Walmart is doubling its discount on gas purchases as it looks to increase — and renew — membership in its paid subscription loyalty program, Walmart+.
Starting Wednesday, April 27, the retailer is increasing its discount on fuel for Walmart+ members from 5 to 10 cents on every gallon they purchase at participating fuel stations. Walmart is also adding 12,000 Exxon and Mobil stations across the country to the program, which is already available at Walmart, Sam’s Club and Murphy gas stations. As a result, the discount is now available at more than 14,000 stations in the U.S., a more than sixfold increase.
Launched in September 2020, Walmart+ costs $98 a year, or $12.95 a month, with a 15-day free trial period. Walmart+ members will receive free next-day and two-day shipping on most items shipped by Walmart, no matter the basket total. Prices on items will remain the same. Delivery from Walmart stores on items like groceries will still carry a $35 minimum.
The similar Amazon Prime membership service, which costs $119 a year, or $12.99 a month, also requires no minimum order to qualify for free shipping, although the Amazon Fresh online grocery delivery service carries a $35 free shipping minimum. Amazon has been making significant investments in fulfillment infrastructure to expand the assortment and geographic reach of free one-day Prime delivery.
Walmart has been adding new perks to Walmart+ to make it more appealing to consumers in the face of stiff competition from Prime (although Walmart has insisted since launch that Walmart+ is not intended to serve as a Prime competitor).
Examples include hostinga special online shopping event for Walmart+ members in February 2022. The retailer also offered paying Walmart+ members access to three online Black Friday events throughout November 2021, four hours before other customers.
This new perk is a permanent benefit, however. It also comes as consumers are feeling the pinch of inflation that is reaching levels not seen in 40 years, with a recent First Insight Report identifying gas as the most acute inflation “pain point” for consumers.
“Ninety-one percent of our customers are aware of the increased prices at the pump and nearly half of those told us they are changing behaviors because of them,” said Chris Cracchiolo, senior VP & GM of Walmart+. “More access to a bigger discount will make a difference for our customers. We want Walmart+ to help our customers save time and money, not only when they’re shopping with us, but throughout their day. We’re excited to continue to find new ways to deliver for them.”
“We welcome Walmart+ members to Exxon and Mobil’s 12,000 plus stations across the country and look forward to giving them 10 cents off per gallon,” said Bill Barenborg, U.S. marketing manager, ExxonMobil. “We know that families want to maximize their budgets and look forward to helping them do just that while filling up with Synergy fuel technology that helps improve fuel economy, protect engines and enables better vehicle responsiveness.”