- People who qualify for government assistance through programs like SNAP now may also qualify for a half-price Walmart+ membership, the retailer announced on Thursday.
- Walmart+ Assist offers customers on certain government assistance programs 50% off a monthly or annual Walmart+ paid membership plan. Qualifying members will pay $6.47 per month or $49 per year. The regular price is $98 annually. Benefits under Walmart+ include free shipping and grocery delivery, gas discounts and video streaming with Paramount+.
- Along with SNAP, Walmart+ Assist eligible programs include the Women, Infants and Children program, Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and the National School Lunch Program, among others.
Like the regularly priced Walmart+ membership, the Assist discounted program also offers a free 30-day trial for people who have never been a Walmart+ member. Once verified, the half-price membership is valid for one year and requires annual renewal to retain the discounted rate.
In a blog post about the initiative, Venessa Yates, senior vice president and general manager of Walmart+, said the retailer has introduced programs to support customers who use government assistance before. In 2019, Walmart began taking part in the USDA’s SNAP Online Purchase pilot program.
Under that program, customers can pay with their SNAP benefits online, which gives them access to conveniences like pickup and delivery. Yates said with the recent addition of Alaska into the program, Walmart is now the first retailer to accept SNAP benefits online in all 50 states.
Walmart captures about 26% of SNAP-eligible shoppers’ grocery dollars annually, according to consumer data insight company Numerator. That puts Walmart ahead of rivals Kroger, in second place, and Albertsons for SNAP dollars spent.
While actual membership numbers are uncertain, media outlet Pymnts reported this year that as of October 2022, Walmart had about 59 million Walmart+ subscribers. That’s about a 23% share of U.S. consumers, according to that publication. Amazon Prime, in contrast, had an estimated 182 million individual subscribers at that time, or a roughly 70% share of the American market. Amazon also has a discounted membership program for recipients of government assistance, dubbed Prime Access.