Can I Use My EBT Card Number Without The Card? What You Should Do

– Can I Use My EBT Card Number Without The Card? –

Can I Use My EBT Card Number Without The Card? Lots of people ask if they could use their EBT card number without the physical card or if it is possible to enter the EBT card number manually. In this review, we will explain how to use your EBT card and what to do when you do not have one handy.

Can I Use My EBT Card Number Without The Card?

What is the Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT)?

Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) is an electronic system that allows a recipient to authorize the transfer of their government benefits from a federal account to a retailer account to pay for products received.

EBT is used in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and Guam. EBT has been implemented in all states since June of 2004.

What’s EBT Card?

  • EBT = electronic benefits transfer.
  • EBT card = a card that looks and works like a debit or credit card but is loaded with food stamps and/or cash benefits. You can use it at stores that accept EBT.

How EBT Card Works

When you are approved for certain benefits, you will be issued a New Mexico Electronic Benefits Transfer Card (EBT). Your EBT card is used like a bank debit card. Each month your benefit amount will be deposited into your EBT account.

If you receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits (formerly Food Stamps), you can use your card to purchase qualified food items at any participating grocer. If you are eligible for Cash benefits, you can use your card to withdraw your benefits at ATMs or pay for purchases at participating grocers.


Do I need to have my EBT Card with me to Make a Purchase?

Yes, you should have your Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card with you in order to make a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) eligible food purchase.  

If you do not have the physical card available to make a SNAP purchase, the retailer may decline the sale or require an alternate method of payment.

How to use your EBT Card at the Grocery Store

  1. Insert your EBT card into the Point-Of-Sale (POS) terminal OR hand your card to the cashier.
  2. Tell the cashier which accounts to charge (SNAP or Cash).
  3. Enter your four-digit Personal Identification Number (PIN) on the keypad and press the OK or ENTER key. Never give your PIN to anyone, not even the cashier.
  4. The amount of your purchase will be deducted from your EBT account.
  5. Get your receipt and make sure the information on the receipt is correct.
  6. Keep this receipt for your records. It will indicate your new balance. Retailers will not give you change for SNAP benefit purchases. Only the exact amount of your food purchase is deducted from your SNAP benefits account. You may use your Cash benefits at stores to purchase both food and non-food items (soap, diapers, etc.). Retailers can provide change/cash-back from your Cash account. Not all store policies are the same and some may choose not to offer cashback.

How to use your EBT card for cash at an Automated Teller Machine (ATM)

how to use your EBT card for cash at an Automated Teller Machine (ATM)

  1. Insert or swipe your EBT card.
  2. Choose English or Spanish.
  3. Enter your Personal Identification Number (PIN) and press the OK or ENTER key.
  4. Select the key marked WITHDRAW CASH and then select CHECKING.
  5. Enter the amount you’d like in whole dollar amounts (for example, $20, $40, $60, etc.).
  6. Take your card, your receipt, and your cash.
  7. Count your cash and compare it to your receipt.
  8. Keep your receipt to help you keep track of your balance the next time you need cash.

Where can’t I use my EBT Card?

You cannot use your EBT Card at the following locations:

  • Casinos
  • Poker Rooms
  • Card Rooms
  • Smoke & Cannabis Shops
  • Adult Entertainment Businesses
  • Nightclubs/Saloons/Taverns
  • Tattoo & Piercing Shops
  • Spa/Massage Salons
  • Bingo Halls
  • Bail Bonds
  • Racetracks
  • Gun/Ammo Stores
  • Cruise Ships
  • Psychic Readers

Foods and Products Not Eligible for Purchase with the EBT Card

  • Hot foods from deli/foods to be eaten in store
  • Vitamins or medication
  • Pet food
  • Paper or cleaning products
  • Alcohol/tobacco products.

For a full list of approved food items, see the Food Stamps Eligible Food List here.

Bottom Line

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