We have scoured the nation and compiled a list that contains both retail chains with a national footprint such as Walmart and Walgreens as well as online photo printing services that have made deals with national chains to use their local printing facilities
For example, Snapfish has made deals with CVS, Walgreens, and Walmart to print photos at those stores.
You can print photos at local retail stores such as Walmart, Walgreens, and CVS that have retail locations all over the country; and there are online services such as Shutterfly, Snapfish, and 1 Hour Photo that allow you to upload your photo files through their websites or mobile apps and then pick up your printed photos at one of their partner store locations nationwide.
If you want to print photos online, you can upload your photos to online-only services which will then print out your photos and send them to you by mail.
It usually takes a few business days but if you pay for expressive delivery you can probably get it within 1 or 2 days. The 2nd option is local pickup printing services. With these printing services, you either go to their local store to give them your photo files or upload your photo files through their websites or mobile apps.
In building our list below, we have taken both pricing and photo image quality into account.
|Walgreens||Walmart Photo Center||Costco Photo Center||Snapfish||1 Hour Photo|
|Website||Walgreens||Walmart Photo Center||Costco Photo Center||Snapfish||No|
|Mobile Apps||iOS app, Android app||No||iOS app, Android app||iOS app, Android app||iOS app, Android app|
|Ready In||Same Day||1 Hour||Next Day||1 Hour||1 Hour|
|4 x 4 Print||$0.39||$0.25||Not Offered||Not Offered||$0.25 (pick up at Walmart) $0.39 (pick up at Walgreens or Duane Reade)|
|4 x 6 Print||$0.34||$0.09||$0.11||$0.25 (pick up at Walmart) $0.33 (pick up at Walgreens) $0.33 (pick up at CVS)||$0.25 (pick up at Walmart) $0.33 (pick up at Walgreens or Duane Reade) $0.39 (pick up at CVS)|
|5 x 7 Print||$2.99||$1.44||$0.69||$1.44 (pick up at Walmart) $2.49 (pick up at Walgreens) $2.99 (pick up at CVS)||$0.76 (pick up at Walmart) $2.99 (pick up at Walgreens or Duane Reade) $2.99 (pick up at CVS)|
|8 x 8 Print||$3.99||$2.84||$1.99||Not Offered||$2.84 (pick up at Walmart) $3.99 (pick up at Walgreens or Duane Reade) $3.99 (pick up at CVS)|
|8 x 10 Print||$3.99||$2.84||$1.99||$2.84 (pick up at Walmart) $3.99 (pick up at Walgreens) $3.99 (pick up at CVS)||$2.84 (pick up at Walmart) $3.99 (pick up at Walgreens or Duane Reade) $3.99 (pick up at CVS)|
|Membership Required?||No||No||Yes – $60 per year||No||No|
|Locations||9,000||4,800||550||20,000 (Walmart, Walgreens, CVS)||20,000 (Walmart, Walgreens, Duane Reade, CVS)|
|Image Quality||Very High||High||High||Medium to Very High||Medium to Very High|
Table of Contents
There are more than 9,000 Walgreens retail locations in the United States in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the United States Virgin Islands. So, the chance is, there is a Walgreens close to where you live or work.
To print out your photos, you can just walk into any Walgreens and insert your disk or memory card into a photo kiosk and choose from several options such as the sizes and the finishes of the prints you want. Alternatively, you can use Walgreens’ website or mobile apps to upload your photos and select the store where you want to pick up your prints. In either case, your photos will be available for same-day pickup.
Photo pricing at Walgreens is not the cheapest but is still pretty good. 4 x 4 prints cost $0.39 each. 4 x 5.3 are $0.34 each. 4 x 6 prints cost $0.34 each. 5 x 7 are $2.99 each. 8 x 8 are $3.99 each. 8 x 10 are also $3.99 each.
The image quality of the prints is very good. Color reproduction is generally accurate, although some flesh tones are skewed slightly towards the orange hue. Image details are well preserved in the prints. Sharpness is very good. By and large, we have not seen any streaks, bands, or graininess on the prints. Overall, we are very happy with the image quality.
