Yes! You Can Shop Online with EBT!
Over the last year, countless Americans had their world turned upside down with the global pandemic. Workers were sent home, and students had to figure out how to do school from the kitchen table. Stores closed. For those that stayed open, shoppers were nervous and reluctant to enter because of the coronavirus.
It was great news for those on food stamps to have the ability to shop online with EBT cards, especially because of the global pandemic. It also opens up more sources for food, often at better prices, for those who live in food scare areas.
Are you wondering where you can use your EBT online? Read on to learn more about the grocers and online resources accepting EBT for online orders.
Expanded EBT Online Program
In 2017 the USDA began a pilot program to start online shopping for food using the electronic benefit transfer card or EBT. As a result, the program greatly increased last year, allowing many more SNAP users access to shopping for food online.
In fact, the online program is now accepted in 47 states and the District of Columbia. Alaska, Louisiana, and Montana are the only states across the US that have not opted to enroll in the program.
Let’s take a closer look at what stores now allow you to use your EBT online for food.
Amazon has several options that are useful for those using the EBT card. They make the shopping easy to use and offer quick shipping. Here’s how you use your EBT on Amazon:
- Create an Amazon account (free) and log in
- Go to the Payment Method tab under your account
- Select using the EBT card, then enter your card information
- Start shopping (more on your options later)
At checkout time, you’ll select the EBT card you’ve entered as your payment method. Then you’ll enter your 4-digit EBT PIN so you can complete your purchase.
Amazon has several options for food delivery. Amazon Fresh serves many areas of the country and offers the following:
- Fresh produce
- Meat and seafood
- Dairy, cheese, and eggs
- Bread and bakery
- Frozen foods
Items from Amazon Fresh can be delivered right to your door.
There is also Amazon Pantry for non-perishable staples. In addition, Amazon also regularly offers discounts on certain products with the use of the EBT card.
Currently, millions of Americans also take advantage of Amazon Prime. This is a yearly subscription that comes with a host of benefits and Amazon Perks. That’s why it’s great news that Amazon now offers a discounted Amazon Prime membership for those with an EBT card. This gets you free Prime delivery, in addition to a long list of other services not related to food.
BJ’s Wholesale Club
BJ’s Wholesale Club is the first wholesale club to become available for EBT customers. They allow the EBT card online for curbside pickup in Florida, North Carolina, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire. They have plans to expand the services to other states too.
They also hope to expand to delivery for online customers as they expand to other states.
Other wholesale clubs like Sam’s Club, Costco, and Boxed have not followed suit to participate in the online shopping program.
Dash’s Market, located in New York, has applied to be a part of the program. The USDA has approved them, but the program hasn’t yet started. They expect to launch their EBT program soon.
Their current online program offers both delivery and curbside pickup from all of their locations.
Fresh Direct is another online grocer, like Amazon, that accepts the EBT card. To shop with Fresh Direct, create an account on their website as all customers do.
Customers who use an EBT card must make a minimum of a $30 purchase and shop from the USDA’s approved list on the website.
When you’re ready to pay, you choose the EBT card as payment. Fresh Direct will provide an estimated total for your order. At delivery, you will see two totals for your order. There will be an order total and also an EBT Purchase Total. The USDA requires the one EBT Purchase Total to be smaller than the order total.
H-E-B is a Texas chain of grocers that offer curbside pickup for groceries from several dozen locations. In addition, you can shop online, and their system allows you to:
- Accepts split payments for eligible and non-eligible items
- Discounts from manufacturers’ coupons then get credited back to your EBT account when the order is complete
H-E-B customers should know that you don’t enter your EBT card online when you order. You must bring it to the store when you do curbside pickup. You should also bring other forms of payment if you have any items that aren’t eligible under the SNAP program for using the EBT program.
Hy-Vee is a grocery chain located in the midwest. They have been approved for online use by the USDA and have started to accept EBT online from some locations. They are planning to continue to expand the service to all locations in the future.
