Nix the delivery fees, save money on gas and experience contact-free service when shopping in-store. That’s what Walmart is promising with its latest offering — Walmart Plus.
Walmart Plus is a membership program designed to increase customer loyalty by providing exclusive savings and convenience.
“We are a company committed to meeting our customers’ needs,” Janey Whiteside, Walmart’s chief customer officer, said in a press release. “We’ve designed this program as the ultimate life hack for them.”
The new service is set to launch Sept. 15, after the company pushed back plans for an earlier roll-out this year.
Free, unlimited, same-day delivery — from about 2,700 stores nationwide — is being hailed as the selling point of Walmart Plus, prompting comparisons to Amazon Prime. Of course, you have to spend money to save money. Membership for Walmart Plus is $98 annually or $12.95 a month.
Considering that same-day delivery from Walmart can cost as much as $9.95 per order, customers who place delivery orders a couple of times each month will see savings.
Members can use Walmart Plus to order from a selection of over 160,000 items, including groceries, household essentials, tech products and toys. This free delivery feature replaces Walmart’s Delivery Unlimited subscription service. Current Delivery Unlimited members will automatically become Walmart Plus subscribers.
Similar to Amazon Prime, Walmart Plus doesn’t just stop at fast, free delivery. Members can benefit from savings of up to 5 cents a gallon at nearly 2,000 Walmart, Murphy USA and Murphy Express gas stations. (Those savings will soon be extended to Sam’s Club fuel stations as well.)
Walmart Plus members will also get the convenience of contactless payment — and not having to wait in checkout lines — when they shop in stores. From the Walmart app, members will be able to scan items as they fill their carts and pay using their smartphones.
While the company claims the list of Walmart Plus benefits will continue to grow over time, the initial offerings don’t quite seem to compare to Amazon Prime’s many features, including TV and movie screening, music streaming, photo storage, gaming access and free e-books — in addition to its free delivery service. Prime, however, is a bit pricier at $119 a year or $12.99 monthly.
If you’re on the fence about Walmart Plus, you could always test out the service before committing to yet another subscription. Walmart Plus offers a 15-day free trial.
Nicole Dow is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder.