Does Costco Take EBT? (2022 Facts)

Does Costco take EBT? Because of its low pricing for everyday items, Costco has been gaining popularity. Many families, however, use an EBT to pay for their groceries. So is it true that Costco accepts EBT at its shops?

Does Costco Take EBT?

As of 2022, Costco does accept EBT benefit cards at all their locations. Costco members who are eligible for EBT/SNAP can purchase fresh produce, foods, meats, and other groceries in-store only. However, EBT can not be used for purchasing Costco Gas, pet food, medication, household supplies, or tobacco.

For those who need to use their EBT benefits for these items, there are many other stores that accept EBT such as Walmart and Target. Costco is just one of the many options available for those who need to use their EBT card.

Does Costco take EBT?

Where does Costco accept EBT?

If you live in an EBT state and have a Costco membership, you can go to any Costco without difficulty. Now, there are certain states where no Costco exists. The states not having a Costco include:

  • Maine
  • Arkansas
  • Rhode Island
  • West Virginia
  • Wyoming

If you're in one of those places, you won't be able to locate a Costco. There are also only a few Costco's in certain states, so they'll be tough to come by. States with less than three Costco's are:

  • Oklahoma
  • Delaware
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • Nebraska
  • New Mexico
  • New Hampshire
  • South Dakota
  • Vermont

Some states have only one or two Costco's. But many states have five or more Costco's. If you don't live close to Costco, always check their website for updates.

Is it possible to use your EBT in the Costco Food Court?

Even though an EBT card can be used to buy food, there are some foods that are not eligible. Let's have a look at these:

Food that qualifies at your local grocery store

Anything that does not fall within the heading of prepared foods is considered eligible. This means you may use your EBT card to buy veggies, fruits, rice, bread, and other food products.

Unacceptable food at your local grocery store

This category includes all prepared meals. Pizza, burgers, sushi, and hotdogs are not covered by your EBT.

You cannot use your EBT card at Costco since the food court goods are largely pizzas and hot dogs.

But don't worry, EBT cards are accepted at a select Costco stores. The easiest method to find out is to go to your local Costco and inquire.

Using an EBT Card to Purchase Unapproved Food

Even if you've managed to obtain prohibited food, there are still penalties. You will not be allowed off the hook by the authorities.

  • If you find yourself in this circumstance, here's what you may expect.
  • For the first unauthorized purchase, a three-month ban is imposed.
  • For the second unauthorized purchase, a one-year ban is imposed.
  • For the third unauthorized purchase, a two-year ban is imposed.

Can You Use Your EBT Card Online at Costco?

Unfortunately, you can only use your EBT card to make purchases in Costco stores. However, you will not be able to use your EBT card when purchasing online.

When we use EBT cards, will the cashier notice?

The logo is printed in bold characters on an EBT card. As a result, the Costco cashier is almost certain to notice. Anyone can tell whether you're getting SNAP or TANF benefits just by looking at your card.

What can you purchase with an EBT at Costco?

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as the Food Stamp Program, is a federally funded program that provides low-income individuals and families with food benefits, enabling them to buy nutritious food and groceries from authorized retailers.

While some states have strict guidelines on what can be purchased with SNAP benefits, others are more lenient. For example, in California, SNAP recipients can use their benefits to purchase items such as live plants and seeds, while in Oregon, they can use their benefits to purchase pet food. However, there are certain items that cannot be purchased with SNAP benefits regardless of the state, such as alcohol, tobacco, and prepared hot meals.

And while Costco does accept SNAP benefits, there are certain restrictions on what can be purchased with them. The main products that can be bought are fresh produce, food, and other groceries. But the specific items that can be purchased vary depending on the state in which Costco is located. So before making a purchase at Costco using your EBT card, it's always best to check with your state's SNAP program to see what guidelines they have in place.

Is it true that if I use my EBT card, cashiers at Costco will know that I'm on welfare?

When you use your EBT card, a cashier will know you’re receiving government assistance. The card itself clearly says EBT on the front of it, in large letters. When you run the card, the cashier will also have to select the account you’re using, SNAP or cash. It’s worth noting that you shouldn’t avoid the cashier and go through self-checkout.

Costco, in many states, doesn’t allow an EBT card to be used at self-checkout. For those who are on SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), this program is meant to help low-income individuals and families afford groceries. It is a vital assistance program for many people across the United States. Although using an EBT card may flag you as someone who needs assistance, there is no shame in needing help putting food on the table for yourself or your family.

Is it possible to shop at Costco online with my EBT card?

Though you cannot use an EBT card for online purchases, you can use it in-store. This will most likely be changing in the future as more people are in need of government assistance. Costco is a bulk store that many people with EBT cards shop at because they are able to buy items such as food and household goods at a discounted price. 

This is important for people who are struggling to make ends meet because they are able to save money by shopping at Costco. Many people who use EBT cards also have children, so being able to purchase food and household items in bulk helps them to stretch their budget and provide for their families.

Beware of large bulk purchases made with your EBT card

When you use an EBT card, you have to be careful about making big bulk purchases. Costco is known for its cheap prices on bulk items, but sometimes these deals aren't as good as they seem.

For example, a huge pack of deli meat might be temptingly priced, but it's probably more than you can eat before it goes bad. Milk is another common bulk buy at Costco that can be tempting, especially if you have kids. But buying so much at once runs the risk that part of it will spoil and go to waste. So when you're using your EBT card, be sure to think carefully about whether or not a bulk purchase is really a good deal.

What is EBT?

An EBT is an Electronic Benefits Transfer, which is a type of payment given to those who qualify. To qualify, you must not have enough income to feed your family. The government will then provide you with a stipend. Another name for an EBT is "food stamps." Food stamps are part of the SNAPs program to assist families.

There are specific products you can purchase with food stamps, but it is simpler to understand what you cannot buy. You cannot use food stamps to buy alcohol, cigarettes, non-food items, or hot foods. You also cannot use food stamps to pay for a bill or for bail. You can use food stamps at any store that accepts them.

What Are the Functions of an EBT Card?

Applying for food stamps or EBT is now a streamlined process in most states. After you have been approved to receive these benefits, you will be given a card that can be used much like a debit or credit card. This card will be attached to an account where a certain amount of money will be deposited each month for you to use on groceries. 

You will be given login information so that you can check your balance and will also need to create a PIN number. It is important to keep this information private and only share it with people who you trust. In order to use the card, you will need to swipe it at the grocery store just like you would a debit or credit card. The amount of food stamps that you are eligible for is based on your household size and income. 


EBT cards and benefits can be used at any Costco in the United States. Just make sure to check the stipulations online for the state you are in to see what you can buy. And if you are still wondering, it doesn’t hurt to ask your local Costco. Managers are more than happy to answer all of your questions!

Some of the things that you may be able to purchase with your EBT card or benefits include non-perishable food items, household supplies, and personal care items. With a little bit of planning, you can use your EBT card or benefits to get everything you need at Costco!

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author: patrick algrim
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