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Does Starbucks Take EBT? All You Need Know

Does Starbucks Take EBT

Being a holder of the SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), I always wonder about the stores that accept EBT cards. One day I saw a person using their EBT card to make a payment at a Starbucks Store. This got me curious and wondering does Starbucks accepts EBT cards. And I’m sure this question might interest you as well. Read further to know a complete truth. 

No, Starbucks does not take EBT Cards. Officially, Starbucks does not accept EBT cards. Starbucks is, at times, located in malls or retail stores that accept EBT cards for payment. This means that stores and kiosks that are licensed by Starbucks present in retail and grocery stores such as Walmart, Target, etc might accept EBT cards with certain terms and conditions applied.

Does Starbucks Take EBT?

As I mentioned I had seen a person using their EBT card at a Starbucks store to make a payment. Naturally, this intrigued me and I could not keep myself from asking the person how they could use an EBT card at Starbucks. That is when I came to know the truth about using SNAP EBT benefits at Starbucks.

starbucks accept ebt

So, to reveal the truth, majority of the Starbucks locations do not accept debit cards. However, some of the Starbucks stores accept EBT cards. Starbucks is considered to be a non-essential and luxury brand it is not an authorized SNAP retailer. But Starbucks accepts EBT at some of its licensed Kiosks and stores. 

There are around 6,300 licensed Starbucks stores and kiosks in the United States. So one might be able to use their food stamps if it is Starbucks located inside a grocery store such as Target, Walmart, Safeway, Fred Meyer, and similar other grocery stores.

If you did not know this, the items that are eligible to be purchased using EBT cards are cold foods and grocery or food items that one can prepare at their home. Readymade foods or hot food items are not eligible under SNAP EBT benefits. 

So basically, you can use EBT cards at Starbucks locations but since SNAP-eligible items are generally cold foods that are not already prepared, you can not get any hot beverages such as coffee or foods at Starbucks using EBT cards. 

This means there are still some items that you can buy at Starbucks using EBT card. Keep reading further to know more about this.

What can you buy with food stamps at Starbucks?

Now that you know that Starbucks kiosks and stores accept EBT cards at certain locations, you might be wondering which product can you Purchase at Starbucks with EBT card. To help you out with this, here is the list of items you can buy at Starbucks using EBT card-

  • Ground coffee
  • Instant coffee
  • Coffee beans
  • Sweets
  • Cold beverages
  • Energy drinks
  • Pumpkin bread
  • Creamer
  • Sandwiches
  • Soft drinks
  • Snacks

By now I am assuming that you might have understood that Starbucks accepts EBT cards food stamps as a method of payment in the grocery section but not to buy Starbucks beverages or the ready-made food items served at Starbucks.

However, it is always recommended to first check with the Starbucks location to see if they accept EBT card even if it is a Starbucks Store. If you want to find a Starbucks store near you can use the Starbucks store locator.

How to Use Your EBT Card at Starbucks?

In order to use your EBT card at Starbucks, first of all, make sure that the Starbucks you have visited is a licensed Starbucks Store present inside a grocery store such as Safeway, Target, or Walmart. 

If you are at any of such Starbucks licensed stores, then you can purchase these snap eligible items using food stamps. You can check the above-mentioned list of items that you can buy from Starbucks with EBT cards.

can you use food stamps at starbucks

Once you are in such a store, go to the customer service person present and ask them if they accept it at this Starbucks kiosk. And if yes, then which of the present items are SNAP-eligible. For instance, instant coffee, coffee beans, pumpkin bread, creamer, single-serve coffee container pods, and ground coffee could be some of the eligible items under the snap.

Once you have chosen the items that you want to buy, you can swipe your EBT card at the payment check out by choosing SNAP as the selected payment option. You will now be asked to enter the pin. And once you enter it, the transaction will be successful.

That’s how easy it is to use an EBT card at Starbucks. The process is similar to any of the retail stores that accept EBT cards.

There are a lot of grocery and retail stores in the United States that accept EBT cards as a method of payment. As mentioned before Starbucks is a luxury brand and thus is not an authorized SNAP retailer. However, at some of its stores, you can still use Food stamps cards at Starbucks stores.

Apart from this, multiple retail and grocery giants such as Target, Walmart, Safeway, Amazon, etc accept EBT cards.

If you want to get more clarity on this, you can check the online retailer locator of the USDA which you can use to search retail stores that accept food stamps by pin code, state, city, as well as a street address. This can help you to find the nearest retail and grocery store around you that accepts EBT cards.

Which restaurants accept EBT cards?

Although it is a known fact that one cannot buy freshly cooked prepared food using ability cards, what is not known to many people is that SNAP has a restaurant means program.

This is a special program administered by the state, using which differently-abled people, senior citizens, and homeless people can buy food. As of now, 6 states of the US are running this program for low-cost restaurant meals for the elderly, and disabled people.

The states that have the restaurant meals program are- California, Virginia, Michigan, Arizona, Maryland, and Rhode Island. Recently New York and Illinois have also passed laws that allowed these States and their social service agencies to apply for the restaurant meals Federal program.

