SNAP benefits, formerly known as food stamps, are issued via EBT, or electronic benefit transfer. This has made the access to SNAP funds easier and more convenient for millions of Americans, with the rise of online ordering only further increasing opportunity.
But does Instacart take EBT? Can you use your SNAP benefits to purchase groceries on Instacart and have them delivered? If you’d like to learn the answer, keep reading!
Does Instacart Take EBT In 2023?
Instacart does support the use of EBT SNAP benefits in a limited number of states, at a limited selection of retailers in 2023. Customers can add their EBT information to their Instacart accounts and use it when checking out. EBT cannot be used on Instacart to pay for delivery or other fees, nor can it be applied to tips.
To learn more about which states support EBT payment on Instacart, how to add your card to your Instacart account, and even some troubleshooting tips, keep reading to find all you need!
In What States Does Instacart Take EBT?
Instacart supports EBT SNAP payments in 37 states, including (in alphabetical order):
- District of Columbia
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
So, if you live in any of these states listed below:
- New Mexico
It means you can’t use your EBT SNAP benefits at all on Instacart.
It’s important to note, too, that not every retailer on Instacart also supports EBT SNAP in every state.
For example, the chain Price Rite has locations up and down the eastern seaboard.
Currently, the only states in which you can use EBT SNAP to shop Price Rite include Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island.
Which Grocery Stores on Instacart Accept EBT?
As I said, just because there is a grocery store in your area on Instacart, that doesn’t mean it accepts EBT SNAP automatically.
You’ll have to check to see if they’re able to accept EBT in your state, which you can do here.
The master list of grocers who do accept EBT SNAP are as follows:
- Ahold Delhaize USA (Food Lion, Hannaford, Giant, GIANT Food Stores, Giant Heirloom Market, Martin’s, Stop & Shop)
- Brookshire’s Food & Pharmacy, Spring Market, Super 1 Foods, Fresh by Brookshire’s
- Earth Fare
- Fairplay Foods
- Food Bazaar
- Harps Food Store
- Homeland, United Supermarkets, CashSaver, Food-World
- Little Giant Farmers Market
- Niemann Foods (County Market)
- PAQ, Inc. (Food 4 Less, Rancho San Miguel Markets)
- Piggly Wiggly
- Price Chopper Supermarkets (Price Chopper, Market 32, Market Bistro)
- Price Rite
- Save Mart, FoodMaxx, and Lucky Supermarkets
- Schnucks and EatWell
- Strack & Van Til, Van Til’s Supermarket, Town and Country
- Tops Friendly Markets
- Warehouse Market
- Woodman’s Market
Again, most of these stores are limited in terms of what states allow customers to use EBT SNAP on purchases.
The grocery stores that do have the widest coverage are Aldi, Publix, and Food Lion, but even these options don’t cover every single state, nor every location within an eligible state.
How Do You Add an EBT Card to Instacart?
You can add your EBT SNAP card to your Instacart account the same way you would add any form of payment.
Click on the three horizontal bars in the upper-left corner of the app, which will bring up your account “hub.”
Scroll down to “Account Settings” and click on that, then select “Payment Methods.”
Under Credit/Debit cards and PayPal, you should see the EBT SNAP card option. Click “Add.”
Enter your name as it appears on the card and the number, click “Save,” and you’re done!
Alternatively, you can also access EBT SNAP info from the Account Settings menu.
You can add your card from here in the same way, and you can also set the toggle so that the app shows you what items are SNAP-eligible.
How Do You Use Your EBT Card on Instacart?
It’s up to you if you want to change your account settings (the method is mentioned above) to show whether items are SNAP-eligible, but it’s a very handy feature.
Quick recap: you access it from your Account Settings, in “Account Hub” which pops up when you select the three horizontal lines in the upper left-hand corner of the Instacart app.
If you’re not sure which store supports EBT SNAP in your state, check this page here.
Once you pick a store, start shopping, and when you’re done, you navigate to the check-out.
Next, make sure EBT SNAP is one of the selected forms of payment.
Before you place your order, you can see the price breakdown showing how much your SNAP-eligible items amount to and how much the non-SNAP items do.
However, note that you’ll need to have another form of payment on file to cover any non-SNAP items.
As well, SNAP cannot be used to cover the cost of delivery, Instacart’s fees, or the driver’s tip.
Finally, after you have checked out, Instacart will ask you to verify your purchase using your EBT PIN as an extra layer of security.
Does Instacart Accept EBT Cash?
Instacart doesn’t accept EBT cash as a form of payment for either food or other fees associated with using the app.
Instead, a different form of payment must be on file to cover delivery, fees, and driver tips.
Why Won’t Your EBT Card Work on Instacart?
There are a few different reasons your EBT SNAP card might not be working on Instacart.
First, if you didn’t change your settings to show whether items are EBT-eligible, you might not be aware that the store you selected can’t process EBT transactions online.
Another reason could be that you didn’t add a backup payment method.
Even if all your items are EBT-eligible and you’re doing pick-up, Instacart still has a few fees you must cover.
Finally, your EBT card could be completely empty, so check your balance to make sure.
Instacart has made grocery shopping a lot easier and more convenient for EBT SNAP benefit recipients, for whom access to wholesome food has traditionally been a struggle.
While not every state in the U.S. allows recipients to make EBT purchases online, 37 states (including the District of Columbia) do, and Aldi is among the most accessible stores to shop.