Does Starbucks Take EBT? (How It Works, Within Other Stores, Eligible Items + More)

Millions of Americans rely on Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards to meet their families’ food and nutrition needs every month. EBT cards are accepted by grocery and other retail stores across the country.

If you are wondering whether Starbucks takes EBT cards, how to find the Starbucks locations where EBT cards are accepted, and more, here are the answers.

Does Starbucks Take EBT In 2022?

Officially, Starbucks policy is to not accept EBT cards at company-owned stores. However, many Starbucks-licensed stores and kiosks are located inside grocery stores and retail stores that have grocery sections. These Starbucks locations may accept EBT cards. There will still be some restrictions on the items that can be purchased with an EBT card.

If you have more questions about how to use EBT cards at Starbucks, which Starbucks locations accept EBT cards, which other stores accept EBT cards, and more, read on for the answers.

Can You Use EBT Cards At Starbucks?

The Starbucks official policy is to not accept EBT cards at its company-owned stores. However, Starbucks-licensed stores located in grocery stores and retail stores like Target may accept EBT cards.

Starbucks-licensed stores in locations like Marriott hotels may also accept EBT cards.

Whether a Starbucks-licensed store accepts EBT cards depends on the particular location and its policy.

Because this policy is so variable, we recommend that you call ahead to make sure that the Starbucks location you intend to visit does accept EBT cards.

What Items Can You Buy With An EBT Card At Starbucks?

Even at Starbucks locations where you can use EBT cards, there are restrictions on what items you can buy with an EBT card.

As in grocery stores, EBT cards cannot be used to purchase hot food or drinks at Starbucks.

So you could buy iced coffee or other cold drinks at Starbucks with an EBT card, but not hot coffee or hot food.

Sandwiches and sweets, soft drinks, energy drinks and snacks are EBT-eligible items at Starbucks-licensed stores.

In general, anything with a nutritional label is EBT-eligible, excluding hot foods and drinks.

What Items Can You Buy With EBT cards?

What Items Can You Buy With EBT cards?

There are restrictions on the items that you can buy with EBT cards. EBT cards can only be used to pay for food items that are intended to be consumed by the household.

Further, EBT cards cannot be used to buy hot foods or drinks that are meant to be consumed away from home.

This means that deli and hot prepared food items are in general not eligible for EBT card purchases.

Non-food items like cleaning supplies and cosmetics, alcohol, tobacco, vitamins and medications are also not eligible for purchase with EBT cards.

The USDA has a list of eligible items that you can buy using EBT cards. These include food items for use by the household, such as those listed below:

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Meat, poultry, and fish
  • Dairy products
  • Breads and cereals
  • Snacks and non-alcoholic beverages
  • Seeds and plants, which will be used to grow food for the household

EBT cards cannot be used to buy non-food items or hot food and drinks. The list of non-eligible items includes:

  • Beer, wine, liquor, cigarettes, or tobacco
  • Vitamins, medicines, and supplements – items with a Supplement Facts label are generally considered supplements and are not eligible
  • Live animals (except shellfish, fish removed from water, and animals slaughtered prior to pick-up from the store).
  • Foods and drinks that are hot at the point of sale
  • Any nonfood items such as pet food, cleaning supplies, paper products, hygiene items, cosmetics and and other household supplies

What Other Stores Accept EBT Cards?

Starbucks is considered a luxury brand, which is why it is not covered by EBT purchases. EBT cards are intended to be used to provide food and nutrition to families.

A large number of grocery stores and retail stores with grocery sections, like Target and Walmart, accept EBT cards.

The USDA has an online retailer locator that you can use to search by street address, city, and state, or zip code for locations that accept EBT cards.

Is It Possible To Use An EBT Card To Shop Online?

Recently, it has become possible to use EBT cards to order groceries online as well. Instacart, the online grocery delivery service, has started accepting EBT cards.

Instacart serves major chain stores like Aldi, Publix, Walgreens and more. Food delivery services like Door Dash and Grub Hub do not accept EBT cards.

How Can I Get An EBT Card?

EBT cards are part of the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, or SNAP. SNAP is run by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service.

The purpose of SNAP is to provide food aid to vulnerable families. SNAP is a program of the federal government but is administered by the states.

SNAP was previously called food stamps. Those who qualify for benefits under the SNAP program receive an EBT card and a PIN to use along with the card.

How To Use An EBT Card

The EBT card is linked to a bank account where the amount of the benefits due is deposited each month. The card holder can create an online account to track spending and the amount remaining in the account.

At the grocery store or online checkout, you can use the EBT card like a debit card.

The printed receipt you get at checkout will show the amount paid. It will also show the amount remaining in your account for the month.

If an EBT card holder is not able to shop for themselves due to ill health, disability or any other reason, they can have someone else designated as their authorized representative to shop for them.

To find out more about Starbucks payment methods and EBT, you can also see our posts on whether or not Starbucks takes Apple Pay, if McDonald’s takes EBT, and if Target takes EBT.

Conclusion

Officially, Starbucks does not accept EBT cards at its company-owned stores. However, Starbucks-licensed stores and kiosks located within grocery stores and retail stores like Target and Walmart may accept EBT cards, with some restrictions. There are a number of other grocery stores that do accept EBT cards for essential food purchases. 

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Marques Thomas

Marques Thomas graduated with a MBA in 2011. Since then, Marques has worked in the retail and consumer service industry as a manager, advisor, and marketer. Marques is also the head writer and founder of QuerySprout.com.

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