Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) is becoming an increasingly popular payment option at most stores and if you're a Costco enthusiast in possession of an EBT card, you would definitely love to use it at Costo.
Thankfully, there's good news for you—Costco does take EBT cards at all of its warehouse locations.
However, there's an eligibility requirement imposed by state laws on the type of products that qualify for purchases made through the EBT.
In this article, I've covered all there is to know about using EBT cards at Costco.
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Does Costco Take EBT?
Yes, Costco does take EBT payments as earlier mentioned. This means you can use your EBT card to pay for your purchases made at Costco warehouse locations.
But there's a catch—not all products are eligible to be purchased through your EBT card. So what type of products can you purchase with your EBT Card? Let's find out.
What Items Can I Purchase At Costco With My EBT Card?
Costco, just as any other store that accepts EBT cards, is required to adhere to all state laws regarding what can be purchased with EBT cards.
With that said, here's what you can purchase at Costco with your EBT card:
- Fruits and vegetables
- Meat, poultry, and fish
- Dairy products
- Bread and cereals
- Snack foods and nonalcoholic beverages
- Seeds and plants that produce food
Here's a list of products you can't purchase with your EBT card:
- Alcoholic beverages
- Hot foods that are ready to eat
- Nonfood items such as pet foods, cleaning supplies, paper products, and other household supplies
- Vitamins and medicines
- Food that will be eaten in the store
- Live animals (except shellfish, fish removed from the water, and animals slaughtered before pick up from the store)
Usually, the type of items you can purchase with your EBT card varies from state to state. So consider contacting your state agency to know what type of products the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) allows you to purchase with your EBT card.
How To Use Your EBT Card At Costco
Using your EBT card at Costco is a very straightforward process.
Before you shop:
- Plan your purchases: Familiarize yourself with EBT-eligible items. Think fruits, veggies, dairy, meats, and bread – not those tempting bulk packs of candy or electronics. Check USDA guidelines for specifics.
- Locate the EBT symbol: Look for the EBT logo near registers or ask an associate to confirm if your local Costco accepts EBT. Not all locations have embraced the program yet.
- Mind the minimums: Some departments, like deli counters, might have minimum purchase requirements for using EBT. Check signage or ask an associate to avoid checkout surprises.
- Separate your purchases: Clearly divide your EBT-eligible items from anything else in your cart. This makes checkout smoother and avoids confusion.
- Present your EBT card: Swipe or insert your card at the designated terminal during checkout.
- Enter your PIN: Remember your PIN to authorize the transaction.
- Pay the remaining amount (if needed): If your EBT balance doesn't cover everything, use another payment method like a credit or debit card to complete the purchase.
Does Costco Take EBT Online?
No, Costco does not take EBT cards online.
Does Costco Take EBT On Instacart?
No Costco does not take EBT on Instacart since it already accepts EBT directly through at all its warehouse locations.
Why Did Costco Start Accepting EBT?
there isn't a definitive point in time when Costco began accepting EBT across all its locations. The decision to accept EBT is made at the individual state level, and Costco implemented this policy gradually, state by state, across the US.
While the exact timeline for each state varies, some sources suggest that Costco started accepting EBT in select locations as early as 2012-2013. The process of expanding this policy across all US warehouses likely took several years, with some states coming on board much later.
For accurate information on when your specific state's Costco locations started accepting EBT, you can:
- Contact your local Costco: They'll have the most up-to-date information for your specific warehouse.
- Check the USDA Food and Nutrition Service website: They maintain a list of authorized retailers for each state's SNAP program, which might include Costco.
- Consult online forums or community groups: Other EBT users in your state might have information about the implementation timeline at your local Costco.
Remember, even if Costco didn't accept EBT in your state a few years ago, it's worth checking again, as the policy could have been implemented more recently. Don't hesitate to reach out to your local store or relevant resources for the most accurate and current information.
Costco does accept Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards at all of its warehouse locations. However, the specific items eligible for purchase may vary depending on your state's regulations. Also, keep in mind that EBT cards cannot be used for online purchases at Costco.com or at the Costco food court.