Walmart Plus vs Amazon Prime: which is best value?

Walmart Plus vs Amazon Prime: which is best value?
(Image credit: Walmart/Amazon)

A new challenger steps up to the plate, with Walmart launching its own premium delivery service to rival that of Amazon Prime, but which is better - Walmart Plus or Amazon Prime? Amazon has dominated the online retail world for years now and has seen very little in the way of real competition, but if any company is big enough to take on the house of Bezos, it’s got to be Walmart.

Walmart Plus

Walmart is offering a 15-day free trial with no commitment to subscribe. Membership to Walmart Plus costs just $12.95 per month, or $98 per year and offers free unlimited delivery, discounts on fuel, and more.

Both companies have made their billions in selling just about anything you could ever want or need. In fact, there are very few other stores where you can buy a TV, smartphone, dishwasher and do your weekly shopping all at once, but Amazon and Walmart both offer this… in their own unique ways.

With the launch of Walmart Plus just around the corner, we decided to compare it to Amazon Prime to see how the two services stack up. What does each subscription cost and what do you get for your money? The two biggest names in retail are about to face off so let’s get to it. 

Walmart Plus vs Amazon Prime: Launch date 

Walmart Plus launched today (Sept 15) and comes with a 15-day free trial to entice new shoppers in. With Amazon’s Prime Day sales just around the corner, this is a bold time of year for Walmart to make its big entrance. 

Amazon Prime has been live for over 15 years and is currently the biggest retail platform in the world, so Walmart is stepping up to a real champion of the shopping world here. You can sign up for Amazon Prime here.

Walmart Plus vs Amazon Prime: Price

Walmart Plus is the cheaper of the two services, with an annual subscription costing $98 per year, or $12.95 per month. By comparison, Amazon Prime costs $119 per year, though the monthly subscription is only a fraction more expensive than Walmart’s option at  $12.99.

So Walmart Plus wins in a pure price war if you consider annual subscriptions, and it’s basically a tie when it comes to rolling monthly subscriptions. Of course, price alone is meaningless without knowing what these services have to offer.

Walmart Plus vs Amazon Prime: Perks 

Walmart Plus Perks
Walmart Plus gives subscribers free and 'as fast as' same day delivery on a range of over 160,000 in-store items including groceries, toiletries and a selection of electronics and toys. The 'as fast as' disclaimer is likely there to cover Walmart should you place an order at 11:59pm and expect it within 60 seconds, so we’d anticipate this to actually be same day delivery almost all of the time.

Walmart store

(Image credit: Walmart)

Alongside the free shipping, Walmart Plus customers also get access to the Scan & Go feature, which lets shoppers use the Walmart app to scan items as they shop for fast, contactless payment. You just scan things as you pick them up and then pay via the app - no need to queue up at the checkout. Handy when you're trying to stay well away from other people in these current times.

The final benefit of Walmart Plus, and maybe the clincher for users who drive regularly, is fuel discounts at Walmart, Murphy USA, and Murphy Express fuel stations. You save 5 cents per gallon at nearly 2,000 gas stations nationwide. That saving could stack up fast.

Amazon Prime Perks
Amazon Prime offers a range of shipping options depending on your location and the item that you’re looking for. You generally get one or two-day shipping on eligible items, but if you’re lucky enough to live in the right ZIP code, you can even take advantage of Prime Now, which is a free two-hour delivery service - that’s fast.

Along with the free shipping, Amazon prime also gives you access to exclusive deals and sales on Amazon, including 30 minutes early access to all Lightning deals.

The other well known benefit of Amazon Prime is that you get access to Prime Video. Prime Video is one of the best TV streaming services available right now, offering a huge range of TV shows and movies for streaming. This includes blockbuster releases like Knives Out and Bumblebee, alongside original shows like Jack Ryan and The Boys.

Where Amazon Prime sets itself apart from Walmart Plus is with the extra features though - those well known benefits are the main reason you subscribe, but there is a staggering library of extras that some people don’t even realize they get access to.

Amazon Prime Video

(Image credit: Amazon)

You get access to Prime Music, which contains over 2 million songs for you to stream and enjoy, along with a discount should you want to sign up to Amazon Music Unlimited, which has a much wider selection of music to choose from.

While you will use Amazon Prime for most deliveries when it comes to things like electronics, there are also a few services related to food and grocery delivery included in Amazon Prime too. Prime members get an exclusive 5% discount at Whole Foods when using an Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Card. You can also use Amazon Fresh, which is a fresh food delivery service which offers a selection of groceries including meats, fish, fruit and vegetables, snacks, and household essentials.

Stay with us, we’re not done. Prime also offers Prime Wardrobe, a service that lets you try out clothes before you commit to buying them. Any clothes item with the Prime Wardrobe tag is included. You order the clothes, try them out and choose what to buy, then send the rest back.

Gaming fans can also enjoy Prime Gaming (previously known as Twitch Prime) membership. You get free PC games and loot every month. And if you’re more of a bookworm than a gamer, then Prime Reading gives you access to thousands of books, comics, magazines and more via either your Kindle, or the Kindle app on your smartphone or tablet.

Is Audible part of Amazon Prime?
No, Amazon Prime membership does not come with access to Audible, which is Amazon’s audiobook service. Audible currently stands out as the only Amazon service not currently bundled in with Prime. Given Audible’s popularity on its own, we don’t see this changing anytime soon either.

(Image credit: Amazon)

Walmart Plus vs Amazon Prime: which is best value? 

Looking at the list of features and perks that both services offer, Amazon Prime is the winner as a pure shopping experience. Walmart Plus is new to the game, and Amazon Prime has a 15 year head start when it comes to offering a great value service, so it’s not difficult to see why Amazon Prime comes out on top here. Amazon also has it’s fingers in a lot more pies than Walmart, with its own streaming services like Prime Video and Amazon Music. It costs slightly more than Walmart Plus, but Amazon Prime more than makes up for that cost with it’s staggering offerings.

With that said, there are some big reasons to choose Walmart Plus. The fuel discount is a major factor for people who drive a lot, and regular drivers could easily make their subscription back in fuel savings alone over the course of a year. Walmart Plus also offers benefits to in-store shoppers with Shop & Go, which is a great time saver if you regularly shop at Walmart.

Ultimately, that’s what this comes down to. If you’re already a Walmart shopper and live near a Walmart store, then Walmart Plus is excellent value. But Amazon Prime also offers exceptional value, and is much less tied to a brick and mortar store. Amazon loses much of its shine if you don't use the TV and music elements too, so we think there's a real fight to be had here in 2020 and beyond.

Ian Stokes

Ian Stokes is the Tech Editor here at Top Ten Reviews. He has extensive experience in tech and games journalism, with work published on IGN, Kotaku UK, Waypoint, GamesRadar, Trusted Reviews, and many more. You'll find him covering everything from smartphones and home computers to 3D printers and headphones. He's also our resident cocktail expert.