In the Amazon Prime vs Walmart Plus (technically called Walmart+) showdown, one definitely gives you significantly more bang for your buck than the other. However, depending on exactly WHY you’re considering either option, the “loser’ may actually be the better choice in the long run. Read on to see where each one shines and where it falls flat compared to the other.
FYI, this post includes affiliate links. If you buy through them, I earn a small commission at no extra charge to you.
Amazon Prime vs Walmart Plus Comparison: Which Is the Better Value?
11/30/21 Update: After nothing but MAJOR issues with Walmart+ delivery over the last few weeks, I would NOT recommend it to anyone who values their sanity. I still compare all of the features below, but seriously, unless you want every single order to turn into a “will they or won’t they deliver” and enjoy chatting with scripted bots, save yourself a little time and energy: skip Walmart+.
TL;DR: If you’re not in the mood to read thousands of words and just want to know right now which gives you more for your money, Amazon Prime wins hands down in all cases except for grocery delivery (and it may even win there depending on where you live).
Let me be very honest up front. I am an Amazon affiliate, but not a Walmart one. However, that does not in any way affect which option I choose as the “winner,” I promise. I’d never lie to you or recommend something that I wouldn’t use myself just to make a few bucks.
Also, as mentioned earlier, Walmart Plus is actually called Walmart+. I’m using both below for a reason (to help it show up in both search results).
Check out the table below for a side-by-side comparison, then read on for an in-depth look at each feature. All prices are accurate as of today (11/7/21)
|Feature||Amazon Prime||Walmart Plus||Winner|
|Cost per month||$12.99||$12.95||Walmart|
|Discounted Memberships||$5.99/month for EBT holders. 50% off for students||None||Amazon|
|Family Sharing||Yes, but not on the discounted plans||No||Amazon|
|Shipping Benefit||Free on items fulfilled by Amazon, usually 1-2 days||Free on items fulfilled by Walmart, usually 1-2 days (but review for caveats)||Draw, but see review. Sometimes Amazon wins.|
|Same-Day Grocery Delivery||Only in certain locations||Yes, in theory. Getting a time is tricky in certain areas.||Walmart|
|Entertainment Benefits||Movies, books, music and gaming perks included||None||Amazon|
|Exclusive Deals||Member-only sales, early access to some deals||Early access to Black Friday sales||Draw|
|Additional Perks||Rx discounts, photo storage, Prime Wardrobe, & more||Rx and fuel discounts, Scan & Go in store||Amazon|
|Free Trial||30 Days||15 Days||Amazon|
Cost of Amazon Prime vs Walmart+
Amazon Prime and Walmart+ are roughly the same cost for a monthly membership, give or take a few cents (4, to be precise). However, when it comes to annual plans, Walmart+ comes in at 21 cheaper, which is almost like getting two months for free.
Now, as far as discounts go, though, that’s where Amazon shines. low-income EBT cardholders can get Prime for $5.99 a month. I wrote all about the Amazon EBT benefit when it first came out, so check that out for a better overview.
Students get a Prime Student 6-month Trial, then pay significantly less for their ongoing membership (as of right now, it’s half the price of a regular membership). Students also gain access to exclusive deals just for college students.
It’s important to note that Amazon’s family sharing benefits (which we’ll go over below) ONLY apply to full-priced memberships. You can’t share benefits if you get the discounted EBT or student membership. While I understand that for students, it bothers me that they don’t let EBT-discounted memberships share benefits.
If you have two adults in the household and you don’t want to share a membership (for example, maybe your spouse wants their own so they can buy you Christmas gifts without you peeking!), you’re SOL. You’ll both need to pay the $5.99, and at that point, you’re better off just paying the extra $1ish for a full membership.
As of right now, Walmart+ has no discounts for students or EBT cardholders.
WINNER: Based on price alone with no other considerations, Walmart+ wins this round.
Family Sharing Benefits
There’s absolutely no comparison when it comes to which offers the better family benefits. As of right now, Walmart+ does not allow you to share memberships with family members.
A few months ago, I thought I saw something in their FAQs about it being in the works, but I can’t find that again so I’m guessing it means there are no plans for it in the future, either.