Walmart has a tad fewer than 4,800 stores in the United States. That number is quite a bit lower than that of Walgreens but it is still high enough that you have a good chance of living or working close to a Walmart store.
Walmart is the cheapest place to get 4×6 photo prints. You can use one of their photo kiosks to order photo prints and to specify things like sizes and finishes. You can also upload photos on their website – photos3.walmart.com – and order prints there. On the other hand, unlike many other services, Walmart does not offer any mobile apps specifically for photo printing.
Unlike Walgreens and CVS that only promise same-day pickup, Walmart promises 1-hour pickup for photo prints. So if you are in a hurry, Walmart is a great choice.
As you would expect from a company well known for its low prices, Walmart offers some of the lowest prices of photo prints on the market. 4 x 4 prints cost $0.25 each. 4 x 5.3 are $0.19 each. 4 x 6 prints cost $0.09 each. 5 x 7 are $1.44 each. 8 x 8 are $2.84 each. 8 x 10 are also $2.84 each.
|Walmart Photo Size||Walmart Photo Price|
The image quality is very good. Color representation is accurate. The image details are good. There are no streaks or bands. Very occasionally you do see some graininess. Overall, the image quality is on par with that of Walgreens, maybe just a tiny bit lower.
Given its very low prices and generally very good quality, Walmart Photo Center offers one of the best values for photo printing.
CVS offers photo printing at over 7,500 retail locations. However, not all print sizes are available at all locations. For example, while 4 x 6 prints are available at over 7,500 locations, 5 x 5 prints are only available at about 3,000 locations. So be sure to check the CVS Photo website beforehand to see if the print sizes you want are available at your local CVS store.
Just like Walgreens, CVS promises same day pickup for photo prints.
The prices at CVS Photo are competitive with those at Walgreens. That means they are quite a bit more expensive than that at Walmart. They do not offer 4 x 4 prints or 4 x 5.3 prints. 4 x 6 prints cost $0.35 each. 5 x 7 are $2.99 each. 8 x 8 are $3.99 each. 8 x 10 are also $3.99 each.
Image quality is acceptable but below that of Walgreens and Walmart. On some of the prints, we saw an occasional band or spot. Color reproduction accuracy can also be better.
There are about 550 Costco warehouse clubs in the United States and many of them come with a Costco Photo Center that offers photo printing services. Unlike other services such as Walgreens or Walmart, Costco Photo Center does not offer any photo kiosk. To upload photos, you need to use the Costco Photo Center website or the regular Costco mobile apps (Android app & iOS app).
Also unlike most other photo printing services, Costco Photo Centers do not offer 1-hour pickup or even same-day pickup – you have to wait until the next day to get your prints.
But in return for this slight inconvenience, Costco Photo Center offers by far the lowest prices among all services we have tested. They do not offer 4 x 4 prints or 4 x 5.3 prints. 4 x 6 prints cost $0.19 each. 5 x 7 are $0.69 each. 8 x 8 are $1.99 each. 8 x 10 are also $1.99 each. All these prices are substantially lower than that of everyone else including Walmart.
To take advantage of these super-low prices, you need to be a member of Costco. Membership costs $60 per year. Many people swear by their Costco memberships. Costco is famous for its super low prices on everything. So if you plan to do a lot of shopping at Costco, that membership fee will almost certainly pay for itself in savings.
The image quality is very good. Better than that of CVS Photo and comparable to that of Walmart.
Update: As of April 2021, Costco Photo Center has shut down all of its physical photo centers inside Costco. You can still use their service online at costcophotocenter.com, but these 4 services will no longer be available:
- Ink Refills
- Passport Photos (alternative places to take passport photo)
- Photo Retouch and Restoration
- Converting VHS to DVD or USB
There are over 1,300 Office Depot locations in the United States. To print your photos, go to the Office Depot Photo Services website to upload your photos and choose the sizes and finishes you want. You can also use the Office Depot mobile apps (Android app & iOS app) for the same purposes.
