Does Costco Take EBT? Here’s Everything You Need to Know

does costco take ebt

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Costco is known for selling at lower prices compared to other retail stores. This strategy explains why it’s one of the most successful wholesale clubs in the US.

If you are new to Costco stores and have never shopped in there before, you might be thinking, “Does Costco take EBT?”

With Costco’s value-packed deals, it makes sense that you want to shop there using your EBT card.

In this post, I’ll share everything you must know about Costco, EBT, and SNAP benefits.

Let’s begin!

What Is an EBT Card?

Electronic Benefits Transfer, also known as EBT, is a card you get when applying for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

The government launched this program to help provide nutritious foods for low-income families in the country. It’s an upgraded version of food stamps.

This program has been helpful for families who need the extra support. Once you’re enrolled in it, you receive money on your EBT card monthly, which you can use to buy groceries in most grocery stores.

However, not all stores accept EBT. State laws also determine what you can and cannot buy with your EBT card.

Who Are Eligible for EBT Cards?

To be eligible, a family must meet certain income and work requirements. Households must have an annual income below a certain limit, which is determined by the USDA and is based on the size of the family.

You must have a low qualifying income or consider yourself in a difficult financial situation.

Furthermore, you must be a US citizen or a legal resident of the US, and you must live in the state where you are applying for benefits.

So, Does Costco Take EBT?

does costco take ebt

The short answer is, yes, Costco warehouses accept EBT.

All Costco locations accept EBT, so you can use it at your local warehouses to get discounts on bulk food items. It can help you take advantage of great deals on these items.

However, you can only use your EBT card for wholesale shopping at Costco warehouse stores.

You can’t use it at Costco food courts, Costco gas stations, and for online shopping at the Costco website.

How To Use EBT at Costco

Using an EBT card at Costco is simple. It is like using a regular debit or credit card. To give you an overview, here is the step-by-step guide.

  1. Present your EBT card to the cashier.
  2. The cashier will enter the amount of your purchase.
  3. The cashier will ask you to enter your PIN.
  4. Once you’ve entered your PIN, the cashier will process your purchase, and you will receive a receipt.

That’s it. Remember to keep your receipt to verify that all charges are accurate.

Costco will also provide you with the receipt with your account balance. This way, you can ensure that all your payments are up-to-date and correct.

What Can You Buy With EBT at Costco?

Following SNAP guidelines, the only items eligible for shopping using an EBT card are:

  • Vegetables and fruits
  • Canned goods
  • Non-alcoholic beverages

Costco accepts EBT cards for the purchase of select fresh fruits and vegetables. This ensures that customers who may be on a limited budget can get affordable access to healthy food choices.

What Can You Not Buy With an EBT Card at Costco?

The US government has set a policy that restricts customers from using their SNAP benefits for the following items:


  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Tobacco products
  • Pet foods
  • Hot foods

Household Items

  • Home decor items such as rugs, wall hangings, and furniture
  • Electronics such as televisions and computers
  • Jewelry and accessories


  • Concert tickets
  • Movie tickets
  • Sporting event tickets
  • Video game consoles
  • Toys

They are not eligible for purchase using an EBT card at Costco or at your local grocery store because they are not considered necessary for basic living needs.

Does Costco Take EBT for Online Purchases?

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Unfortunately, you cannot use your EBT card to pay for groceries on the Costco website.

Instead, Costco online accepts Visa, MasterCard, Discover, the Costco Anywhere Visa by Citi, and Costco Shop Cards.

However, suppose you want to use your EBT card for grocery shopping online. You can use your SNAP benefits to pay for pickup and delivery orders at other retailers such as Albertsons, Amazon, Kroger, and ShopRite.

Nonetheless, remember that you need to pay for additional service and delivery fees for your pickup or delivery order, which your SNAP benefits may not cover.

Does Costco’s Food Court Take EBT Cards?

As mentioned earlier, you can’t use your EBT or SNAP benefits for Costco food court purchases. That’s because the food court sells hot food, which is on the list of restricted items.

However, there’s a way to work around this. Depending on your SNAP state laws, it may be possible to use your EBT card to pay for prepared foods at the Costco food court.

You simply need to withdraw cash from your EBT cash account and use that to pay for your purchase.

On the plus side, you can do this even if you aren’t a Costco member. You don’t have to pay for extra charges like the membership fee to enjoy a meal at the food court.

Does Costco Business Center Take EBT?

Yes, items purchased with EBT cards and SNAP/Food Stamps are accepted at all Costco Business Centers.

While the Business Centers are tailored toward business owners and small business deliveries, the same store policies apply to all Costco locations.

Business members can take advantage of an extra hour of early access (Monday to Friday) compared to Gold members. All other store policies remain the same, no matter which store you visit.

Why Does Costco Accept EBT Cards?

Costco accepts EBT cards as part of its commitment to making its products accessible to all customers. It helps low-income households access the same quality products that others can purchase.

EBT cardholders can purchase food and other eligible products, such as paper goods and cleaning supplies, without paying the total price.

As an added benefit, EBT cardholders can take advantage of the same discounted prices that all other customers enjoy.

It’s an excellent way for Costco to show its commitment to helping those in need while still providing quality products and services to all customers.

How Can You Save More Money When Shopping at Costco?

If you’re a regular shopper at Costco, you’ve likely already noticed the low prices they have to offer. However, there are still ways to save even more money while shopping.

Here are some tips that you can do to save your money and get the most out of it while shopping at Costco:

Take Advantage of the Store’s Price-Matching Policy.

If there’s a lower price from another store, Costco will match it. That means you can get the product for an affordable price and get the best deals across various stores.

Sign Up for the Store’s Membership Program.

Costco’s membership plans start at $60 a year. A Costco membership requires you to shell out an annual payment, but it gives you access to various discounts on food, clothes, home goods, electronics, and more.

If you can’t afford to sign up for membership yet, you can shop with a family member or friend who has a Costco membership.

You can use their Costco card for entry, then pay with your EBT card.

Purchase Items in Bulk When Possible.

Buying items in larger quantities often means getting a lower price per unit.

Try To Shop on Days When There Are Fewer Crowds.

You’ll be able to get in and out faster and take advantage of any special discounts or sales.

Compare Prices Online Before Heading to the Store.

It’s important to compare prices online before heading to the store. Taking the time to research can help you find the best deals and avoid overspending.

Pay Attention to Expiration Dates.

Expired food is dangerous to consume but can also be a waste of money. So, it’s better to check the expiration dates to prevent wasting food and money.

Check Out Their Weekly Specials and Discounts.

Costco also offers amazing weekly deals and discounts for you to enjoy. From this offer, you can find value-packed offers that suit your budget.

By purchasing items at promo prices, you can save a lot more money!

The Bottom Line

Using an EBT card at Costco warehouses is an excellent way to purchase healthy food and other essentials at lower prices.

Just remember which items are eligible to purchase with your EBT card, so you won’t waste time when you shop.

If you want to know more about using your EBT card for online shopping, check out my guide on using your EBT on Amazon.

Written by: Omar Deryan

Founder of OJ Digital Solutions

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