What items can you buy with EBT cards?

You can use SNAP EBT card benefits to buy groceries and food items that can be cooked at home. Given below is the list of food items one can buy using Food stamps.

Note that the below-mentioned list is quite a generic one and thus there could be some items of these categories that still won’t be eligible for SNAP. Another point to take note of is that the retail store from where you buy the food items should also be SNAP Authorized or accept EBT payments. Otherwise, you will not be able to use your SNAP benefits. 

what can be purchased with ebt

  • Vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Meat
  • Fish
  • Poultry
  • Bread
  • Dairy products
  • Cereals
  • Non-alcoholic beverages
  • Snack foods
  • Certain Seeds and plants

You can also check the list of items that you cannot buy using EBT cards.

Which items cannot be purchased with EBT cards?

If you did not already know this,  you can use your EBT card to make payments at grocery and retail stores only for the items that are eligible under the snap program. Generally speaking, food items such as vegetables, fruits, dairy products, poultry, meat, eggs, fish, snacks, cereals, bread, seeds, plants, non-alcoholic beverages, etc. 

Now coming to the items that cannot be purchased using EBT card are as follows –

  1.  Any beverages containing alcohol, such as wine, beer, whisky, and so on.
  2.  You cannot purchase any sort of supplements using EBT card. it is quite easy to distinguish supplements from food items. This can include vitamins, medicines as well as protein powders.
  3. Any items containing tobacco or tobacco products are not eligible at snap items. 
  4. You cannot purchase animals that are still alive, using the snap beauty benefits. an exception to this would be recently removed fish from the water.
  5.  Since the SNAP program is all about food assistance to low-income families, anything except for food items, with the exception of plants and seeds, will not be eligible as a part of EBT benefits. You can certainly purchase beverages and cold snacks in particular locations where SNAP is accepted.
  6.  As has been mentioned before, cooked items or freshly prepared readymade edible food will NOT be considered a SNAP-eligible item. Thus, one cannot buy hotel food using food stamps.

Frequently Asked Questions

Given below are some of the most commonly asked questions regarding whether Starbucks accepts EBT cards or not. So, if you have any further queries then you can go through these questions to get more clarification on the same. 

Can You Shop Online With An EBT Card?

Yes, it is possible to use EBT cards to buy groceries online.  Thanks to the increasing use of technology and the advancements nowadays, one can buy groceries online using EBT cards. A very common example of this would be Instacart, which is an online grocery delivery platform that offers items that can be bought using EBT cards.

Instacart is a well-known grocery delivery service that serves a lot of groceries chain stores such as Walgreens, Publix, Aldi, and so on. Also, note that not all the grocery delivery platforms accept EBT cards. For instance, GrubHub and Door Dash do not take EBT cards.

How Can I Get an EBT Card?

If you did not already know this, EBT cards are basically a system of distribution through which the benefits of the SNAP or Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, are distributed to the eligible participants of the program. This program is run by the United States Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition service. 

Through this program, the SNAP-eligible participants are provided assistance with food to low-income families. It goes without saying that groceries and food items can be a huge expense to many low-income families. 

Hence to help such families out, the SNAP food stamps are distributed through the EBT card. The holder of the card can use this card along with the PIN given to them to make payments at grocery and retail stores.

In order to get an EBT card, you will have to qualify for the SNAP program. You can visit the official website of the USDA to get the latest and updated information about SNAP Food stamps assistance. 

How to Use an EBT Card?

If you are a participant of the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP), then you can use the EBT card to get groceries and food items without paying anything from your own pocket. The US Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition offers financial assistance to low-income families in buying groceries and other essential food items.

If you have an EBT card, you can visit the nearby grocery store that accepts SNAP program and EBT cards as a payment method. To name, Walmart, Target, and Safeway are some of the retail stores that accept EBT payments. You can also use the Store locator present on the official website of the USDA to go to the nearest store around you.

It is always better to ask the customer service person at the retail or grocery store if they accept EBT Food stamps payments. You can then make your purchase and go to the payment checkout. Here, you can swipe your EBT card. You will be asked to enter the PIN and soon the transaction will be completed.

Generally, the process to use an EBT card at any of the retail stores is the same as mentioned above. In case you are having any issues in making the payment you can ask the customer service person or cashier present at the store.

Closing Words

Finally, to conclude, from all the research that we have done on whether or not Starbucks accepts EBT cards as a payment method, we can say that some of the Starbucks stores and kiosks do accept Food stamps and EBT Cards. However, in the majority of the cases, this does not hold true. 

So, if you want to visit a Starbucks store that accepts EBT food stamps, then we suggest you first check with the employees of the store about the status of EBT card acceptance at that particular store. In most cases, this Starbucks located inside grocery stores will accept EBT SNAP Card, but checking beforehand is always recommended.

There are, otherwise, many other options of grocery and retail stores that accept EBT Card such as Target, Amazon, Walmart, Safeway, and so on. You can also visit such stores to buy food and grocery items using food stamps.

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