Travel

Speaking of Walmart Cash, another way to earn it is via Walmart+ Travel. This platform is basically Expedia but allows members to earn 5% Walmart Cash on hotel, vacation rental, and car rental bookings. Plus, flight bookings will earn 2% Walmart Cash. As for vacation packages, those will earn a “blended rate,” meaning 2% on the flight portion of the package and 5% on the other eligible elements.

Paramonut+ logo

Paramount+

Since Amazon Prime has made its streaming platform a major part of its service, Walmart probably figured they also needed a streaming component. Thankfully, rather than trying to introduce Walmart+ TV, they partnered with Paramount. As a result, Walmart+ users enjoy complimentary access to Paramount+.

What’s offered as a Walmart+ member is the Parmount+ Essential plan (AKA “the one with ads”), which retails for $5.99 a month. However, Walmart notes that users can upgrade to the Paramount+ with SHOWTIME plan and pay the difference. In this case, that comes out to $6.49 a month. To select this option, go to your Walmart+ account, select “Manage Plan” under the Paramount+ section, and then choose your upgraded, ad-free, plan.

Special deals

Up until now, we’ve talked about benefits that exist for Walmart+ members year-round. However, another advertised perk is exclusive deals and early access to special sales.

Incidentally, as I’m writing this, we’re in the middle of Walmart+ Week. This has included enhanced offers such as 20¢ off per gallon at eligible gas stations, up to 20% Walmart Cash back on Walmart+ Travel bookings, a free Express delivery, and more. Additionally, the service is teasing a mystery offer that will be unveiled on June 20th. Honestly, these are pretty good deals, if you can take advantage of them.

As for how early access to other sales is, I unfortunately can’t speak too much to that. But, if you’re one to hit Black Friday and other such sales hard, then this benefit might carry a bit more weight with you.

American Express Platinum benefit

Finally, I wanted to highlight an unexpected way you can get a “free” Walmart+ membership. In 2021, the Platinum Card by American Express introduced a Walmart+ benefit. When cardholders activate this benefit and sign up for Walmart+’s monthly option, they’ll earn a $12.95 per month statement credit — which completely offsets the Walmart+ membership cost.

This is how I came to have Walmart+ in the first place. While it may seem like an odd partnership, it’s been a nice bonus benefit for me. Of course, the features of the Platinum Card are always subject to change. But, if you’re a Platinum cardholder or become one, there’s not really a downside to trying out this perk.

Final Thoughts on Walmart+

Walmart+ box stuffed with merchandise

Since debuting, Walmart+ has continually updated and evolved — mostly for the better. Yet, impressively, the service has yet to raise its price from $98 a year. That alone puts it in contrast to Amazon Prime, which has seen a number of hikes in recent memory and currently clocks in at $139 a year. Because of this, it would be great if Walmart+ were a replacement for that option… but, for most people, it likely won’t be. For as much as Walmart carries, it still can’t quite compete with Amazon.

That said, those in areas where Amazon one-day delivery is rare or non-existent may actually prefer Walmart+ as they can get free delivery from their local stores within hours. Of course, this further limits the number of items available — and, as a reminder, you should tip your Walmart delivery driver.

As for me, the perks I use most often are Paramount+ and the Scan & Go feature. Additionally, the Walmart Cash offers and gas discounts have come in handy a few times. Yet, these perks alone wouldn’t be worth the annual cost to me if American Express weren’t comping my membership fee.

All things considered, even if I’m not the perfect market for Walmart+, I do think it’s ultimately a good product and potentially a good deal. To determine if it makes sense for you I’d recommend adding up your potential savings and, perhaps, taking advantage of the free trial if you’re interested in seeing more.

Author

Kyle Burbank

Head Writer ~ Fioney
Kyle is the head writer for Fioney. He is a personal finance nerd, constantly looking for new apps and services to test and incorporate into his own financial game plan. In addition to his role at Fioney, he's written for other publications including Born2Invest, Lifehack, and Laughing Place, as well as his own site Money@30. He also creates personal finance and travel-related videos for Fioney's YouTube channel, which has garnered more than 2 million views. Currently, Kyle resides in Springfield, Missouri with his wife of 10 years. Together, they enjoy traveling (including visiting Disney Parks around the world), dining, and playing with their dog Rigby.

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