About a year ago, Amazon increased the minimum amount that needed to be spent in order to qualify for free shipping, from $35 to $49. Within the last few days, without any formal announcement, Amazon lowered the minimum requirement back down to $35.
According to Amazon’s free shipping help page:
“Add at least $35 of eligible items or $25 of eligible books (in which case all other eligible items in the order also ship free) to your Shopping Cart. Any item with “FREE Shipping” messaging on the product detail page that is fulfilled and shipped by Amazon is eligible and contributes to your free shipping order minimum.”
This reduction by Amazon comes only weeks after Walmart started offering free two day shipping on orders that reached a minimum of $35. Although Amazon has matched the $35 minimum order that Walmart is offering, Amazon’s delivery time of five to eight business days falls short of Walmart’s promise of 2 day delivery. There has been no official announcement on the threshold change, but it is assumed that Amazon is responding to Walmart’s decision earlier this month to offer a two-day free shipping service for orders over $35 also.
Amazon Prime subscribers, who pay a monthly or yearly membership fee, are able to get their orders delivered with free 2 day shipping. In addition, being an Amazon Prime customer, there is no minimum order amount required to take advantage of the 2 day free shipping option on most items.
If a lot of online purchasing is in your future, then it might be worthwhile to be an Amazon Prime member, giving you access to free two day shipping with no minimum purchase required. However, the casual online purchaser might find that Walmart’s free 2 day shipping policy with $35 minimum purchase might be better a bargain since there is no membership fee associated with it.