Does Costco Accept EBT Cards? Yes, Read This First!

Last updated: 20 Mar, 2024 |
Does Costco Accept EBT Cards Yes, Read This First!

Have you ever walked around Costco, looking at all the giant piles of cheese and lots of laundry soap, and wondered if you could use your EBT card? As someone who knows a lot about grocery shopping, I can explain how to use your EBT card at Costco.

Remember, it’s essential to understand how Costco lets you use your EBT card before shopping. This way, you can get everything you need without any problems!

What is an EBT Card?

An EBT card is a special card that helps people with less money buy food. It’s part of the SNAP program, which helps families and individuals who need it. When you become part of the SNAP program, you get an EBT card. Each month, money for food gets put on this card electronically.

You can use this card at stores that allow it to buy groceries for your family. This makes shopping for food easier and helps everyone get the food they need.

Does Costco Accept EBT Cards?

Good news for everyone with an EBT card! Costco says “yes” to EBT cards at all their warehouse stores. This is because Costco wants to ensure everyone can buy many different kinds of food.

But it’s important to remember that there are a few rules about what you can and can’t buy with your EBT card. This helps make shopping easy and fun for everyone!

Does Costco Accept EBT Cards?

Here’s a quick summary of using EBT at Costco:

EBT AcceptedAll Costco warehouse locations
Online EBTNot accepted
Membership RequiredYes
EBT Eligible ItemsFollows state-specific SNAP guidelines

Costco lets you use your EBT card, but there are some rules about what you can buy. These rules come from the SNAP program in your state. If you want to buy things other than food or items that SNAP doesn’t cover, you will need to use a different way to pay, like cash or a credit card.

It’s an excellent idea to ask your local Costco or the state agency for the most recent information. This way, you’ll know exactly what you can buy with your EBT card when shopping.

Where Can I Use My EBT Card at Costco? (Inside the Warehouse Only)

It is essential to know where you can use your EBT card at Costco. You can only use your EBT card inside the Costco warehouse stores, on Costco’s website, or elsewhere, such as the food court or gas stations.

These places are different, and they don’t take EBT payments. So, when you go to Costco, remember that your EBT card is only for buying things inside the main store.

What Can You Buy at Costco with an EBT Card?

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) decides what you can buy with your SNAP. When shopping at Costco with your EBT card, you can choose from many foods.

  • Fresh produce: Fruits, vegetables, and herbs.
  • Meat, poultry, and fish.
  • Dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt.
  • Eggs.
  • Bread and cereals.
  • Canned and dry goods like beans, pasta, and rice.
  • Non-alcoholic beverages.

There’s an exciting thing you can get, too: seeds and plants. These are special because they can grow and provide food for a long time. So, when you use your EBT card at Costco, you have many healthy and yummy options to put in your cart!

What Can’t You Buy at Costco with an EBT Card?

When you shop at Costco with your EBT card, there are some things you can’t buy. These include:

  • Alcoholic beverages and tobacco products. These items are not allowed to be purchased with EBT cards.
  • Household goods like paper towels or cleaning supplies.
  • Clothing or personal care items.
  • Prepared foods from the Costco food court, like the famous rotisserie chicken that is ready to eat.
  • Products like cleaning supplies, paper products, and other household items, including pet food.
  • Vitamins, medicines, and supplements, like pills or powder mixes.
  • Live animals, except fish.

It’s also important to know that you can’t use your EBT card to pay for a Costco membership.

EBT is meant to help buy food that is good for you, so things that aren’t needed for nutrition, like luxury items, can’t be purchased with it. Knowing these rules makes shopping with your EBT card easier and helps you understand what you can and can’t put in your cart.

Should I Use My EBT Card at Costco?

Deciding if shopping at Costco with your EBT card is a good idea depends on how you usually shop and how much money you want to spend. Costco is great for saving money when you buy many things at once, but they have a yearly fee for being a member.

If you have a big family or usually buy lots of things, the money you save on groceries at Costco might compensate for the membership fee. But, if you only shop for one or two people and only buy a little at a time, a regular grocery store might work better for you. You don’t have to worry about paying a membership fee at a regular store.

How Do I Use My EBT Card at Costco? (Simple Swipe-and-Pay)

Using your EBT card at Costco is straightforward and similar to using it at any other store where it’s accepted. Here’s what you do:

  1. First, pick out your groceries and take them to the checkout.
  2. Make sure to separate the items you can buy with SNAP from the ones you can’t.
  3. Tell the cashier that you will pay with your EBT card.
  4. Swipe your EBT card at the machine where you pay.
  5. You should enter your PIN, just like a secret code.
  6. The cashier will then take the cost of your groceries out of your SNAP benefits.