Aside from the caveats mentioned above for discounted memberships, Amazon Prime has a pretty good family sharing option, called Amazon Household. Here’s what you can do with it:
- Share your membership with one other adult in your household (they have to live with you). This includes your digitial libraries (books, movies, photos, Audible channels, games, etc), shipping benefits, access to early deals, Prime Video, Prime Reading and more.
- Create Teen logins so that your teenagers can shop with your card and share your benefits. You can review their orders, but they can’t see yours (so they can’t peek at what you buy them for holidays and birthdays). There are limitations, though, so check out their teen login help page.
- Add children (12 and under) to your household so you can personalize what they see on their Amazon devices. Kids can only access what you allow, and they can’t buy anything.
WINNER: Amazon, since Walmart+ has no family sharing benefits
Walmart+ vs. Amazon Prime Shipping Benefits
Amazon Prime and Walmart+ both offer free shipping with no minimum order on most items sold or fulfilled by their own company. Let’s do a break down what each offers because there are some notable differences.
One quick note: for this section we’re only looking at items that are shipped vs delivered from local stores. We’ll talk about the “delivered from your local store” options in the next section.
Walmart+ Free Shipping Benefits
Walmart+ offers free delivery with no minimum on any item that’s actually sold by Walmart (so 3rd party Marketplace sellers don’t usually count unless those sellers choose to offer free shipping). By comparison, non-members only get free shipping on orders totaling $35+.
For some items, you can get next-day delivery. However, 2-day shipping is the most common. You can set filters to show only items that ship fast AND even choose exactly how quickly you need them.
Now, here’s the problem, and why Amazon sometimes wins this round even though it’s technically a draw. Walmart uses FedEx and UPS (but in my experience, mostly FedEx). Unfortunately, due to widespread shipping delays, that sometimes means that your 2-day delivery turns into a week or longer.
I have noticed that Walmart+ members actually get their items faster than non-members. Just this week, I ordered $10 worth of paper towels that were delivered within two days.
My mom, who isn’t a member, ordered $100 worth of pet food with a “2-day delivery” on the 3rd. She got some of it about three days later. Her latest email from Walmart told her to expect the rest of it on the 10th.
So you may actually have a shot at getting your stuff on time if you’re a member, but it really depends on how bad the shipping delays are in your area.
Amazon Prime Free Shipping
Amazon also offers multiple different free shipping options, included Next Day, 2-Day, and even same-day delivery in select areas. Like Walmart, you can sort items by shipping speed…sort of. Basically, you can filter by only items that are Prime eligible as well as items that will arrive the next day.
There’s a separate “hub” for same-day delivery items. Unfortunately, it’s not available in my area, so I can’t really tell you much about how that works. This is all I see:
Amazon uses pretty much every shipper, including FedEx, UPS and USPS. However, most of my items are delivered by their own drivers.
We used to get most things delivered by the USPS, which was so awful that I all but stopped shopping through Amazon entirely. My mailbox is one of those cluster deals where 100+ people share 6 relatively small package lockers, and 99.9% of the time I had to drive to the post office and stand in line for an hour just to pick up my package. Now, a few items still go to the post office, but the vast majority actually come directly to my house.
WINNER: DRAW (although sometimes Amazon is faster)
Amazon vs Walmart for Grocery Delivery (& other “delivered from your local store” options)
Here’s where Walmart+ actually wins for me, because I can’t get grocery delivery from Amazon in my area. But let’s pretend that I could, for the sake of comparison.
Amazon Grocery Delivery
Amazon’s groceries come from one of two places (and not every location has access to both): Whole Foods or Amazon Fresh. Whole Foods is pretty expensive, so even if you do have access to grocery delivery in your area, you need to have a pretty hefty food budget to actually be able to afford to use it.
Plus, there are only about 500 Whole Foods in the entire US, and they’re mostly in or around big cities. Pennsylvania has 16 total, and 10 of them are in or around Philly. My nearest one is 37 miles away.
