Does Lidl Accept Food Stamps or EBT?
This information is current as of July 25, 2022.
Lidl is a discount chain of grocery stores that originated in Germany and has since spread throughout Europe and into the United States. According to its website, Lidl has over 11,000 stores worldwide.
When it comes to payments, does Lidl accept food stamps or EBT? Lidl accepts food stamps and EBT cards at all its retail locations in the United States. At Lidl, you can purchase the same things that you can use EBT for at any other grocery chain or outlet, with the standard exceptions.
The self-service registers are the only place you cannot use an EBT card in a Lidl grocery store. You can only use your EBT card at registers with the right card scanners and a cashier. In the self-serve, you will have to pay with another method.
Does Lidl Accept EBT Payments Online?
Unfortunately, Lidl does not accept EBT payments through their online marketplace. If you want to purchase groceries from Lidl online, even if you do so through a third party, you will have to pay with a credit or debit card.
Lidl is not one of those giant grocery retail chains in the United States. Thus far, most of the country probably doesn’t even know what a Lidl is. So, it’s not likely that they will be jumping on that bandwagon soon.
Some grocery retail outlets will allow you to pay for your online groceries with an EBT card if you use a third-party platform such as Instacart or UberEats. However, Lidl doesn’t participate, so you can’t purchase through a third party with an EBT card for pick up either.
How to Spend Your SNAP Benefits at a Lidl
Using an EBT card at a Lidl grocery outlet is the same as using it at any store. You can only use your card on the EBT-approved items in your state, and, like most grocery stores, Lidl will have tags on the things that are EBT-approved.
Approved items include just about anything but unprepared foods. If your local Lidl has a deli, you will be limited to what’s behind the case, and you won’t be able to use your EBT card for anything “prepared.”
An example of prepared food is rotisserie chicken, meal deals, sandwiches, hot foods, or anything else you might find in a traditional restaurant or fast-food establishment. You can purchase things like deli meats, seafood, and bread in the bakery and deli.
There is a chance that your Lidl will ring prepared items up as unprepared items, but that generally boils down to the manager and what they will allow. However, you would be surprised at how many people, from the cashiers to management, will ring your items up as unprepared items.
That’s why getting to know the people in your community is essential. You never know who might be working at the local Lidl and would be more than willing to ring up prepared foods as something else so that you can use your EBT cards.
Unfortunately, that’s just about the only unofficial way to get around the “prepared” food restriction on EBT cards. Paying with your EBT card is essentially the same as paying with a credit or debit card.
Using Your EBT Card
When you insert your EBT card at Lidl, you must select the “Food” tab on the card scanner. Sometimes, you may have to inform the cashier that you are paying with an EBT card. You will also have to enter your PIN to proceed.
In most cases, either the cashier or the system will quickly separate eligible food items from items you cannot purchase with an EBT card. Your EBT will automatically pay for the cost of the food and will leave you with a remaining balance that only includes ineligible EBT items.
You must use a different method to finish paying, and you’re all set.
Like most grocery retail chains, there are certain items that you cannot pay for with your EBT card, such as:
- Alcoholic beverages
- Vitamins, minerals, or supplements
- Paper products (toilet paper and paper towels)
- Hygiene items
- Hot foods or prepared foods
- Live animals like lobster, crab, or fresh fish out of the aquarium
- Cleaning supplies
- Hot foods or prepared foods
Because there is no nutritional value assigned to them, prepared foods, hot foods, and live animals are deemed ineligible. SNAP is an affordable way to meet your family’s dietary needs.
If your purchase has no official labeling, it may not be “nutritional” and fall outside the viable foods or beverages you can purchase with your EBT card at all retailers, not just at Lidl.
Using Your EBT Card for Unapproved Items
If you get caught using your EBT card for items that are not approved, you will receive a three-month band for the first offense, a one-year ban for a second offense, and a two-year ban for a third offense.
After that, you could lose your SNAP/EBT benefits altogether. If someone is ringing you up for an unapproved item, exercise discretion because you don’t want to get banned from using your EBT card over some live shrimp.
All Things Considered
Lidl accepts EBT payments at all their retail grocery stores in the United States, of which there are currently 1,900 open and operating. However, as of now, Lidl will not accept EBT payments online through Lidl or third parties, such as Instacart.
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