Does Costco Accept Ebt?

In today’s world, access to affordable and nutritious food is essential for everyone, regardless of their financial situation.

Government assistance programs such as the Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) program help individuals and families with low incomes to afford food and other necessities.

Costco, a popular membership warehouse club, is known for offering a wide range of products at competitive prices.

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What is EBT?

The Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) program is a federal assistance program in the United States that provides eligible individuals and families with a card, similar to a debit card, to purchase approved food items.

The EBT card can be used at authorized retailers, including grocery stores and supermarkets, to buy eligible food items.

Understanding Costco

Costco Wholesale Corporation, commonly known as Costco, is a membership-based warehouse club that offers a vast selection of products, including groceries, household items, electronics, and more.

With locations across the United States and several other countries, Costco is known for its bulk buying options and competitive pricing.

Does Costco accept EBT?

Yes, Costco does accept EBT at selected locations. However, it’s important to note that not all Costco warehouses participate in the EBT program.

EBT cards can only be used for eligible food items and are not accepted for purchasing non-food items or membership fees.

Eligible items for EBT at Costco

While EBT can be used at Costco, it’s crucial to understand that not all items in the store are eligible for purchase with EBT. The EBT program has specific guidelines regarding what can be bought using the benefits.

Generally, EBT can be used to buy staple food items such as fruits, vegetables, dairy products, bread, meat, and non-alcoholic beverages. Items like hot prepared foods, alcohol, tobacco, and non-food products are not eligible for purchase using EBT.

How to use EBT at Costco

If you have an EBT card and want to shop at Costco, you need to follow a few steps. First, ensure that the Costco warehouse you plan to visit accepts EBT. Upon arrival, you can locate the membership desk or customer service area to check if EBT is accepted.

If EBT is accepted at that location, proceed with your shopping.

When making a purchase with EBT at Costco, you will need to present your EBT card at the checkout counter. The cashier will guide you through the process, which involves swiping your EBT card and entering your PIN.

Once the transaction is complete, you will receive a receipt indicating the remaining balance on your EBT card.

Benefits of using EBT at Costco

Using EBT at Costco provides several benefits for individuals and families who rely on government assistance for their food needs. Some advantages include:

  1. Affordable prices: Costco’s bulk buying options allow EBT users to purchase larger quantities of food items at lower prices, which can help stretch their benefits further.
  2. Wide selection: Costco offers a wide range of food products, including organic and specialty items, giving EBT users access to a variety of options to meet their dietary needs.
  3. Quality products: Costco is known for its high-quality products, ensuring that EBT users can purchase nutritious and reliable food items for themselves and their families.
  4. Additional savings: Costco frequently offers discounts and deals on various items, allowing EBT users to maximize their benefits and save even more on their grocery purchases.
  5. Convenient shopping experience: With spacious aisles and a one-stop-shop concept, Costco provides a convenient shopping experience for EBT users, saving them time and effort.

Alternatives to EBT at Costco

While Costco accepts EBT at selected locations, it’s important to note that not all individuals may have access to this membership warehouse club or prefer to shop elsewhere. There are alternative options for individuals who cannot use EBT at Costco, including:

  1. Local grocery stores: Most local grocery stores and supermarkets accept EBT, providing a convenient and accessible option for purchasing food items.
  2. Farmers’ markets: Some farmers’ markets participate in programs that allow EBT users to purchase fresh produce directly from local farmers, promoting healthy eating and supporting local agriculture.
  3. Online grocery delivery: Many online grocery delivery services now accept EBT as a form of payment, allowing individuals to order food items from the comfort of their homes.
  4. Community food banks: Community food banks and pantries offer assistance to individuals and families in need, providing free or low-cost food options to supplement their grocery needs.

Additional resources for EBT users

For individuals and families utilizing the EBT program, there are additional resources available to support them in making the most of their benefits:

  1. EBT customer service: Each state has a dedicated EBT customer service hotline that can provide information about eligible items, reporting lost or stolen cards, and resolving any issues related to the EBT program.
  2. Online resources: Government websites and online forums provide valuable information and resources for EBT users, including recipes, meal planning tips, and guidance on maximizing the value of EBT benefits.
  3. Local assistance programs: Many communities offer additional assistance programs that can complement EBT benefits, such as nutrition education, job training, and access to healthcare services.


Can I use my EBT card to purchase a Costco membership?

No, EBT cards cannot be used to pay for Costco membership fees.

Are all Costco warehouses EBT-friendly?

No, not all Costco warehouses accept EBT. It’s recommended to check with your local Costco location before visiting.

Can I use my EBT card to buy non-food items at Costco?

No, EBT cards can only be used to purchase eligible food items. Non-food items are not covered by the EBT program.

Can I use EBT for online shopping at Costco?

Currently, Costco does not offer EBT as a payment option for online purchases. EBT can only be used in-store.

Is there a limit to how much I can spend using EBT at Costco?

The EBT program does not have a specific spending limit, but it is subject to the individual’s available balance on their EBT card. It’s important to manage and budget the benefits accordingly.


Access to affordable and nutritious food is a fundamental right, and the EBT program plays a crucial role in assisting individuals and families with low incomes in meeting their basic needs. While Costco does accept EBT at selected locations, it’s important to be aware of the specific guidelines and eligible items when using EBT at the warehouse club. Additionally, alternative options exist for individuals who cannot utilize EBT at Costco, ensuring that everyone has access to affordable and nutritious food.

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