Amazon Fresh, on the other hand, offers lower-cost goods and more national brands. So it’s a bit more competitive with Walmart in that respect (and maybe even cheaper). Unfortunately, there are only about 19 stores in the entire country right now, and most are in California and Washington. There is one in PA down by Philly, though.
Walmart+ Grocery Delivery
Grocery delivery from Walmart is available in A LOT more locations. I don’t know if it’s everywhere yet, but it’s definitely available in more locations than Amazon grocery delivery.
Theoretically, you can get same-day delivery, BUT the slots fill up fast. At least 9 times out of 10, I can’t get a slot until the next day. Now, if they do fill up and you desperately need a delivery that day, they do seem to hold a few for express delivery. That’ll cost you $10 more, though (which is about half of what it’ll cost those without Walmart+ memberships).
One thing I do like about Walmart, sometimes they’ll surprise you. If you order something for shipping and it happens to be available in your store, they occasionally just send it over that same day.
WINNER: Walmart, at least in my area
Like family sharing, there’s no comparison.
Amazon Entertainment Benefits
Your Amazon Prime membership gives you access to:
- Prime Video
- Prime Reading (which is kind of like Kindle Unlimited Lite. Ooh, or you could call it Kindle Limited. 😀 )
- Amazon Music Prime (again, it’s a limited version of Music Unlimited)
- Prime Gaming
You can also get Amazon Channels for an extra fee (varies by channel). While the cost is usually about what you’d pay through each channel directly, Amazon often has special deals on them. Plus, it’s a lot easier to cancel channels you don’t watch when they’re all on one spot.
Oh, and you can watch them all through your Prime Video app, which is a lot better than switching apps every time you want to switch channels. Plus you can add everything to one watch list.
Walmart+ Entertainment Benefits
Walmart+ doesn’t have any entertainment perks, even though Walmart owns Vudu (and FandangoNow, which is part of Vudu now) and Walmart is Kobo’s retailer now.
Winner: Amazon, no contest
Walmart Plus vs Amazon Prime Deals & Sales
I’ll keep this section short because there’s really not as much to say.
So, Walmart+ only JUST started offering early access to certain sales, beginning with their Black Friday sale. It’s hard to say whether they’ll be able to compete with Amazon’s Prime deals in the long run, but I think it’s definitely one area that they’re trying to improve.
Amazon Prime offers 30-minute early access to Lightning deals, plus members-only sales like Prime Day.
At first glance, it looks like Amazon offers more in terms of sales. However, when Prime Day rolls around, stores like Walmart respond with their own massive sales events, so it’s not really fair to give Amazon the win here.
WINNER: Draw for now
Let’s do a table for this one because I’m running out of writing energy. 🙂 Besides, it’s easier to see
|Amazon Prime Perks||Walmart+ Perks|
|Save up to 80% on Rx meds at Amazon Pharmacy & partners*||Save up to 85% on Rx meds at Walmart Pharmacy*|
|Release Day Delivery for many games, movies and books||Save 5¢ per gallon on fuel at Walmart & Murphy stations|
|Amazon Photos- back up unlimited pictures||Scan and Go in stores (you still have to stand in line to get your receipt at a checkout station, though)|
|40% off Amazon Kids+ membership|
|Try Before You Buy on many clothing items|
|Payment plans on certain Amazon devices (5 payments, no interest)|
|One free book through Amazon First Reads (limited selections)|
|Deeply discounted print magazine subscriptions|
|Free shipping at Zappos, Woot, Book Depository, and Shopbob|
WINNER: AMAZON by a landslide
Amazon Prime vs Walmart+ Free Trials
Both Amazon and Walmart offer free trials so you can try out their membership before committing. The difference? Amazon gives you 30 days. Walmart+ only gives you 15.
Which is the Better Deal Overall?
Amazon Prime is definitely the better deal of the two if you want to share your membership and have access to more than just free shipping. You just get a whole lot more bang for your buck!
That said if you ONLY want grocery delivery and free shipping on basic essentials and other items sold by Walmart, then Walmart+ may be the better option for you.
A really interesting post! I am always on the fence about whether to sign up to Amazon Prime or not, the free and quick delivery would always come in very handy… but would then encourage me to shop online even more! 😉 Good to know it is good value for money though!