With Office Depot, you do not get 1-hour photos. Instead, you get same-day pickup if you place your order by 2 pm.
Prices are very competitive and comparable to that of Walmart. 4 x 6 prints are $0.29 each. 5 x 7 prints are $0.79 each. 8 x 10 prints are $2.99.
Image quality is mediocre at best. Color reproduction is not very accurate – we have seen some instances of over-saturation. There are also streaks and bands on quite a few of the prints. Some photo details also become obscured in the prints.
Shutterfly offers free shipping for orders over $39. But you can also choose to pick up your photo prints at one of the retail stores of their partners which include Walgreens, CVS, and Target. Together, those 3 chains have a total of over 18,000 locations for you to choose from.
For some reason, in-store pickup is only available for 4 x 6 glossy prints. If you want prints of any other size or in a matte finish, your only option is to have them delivered to your home by mail.
Prices are similar to what you would get directly from those partner stores. For Walgreens and CVS pickup, a 4 x 6 costs $0.33. For Target pickup, it is $0.29.
The image quality of the prints varies. It is determined by the store where you have your pickup. For example, if you set your pickup location to be a Walgreens store, your photos will be printed at that store. Consequently, the image quality of your prints will be that of a Walgreens print, which is actually very good. On the other hand, the image quality of prints using CVS or Target pickups tend to be worse.
Snapfish (100 FREE Prints Every Month)
In addition to home delivery, Snapfish also offers local pickups. It partners with 3 retail chains: Walgreens, Walmart, and CVS. When you place your order, you can choose to pick up your prints at one of the retail stores of those 3 chains. Together, those 3 chains offer a total of over 20,000 locations to choose from. Most print orders are available for pickup within 1 hour, but large orders may take up to 24 hours. When your order is ready, you will get an email notification.
Keep in mind that not all print sizes are available at all chains. Also, prices vary based on the specific chain you choose to pick up at. The following table summarizes the various size availability and prices:
Prices of Various Sizes of Snapfish Photo Prints Based on Pickup Location
|4 x 5.3||$0.33||NA||NA|
|4 x 6||$0.33||$0.25||$0.33|
|5 x 7||$2.49||$1.44||$2.99|
|8 x 10||$3.99||$2.84||$3.99|
Similar to the case of Shutterfly, the image quality of your prints will largely be determined by the store you choose for your pickup location. In general, Walgreens offers the highest image quality, followed by Walmart. CVS tends to offer mediocre image quality.
1 Hour Photo
1 Hour Photo is a photo printing service that’s available exclusively through mobile apps – there is no website and no kiosk.
To offer local pickup of photos, 1 Hour Photo partners with 4 retail chains – Walgreens, Duane Reade, Walmart, and CVS. Together, these 4 chains provide over 20,000 retail locations for you to choose from. When you place your order, you just specify the store at which you want to pick up your prints. 1 hour later your prints will be ready for you.
Prices are generally competitive, but they vary depending on the pickup location you choose. In General, Walmart pickups are the least expensive.
Prices of Various Sizes of 1 Hour Photo Prints Based on Pickup Location
|4 x 4||$0.39||$0.39||$0.25||NA|
|4 x 6||$0.33||$0.33||$0.25||$0.39|
|5 x 7||$2.99||$2.99||$0.76||$2.99|
|8 x 8||$3.99||$3.99||$2.84||$3.99|
|8 x 10||$3.99||$3.99||$2.84||$3.99|
Just like other online photo printing services that rely on retail stores for local printing, the image quality of your prints will largely be determined by the store you choose for your pickup location. In general, Walgreens offers the highest image quality.
Duane Reade offers similar image quality to Walgreens, which is not a surprise given that Duane Reade is owned by Walgreens. The image quality of Walmart is also very high, just a tad below that of Walgreens. On the other hand, the image quality of CVS is quite a bit lower than that of the other 3 chains.