Walmart+ Has Launched Its Own Travel Portal with Rewards
In 2020, Walmart announced a subscription service called Walmart+. At the time, it was largely viewed as an attempt to replicate and compete with Amazon’s popular Prime program. And while the free shipping and delivery perks of Walmart+ remain a major draw for some, the service has continued to add new perks in a bid to appeal to even more consumers. The latest example of this is a new travel portal, allowing customers to earn rewards on bookings.
This week, the Bentonville-based retailer announced the launch of Walmart+ Travel. The new portal is powered by Expedia and features more than 900,000 properties, upwards of 500 airlines, and over 100 car rental companies. Not only will the platform be exclusive to Walmart+ customers but they’ll also earn Walmart Cash back when booking flights, hotel rooms, and more.
Members will earn 5% Walmart Cash on hotel, vacation rental, and car rental bookings, while flight bookings will earn 2% Walmart Cash. Those booking vacation packages will earn a “blended rate,” meaning 2% on the flight portion of the package and 5% on the other eligible elements.
By the way, as a reminder, American Express Platinum card members can earn a monthly statement credit that covers the cost of their Walmart+ subscription. However, while this could be another added benefit, it does come at odds against some other perks of the Plat. Namely, since the Platinum card’s 5x categories apply to flights booked directly with the airline (or via Amex Travel) and to hotel bookings made via Amex Travel, cardholders will need to choose whether it makes more sense to book through Walmart+ Travel in order to earn 5% Walmart Cash or opt for Amex Travel to earn that 5x. Then again, you could still presumably earn 1x from the Platinum, while also earning 5% Walmart Cash — or use a different credit with a more generic “travel” category to truly maximize rewards.
As I noted, the debut of Walmart+ Travel is only the latest update to the service. One of the more recent benefits to join the service was Paramount+, with Walmart+ users now enjoying an Essential plan included with their membership. Moreover, last year, the platform also gained new cashback deals for members as well as expanded gas discounts. Surprisingly, these upgrades haven’t been accompanied by any price hikes as the service currently retains the same $98 per year or $12.95 per month cost.
While it’s nice that Walmart continued to add to its Walmart+ service, I’m not exactly sure that this new travel portal will be game-changing for many members. However, it may give deal-seeking travelers one more thing to consider in addition to credit card portals, Rakuten cashback offers for Expedia (or other platforms), and more. So, if you’re a Walmart+ customer who is planning on booking a trip and could use some Walmart Cash, then Walmart+ Travel may be worth a look.