Does Whole Foods Accept EBT? All You Need to Know

You may have heard of Whole Foods or explored its aisles of organic food options. Unfortunately, many may think Whole Foods is inaccessible due to its prices, so they ask, “Does Whole Foods accept EBT?” Here’s all you need to know.

Does Whole Foods Accept EBT? All You Need to Know

Whole Foods accepts EBT cards. This means that those receiving SNAP benefits can enjoy the organic and nutritious options offered at Whole Foods without worry.

This article will break down how to use your EBT card at Whole Foods, what you can purchase there, and how you can buy Whole Foods groceries online.

Using an EBT Card at Whole Foods

Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards – previously referred to as “food stamps” – are used across America to receive SNAP benefits. Thousands of people rely on this help every month to feed their families and buy nutritious food from local stores. Still, now they can also use their EBT at the Whole Foods grocery store to purchase high-quality natural food.

What You Can Buy With EBT

At Whole Foods, you can use an EBT card to buy any and all grocery food items, so long as they amount to less than your total benefits for the month. This includes:

You cannot, however, buy:

  • Ready-made foods such as sandwiches from the deli or a hot meal from the buffet
  • Vitamins
  • Cleaning products
  • Toiletries and other household essentials
  • Pet products
  • Diapers, wet wipes, or non-food baby items
  • Alcohol
  • Tobacco
  • CBD

How to Pay at Whole Foods With EBT

Using an EBT card at Whole Foods is as easy as swiping your debit card. You don’t need to separate your non-grocery items from your grocery items because the machine does it. You swipe your EBT card when ready.

Then, you choose to either pay with your EBT benefits or pay with your Cash account. Choose EBT first, and it will automatically pay for all food items eligible for EBT benefits, leaving the balance amount for the remaining items. Then you can make a second transaction with a Cash account to purchase the items not covered by an EBT card.

Unfortunately, the receipt will not tell you the balance left on your EBT card, so keep this in mind while shopping. If the EBT card doesn’t have enough money available to purchase every grocery item at the checkout, it will pay for as much as it can. A remaining balance is left that you will need to pay through another account or with cash.

You can quickly get your EBT balance from an EBT customer service line or at an ATM with your PIN. EBT accounts are reloaded at the beginning of every month, but it’s good to keep track of your balance.

Paying With EBT Step by Step

  1. When it is time to pay for your groceries at check out, swipe your EBT card in the card-reader machine.

  1. Enter your EBT card PIN number.

  1. The card reader will ask if you want to use your SNAP (EBT) account or Cash account.

  1. Choose SNAP. The order will process, and you will approve the purchase. The machine will automatically charge food items to your EBT card. If there are remaining non-food options, you’ll need to make another transaction with your Cash account.

  1. Sometimes, the cashier will ask for a photo ID to confirm that you are the cardholder, so always have one ready just in case.

  1. The transaction will be complete, and you can now enjoy delicious Whole Foods groceries.

Why Buy at Whole Foods?

Whole Foods has a reputation for selling the highest quality natural organic products, and that is no accident. Whole Foods has a selective process when choosing which food products it puts on store shelves, and it all comes down to the nitty-gritty ingredients.

There are over 230 ingredients banned from the goods it sells. These ingredients include hydrogenated fats, high-fructose corn syrup, and harmful sweeteners such as aspartame, sucralose, and saccharin. Whole Foods carefully checks each product’s ingredients and leaves out unhealthy colors, preservatives, and flavors. You can find the entire list of banned ingredients here.

Whole Foods also has high standards for its fish and meat quality and only sells wild-caught sustainable fish and farmed fish and meat containing no antibiotics, growth hormones, preservatives, or animal byproducts in the animals’ feed.

This store also stands out from other groceries in how it caters to people with food allergies or special diets, such as:

  • Gluten-free
  • Vegan
  • Paleo
  • Vegetarian
  • Nondairy

Whole Foods offers transparent labels and information to make it easy for people to shop and feed themselves food to feel their best.

Even if you are not on a special diet, the benefits of healthy organic nutrition have proven to be great for the human body. Compared to conventionally-harvested food, organic food is richer in nutrients like Vitamin C, magnesium, iron, and phosphorous. Organic foods also have less exposure to pesticide residues and nitrates, making them safer and healthier for your body and will leave you feeling better.  

Can I Order Whole Foods Online With EBT?

You can use your EBT card in person at Whole Food stores, but you cannot use it to buy food online. Whole Foods’ online delivery system uses Amazon, but it won’t accept EBT. This system only accepts all major credit cards, Apple Pay, and Whole Foods gift cards.

There is a loophole, however. Some Whole Foods items, such as the 365 brand, are available through Amazon groceries, which accepts EBT as a payment method. The key is to not purchase groceries through the Whole Foods Market page on Amazon but to go to Amazon Groceries instead. Here you can also find the store brand, 365. Through this purchase, you’ll be able to use your EBT card.

We hope policies change soon to make all Whole Foods products available for EBT users online.

Online Grocery Stores That Accept EBT

Three other grocery stores that accept EBT online are Amazon, Shoprite, and Walmart. These online stores offer the same nutritious groceries in-store, but they’re delivered straight to your doorstep. If you pay over a certain amount determined per store, you can even qualify for free shipping.

Amazon accepts EBT payments through two online portals: Amazon Fresh and Groceries on Amazon. As of 2022, anyone in all states, except Alaska, Hawaii, Louisiana, and Montana, can use a valid EBT for purchases online. 

To shop on Amazon with your EBT card, click here and follow the onscreen instructions.

If you’re not an Amazon customer yet, you’ll be prompted to create an account, but you don’t have to pay for an Amazon Prime membership to use this service. However, to get free delivery on Amazon Fresh, you’ll need to purchase $35 or more of eligible items. Otherwise, you’ll have to pay the shipping fee with another payment apart from your EBT card.

You can schedule your delivery within a one or two-hour window as early as that day. For Groceries on Amazon, the minimum spending amount for free shipping is only $25.

It’s easy to find out which foods you can purchase with your EBT card online. A clear label says “SNAP EBT eligible” on the product pages.

Make sure you are not buying from third-party sellers – you can only use your EBT card if you are buying directly from Amazon. Also, you can always split up your purchase into two transactions with your EBT card and another form of payment if necessary.

Final Thoughts

So many grocery store foods – especially affordable ones – are packed with preservatives and cheap sugar substitutes that are toxic and harmful. Luckily, there is a solution through EBT purchases at Whole Foods.

When asking, “Does Whole Foods accept EBT?” we hope we’ve provided all you need to know about how you can use your card at the store today. Through the SNAP program and the ease of EBT cards, millions can now access healthy and nutritious meals for themselves and their families.

Using your EBT card at Whole Foods lets you purchase organic foods sourced locally and ethically. It is now simple to shop for the healthiest foods available with the ease of SNAP benefits.

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Click here to find out more and apply for this valuable benefit.