May 20, 2024

Does Costco Accept EBT/Food Stamps?


Summary: Costco accepts EBT cards as a payment method in all its warehouse locations and food court, but there are some restrictions attached. However, Costco does not accept EBT online.

Costco is a membership-only grocery store in the United States. Entrance into the warehouses is done with the use of a membership card. As a SNAP beneficiary, it might not be readily apparent if you might be able to use your EBT card at a Costco warehouse. If this is your dilemma then hold your peace because we will be getting into that during this article.

Does Costco Accept EBT

The short answer to this question is yes. However, there are restrictions attached to the use of EBT cards at Costco. Since it’s a membership-only grocery store not everyone has access to shopping within. But as a member of Costco, if you have an EBT card you can easily use your card as payment for your purchases.

You might be wondering if there is any way around this tedious restriction. Well, you’re in luck! There is indeed a way around it. Entrance into Costco requires using a membership card, so all you have to do is ask a friend or a family member registered with Costco to borrow an access card.

With this, you can gain entry into Costco and access all that they have to offer. Alternatively, you can also accompany a friend or family member who is registered with Costco and shop with them. In both cases, you can pay with your EBT card at the checkout register.

Read Also: Does Quick Trip Take EBT/Food Stamp?

What can you buy with EBT cards/SNAP Benefits at Costco

The items that can be purchased with EBT cards are regulated by the USDA and are the same everywhere in the United States. Only grocery items that offer nutritional value can be purchased with an EBT card. Here’s examples of these items will be listed below.

  • Snacks such as pretzels, chips, cookies, etc.
  • Spreads and dips
  • Nuts and their jars of butter
  • Canned food items 
  • Frozen food items like chicken, turkey, vegetables, fruits, etc.
  • Dried grains and nuts. 
  • Baking items such as flour, sugar, butter, etc. 
  • Bread and wheat. 
  • Dairy products including milk and cheese
  • Baby formula
  • Cereal, oatmeal, Pasta, Rice, and noodles
  • Cooking oil
  • Fresh vegetables and fruits
  • Freshly butchered meat
  • Seeds and plants that can be cultivated to produce food
  • Honey, margarine, butter, etc.

Read Also: Comprehensive List of SNAP-Eligible Items

What items Cannot be Bought with an EBT card at Costco

As stated earlier only items that offer nutritional value can be purchased with EBT cards and SNAP benefits, as such all items that do not provide nutritional value cannot be purchased with EBT cards. These include;

  • Clothes
  • Healthcare products like drugs and vitamins
  • Paper products
  • Cleaning materials like soap and antiseptic
  • Baby diapers
  • Food supplements
  • Alcohol, beer, and liquor
  • Cigarettes and other tobacco products
  • Food served hot
  • Live animals
  • Cosmetic products like makeup, body lotion, body oils, etc.

Does Costco Accept EBT Cards Online?

Costco accepts EBT cards for in-store purchases in all its warehouse locations but unlike other grocery stores, EBT cards are not accepted online. When shopping online at Costco, you can use MasterCard and Visa cards.

How to use EBT Cards at Costco

When shopping at Costco with an EBT card if there are no alternative payment methods ensure to confirm that the items selected are SNAP-eligible i.e. they should be of nutritional value.

Once you have selected all the items you want, proceed to the checkout register to pay for your items. At the cash register, you can separate SNAP-eligible items from non-eligible items and pay for them separately.

What other forms of payment are accepted at Costco

1. Card payment 

Costco has strict restrictions on the kind of payment accepted. Where most card payments are accepted as payment in other grocery stores Costco restricts the type of cards accepted. Only Visa credit and debit cards are accepted for payment at Costco. Until recently the contract was between Costco and American Express, but the contract ended and now the accepted payment card at Costco is a Visa card.

2. Cash payment 

Costco also accepts cash payment and payment with checks but these are only for in-store purchases. Cash and checks are not accepted at Costco gas stations and on the Costco website.

3. Contactless payment 

In addition, Costco has also adopted the new contactless payment method. This method is a seamless payment method where all you have to do is place your phone in proximity to the NFC scanner and the payment can be completed.

Examples of contactless payment are Apple pay, Google pay, and Samsung Pay. However to use your phone for payment at Costco the account has to be linked to a Visa card since it is the only accepted payment card at Costco.

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