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Does Costco Take EBT? (Yes, But read this first…)

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does costco take ebt?

If you are a Costco member or considering becoming one, you might be wondering if you can use your EBT card at the store. In this article, we’ll answer your questions about whether Costco accepts EBT and SNAP, how you can use your benefits, and what products you can purchase. So, let’s dive into whether Costco accepts EBT or not.

What is EBT?

Before we get into the main topic let us take a quick look at what EBT is. It is an electronic system that enables eligible individuals and families to receive benefits like SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), WIC (Women, Infants, and Children), and TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families).all of these benefits are loaded onto a plastic card. which is quite similar to a normal debit card, and you can use it to purchase eligible items at authorized retailers Costco.

Does Costco Accept EBT Cards and SNAP?

Yes, it does accept EBT for in-store purchases. However, not all locations participate in the EBT program, so you might want to check with your local Costco before you head out. Additionally, Costco only accepts EBT for in-store purchases, not for online orders.

What’s the Difference Between EBT and SNAP?

In easy words, SNAP is the upgraded version of food stamps. Instead of carrying physical “stamps,” SNAP beneficiaries receive their food benefits on an EBT card, which works like a debit card. You can use your EBT card at Costco to purchase approved food items, just like you would at any other grocery store.

Why doesn’t Costco accept EBT online?

Because the government requires that all EBT transactions be verified in person, which means.that someone has to physically swipe their EBT card at the point of sale. Since online orders don’t have a point of sale, it’s not possible to verify EBT transactions online.

Do You Need to Be a Costco Member to Use Your EBT Card?

Yes, it is mandatory to be a Costco member in order to use your EBT card. However, there is a workaround. If you have a friend who is a Costco member, you can ask them to purchase a Costco Cash Card for an agreed-upon amount and then repay them. You can withdraw cash from your EBT card’s “Cash Account” at any ATM to repay your friend.

What Can You Buy at Costco with EBT?

You can use your EBT card to purchase approved food items, including meat, fish, chicken, fruits and vegetables, dairy products, bread and cereals, non-alcoholic drinks, snack foods, and seeds and plants for your garden.

What Can’t You Buy at Costco with EBT?

There are some products that you cannot purchase with your EBT card at Costco,

  1. Alcohol and tobacco products(beer, Cigarettes, etc.)
  2. Health Products supplements, medicines, and Vitamins.
  3. Live animals (except shellfish, fish removed from the water, and animals slaughtered prior to pick-up from the store)
  4. Hygiene items (including diapers, cosmetics, and feminine hygiene products, )
  5. Hot items: EBT and SNAP cannot be used to purchase hot foods from the Costco food court.

How Do You Buy Items from Both Lists?

If your Costco purchase includes both approved and non-approved EBT items, you can still buy them together.

You can use your EBT card first, and then pay the balance in whatever method you want. The cashier might tell you the balance after EBT, or they might say nothing at all. There is no need to separate your purchases.

Is a Costco Membership Worth It in Terms of Savings?

It depends on your shopping habits. A Costco membership currently costs $60, and if you know what items to buy, a membership can be worth it in terms of savings. However, if you walk into Costco without a plan, it’s easy to overspend. Costco is good at convincing you that you’re getting a good deal, so be sure to compare prices with your local grocery store.

What About EBT Product Exclusions at Costco?

While Costco accepts EBT and SNAP, there are still some product exclusions that you should be aware of to avoid surprises at checkout. Here are some of the main items that are not covered by EBT or SNAP at Costco.

  1. Membership fees: You cannot use EBT or SNAP to pay for your Costco membership.
  2. Delivery fees: If you’re using Costco’s grocery delivery service, you cannot pay for the delivery fee with EBT or SNAP.
  3. Non-food items: As mentioned earlier, EBT and SNAP cannot be used to purchase electronics, jewelry, or household items such as cleaning supplies and paper products.
  4. Hot prepared foods: EBT and SNAP cannot be used to purchase hot foods from the Costco food court.
  5. Alcohol and tobacco: EBT and SNAP cannot be used to purchase alcohol or tobacco products at Costco.

FAQs(Frequently Asked Questions)

Q: Does Costco accept EBT and SNAP?

A: Yes, Costco accepts EBT for in-store purchases, allowing you to use your SNAP benefits at their locations.

Q: Can I use my EBT card to shop online at Costco?

A: No, EBT cards cannot be used for online purchases at Costco. They are only accepted for in-store transactions.

Q: What products can I buy at Costco with my EBT card?

A: You can use your EBT card to purchase approved food items at Costco, including meat, fish, fruits and vegetables, dairy products, non-alcoholic drinks, and more.

Q: Are there any exclusions for EBT purchases at Costco?

A: Yes, there are some exclusions. EBT and SNAP cannot be used for alcohol, tobacco, health products, live animals (except in specific cases), hygiene items, or hot foods from the Costco food court.

Q: Do I need to be a Costco member to use my EBT card?

A: Yes, a Costco membership is required to use your EBT card for purchases at their stores.

Wrapping up

In summary, Costco does accept EBT and SNAP, but not for all products and not for online purchases. You must also be a Costco member to use your EBT card in-store, but you can use a friend’s or family member’s membership card to gain entry.

When shopping at Costco with your EBT card, make sure you’re aware of the product exclusions to avoid any surprises at checkout. And if you’re considering a Costco membership, be sure to compare prices with your local grocery store and have a plan to avoid overspending.

I hope this article has answered all of your questions about using EBT at Costco. Happy shopping!

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