One important thing to remember is that you can’t use your EBT card to get cash back at Costco. You can only use it to pay for allowed groceries.

How Do I Use My EBT Card at Costco (Simple Swipe-and-Pay)?

Can You Use My EBT Card Online at Costco? (Not Yet, But Stay Tuned!)

Currently, Costco doesn’t allow you to use your EBT card to buy groceries online. But there’s some exciting news! The SNAP program is testing new ways in some states that could let you shop online with your EBT card. It’s a good idea to keep watching for updates because this might be a new option soon!

Meanwhile, some big stores are already allowing EBT cards for online shopping. For example, Amazon and Walmart let you use your EBT card to buy groceries online. You can pick them up at the store or deliver them home. But remember, if you choose delivery, you might have to pay extra fees.

Understanding these options helps you use your EBT card wisely at Costco. Costco is great for stocking up your pantry or buying fresh fruits and veggies, and it can help stretch your SNAP benefits. Remember these tips for your next shopping trip so it can be easy and thoughtful!

What if I have to Bill more than the EBT Card Balance?

When you go shopping and buy different kinds of items, some may be SNAP-eligible, and others may not be. SNAP stands for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. It helps people buy food. If you have items that SNAP covers and some that it doesn’t, you’ll need to pay for them in two different ways.

First, you can use your EBT card to pay for the SNAP-eligible items. EBT stands for Electronic Benefit Transfer. It’s like a special debit card for buying food that SNAP covers. Then, you can use a different card for the items that SNAP doesn’t cover. This could be your regular debit or credit card.

It’s like making two separate purchases at the store. One purchase is with your EBT card for certain food items, and the other is with your debit or credit card for everything else. This way, you can use your SNAP benefits correctly and buy other necessary things.

How to Save Money While Shopping at Costco with an EBT Card

Shopping at Costco can be an amazing way to save money, whether using an EBT card or another way to pay. Here are some tips to help you stretch your budget:

  1. Make a Shopping List: Before you go to Costco, write down everything you need. This helps you stick to buying only what you need and avoid buying things just because they look good.
  2. Buy in Bulk When You Can: Costco is famous for selling large quantities. If you have enough room at home, buying in bulk can save you much money. This works well for things that go smoothly and can be frozen.
  3. Watch for Sales: Costco often has sales where they lower the prices on different things. Look for these deals, especially when they match the seasons, like summer or winter.
  4. Try Kirkland Signature Products: Kirkland Signature is Costco’s brand. These products are usually just as good as famous brands but cost less. Trying them can save you money while still getting quality stuff.

Final Thoughts

Costco is where you can buy lots of groceries at once, and they usually only cost a little. If you have SNAP benefits, they can help you buy these more significant amounts of food. But before shopping at Costco, consider the membership cost there.

You should see if the money you save from buying in bulk is more than the membership cost. This way, you can determine if shopping at Costco is the best choice for you and your budget.


Does Costco have Scan and Go Checkout?

Does Costco Have a Day Pass?

When Does Costco Restock?

Does Costco Accept PayPal?


Does Costco take EBT cards in California?

Yes, Costco does accept EBT cards in California. But remember, you can’t use SNAP benefits to buy prepared food at the food court.

Does Costco accept all types of credit cards for EBT purchases?

Costco accepts different credit cards for most purchases, but you can only use a Visa credit card if you use your EBT card for the same purchase.

Can You Use Your EBT Card at the Costco Food Court?

No, you can’t use your EBT card at Costco’s food court. The USDA rules for SNAP benefits say you can’t use them for meals made to eat right away at the store.

Can You Use Your EBT Card at Costco Business Centers?

Yes, you can use an EBT card at Costco Business Center locations. Just like at regular Costco warehouses, make sure you’re buying things that are allowed with SNAP benefits. You can’t use the EBT card to make purchases online at these centers.

Do I need a membership to use an EBT card at Costco?

Even though you don’t need a Costco membership to use your EBT card, getting one might help you save more money. This is especially true if you have a big family. With a Costco membership, you can buy groceries in large amounts, which often costs less. If you shop for many people, a membership could help you save money on your grocery bills.

Does Costco Instacart accept EBT?

As of 2024, Costco Instacart does not accept EBT cards. Here are a couple of things to remember:

  • EBT at Costco: While Costco takes EBT cards at their physical stores for approved groceries, you can’t use them for online orders through Instacart or Costco’s online system.
  • SNAP Online Purchasing Pilot: Some states have a pilot program letting people use EBT for online grocery shopping, but Costco isn’t part of this program yet.


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Faisal Mian

With a decade of experience as a manager, advisor, and marketer in the retail and consumer service sector, I understand the intricacies of the shopping landscape. I’m committed to delivering valuable insights to enhance your shopping endeavors.

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