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Does Costco Take EBT? (Yes, But Something You Should Know)

Do you want to know if Costco takes EBT? Of course, you do! 

Everyone loves Costco, and if you can get your grocery shopping done there while using your Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) card, that’s a bonus. SNAP is formerly known as food stamps, so if you have that card in your wallet, you’ll need to know where you can use it.

So, Does Costco take EBT? Let’s find out more…

What Is The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)?

What Is The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)?

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is a federally funded program that offers nutrition assistance to eligible, low-income individuals and families. 

The EBT card can be used to purchase food items at authorized retailers, including some online retailers. It was created in 1964 as a part of President Lyndon Johnson’s “War on Poverty” and is administered by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). 

How Do You Use an EBT Card?

EBT stands for electronic benefits transfer. It is the electronic delivery of SNAP benefits to eligible households. Once you have been determined eligible for the program, you will be issued an EBT card. This card is used as a debit card at authorized retailers to purchase food items eligible for the benefits. 

You can also use your card to withdraw cash from an ATM, but there are fees associated with this.

What Is Costco’s Policy On EBT? 

What Is Costco’s Policy On EBT? 

Down to the nitty-gritty! Costco’s policy on the electronic card is that they accept SNAP benefits in all of their US locations. You can use your card just like a debit or credit card to purchase eligible food items. 

Where Does Costco Accept EBT? 

All store locations in the United States accept SNAP benefits. You can use your card at any location, including the food court.

Does Costco Take EBT?

Yes, it does; you can use your EBT card at Costco to buy a large range of goods.

What Products Can You Buy With an EBT at Costco? 

You can use your card to purchase any food item eligible for SNAP. These include, but are not limited to: 

  • Bakery items.
  • Canned goods.
  • Dairy products.
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Frozen foods.
  • Meat and poultry.
  • Seafood.

Overall, any healthy, unprocessed food is usually eligible. 

What Products are Restricted with an EBT at Costco? 

What Products are restricted with an EBT at Costco

Despite the vast number of items available that you can select, there are a few restrictions on what you can purchase with your benefits. You can not use your EBT card to purchase:

  • Alcohol.
  • Tobacco.
  • Fast food items from the food court.
  • Non-food items.

Will Anyone Know I am on Welfare if I use my EBT Card at Costco?

Yes and no. The cashiers will know you are paying for your items with an EBT card, and they have to select the SNAP option on the till, but they will not know exactly what you are receiving them for. But there is no shame in getting assistance, so hold your head up high! 

Avoid shying away from the self-service check-out as this may not accept your card, which could make more of a scene if you have to call over an assistant!

Can You Pay For The Food Court With Your Benefits?

Can You Pay For The Food Court With Your Benefits?

Originally you could not use your benefits in the food court as many of the foods such as pizza and hotdogs were not eligible. Nowadays, some states have changed their rules so that you can use your benefits there as long as you are only purchasing eligible items. To pay for your food, you will first need to go through the regular line and purchase a food court voucher with your EBT card. 

Once you have your voucher, you can then go to the food court and redeem it for your meal. Please note that not all Costco locations accept the payment in their food court, so be sure to check with your local store before attempting to use your card.

How About Online Purchases?

Unfortunately, you cannot use your EBT card to make online purchases at Costco.com. You can only use it at physical locations. This can be annoying as online; there may be more options or better deals available. But you can still go online and check out the deals of the week beforehand and then go in-store to get those items.

Tips On Making The Most Of Your SNAP Benefits

Here are a few tips to help you make the most of your SNAP benefits or just make your money go further:

Buy in bulk, when possible, to save money

Buy in bulk, when possible, to save money

But be aware of perishable items because they may go to waste. Sometimes, it may seem like a good deal, but unless you have a large family or are willing to share with friends, it may not be worth it.

Freeze what you cannot eat

One way of getting around bulk buying products going to waste is to freeze what you cannot eat immediately. This way, you can save it for later and not have to worry about it going bad. You can either sort into portions and freeze or have a huge cook-a-thon where you prepare and freeze meals for later.

