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Walmart+ vs. Amazon Prime: Which one is right for you?

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Walmart+



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Did you know Walmart has its own subscription plan? Recently, Walmart made Walmart+ official, which a service that's in direct competition to Amazon Prime. Walmart wants to be the online shopping powerhouse that Amazon already is, and you just can't be on the same level without the same level of benefits for members. Walmart+ makes it possible for the company to compete with Amazon and fight for members. But just how similar are the two services? Where does Walmart excel and what can Amazon still bring to the table that Walmart can't?

Walmart+ launches on Sept. 15, and you need to know what it brings to the table if you're going to sign up for it. We compare Walmart+ and Amazon Prime side-by-side right here so you can see exactly which one is right for you.

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WalmartSource: Walmart

Walmart+ vs. Amazon Prime: The Cost

All other things being equal, cost will most likely be the largest factor that determines whether someone might go with one service or the other. It's the most basic comparison we need to make.

Walmart+ costs $98 a year. You can also get it by paying $12.95 a month if you don't want to invest in a full year of the service. When you first sign up, you can try it out and all of its benefits for free for 15 days.

Amazon Prime costs $119 a year or $12.99 a month. That makes Walmart+ cheaper for the average person, but Prime does have a couple of ways to get the price discounted. Students, for example, can get a free six-month trial of Prime and then pay just $59 for the service after that. People on government assistance are eligible for a discount, too. Prime also comes with a 30-day free trial compared to Walmart's 15.

Does Walmart+ or Amazon Prime have better delivery benefits?

Amazon Prime has a myriad of benefits going for it now, but originally the main draw was the novel concept of free two-day shipping on everything Amazon has to offer. That's still one of the best reasons to get a service like this because it means doing away with shipping thresholds, hidden fees, and that sort of thing. Delivery is a lot more complicated now, so how do the two services compare?

Amazon Prime obviously has the free two-day shipping. Certain areas around the country can also get free same-day delivery or even free two-hour delivery through Prime Now. Other shipping benefits include free release-date delivery on certain pre-ordered items and free no-rush shipping where Amazon rewards you (usually in the form of Amazon credit) for picking a slower shipping speed if you're not in a hurry.

The primary Walmart+ benefit will be its Unlimited Free Delivery. Similar to Prime, this will include free two-day shipping and free same-day delivery service. It will apply to everything Walmart sells in its stores, which is more than 160,000 items. Where it differs from Prime is this will also include groceries, and you will only pay in-store prices. The only way to get groceries from Prime is to pay extra for Prime Pantry.

Can Amazon Prime match Walmart+ with in-store benefits?

This is a tough one for Amazon because Amazon doesn't have a lot of stores to be in. Given how common Walmart stores are, it makes sense that Walmart would want to leverage this advantage.

One of the Walmart+ benefits here is called Scan & Go. This is a service that lets you use the Walmart app on your phone to scan items as you pick them up and pay using Walmart Pay online, basically streamlining the in-store experience. The app makes going to the store fast, easy, and touch-free.

You can also use your Walmart+ subscription to save on gas. Walmart has nearly 2,000 fuel stations through Walmart, Murphy USA, and Murphy Express stations. You can save 5 cents per gallon at any of these locations, and Sam's Club locations will be added soon.

With Amazon Prime, you can save money at Whole Foods Market, which Amazon owns. This grocery store can give you 5% back if you're a Prime member and use your Amazon Prime Rewards Visa card. They also regularly have exclusive savings for Prime members on groceries and two-hour delivery in some places.

Amazon also has shops like the Amazon 4-star shops and Amazon Books stores. You can expect to pay the same prices in store that you'd pay online in locations like these as long as you're a Prime member.

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Walmart+ vs. Amazon Prime: All the entertainment options

If Walmart has the advantage of leveraging its in-store benefits, then Amazon's advantage comes from its extensive content library, streaming options, and more. In fact, outside of potential savings on in-store entertainment, Walmart+ has no real way to save in the entertainment realm. Since we first learned about Walmart+, however, there have been rumors that Walmart is looking to develop its own entertainment service. Right now, all we have is Camp by Walmart, which is a free service for anyone with the Walmart app that dips its toes into digital entertainment.

With Amazon Prime, you get full access to Prime Video. This includes unlimited streaming of movies and TV shows, originals developed by Amazon like The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, and easy access to rent or own movies or TV shows that aren't automatically free on Prime. You can even download some for offline viewing. You can add onto this service with Amazon Channels, which gives you easy access to premium channels like HBO and Showtime for just $5 to $15 extra a month.

You can also stream music through Amazon Prime Music and get a discount to Amazon Music Unlimited, which gives you access to even more songs. If you're into video games, Prime Gaming gives you one free channel subscription (worth $4.99) on Twitch.tv, another Amazon-owned property, free games every month, and exclusive in-game content released regularly for all your favorite games.

Amazon also has Prime Reading and Amazon First Reads, two ways to save on books. With Prime Reading, Prime members can borrow and read thousands of books and magazines and such for free. Read them anywhere and even get some with Audible narration so you can switch between reading and listening. First Reads lets you pick from a selection of books every month and get one of them free to read.

Walmart+ vs. Amazon Prime: Which one is right for you?

Walmart+ is brand new. It hasn't even officially launched until Sept. 15. Amazon Prime has been around for 15 years. It's no surprise that Prime is going to have a few more tools on its belt than Walmart+ right now. However, there are some advantages to being one of the largest brick-and-mortar retailers ever, and Walmart is definitely going to use that to its advantage. Walmart+ is already off to a great start with the benefits it does offer, and you can expect to see those benefits rapidly increase as time goes on. That'll be especially true the more successful the service is at first.

Of course, as you can see Amazon Prime has a lot of services Walmart just can't compete with. This is especially true in the world of entertainment. The video streaming, music listening, book reading benefits of Prime are second to none. If those things really matter to you, then the extra cost for Prime might be worth the investment. However, if you're just looking for a way to get your groceries delivered at in-store prices, Walmart+ is going to be the service of choice. That's totally up to you.

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