NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Amazon (AMZN) is offering free same-day shipping for its Prime subscribers in some of its key markets. The e-commerce giant said the service will be available without a fee for a limited time, and added that it is expanding same-day delivery to two additional cities.
The online retailer's quick shipping service previously cost $5.99 for same-day delivery for those who've already bought a $99 annual Prime membership. But now the service is free for its Prime customers with an order of more than $35. Amazon Prime members will need to place their order by noon to receive the package delivery by 9 p.m. on that same day.
The Seattle based e-commerce powerhouse is expanding the same-day delivery service to a total of 14 cities, with the addition of San Diego, Calif. and Tampa Bay, Fla.
Amazon first launched its Prime program a decade ago, with free two-day shipping with an annual membership fee. In 2009, Amazon Prime started its same-day delivery service, and last year it started a one-hour delivery service called Prime Now.
Amazon has said that Prime membership within the U.S. rose 50% in 2014.
The launch of the free same-day delivery service comes within days of rival Wal-Mart Stores' (WMT) announcement of its plans to test a new unlimited online shipping service this summer for $50 a year. Additionally, Google (GOOG) (GOOGL) started offering its express shopping option recently. The Google service allows retailers without same-day delivery options to use its network in certain markets. The Google Express service costs $10 per month, or $95 a year.