Check the unit price

Just because an item is on sale or in bulk does not mean it is the best deal. Sometimes the regular size might be a better deal, so always check the unit price. This goes for non-food items, too, like toilet paper, shampoo, etc.

Make a budget and stick to it

One of the best ways to save money and make the most of your SNAP benefits is to have a budget and stick to it. This way, you can make sure you are not overspending and you are getting the most bang for your buck.

Do not be afraid to haggle

You may not be able to do this at big box stores like Costco, but you can definitely try haggling at small businesses or farmers’ markets. This could get you a better price on produce or other items. Just be fair in what you are asking.

Know your rights

It is important to know your rights as a SNAP recipient. There have been cases of stores refusing to accept EBT cards or discriminating against those who use them. If you encounter any problems, you can contact your local SNAP office or the USDA.

Check for sales and coupons before you go shopping

Check for sales and coupons before you go shopping

You can use your SNAP benefits to buy sale items and use coupons. This can help you stretch your dollars even further.

Plan your meals ahead of time

Planning your meals ahead of time can help you save money and make the most of your SNAP benefits. You can make a grocery list based on what is on sale and what you have coupons for. This will help you avoid impulse buys and stick to your budget.

Only buy what you need

It can be tempting to stock up on non-perishable items when they are on sale, but only buy what you need. Otherwise, you will end up wasting money and food.

Use cashback apps

There are a few cashback apps that work with SNAP benefits. This can help you get a little money back on your purchases.

Check expiration dates

When buying perishable items, always check the expiration date. This way, you can make sure you are not wasting money on food that will go bad before you can eat it.

Buy in season

Produce is normally cheaper when it is in season. This is a fantastic way to save money on fruits and vegetables. Know the prices of the items you need to buy so you can compare them and get the best deal.

Do not be afraid to ask for help

If you need help budgeting or meal planning, there are plenty of resources available. You can also contact your local SNAP office for assistance.

Grow your own food

Okay, this might not be the most instant tip, but if you have the space and time, growing your own food can help you save a lot of money in the long run. You can start small with a few plants or herbs and work your way up from there. Not only will it save you money, but it is also enjoyable and sustainable!

Other Stores Who Might Take EBT

It’s no fun living on a budget, especially if you have a large family. So, before your next shop, check out your alternatives to Costco, such as Does Target Take EBTDoes Whole Foods Take EBT, and Does Walgreens Accept EBT, WIC, and Food Stamps, as well as Does Trader Joes Takes EBT CardDoes Sams Club Take EBT, and for a treat, Does McDonald’s Take EBT, and Does Starbucks or Take EBT in 2023.

Or perhaps you could work at Costco to bring in some extra cash for your family? Let’s start with my Costco Application, as well as the most common Costco Interview Questions, to prepare for the big day. Or how about my How Old Do You Have To Be To Work At Costco, if you’re still in school, and finally, Does Costco Hire Felons if you have a criminal record.

Other amazing job opportunities in retail include our Pick n Save Grocery Application, our Giant Food Stores Application, our Lucky Supermarkets Application, and our Whole Foods Application, along with our Walmart Application and common Walmart Interview Questions to help guide you through your interview.

Does Costco Take EBT – Final Thoughts?

So, can you use your EBT card at Costco? Yes, but as you can see, there are a few things to keep in mind when using your card at the superstore. 

Overall, it is a great place to save money and get the food and supplies you need. Just be sure to budget and plan, so you do not overspend or waste any food. 

Let us know your tips for using an EBT card at Costco!

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About Robert A. Casey

Robert works with his girlfriend at a busy LA actors agency, where he secures roles for a number of B-list and a few A-list celebrities. His knowledge and connections within the film and TV industry are very impressive, and he loves sharing his experiences with all our readers on the site.

He lives in Studio City with his girlfriend Rachael, and his cat, Gerald.  

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