Does Costco Accept EBT?

2 years ago
4 mins 8 secs

Most of you may often wonder, “Does Costco accept EBT?” However, before finding out whether they accept it or not, it will not be a bad idea to try and find out more about the EBT card and how it can benefit people. After all, if it does not have plenty of benefits in store for users, it doesn’t matter whether companies accept it or not.

The EBT or Electronic Benefit Transfer Card is a magnetically encoded card popular across the US. Different state welfare departments provide benefits to the citizens of the nations through this card. These cards are accepted in several major stores across the US, including Costco. However, EBT card users need to keep some points in mind, discussed below.

What is Costco?

Costco Wholesale Corporation, most popularly known as Costco, is a famous American multinational corporation. It operates a chain of big-box retail stores open for membership holders only.

Until a few years back, Costco held the fifth spot in the list of the largest retailers in the world. Costco was also among the top 10 on the Fortune 500 rankings for the largest US corporations. This was in terms of total revenue in the recent past.

Costco has its headquarters in Issaquah, Washington. According to recent data, Costco has about 804 warehouses spread across the globe. Of the total, 558 warehouses are in the US, 103 in Canada, 39 in Mexico, and 29 in the United Kingdom.

What is EBT?

In the US, several state welfare departments provide benefits to the nation’s people. However, people need to enroll in a special card to get the benefits. This is known as the EBT or the Electronic Benefit Transfer card. The different state welfare departments benefit the people via these magnetically encoded payment cards.

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The EBT card is like a debit card. Users of this card utilize government assistance, like food stamps, to pay different retailers from whom they purchase things of need. Apart from providing benefits, the state governments can also track the use of these cards via the EBT system.

Thankfully, the EBT card is accepted in various major retail stores. So, for example, you can use your EBT at Costco. This is a significant relief for EBT users, who often wondered whether the card would be helpful at some of the major retail stores or not.

Does Costco Accept EBT?

This question has been haunting the minds of several people for quite some time. Thankfully, it is true that Costco accepts EBT. All the Costco warehouses take the card.

The company follows all the state laws regarding the items that can and cannot be purchased using the EBT card. Although you can use your EBT to buy groceries, you cannot use it at Costco gas stations, Costco food court, or order groceries online.

You can purchase food items like dairy products, poultry products, fruits and vegetables, various staple foods, and soft drinks using your EBT card. However, it would help if you were a member to enjoy the different discounted deals on an EBT card at all the Costco stores. Unfortunately, you cannot use your EBT card to purchase your annual Costco membership.

How to Use EBT at Costco?

Since Costco accepts EBT, using it to purchase groceries is a pretty simple process. However, you need to remember that you need to pay for the groceries first if you plan to buy groceries and non-food items simultaneously. You will have to pay for the items in two separate orders. It is necessary to make the cashier aware of this.

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You may use your cash account to pay for your items, even though you have some cash on your EBT card. However, in that case, the card will fail to deduct the money from your Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) account.

Instead, it will remove the entire order value from your cash account. As a result, you will be left with less money to buy non-food items unless your benefits are renewed.

Here are the steps you need to follow to use your EBT at Costco.

  • When you turn comes at the cashier, insert or swipe your EBT card at the POS and punch in the PIN.
  • Inform the cashier whether to charge your order to your Cash or SNAP account.
  • You may be asked to re-enter the PIN to confirm the charge on the POS.
  • Sometimes, a manager or a supervisor may ask for your photo ID card to verify whether the EBT card belongs to you or not.


The EBT, or the Electronic Benefit Transfer card, is pretty helpful for low-income people. State welfare departments provide benefits to users of EBT cards. In addition, many major retail stores, such as Costco, accept EBT cards that help their customers enjoy most of the benefits offered by state governments.

Interested in finding out if other supermarkets accept EBT? Check out these articles.

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