Walmart is popular among budget-conscious consumers because of its everyday low prices. You can order online or in-store at more than 4,700 locations to save money when you shop. In addition, Walmart recently introduced Walmart Plus — a subscription service that can provide unlimited free delivery, member prices on fuel, and other valuable perks and benefits. I tried Walmart Plus for myself and here's what I learned.
What is Walmart Plus?
Walmart Plus is a membership service offered by Walmart through which subscribers receive unlimited free delivery, member prices on fuel, and more. Its website indicates that additional benefits will be added in the future to increase the value of the membership. As of November 2020, a Walmart Plus subscription is available for $12.95 per month, or you can save almost 40% when paying annually.
|Free trial||15 days (or you can extend this to 30 days by answering three questions)|
|Same-day delivery||$10 delivery fee at participating stores|
|Grocery delivery||Next day delivery at no charge|
|Streaming services and other media||None|
|Fuel discount||5 cents per gallon at participating locations|
How Walmart Plus works
Walmart Plus is a new subscription service that is the retailer's response to the popularity of consumers shopping with e-commerce giant Amazon. The membership program works in much the same way as Amazon Prime. However, it also offers some features that make it a better choice for certain customers, like one-hour delivery windows and touch-free in-person shopping, which is especially relevant to many due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
How to sign up for Walmart Plus
Signing up for Walmart Plus is simple. Visit Walmart.com/plus and click on "start 15-day free trial." First, you'll enter your address to validate which benefits are available in your local area. Although Walmart Plus is available throughout the U.S., not all stores are able to provide delivery services. Next, you'll either create a new Walmart account or link to your existing account.
Before signing up, here's a couple of ways to receive extra cash back on your membership. When I signed up, my Chase Offers included a $10 cash back offer for using my registered Chase credit card to sign up for Walmart Plus. My offer was good through Dec. 8, 2020, so check your Chase Offers to see whether it is available for you.
The Dosh cashback app is also giving new users between 5% and 10% back when signing up for Walmart Plus. You'll receive 10% cash back on annual memberships and 5% on monthly memberships. Additionally, you can earn cash back at Walmart on every order initiated through the Dosh cashback app. For more on Dosh, you can read our Dosh review.
Monthly vs. annual plan
When signing up for Walmart Plus, you can pay monthly or annually. The monthly fee for a subscription is $12.95. This is good for the occasional user or for someone who is unsure about the Walmart Plus service and wants to test it out. Annual subscriptions are only $98, which is nearly $60 in savings versus paying monthly.
With either option, you get a 15-day trial to test out the service before payment is due.
How to increase your 15-day free trial to 30 days
During the sign-up process, Walmart offers you the ability to extend your 15-day trial to 30 days if you answer the following three questions:
- Including you, how many people live in your home?
- Whom do you share your home with? (age brackets and pets)
- What kind of subscriptions do you already have?
If you feel comfortable sharing this information, you'll double the free trial period. If not, you can cancel the survey at any point.
What's included with Walmart Plus
The initial benefits of Walmart Plus are focused on saving time and money while making your shopping experience better. Plus, Walmart will expand upon these benefits as time goes on.
- Unlimited free delivery from participating stores: Walmart has more than 4,700 stores that participate in Walmart Plus and 2,700 that offer same-day delivery. Same day delivery is available for a $10 fee.
- Members-only pricing on fuel: Walmart Plus members save 5 cents on every gallon of gas purchased at nearly 2,000 Walmart, Murphy USA, and Murphy Express gas stations. Since it's release, Sam's Club fuel stations have been added as well.
- Mobile scan & go for in-store shopping: While shopping in-store, you can speed up your visit and enjoy a touch-free payment experience by scanning and checking out through the Walmart mobile app (which is available for iPhones in the Apple App store and for Android phones on Google Play).
These exclusive benefits are in addition to the standard benefits that all Walmart customers have, such as free curbside pickup, NextDay delivery, and two-day delivery.
How to order from Walmart Plus
Ordering your groceries and other items from Walmart is simple with Walmart Plus. You'll log into your Walmart account as usual, then select your delivery preference. Same-day delivery is available at 2,700 stores and next-day delivery is available from 4,700.
During checkout, you can choose free store pickup or delivery. Next-day delivery is typically available for $7.95 to $9.95 per order, but Walmart Plus members get their deliveries for free. If you choose delivery, you can have it delivered the same day in two hours or less for $10 extra or the next day for free.
Free next-day delivery is available, but you can also schedule your delivery several days out at a time that's more convenient for you. Walmart offers one-hour delivery windows from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. If your schedule changes, you can reschedule once per order at no charge.
Deliveries are normally made in person, but you can also choose to have the delivery person leave it on your doorstep. Keep in mind that this leaves your items vulnerable to theft and the weather. Walmart allows you to choose a one-hour delivery window so you won't be disturbed during an important conference call or miss the delivery while you're out running errands.
