Amazon Pilot Tests A New Grocery Delivery Plan

Amazon Prime is piloting a new plan that, for a monthly fee, will eliminate grocery delivery charges on orders over $35.

Woman receiving groceries from delivery person - stock photo
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Amazon is pilot testing an add-on grocery subscription service for Prime members in three cities.

For $9.99 per month, those members will be offered unlimited grocery delivery on orders of more than $35 from Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods Market as well as unlimited 30-minute pickup on orders of any size, an Amazon spokesperson told Kiplinger in an email.

The $9.99 monthly fee is in addition to Prime membership, which costs $14.99 per month or $139 per year.

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The program is being tested in Columbus, Ohio; Sacramento, California, and Denver. Amazon did not indicate if or when it would expand the program to more markets.

Currently, Prime members receive free delivery on Amazon Fresh orders over $100 and free pick-ups on all standard orders at both Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods, where available. On other orders, they incur the following fees:

  • Amazon Fresh: A delivery fee of $6.95 for orders of $50 to $100.
  • Amazon Fresh: A delivery fee of $9.95 for orders under $50.
  • Whole Foods: A delivery fee of $9.95 for all orders.
  • Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods Market: A fee of $4.95 for rush pick-up orders (30 minutes or less from order to pickup).

“We’re always experimenting with features to make shopping easier, faster and more affordable, and we look forward to hearing how members who take advantage of this offer respond,” Tony Hoggett, senior vice president of worldwide grocery stores at Amazon, said in a statement.

Amazon's grocery delivery changes

The pilot program is one of a few changes that Amazon has made to its grocery delivery services this year. Last month, Amazon expanded grocery delivery and free pickup service to all customers  — whether they are Prime members or not — where Amazon Fresh stores and online services are available. The program, which also began as a pilot project earlier this year in 12 cities, is available nationwide.

In August, Amazon opened up Whole Foods 365 private-label products for nationwide delivery, and in January, Amazon Fresh raised its free-shipping minimum spend.

Amazon also recently said it would continue support of Feeding America this holiday season. From November 9 to December 25, Amazon Fresh will match customer donations up to $250,000. Every $1 donated provides 10 meals to those in need, it said. For more information, visit the Amazon Fresh Holiday Campaign homepage.

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Joey Solitro

Joey Solitro is a freelance financial journalist at Kiplinger with more than a decade of experience. A longtime equity analyst, Joey has covered a range of industries for media outlets including The Motley Fool, Seeking Alpha, Market Realist, and TipRanks. Joey holds a bachelor's degree in business administration.