Does Instacart Take EBT? (2022 Guide)

Does Instacart take EBT? What is EBT? Here's how to use EBT and SNAP benefits with your Instacart purchases. Instacart does allow qualified customers to use their state issued benefits as part of their checkout process.

What is EBT?

EBT, or Electronic Benefits Transfer, is a system that allows people who receive government benefits to access them using a card instead of paper checks. This card can be used at participating stores and ATMs to withdraw cash or make purchases.

EBT cards are issued by the government agency that provides the benefit, such as the Social Security Administration or the Department of Veterans Affairs. The card is linked to an account that receives the benefit payments and can be used anywhere that accepts EBT cards.

There are many benefits to using an EBT card. For recipients, it can be easier and more convenient than cashing paper checks. And for businesses, EBT cards can be less expensive to process than paper checks. If you receive government benefits, you may be able to get an EBT card to access your funds. Contact the agency that provides your benefits to learn more about how to get an EBT card.

does instacart take ebt

How does EBT work?

Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) is a system that allows state welfare agencies to electronically transfer benefits to recipients' bank accounts. This system is also used by food assistance programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

Benefits are deposited into an account that can be accessed using an EBT card, which works like a debit card. Recipients can use their EBT cards to purchase eligible items at participating retailers.

EBT has many benefits for both recipients and state agencies. It is a more efficient way to deliver benefits, and it reduces the potential for fraud and abuse. If you receive benefits from a state welfare program or the SNAP program, you will likely be using EBT. Here's what you need to know about how it works.

How to get an EBT Card?

If you are eligible for benefits, you will be issued an EBT card. You will need to activate the card and choose a PIN before you can start using it.

To activate your card, call the customer service number on the back of the card or go online to the customer service website. You will be asked to provide your name, address, and date of birth. You will also need to create a PIN. Once your card is activated, you can start using it right away. Be sure to keep your PIN safe and never share it with anyone else.

Does Instacart take EBT?

As of right now, Instacart only supports the use of EBT SNAP benefits in a limited number of states. The states that are currently supported are California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Washington. In each of these states, there is only a limited selection of retailers that allows for the use of EBT SNAP benefits.

Customers can add their EBT information to their Instacart accounts and use it when checking out. However, it should be noted that EBT cannot be used on Instacart to pay for delivery or other fees. Additionally, EBT cannot be applied to tips.

Which Grocery Stores on Instacart Accept EBT?

Some states have laws that allow grocery stores to accept EBT SNAP benefits for online grocery orders, while other states do not. If you're not sure whether the grocery store in your area accepts EBT SNAP for online orders, you can check the website of the state's Department of Social Services.

  • Ahold Delhaize USA (Food Lion, Hannaford, Giant, GIANT Food Stores, Giant Heirloom Market, Martin’s, Stop & Shop)
  • Aldi
  • Brookshire’s Food & Pharmacy, Spring Market, Super 1 Foods, Fresh by Brookshire’s
  • Earth Fare
  • Fairplay Foods
  • Food Bazaar
  • Harps Food Store
  • Homeland, United Supermarkets, CashSaver, Food-World
  • Little Giant Farmers Market
  • Niemann Foods (County Market)
  • PAQ, Inc. (Food 4 Less, Rancho San Miguel Markets)
  • Piggly Wiggly
  • Publix 
  • Price Chopper Supermarkets (Price Chopper, Market 32, Market Bistro)
  • Price Rite
  • Save Mart, FoodMaxx, and Lucky Supermarkets 
  • Schnucks and EatWell 
  • Strack & Van Til, Van Til’s Supermarket, Town and Country
  • Tops Friendly Markets
  • Warehouse Market
  • Woodman’s Market

In general, only stores that have a physical location in the state where the benefit is being used are able to accept EBT SNAP for online orders. However, there are some exceptions to this rule.

For example, some states allow out-of-state stores to participate in their online EBT SNAP program if they meet certain requirements. If you're still not sure whether a particular store accepts EBT SNAP for online orders, you can contact the store directly to ask.

How to add an EBT card on Instacart?

You can add your EBT SNAP card to your Instacart account the same way you would add any form of payment. Click on the three horizontal bars in the upper-left corner of the app, which will bring up your account “hub.” Scroll down to “Account Settings” and click on that, then select “Payment Methods.” Under Credit/Debit cards and PayPal, you should see the EBT SNAP card option.

Click “Add.” Enter your name as it appears on the card and the number, click “Save,” and you’re done! Alternatively, you can also access EBT SNAP info from the Account Settings page on Instacart's website. Just scroll down to the "Payment Methods" section and select "EBT SNAP." Enter your card information and click "Save." That's all there is to it! Now you can use your EBT card to pay for groceries through Instacart.

How to use EBT Card on Instacart?

It's up to you if you want to change your account settings (the method is mentioned above) to show whether items are SNAP-eligible, but it’s a very handy feature. You can access it from your Account Settings, in “Account Hub” which pops up when you select the three horizontal lines in the upper left-hand corner of the Instacart app.

If you’re not sure which store supports EBT SNAP in your state, check this page here. Once you pick a store, start shopping, and when you're done, you navigate to the check-out. Enter your EBT number just like a credit or debit card number. The 16 digits will be followed by the 4-digit PIN located on the back of your card.

After you have chosen your items and added them to your cart, you will need to select a form of payment. Make sure that EBT SNAP is one of the forms of payment that you have selected. You can see the price breakdown of your order before you checkout, which will show how much your SNAP-eligible items amount to and how much the non-SNAP items do.

However, it is important to note that you will still need to have another form of payment on file in order to cover the cost of any non-SNAP items. In addition, SNAP cannot be used to cover the cost of delivery, Instacart’s fees, or the driver’s tip. Finally, after you have completed your purchase, Instacart will ask you to verify your purchase using your EBT PIN as an extra layer of security.

Does Instacart accept EBT Cash?

While Instacart doesn't accept EBT cash as a form of payment, there are still ways to use the app with SNAP benefits. One option is to link your EBT card to a debit or credit card, which can then be used to pay for your Instacart orders.

Another option is to use the SNAP EBT Card to Order Ahead feature, which allows you to place an order and pay for it with your EBT card at select stores. If you're using the SNAP EBT Card to Shop in-app feature, you'll need to pay for your order with a credit or debit card.

However, you may be able to use a store gift card that you've purchased with your EBT card to pay for your order.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Instacart has made grocery shopping a lot easier and more convenient for EBT SNAP benefit recipients, for whom access to wholesome food has traditionally been a struggle.

Although not every state in the United States permits EBT users to make online purchases, 37 states (including the District of Columbia) do, and Aldi is among the most accessible shopping locations.

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author: patrick algrim
About the author

Patrick Algrim is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW), NCDA Certified Career Counselor (CCC), and general career expert. Patrick has completed the NACE Coaching Certification Program (CCP). And has been published as a career expert on Forbes, Glassdoor, American Express, Reader's Digest, LiveCareer, Zety, Yahoo, Recruiter.com, SparkHire, SHRM.org, Process.st, FairyGodBoss, HRCI.org, St. Edwards University, NC State University, IBTimes.com, Thrive Global, TMCnet.com, Work It Daily, Workology, Career Guide, MyPerfectResume, College Career Life, The HR Digest, WorkWise, Career Cast, Elite Staffing, Women in HR, All About Careers, Upstart HR, The Street, Monster, The Ladders, Introvert Whisperer, and many more. Find him on LinkedIn.

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