Walmart will provide status updates for your delivery via text if you’d like.
Your total isn't final when you complete your order. A temporary hold will be placed on your card based on Walmart's estimate, but the total could change based on the availability of the items you ordered, possible substitutions, and the actual weight of some items (e.g. chicken breasts).
Tipping your driver is also an option, but not mandatory. They’ll keep 100% of the money and it rewards them for being quick with your delivery.
When checking out, it pays to use one of the Walmart credit cards. With the Capital One Walmart Rewards Mastercard, for example, cardholders can earn 5% back at Walmart.com, on the Walmart app, and on Walmart pickup and delivery; 2% back in Walmart stores, at Walmart and Murphy USA gas stations, and on restaurant and travel purchases; and 1% back on everything else. The card has a $0 annual fee and is currently offering a very useful sign-up bonus: Earn 5% back on purchases in Walmart stores for the first 12 months when you use this card with Walmart Pay.
My experience with Walmart Plus
Our family is always looking for how to save money while minimizing our trips to the grocery store. This has especially been the case during the coronavirus pandemic. We’ve been using other grocery delivery services for months.
We thought we'd try Walmart Plus because we love Walmart's low everyday prices. The extended 30-day free trial and cashback promos from Dosh and Chase Offers practically gave us two months to use Walmart Plus with nothing out of pocket.
Ordering online through Walmart Plus was simple and easy. It offers the same in-store prices and same-day delivery on more than 160,000 items from groceries to clothing to technology.
I particularly liked that Walmart allowed me to choose alternative items in case our preferred products were unavailable. You can have your shopper pick out substitutions, or you can click the item to choose what you'd like in case it is out of stock.
I also like that Walmart Plus gives you a window to add items to your order. Sure enough, as soon as I hit submit, my wife asked me to add two more snack foods the kids had just devoured. I was able to edit the order with no problem instead of creating a whole new order.
However, I didn't like that Walmart Plus requires a $35 minimum to schedule a grocery delivery. Unlike with an Amazon Prime membership, there isn't an option to pay a fee if your order is below the minimum. Walmart Plus doesn't have a minimum on non-perishable items, though.
All in all, I can see our family continuing to use Walmart Plus for grocery delivery. I like that you can schedule delivery during one-hour time slots and pay extra if you need something delivered the same day. Although we aren't driving much right now, the 5-cent savings per gallon will add up once we start road-tripping again. Plus, it will be interesting to see what other benefits Walmart adds to compete with Amazon Prime.
Is Walmart Plus right for you?
Walmart Plus is perfect for the frequent Walmart shopper who is focused on how to manage your money. The Scan & Go feature also enables those who want to social distance when buying groceries. You'll receive unlimited, free next-day deliveries and the ability to choose a one-hour delivery window that works best for you. And, if you prefer to shop in-store, you can use the Walmart app to scan and pay for your items for a touch-free payment experience.
People who drive a lot will really benefit from the 5 cents per gallon savings at more than 2,000 Walmart, Murphy USA, Murphy Express, and Sam's Club fuel stations. Plus, those savings would be in addition to the rewards you'll earn if you use a credit card that offers a bonus for fuel purchases. (We recommend that you check out the best gas credit cards.)
Amazon Prime offers free delivery just like Walmart Plus, but it has different benefits. Prime members get free movies and music, unlimited photo storage, and many other benefits. You can also earn bonus cash back if you also have the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card. What Amazon cannot match is Walmart's large retail presence when you need something today or for those who like to shop in-store.
Is Walmart Plus worth it?
Yes, Walmart Plus is worth it for customers who regularly get deliveries from Walmart. You'll cover the cost for your monthly membership after receiving just two deliveries (normally $7.95 to $9.95 per order). The members-only fuel discount of 5 cents a gallon at over 2,000 locations of Walmart, Murphy USA, Murphy Express, and Sam's Club fuel stations can provide even more savings.
How much is a Walmart Plus membership?
Monthly Walmart Plus membership is $12.95 per month, and an annual membership is $98 per year.
Is Walmart Plus available everywhere?
Walmart Plus is available at over 4,400 stores. Same-day deliveries are available from 2,700 locations.
Is there a minimum order for Walmart delivery?
Whether or not Walmart Plus has a minimum order requirement depends on what you order. The minimum order to be able to place a grocery order for delivery with Walmart Plus is $35. There is no order minimum for non-perishable items.
Walmart Plus is a membership service that provides unlimited free deliveries, discounts on fuel, and touch-free payment for in-store shopping. You can save almost 40% by paying for a full year in advance and limited-time offers from Dosh and Chase Offers can add to those savings. With Walmart Plus, you'll receive the same low Walmart prices you’re used to while also saving time and fuel expense by eliminating trips to the store. If you shop at Walmart on a regular basis, Walmart Plus can save you both time and money.