Does Sam’s Club Accept EBT Cards? Sam’s Club operates under a membership model and thus becomes confusing to people if they actually accept EBT cards. As you go through this article, you will find the answer to “Does Sam’s Club accept EBT Cards?”
Yes, Sam’s Club currently accepts EBT cards at all club locations. However, you must be a Member to purchase items in-club without incurring a service fee. Sam’s Club warehouse clubs carry a large variety of food stamp approved items for SNAP benefit redemption.
Overview of Sam’s Club
Sam’s Club is an American chain of membership-only retail warehouse clubs owned by Walmart. It’s a chain of warehouse-style stores that sells everything from groceries to electronics and from tires to jewelry.
The retailer accepts a variety of payment methods, including food stamps, also known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). If you have SNAP, you’re most likely familiar with the ins and outs of the program and its rules and requirements.
Those rules apply at Sam’s Club, with a few more thrown in. This is ideal for those EBT cardholders with large families. Sam’s Club warehouse clubs currently reside in 47 U.S. states with 610 different locations.
Sam’s Club and similar warehouse stores operate under a membership model. You pay a fee, usually on an annual basis, and you get access to the discounts and deals offered by the retailer.
You can’t shop at Sam’s Club unless you’re a member. So, you can’t use food stamps at the retailer if you’re not a member. The retailer has two membership levels: the regular membership and the Plus level membership.
The Plus level offers more benefits than the regular membership, but also has a higher annual fee. If you’re a member of the military or a college student, you can join Sam’s Club for a reduced rate.
How Does EBT Work at Sam’s Club?
If you are eligible to receive benefits, an account will be established in your name, and money is loaded onto your EBT card at the beginning of each month. You will receive a plastic card, like a bank debit card for making qualified purchases with your benefits.
To use the card, you will need to select a secret PIN (Personal Identification Number) which will be explained to you by the local worker.
If you qualify for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits at Sam’s Club, you can use your card to:
- Purchase selected any items at any of their available point-of-sale registers.
However, once you’ve spent the money on the card for the month, you need to wait until the beginning of the next month for it to refill.
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 cashback with a purchase at the store.
What Can You Buy With EBT Card at Sam’s Club?
Although Sam’s Club sells a lot of stuff, you can’t buy everything in the store using EBT card. The same rules apply at Sam’s Club as at any other supermarket or grocery store. You can use EBT card to purchase food, such as milk, produce, meat and bread.
But you can’t use EBT card to purchase prepared or hot food that’s designed to be eaten right away. You also can’t use SNAP to buy alcohol, personal care items or pet supplies.
Here is a full list of what you can buy at Sam’s Club:
Eligible EBT Food Items
You should be aware of when using your EBT card at Trader Joe’s is the items you are buying. It advisable to always select eligible EBT food items when shopping with your EBT card to redeem food stamps.
Any attempt in selecting unapproved food items and trying to purchase them with your EBT card, will result in your transaction not been processed. You will have to pay for those unapproved items with another form of payment such as cash or credit.
Here are some of the common eligible EBT food items:
- Soft Drinks (Italian soda, juice, etc.)
- Snack Crackers and Chips (potato chips, veggie chips, etc.)
- Poultry (chicken breast, chicken thighs, turkey breast, etc.)
- Pork products (pork chops, pork sausage, etc.)
- Red Meat (steak, ground beef, ribs, etc.)
- Dessert Items (ice cream, brownies, cookies, etc.)
- Bread, cereal, granola bars
- Dairy products (milk, yogurt, cheese, etc.)
- Fresh, Frozen and Canned Fruits
- Fresh, Frozen and Canned Vegetables
- Cooking Oils (olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, etc.)
- Seeds, Nuts, and Plants (cashews, peanut butter, etc.)
- Fresh and Frozen Seafood (fish, shellfish, etc.)
- Candy (Trader Joe’s variety of chocolate bars)
- Frozen food items (butter chicken, pasta, etc.)
However, your EBT card cannot be used to purchase protein powder, prepared food or protein bars from Sam’s Club. More items that cannot be purchased at Sam’s Club using your EBT card include
- Beer, wine, liquor, cigarettes or tobacco
- Any nonfood items, such as: pet foods, soaps, paper products and household supplies
- Vitamins and medicines
- Food that will be eaten in the store
- Hot foods or foods that are already prepared.
Check Your EBT Card Balance
What you should be aware of before redeeming your food stamp benefits at Trader Joe’s is your current EBT card balance. Not having enough money on your EBT card could be bad for you especially if the transaction is larger than the available EBT card balance.
This usually result in your transaction not been processed. You have to pay an extra difference with another form of payment such as cash or credit as discussed above.
For help checking your EBT Card Balance, check out our EBT Card Balance by State list here. Once you are on the page, select the state where you are receiving benefits and follow the instructions provided to receive your current EBT Card Balance.
Other Stores That Do Accept EBT
Like Sam’s Club, there are hundreds of other stores that accept EBT cards from food stamp recipients. EBT approved stores can include grocery stores, markets, wholesale stores, convenience stores, discount stores, specialty food stores, and farmer’s markets.
Does Sam’s Club Accept Other Forms of Government Aid?
Sam’s Club doesn’t participate in other government aid programs, such as the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). If you have WIC, you can purchase qualifying items at your local supermarket or grocery store instead of Sam’s Club.
1. Can I buy baby food or infant formula using EBT benefits?
Yes, you can use your SNAP benefits to buy baby food. This includes infant formula, cereals, juices, and baby food in boxes and jars.
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 benefits will be included on the EBT card?
Cardholders could have any or all of the following benefits: SNAP, WV Works/Cash and Child Support Incentive
4. 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.
Before going to your local Sam’s Club to redeem your SNAP benefits, we advise that you call your local Club to confirm that they do in fact accept EBT cards as a form of payment.
You do not want to show up and find that you will not be able to redeem your SNAP benefits at that location. Please make a note that products carried at Sam’s Club warehouse clubs do not qualify for the WIC program.