Does Starbucks take EBT as a Form of Payment & What Can you Buy?

Are you wondering if Starbucks accepts EBT as a form of payment? In this article, we are going to let you in on everything you need to know about the use of EBT cards at Starbucks.

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What is the Food Stamps Program?

The Food Stamps Program, also known as SNAP benefits is a federally funded program.  It offers nutrition assistance to millions of eligible, low-income individuals and families.

The program is run by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) but administered at the state level. If you want to sign up for food stamps, you have to apply through the agency in your state that runs the program.

There are strict eligibility requirements you have to meet to be approved for SNAP benefits, including income requirements.

Once approved, food stamps recipients are issued an EBT card. They are issued a debit card that allows them to purchase foods that are on the approved list at approved merchant locations.

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 or fast-food restaurants that accept EBT.

Electronic Benefit Transfer cards, also known as EBT cards, are the way that state agencies distribute the money that the SNAP program provides to individuals and families. EBT cards look and act much like a debit card, except there is no link to your bank account.

EBT cards are connected to your SNAP benefits account, so when you swipe your EBT card at the grocery store to pay for your food, the funds from your SNAP benefits go into the store’s bank. These cards can only be used to buy food from approved retailers.

How Does EBT Work?

If you are eligible to receive benefits, an account will be established in your name and benefits will be deposited electronically in the account each month. As a result, you will receive a plastic card, like a bank debit card for making qualified purchases with your benefits.

However, 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.

Furthermore, if you qualify for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefit, you can use your card to:

  • Purchase selected any items at any of their available point-of-sale registers.

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

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

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

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What You Can Currently Buy with SNAP

If you are currently receiving food stamps, you are allowed to buy food that you plan to take home and prepare at home to eat.

That excludes hot food or buying food at fast-food restaurants that accept EBT near you. However, there are exceptions, which we will explain below.

Here is what you are allowed to buy with your EBT Card:

  • Bread and cereals;
  • fruits and vegetables;
  • meats, fish, and poultry; and
  • dairy products.
  • Seeds and plants produce food for the household to eat.

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.

Fast-Food Restaurants That Accept EBT

It’s worth noting that franchised locations can set their own policies on what payment types they’ll accept. That means that if the corporate office sets a policy to accept or not accept EBT in the corporate-owned stores, the franchise won’t necessarily follow that policy.

If you visit one of these restaurants in a state with an RMP and receive RMP benefits to your EBT card, you’ll probably be able to buy hot food off the menu.

If you are visiting a restaurant in a state without an RMP, or the location happens to not participates in the state’s RMP program, you either won’t be able to use your EBT card at all or will be limited to cold items that count as for home preparation only.

We’ve noted which items might count as cold, home prep items for each state, for those looking for restaurant food in non-RMP states.

Burger King

  • Possible cold food for home prep: Salads, milkshakes, applesauce, milk, desserts, and soft drinks
  • States with locations accepting EBT: California

Carl’s Jr.

  • Possible cold food for home prep: None
  • States with locations accepting EBT: Arizona, California

Pizza Hut

  • Possible cold food for home prep: None
  • States with locations accepting EBT: California

McDonald’s

  • Possible cold food for home prep: None
  • States with locations accepting EBT: California

Subway

  • Possible cold food for home prep: Cold subs, chips, and soft drinks may count as cold food
  • Additional information: EBT cards cannot be used on Subway’s app for ordering ahead, see more about Subway and EBT cards.
  • States with locations accepting EBT: Arizona, California, Rhode Island

Domino’s

  • Possible cold food for home prep: Salads, subs, desserts, and soft drinks
  • Additional information: Take advantage of daily deals to get better prices.
  • States with locations accepting EBT: Arizona, California

Popeye’s

  • Possible cold food for home prep: None
  • States with locations accepting EBT: California

Church’s Chicken

  • Possible cold food for home prep: Coleslaw, desserts, and soft drinks
  • Additional information: Many people report purchasing their chicken using EBT cards. Check with each franchise before purchasing.
  • States with locations accepting EBT: California

