Does Costco Take EBT? Everything You Should Know!

By Phillip Adcock
Last Updated: November 29, 2021
Does Costco Take EBT

Costco has gained popularity among retailers’ markets for selling top-quality discounted items of all types through membership warehouses and online. They also offer very great deals and services like Instacart or eye exams.

Being so popular for its customer-driven strategy, then “Does Costco take EBT“? Let’s keep on reading to do some digging on this store’s payment policy with us!

Does Costco Take EBT? 

As of 2021, this famous retailer does take EBT at all of its stores. EBT/SNAP-eligible customers can only buy fresh fruit, meals, meats, and other goods in-store.

Its website has launched its policy that all of its stores allow such cards. When it comes to what can be purchased with these cards, this store abides by all state rules. Therefore, you can contact your state agency for a comprehensive list of items eligible for purchase with it.

The tip here is to seek those regulations that may differ between states when it comes to this type of card.

So keep on reading to know everything about this issue and be a smart customer!

What Can You Buy With EBT At Costco? 

Like other grocery stores, the store allows you to use such cards to pay for food and other bargains. However, there are some restrictions on eligible items. Such as, these cards might not be valid for prepared foods or household appliances in some states.

According to different state SNAP laws, other products such as vitamins, pet food, medication, alcohol, and tobacco are also banned from it. So if you want to purchase these things, use cash instead.

As laws vary from state to state, be sure to contact your local agency for a detailed list of everything you can and cannot do with your card. You can also access the Food and Nutrition Service’s SNAP state website for help.

How To Use EBT At Costco? 

It is quite easy to pay for groceries at this store with this card type. If you are purchasing both groceries and non-food goods like household appliances, diapers, vitamins, medication, or pet food, make sure you pay for all of the groceries first.

You may need to pay for each order separately or ask the checker to divide your payment option on your bill. Do not worry if the cash within it would take food prices from the non-SNAP foods because the store does not accept these types. The system will split the bill for you.

Then, your whole SNAP-eligible order will be deducted from your cash account, leaving you with less money to spend on your next purchases until your benefits get refreshed.

You can use it to purchase at this retailer by following these simple steps below.

  1. First, insert or swipe your card at the POS and enter the PIN once your cashier has rung up your purchases.
  2. Let the cashier know you want to use a SNAP or CASH account to pay for your order.
  3. Re-enter your PIN if it is necessary to confirm the charges.
  4. A manager or supervisor might ask for picture identification in some situations to verify that it is in your name.

Your total purchase will then be debited from your SNAP or Cash account after your checkout.

Always remember to keep your receipt at all times to verify that all information is valid and to avoid any mischarges. Your most recent account balance will also be included on your receipt.

FAQs

How To Use EBT At Costco

Does Costco Take EBT Online? 

You cannot use it to purchase groceries on Costco.com, even though all of its warehouse shops accept this payment method. This retailer takes Visa, Discover, MasterCard, the Anywhere Visa by Citi, and the Shop Cards of this particular retailer, for online grocery orders.

While it is not valid for Costco.com orders, you can still take advantage of SNAP to pay for grocery pickup and delivery at other shops such as Amazon, Albertsons, ShopRite, and Kroger.

Since last year, the US Food and Nutrition Service has extended its online shopping pilot program, allowing families to utilize their welfare benefits to pay for pickup and delivery orders from certain businesses.

When paying for pickup or delivery with such cards, be aware that you might have to pay for some extra fees that are not included in your SNAP benefits.

2. What Products Does An EBT Not Count For At Costco? 

Although there are certain restrictions on purchasing, the basic guidelines for what you cannot purchase are much easier to define. The items are as follows:

  • Gas stations at the store.
  • Pet products.
  • Alcohol.
  • Paper goods.
  • Household appliances.
  • Cleaning materials.
  • Medicine.
  • Tobacco products.

3. Does Costco Food Court Accept EBT? 

Unfortunately, the food court of this store does not accept EBT/SNAP benefits. However, depending on your state’s SNAP restrictions, it might be eligible for you to pay for food with this card type if your Cash account has cash.

You can buy your stuff without revealing your membership card if your local store offers a food court. You can pay for your order using your Cash account as long as your state’s SNAP rules allow it.

But if you are in a long checkout line and want to buy food from the food court, tell the cashier to add things to your order and pay for food court products in the major checkout line.

Once you have completed checking out, go to the food court and show your receipt to the person behind the counter. You have to swipe your card once for a single transaction while ordering during your checking out.

4. Will The Cashiers Know If You Use EBT?

Since you have to inform the machine of the payment method you are using at most grocery shops, including our famous retailer, cashiers can know if you use an EBT card to pay for your groceries. Especially at larger businesses, scanners will record which goods are eligible for payment.

Nevertheless, if you pay for your shopping at self-checkout, it will look like normal ATM cards. Therefore, no one will notice that you are taking advantage of SNAP benefits.

So if your local Costco offers self-checkout services, do not worry about them recognizing which one you are using as you do not have to tell the cashier your card type.

On the other hand, if you purchase at smaller stores without self-checkout facilities, you will have to notify the cashier about your payment method before swiping it.

Or you can simply show it, and the cashier will know which payment options to use or your bill.

Conclusion

Overall, it is simply a yes answer to the question “Does Costco take EBT?”. 

As to “can you use food stamps at costco?” Another yes here, the retailer supports EBT for their membership cards, allowing food stamp recipients to earn annual points and receive additional savings at all Costco locations. So don’t miss a chance to save your pennies with great deals at this retailer. 

Thanks for spending time with us, and see you in our next post!

Phillip Adcock is the founder and Managing Director of the research agency Shopping Behaviour Xplained (SBXL ), a shopping research organization using psychological consumer insight to explain and help consumers answer their questions about stores, products and services.