If you’re enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), you might be wondering, “Does Starbucks take EBT?”
You can use your Electronic Balance Transfer (EBT) card like a regular debit card to purchase eligible food items from authorized retailers.
The majority of Starbucks locations do not accept EBT. Some do though. We’ll go into more detail on using food stamps at Starbucks in the post below.
Before we get started, if you’re a Starbucks coffee lover, read my post on how to save money at Starbucks where I shared a few great Starbucks money saving hacks.
What will I learn?
Does Starbucks Take EBT?
Officially, Starbucks doesn’t accept EBT cards at any of its company-owned stores.
Usually, Starbucks is seen as a non-essential, luxury brand, so it’s not an authorized SNAP retailer.
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That being said, Starbucks accepts EBT at some of its licensed stores located in grocery stores and retail stores.
There are more than 6,300 licensed Starbucks stores in the United States.
So, you may be able to use your food stamps when you visit a Starbucks inside a grocery store, like:
- Fred Meyer
- And other grocery chains that accept food stamps
There, you can use your EBT card to purchase SNAP-eligible items.
What can you buy with food stamps at Starbucks?
Okay, so SNAP is a federal nutrition assistance program that’s designed to provide benefits to those who’re on a low income through an Electronic Balance Transfer card.
Like I said above, you can use your EBT card to purchase SNAP-eligible items. But what exactly are these?
Well, items that are eligible for SNAP are, generally, cold foods that you have to prepare yourself at home.
This means that even at Starbucks locations where you can use EBT cards, you won’t be able to use your EBT card to get any hot beverages like coffee, or foods that are hot at the point of sale.
Instead, you could purchase cold drinks, like a Frappuccino and cold foods, such as pumpkin bread at Starbucks with an EBT card.
Here’s what you may be able to use your EBT card on at Starbucks-licensed stores:
- Instant coffee
- Coffee beans
- Ground coffee
- Pumpkin bread
- Cold beverages
- Soft drinks
- Energy drinks
Typically, anything that has a nutritional label, except for hot foods and drinks, is EBT-eligible.
Avoid hot and prepared food that’s intended for consumption on the premises.
Since SNAP is designed for cold foods that you prepare yourself, this leaves those who’re unable to cook for themselves without a lot of options. This is why the Restaurant Meals Program was launched.
RMP is designed to allow eligible EBT cardholders to purchase food at SNAP authorized restaurants using their SNAP EBT cards.
The program is designed for those who’re homeless, elderly, and disabled to be able to get hot foods.
The RMP is only available in about 6 states, which are:
- Rhode Island
Sadly, Starbucks does not participate in the Restaurant Meals Program, meaning there’s no way to get hot foods or drinks from the coffee chain.
What items can you buy with EBT cards?
As I mentioned earlier, the SNAP program is designed for cold foods that you prepare yourself.
Here’s what you can use your EBT to purchase:
- Fruits and vegetables
- Meat, poultry, and fish
- Dairy products
- Breads and cereals
- Other foods such as snack foods
- Non-alcoholic beverages
- Seeds and plants that produce food for the household to eat
Here’s what you can’t use your EBT to purchase:
- Beer, wine, liquor, cigarettes, or tobacco
- Vitamins, medicines, and supplements.
- Live animals (except shellfish, fish removed from water, and animals slaughtered prior to pick-up from the store).
- Foods that are hot when sold.
- Non-food items, such as:
- Cleaning supplies
- Paper products
- Pet foods
- Hygiene items
How to Use Your EBT Card at Starbucks
Here’s a quick guide to using your SNAP benefits at Starbucks:
- Call or visit a licensed Starbucks location inside a grocery store that accepts EBT, like Target or Safeway.
- Ask over the phone or at the customer service desk if they accept EBT at the Starbucks kiosk.
- After you’ve made your purchase, swipe your card at the payment register and select SNAP as the payment option. Then, you’ll need to enter your PIN.
Company owned Starbucks locations don’t accept EBT but Starbucks licensed stores you’ll find at places like Target and Fred Meyer do allow you to use your EBT card on SNAP-eligible items.
If you’ve wanted to know, “Does Starbucks accept EBT?” then hopefully this post helped you out.