Cici’s Pizza

  • Possible cold food for home prep: Nonex
  • States with locations accepting EBT: Arizona
  • Suggested Article: These Are the Pizza Places That Take EBT

Dairy Queen

  • Possible cold food for home prep: Ice cream, cakes, and drinks
  • States with locations accepting EBT: Arizona

Del Taco

  • Possible cold food for home prep: Chips, desserts, salads, drinks
  • States with locations accepting EBT: California

Denny’s

  • Possible cold food for home prep: None
  • States with locations accepting EBT: Arizona, California

El Pollo Loco

  • Possible cold food for home prep: Salads, side dishes, and drinks
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  • States with locations accepting EBT: Arizona, California

Jack in the Box

  • Possible cold food for home prep: None
  • States with locations accepting EBT: Arizona, California

Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC)

  • Possible cold food for home prep: Coleslaw, desserts, and soft drinks
  • Additional information: Some KFC restaurants reportedly allow for chicken and sandwiches to be purchased using EBT cards, but check with your local franchise.
  • States with locations accepting EBT: Arizona, California

Taco Bell

  • Possible cold food for home prep: Chips, desserts, specialty cold drinks, and soft drinks
  • States with locations accepting EBT: Arizona, California

Quiznos

  • Possible cold food for home prep: None
  • States with locations accepting EBT: California

Rally’s Hamburgers

  • Possible cold food for home prep: Desserts, milkshakes, and soft drinks
  • States with locations accepting EBT: Arizona, California

Wendy’s

  • Possible cold food for home prep: Salads, desserts, specialty drinks, and soft drinks
  • States with locations accepting EBT: California

Wing Stop

  • Possible cold food for home prep: None
  • States with locations accepting EBT: California

Papa John’s Pizza

  • Possible cold food for home prep: None
  • States with locations accepting EBT: Arizona

Papa Murphy’s

  • Possible cold food for home prep: Take and bake pizzas, salads, sides, and drinks
  • Additional information: Since all Papa Murphy’s pizza is “take and bake,” it doesn’t fall under the restriction of “hot foods.” Sign up for extra offers on Papa Murphy’s website.
  • States with locations accepting EBT: 36 states; most Papa Murphy’s locations accept EBT.

Does Starbucks accept EBT?

Starbucks, as policy, does not accept food stamp cards or EBT for payment at its company-operated stores. However, some of their licensees, particularly those within grocery stores, may accept these for payment.

Many locations within grocery stores will accept EBT as payment, but it is encouraged to not allow this practice as the majority of the Starbucks locations follow corporate policies.

Find Your Starbucks Location

As a disclaimer, remember to always check with the Starbucks location nearest you to see if they accept EBT. Try using the Store Locator for the Starbucks Coffee Company!

It is more likely for the non-corporate Starbucks stores found inside licensed store locations. For example, this would be the cafe found inside your local grocery store or pharmacy instead of a separate, traditional Starbucks building.

FAQs about Starbucks EBT

What items are eligible for purchase with SNAP EBT funds?

According to government requirements, SNAP EBT funds can only be used for SNAP-eligible food items that are shipped and sold by Amazon.com. You can identify which items on Amazon are eligible for purchase with SNAP by looking for the “SNAP EBT eligible” label near the product name.

Can I buy non-SNAP eligible items with an alternative form of payment?

Yes, you can buy non-SNAP-eligible items (or SNAP-eligible items) with other forms of payment. Simply add an additional payment method, such as a gift card, credit card or debit card, at checkout. Customers can also add cash to their Amazon Balance at any participating Amazon Cash location.

Can I use coupons on my SNAP EBT purchase?

Currently, Amazon does not accept paper coupons (like those from newspapers). However, we have our own online coupons that are available for all customers, including customers using SNAP. Look for the “Save $X.XX” flags while you are shopping.

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

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

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.

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.

We’ll like you to give us your take on this. If you think this article on “Fast-food Restaurants that Accept EBT Near me” was helpful, don’t hesitate to leave a comment and share this information on your social media.

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