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Does Costco Take Food Stamps? In Short: Yes!

Does Costco take Food Stamps (EBT)? Yes, and you should be using them. We’ll teach you how to use them.

Costco accepts a variety of food stamps, also known as the EBT card. That’s the Electronic Benefits Transfer card, but hopefully, you didn’t think they were tangible like a grocery store rewards card. No, they’re not (but wouldn’t that be cool if they were?). But you probably know that already and just came here to learn how to use them at Costco. In this article, we’ll tell you how to use them, how to sign up for your EBT card at Costco, and what items you can buy with your EBT card.

What are food stamps?

Food stamps are a program run by the state and federal government to help families purchase food. Over 41 million Americans receive food stamp assistance through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Participants in the program are given a debit card called an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card, also known as a benefits card or access card.

Does Costco take food stamps?

There are several ways to shop at Costco if you are low on funds. First and foremost, the warehouse stores accept food stamps and other EBT cards, which can be used like cash in most cases. Pay attention to what is and isn’t accepted with these forms of payment. For example, some states prohibit using EBT cards for alcohol, cigarettes, or lottery tickets.

Also, make sure you have cash on hand so you can pay for your gas. Costco doesn’t accept EBT cards for gasoline purchases.

How do you get food stamps at Costco?

It’s pretty simple. Here are the steps:

  1. Go to your local Social Services Office and apply for food stamps.
  2. When you receive your EBT card, call your nearest Costco and tell them that you would like to be registered for the Food Stamp program, which they administer as a wholesaler.
  3. You’ll need to provide some information, but once that is done, you can go shopping!

Of course, you may wonder how it all works at the checkout counter. For anyone unfamiliar with the program, here’s how it works:

When you’re ready to check out, present your EBT card along with your Costco membership card (you must be a member). The cashier will enter the appropriate information into their system and approve your purchase. That’s it!

What food you can and can’t buy with them

The short answer is that you can buy food at Costco with food stamps. However, not all of the food at Costco is eligible to be purchased with food stamps. If a product has a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) logo, you can buy it with SNAP benefits.

TIP: Look for the Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) symbol, which replaces the old SNAP logo in June 2014.

The following types of products are eligible to be purchased with food stamps:

  • Meat and Poultry products dairy Products
  • Fruits and Vegetables
  • Bread Products
  • Fish, shellfish, and other seafood items

The following products are not eligible to be purchased with food stamps:

  • Candy and cookies (such as ice cream cones and lollipops)
  • Nutrition bars (such as protein bars or granola bars)
  • Pet foods
  • Alcoholic beverages (such as beer, wine, or hard liquor)
  • Household supplies (such as paper towels or toilet paper)


Hopefully, this article has helped answer the question, “Does Costco take food stamps?” There’s nothing better than a warehouse store like Costco to purchase groceries. Though there are other costs associated with shopping at Costco (such as annual membership fees), you’ll still save money when adding in all the additional benefits that come with being a member. And in addition to all of this, Costco also accepts EBT cards for payment.

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