When you purchase from Hy-Vee, you need a minimum of a $30 order for curbside pickup. You’ll be asked to select the EBT option at payment. Hy-Vee also asks that you also enter a debit or credit card for non-approved purchases. If you don’t have a debit or credit card, you should call their 800 number for other options.
At pickup, you will need to swipe your EBT card to finalize the sale.
InstaCart is relatively new to the USDA online program but adds a wealth of shopping options for SNAP recipients. However, InstaCart is a little different than some of the other options listed here.
InstaCart is an online grocery shopping service. Instead of being a grocer themselves, they work with a variety of stores. They employ the shoppers who go into the grocery or market you select, do the shopping for you, and then deliver it.
InstaCart is currently working with the following stores to offer online EBT purchases:
- Brookshire’s Food and Pharmacy
- Food Lion
- Save Mart, FoodMaxx, Lucky Supermarkets
- Strack & Van Til
- Price Chopper
- Market 32
- Niemann Foods
Once you place an order, you select a delivery date and time. Then, it’s delivered right to your door. Of course, you will need to swipe your EBT card at delivery. But, bonus for InstaCart, there are no delivery fees, tax, or surcharge for EBT pilot program deliveries.
Kroger is another chain that offers curbside pickup for its customers. At the onset of the pandemic, Kroger added the EBT payment option for their grocery pickup service.
You go to Kroger online and set up an account. Then, do your shopping and arrange a curbside pickup time. Using your EBT card is available at all Kroger stores that offer curbside pickup services.
Publix is a huge grocery chain located in the southeastern part of the country. You can Publix stores in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia.
Publix is working with InstaCart for the delivery of groceries. Check your individual stores for availability. The service is quickly expanding, so if it’s not currently available, be sure to check often to see if that has changed.
Safeway is relatively new to the USDA online program but quickly expands the stores where they accept online EBT purchases. Currently, you can use your EBT card in stores in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maryland, New Mexico, Oregon, Virginia, and Washington, as well as one of their stores in the District of Columbia.
Safeway also owns Albertsons, which has online shopping and curbside pickup available in California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming.
Their Vons stores offer the service in Southern California and Nevada.
ShopRite currently offers EBT online and curbside pickup service for EBT cards in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania.
You go to ShopRite online and create an account. Once you’re done shopping, you’ll need to decide if you want curbside pick up or delivery.
ShopRite allows you to pay online using your EBT card or pay with it when you either pick up or receive the delivery. If you wait to pay upon receipt, you’ll need the card to swipe.
Wal-Mart also participates in the USDA program and has many locations where you can use your EBT card online and get curbside pickup. However, their store options offering EBT card delivery are a little more limited.
You go to Wal-Mart online and create an account. Once you’re finished shopping, you enter your EBT card information for payment. You can also split your purchase and use other methods of payment for the same order.
Smaller Chains Across the Country
In addition to these larger shopping options, there are lists of smaller, local retailers offering online EBT services. These include:
- Brookshire’s Food and Pharmacy in Texas
- Spring Market in Texas
- The Cameron Market, Sliced Bread Market, and Sweet Springs Market in Missouri
- Carli C’s IGA in North Carolina
- County Market in Illinois
- Fairplay Foods in Illinois
- The Fresh Grocer in New Jersey and Pennsylvania
- Giant Eagle in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia
- Hays Supermarket in Arkansas and Missouri
- H.G. Hill Food Stores in Tennessee
- Sooner Foods in Oklahoma
- Wrights Market in Alabama
The USDA is constantly expanding the markets providing online services to EBT users. It’s recommended you check with your local grocer to see if they offer online payment using EBT.
Yes, You Can Shop Online With EBT
The good news is that you can shop online with EBT at many grocery providers, both big and small. Even if they don’t offer food delivery, many accept online payment with EBT and offer curbside pickup services.
We have more resources available on our website for online shopping. You check out those recommended resources here.
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