If you have an EBT card, you must know how confusing it can be to keep track of the places you can and can’t use. Some stores take EBT cards while others don’t. Besides, state laws determine what you can and cannot buy using these cards.
Costco is one particular store that enables you to save lots of money when you buy in bulk. But that begs the question: can you use an EBT card to purchase items from Costco? To help answer this question, we compiled this comprehensive guide. Keep reading to discover more…
Does Costco Take EBT?
Costco does take EBT cards at all their locations. Costco follows state laws regarding what can and can’t be purchased with Snap EBT cards. Although you can use your EBT card on groceries, it can’t be used for Costco gas or their food court.
To learn all about how to use your EBT card at Costco, keep reading
How To Use EBT at Costco
Paying for your groceries at Costco is straightforward. But, if you’re looking to get groceries as well as other items such as vitamins or diapers, ensure you handle the groceries first.
To go about this, it is imperative to pay separately for the two orders. Alternatively, you could ask the cashier to split the payment method on your total order amount.
If your EBT card has some cash and you pay using your Cash account, the card won’t deduct the cost of food from your SNAP account. Rather, the order total, including the cost of SNAP-payable groceries, will be subtracted from the Cash account. If this happens, you’ll remain with very little money to cater for your non-food items until your benefits renewal.
Knowing all this, you can follow the steps below to pay at Costco using your EBT card:
- After the cashier has rung up your groceries, insert or swipe your EBT card at the point-of-sale, then proceed to key in your PIN
- Tell your cashier the account to which to charge your order (it could be Cash or SNAP)
- If need be, re-enter your PIN for confirmation
- In some scenarios, a manager or supervisor may ask for photo identification for confirmation
After checking out, your total purchase is subtracted from your Cash or SNAP account.
Does Costco Take EBT Online?
Although you can use EBT cards in all Costco warehouse stores, it isn’t possible to use them to pay for your groceries on the Costco website. Instead, this website accepts Discover, MasterCard, Visa, Costco Shop Cards, and the Costco Anywhere Visa by Citi for online grocery orders.
You can use SNAP benefits for your grocery delivery and pickup orders at other retailers such as Amazon, Albertsons, ShopRite, and Kroger. However, if you are going to use your EBT card to make payments for delivery or pickup, you should keep in mind that you will incur additional fees, which your SNAP benefits will cover.
Can You Use EBT At Costco Food Court?
Unfortunately, it is impossible to pay at Costco’s food court using your SNAP/EBT benefits. However, in situations where your Cash account has some money, it may be possible to make payments for your food depending on the SNAP laws in your state.
Information from Costco’s website indicates Costco warehouses take cash, checks, VISA cards, ATM and debit cards, and EBT cards. Unlike shopping for groceries at Costco, which requires that you be a Costco member, it is possible for non-members to eat at the food courts at Costco without incurring any extra cost.
So, if the Costco warehouse in your neighborhood has a food court, you do not need your membership card to place your order. Also, it is essential to note that if you are in a long checkout queue and are looking to make an order at the food court, ask the cashier to add up your order and pay for your items at the food court while in the primary checkout line.
Once you’ve checked out, find your way to the food court and show the person at the counter your receipt. When you place your order as you check out, all you need to do is swipe your card.
What Can You Buy At Costco Using EBT?
As with many convenience stores, at Costco, you can pay for your items and make use of grocery deals using your EBT card. However, it may not be possible to use your card for ready-made foods and other household items, depending on the SNAP laws of your state.
Other products that aren’t eligible for SNAP benefits include pet food, medication, and vitamins. Also, you cannot use SNAP benefits to make payments for tobacco products or alcohol at Costco. But you can use discretionary cash to purchase these non-eligible items.
Do Cashiers Know When You Use EBT?
At many convenience stores, cashiers will see when you pay for your groceries using an EBT card because you will have to let the machine know the card you are using.
Bigger stores use scanners to note the items that meet the eligibility for payment using an EBT card.
How Do You Apply For An EBT Card?
An EBT card is an acronym that stands for Electronic Benefits Transfer. It is the card you get if you apply for SNAP benefits and get approved. Once you have enrolled in the program, you will receive money on the card monthly. The purpose of the money is to help you purchase food for yourself and your loved ones.
If you are interested in getting an EBT card, it is essential to remember that the application process is straightforward. However, eligibility factors vary from one state to another.
The U.S. government designed the SNAP program for low-income families, but the definition of “low income” changes from area to area. Therefore, once you complete your application, it is up to your state agency to determine whether you qualify for SNAP benefits.
What Are The Pros Of Using EBT Cards?
In most cases, the people that qualify for EBT experience confusion about where to use them or not. If this is you, it may be important to consider the benefits that come with these cards. The most significant benefit of these cards is the fact that you receive money monthly to use for food purchases.
The catch? Nobody will ask you to pay back this money. Besides, all the groceries you buy using your EBT card aren’t subject to taxation. Lastly, having a card that gives you all these benefits means you do not have to wait for old-school food stamps or vouchers. You only need to check your card every month to see if it has cash.
Costco members take advantage of the low prices of bulk groceries, household essentials, and so much more.
Currently, the membership fee begins from $60–$120 for the yearly membership, but all this is dependent on your preferred benefits. Fortunately for you, Costco accepts EBT for members.
This way, families with food stamps can enjoy discounts and rewards at all Costco stores.