Does Costco Take EBT Card For Purchasing Food Item?

Does Costco Take EBT Card? In this article today we will be providing you with information about one of our most frequently asked questions – Does Costco take EBT?

Can I use my EBT card at Costco?

First, Costco memberships are perfect for families or those who like to buy in bulk and have stock for a period of time. Hence, Costco does sell a variety of items such as electronics, computers, furniture, outdoor living, appliances, jewelry, household items, and of course, food.

Costco Overview

Costco is an American multinational corporation that operates 746 membership-only warehouse stores worldwide, making it the second-largest retailer in the world.

There are more than 527 Costco warehouse stores nationwide. Costco provides a wide variety of bulk grocery products at wholesale prices. EBT Cards are accepted as a form of payment at Costco Wholesale warehouses, including Costco locations in California.

How To Use My EBT Card At Costco?

Yes, Costco accepts an EBT card as a form of payment. Once you are eligible to receive your supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, you can purchase selected items at any of their available point-of-sale registers with your EBT card.

Once you swipe your card, you’ll be prompted to enter your 4-digit Personal Identification Number (PIN). The EBT card is used just like a normal debit card.

However, you have to be sure to only select eligible food items when redeeming SNAP benefits at Costco using your EBT card.

If you qualify for WV Works/Cash and Child Support Incentive benefits, you can use your card to:

  • Withdraw benefits from any QUEST® ATM throughout West Virginia or nationwide.
  • Pay for purchases at the store.
  • Get cash back with a purchase at the store.

Food Items Eligible With EBT Card

Selecting unapproved food items and trying to purchase them with your EBT card, will result in your transaction not been processed.

Here is a list of eligible EBT food items:

  • Pork products (pork chops, pork tenderloin, bacon, pork sausage, etc.)
  • Red Meat (steak, ground beef, ribs, etc.)
  • Dessert Items (ice cream, brownies, cookies, etc.)
  • Bread and cereal
  • Dairy products (milk, yogurt, cheese, etc.)
  • Cooking Oils (olive oil, vegetable oil, coconut oil, etc.)
  • Seeds, Nuts, and Plants (cashews, peanut butter, etc.)
  • Fresh, Frozen, and Canned Fruits
  • Fresh, Frozen, and Canned Vegetables
  • Seafood (fish, shellfish, etc.)
  • Poultry (chicken breast, chicken thighs, chicken drumsticks, turkey breast, etc.)
  • Candy (Snickers, M&M’s, etc.)
  • Soft Drinks & Energy Drinks (Pepsi, Sprite, Red Bull, etc.)
  • Snack Crackers and Chips (Doritos, Wheat Thins, Ritz Crackers, etc.)
  • Cooking Oils (olive oil, vegetable oil, coconut oil, etc.)
  • Seeds, Nuts, and Plants (cashews, peanut butter, etc.)

Here is a list of unapproved EBT food items:

However, your EBT card cannot be used to purchase protein powder, prepared food or protein bars from Costco. More items that cannot be purchased at Costco using your EBT card include

  • Vitamins
  • Medicine
  • Household products
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Alcohol
  • Tobacco
  • Prepared food
  • Feminine products

Furthermore, you have to check your current EBT card balance before redeeming your food stamp benefits at Costco. This is to avoid your transaction not been processed.

You will have to pay an extra difference with another form of payment such as cash or credit card for those items if your balance isn’t enough.

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What Can Happen

If your EBT card is used to buy items that are not on the eligible list and you are caught, your state’s food stamps agency will set up a hearing to determine whether or not you broke the law.

If they find that you used your EBT card to buy banned items, the penalties are very serious.

First, any money spent on banned items will need to be paid back and you can lose your benefits for:

  • 3 months the first time
  • 1 year the second time, and
  • 2 years every time

Can I use my EBT card at Costco?


1. Can the government tell me what I bought with my EBT card?

The EBT system does not keep a record of what you buy.

2. Is my personal information in the EBT system kept private?

Yes. Information about clients in the EBT system is under the same privacy rules that govern the CalFresh Program and CalWORKs.

3. What if I already have my cash benefits direct deposited, do I have to use an EBT card to access those benefits?

No. If you already receive your cash benefits by direct deposit, you may continue to do so.

Final Say

We highly advise that you call to confirm that they do in fact accept EBT cards as a form of payment if you are to redeem your benefits. And be sure to pay close attention to the list, as violating the rules, or conspiring with another person to violate any of the rules constitutes food stamp fraud.

Please leave your comment if this information was useful to you.

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