Walmart Makes Big Savings Change Customers Will Love

Walmart is giving its members an even greater discount on gasoline – and expanding the availability of those discounts. On Wednesday, the retail giant announced that Walmart+ members can now get 10 cents off per gallon of gas rather than the previous 5 cents off per gallon. This discount was previously only available at Walmart and Murphy gas stations, but now it will be available at 12,000 Exxon and Mobil stations as well.

Walmart+ is a membership service launched in September of 2020 to give perks to frequent customers of Walmart. It's comparable to an Amazon Prime subscription or other loyalty programs, and its new emphasis on fuel is extremely timely. The senior vice president and general manager of Walmart+, Chris Cracchiolo, issued a statement to USA Today on Wednesday explaining the reasoning behind this new promotion.

"Fuel is not really a discretionary purchase," Cracchiolo said. "We're seeing members having to buy fuel to manage their everyday lives. So we think this is really going to help them save more money."

Walmart+ starts at $12.95 per month for new members, but you can save by paying annually in one lump sum of $98 per year. With gas prices being what they are in the U.S., you might make that money back quickly – not to mention the other savings Walmart+ offers.

Aside from gas discounts, many of the big perks of Walmart+ revolve around the convenience of online shopping combined with the flexibility of a local store. Members can get free delivery to their homes with no minimum purchase, and can get free deliveries from their local store based on availability. This can also include fresh groceries in many cases.

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Members also get discounts on select prescriptions if they use the Walmart pharmacy, though these promotions can't be combined with health insurance. Members also have access to the company's "scan-and-go" program, allowing them to use their phone to scan barcodes as they shop and get out of the store faster. Finally, Walmart+ members get early access to coupons and promotions, and in many cases they get more deals than the average customer. Walmart+ is available now with a 30-day free trial.

Of course, none of these deals have protected Walmart from heavy criticism – especially in today's age of historic income disparity. The company was the subject of a 2005 documentary of Walmart: The High Cost of Low Prices, and many of the concerns raised there have only grown since then. Like other employers, Walmart is currently under fire for repressing unionization efforts, underpaying employees and avoiding paying health insurance for most employees. However, most comparable companies are facing comparable criticism as well.