If you’re a recipient of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, you may be wondering, “does Starbucks Accept EBT?” And if it does, which items are eligible for purchase under SNAP benefits?
While EBT cards are an accepted payment method at more than 240,000 vendors across the U.S., EBT is not accepted at every store, as you may know.
This can make it difficult for the millions of Americans who rely on SNAP benefits to know whether or not they can cover their purchase with their EBT card.
Considering this, you should always do your research before shopping at a store.
This article will cover everything you need to know about using your EBT card at Starbucks. We’ll discuss whether or not you can use it, how to use it, what you can buy, and much more.
The Quick Answer: Starbucks only accepts EBT cards as a form of payment at some of its licensed locations, such as Starbucks kiosks found in groceries stores like Albertsons, Safeway, and Fred Meyer. Starbucks does not accept EBT at any of its stand-alone corporate-operated stores.
Does Starbucks Take EBT?
According to Starbucks’ corporate policy, it does not accept EBT cards or any other type of food stamps as a form of payment, in any state.
However, this policy only applies to stand-alone, corporate-operated stores. In other words, it does not apply to licensed locations.
Simply put, a licensed Starbucks is a Starbucks located in another store, such as Walmart.
Considering this, you may be able to buy things with an EBT card at Starbucks kiosks found in grocery stores like Safeway, Fred Meyer, Albertsons, Kroger, etc.
Even licensed Starbucks stores in places such as Marriott hotels may accept EBT as a form of payment.
That said, in November 2021, more than 6,400 Starbucks’ in the United States were licensed stores, all of which may accept EBT with stipulations.
How to Use an EBT Card at Starbucks?
If you’re a SNAP benefits recipient, you should have an EBT card that’s linked to a bank account in which your monthly benefits are deposited.
You should also have an online account where you can track your spending and how much you have remaining on your card.
That said, here is a step-by-step guide for using an EBT card at Starbucks:
- Use Starbucks’ Store Locator to find a Starbucks location near you that’s in a grocery store like Albertsons or Safeway that accepts EBT.
- If you’re unsure EBT is an accepted payment method, give them a call and ask. If you’re already at the Starbucks location, you can ask at the customer service desk inside the grocery store instead.
- Once you have confirmed that they accept EBT, head to the Starbucks kiosk and order what you want that is eligible for purchase under SNAP benefits, such as cold coffee, creamer, pumpkin bread, etc.
- Once you have ordered, make your purchase by swiping your EBT card like you would a debit card, and then select SNAP as the payment method. You will then need to enter your personal identification number (PIN).
- Your receipt will show how much you paid and the remaining balance in your account.
Note: If you cannot shop for yourself due to disability or illness, you can designate someone as an authorized representative to make the purchase for you.
Which Items Can Be Purchased at Starbucks With EBT?
Like any other store, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has specific guidelines for what can be purchased at Starbucks with an EBT card.
This is primarily nutritional food to feed your household. For example, it doesn’t include dining out. This is because dining out is categorized as ‘consumed away from home,’ which isn’t allowed.
That said, here the categories of items you can purchase with your EBT card:
- Fruits and veggies
- Meat, fish, and poultry
- Cereal and bread
- Dairy products
- Snacks and cold non-alcoholic drinks
- Plants and seeds that produce food for your household
Considering this, you can buy things at Starbucks with an EBT card, such as cold sandwiches, bagels, sweets, soft drinks, iced coffee, energy drinks, bottled water, other cold drinks, and snacks.
That said, besides hot drinks and hot foods, anything at Starbucks with a nutritional label should be eligible for purchase with EBT.
Which Items Cannot Be Purchased at Starbucks With EBT?
While the U.S. Department of Agriculture has specific guidelines for what you can purchase with an EBT card, they also have guidelines for what you can’t purchase. These items include:
- Nonfood items: You cannot buy any nonfood items with an EBT card. Some examples of nonfood items include personal hygiene products, cosmetics, cleaning supplies, paper products, and other household supplies.
- Hot foods or drinks: Any hot drinks or hot foods meant for consumption at the point of sale aren’t allowed to be purchased with EBT.
- Live animals: You cannot purchase animals that are still alive under SNAP benefits. Some exceptions are shellfish and other fish recently removed from the water.
- Supplements, vitamins, and medicines: Any kind of supplements, vitamins, or medicines are ineligible for purchases with EBT cards. To know if an item is one of these 3, simply check for a supplement facts label. If an item has this label, it’s ineligible for EBT purchase.
- Alcohol: spirits, wine, beer, and other alcoholic drinks cannot be purchased with EBT cards.
- Tobacco: Cigarettes, cigars, and other tobacco products are allowed to be purchased under your SNAP benefits.
As you can see, you are not allowed to purchase hot foods or hot drinks at licensed Starbucks locations, such as hot sandwiches, Caramel macchiatos, or White Chocolate Mochas.
Like dining out, hot foods and hot drinks fall under the ‘consumed away from home’ category.
Does Target Starbucks Accept EBT?
Target Starbucks is an excellent example of a Starbucks that should accept EBT cards for purchases of eligible items under SNAP benefits.
Because the Starbucks kiosk is located in a Target, it’s considered a licensed store, not a corporate-operated location.
As previously stated, any licensed Starbucks found in grocery stores like Target, Albertsons, Safeway, Fred Meyer, etc., should accept EBT as a payment method.
Starbucks That Accepts EBT Near Me
To find a Starbucks near you that accepts EBT cards, use Starbucks’ Store Locator to find the location nearest to you that’s in a Target, Albertsons, Walmart, or any other grocery chain or retail shop.
Once you have found a location near you in one of these grocery chains, give them a call and ask if EBT cards are an accepted form of payment.
If they aren’t, call the second closest Starbucks store to you in one of these grocery chains and ask again. Continue this process until you find one that does.
What Other Retail Stores Accept EBT?
While we already discussed Target, what other retail stores accept EBT cards? Do all of them? Well, not exactly.
Here are several popular grocery stores that accept EBT Cards:
- Sam’s Club
- Shop N Save
- BJ’ Wholesale Club
- Family Food Stores
- Stop & Shop
- Food Lion
- City Markets
- Harris Teeter
Keep in mind that this list is minor in comparison to all the grocery stores that accept EBT cards, including supermarkets like Walmart.
There are even many corporate-owned farmer’s markets and convenience stores that accept EBT cards as well.
If you need to find stores near you that accept EBT, you can use the US Department of Agriculture’s online app: Snap Retailer Locator.
Using the app, you can search by street address, city, state, or zip code for stores that accept it.
Using EBT at Starbucks FAQs
Here are a few frequently asked questions about using EBT cards at Starbucks:
Does Starbucks Accept EBT Online?
No, Starbucks’ online store does not accept EBT. Its online store follows the same policy as its corporate-operated brick-and-mortar locations.
For an online store to be eligible for purchases made with EBT, it must meet the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s online purchasing requirements.
A few of these requirements include being an eligible SNAP retailer, having an online eCommerce presence, and having the capability of updating its website to maintain qualifying online purchases.
That said, there are many that do. For example, the popular grocery delivery service, Instacart, now accepts EBT. Instacart serves major retail chains like Walgreens, Publix, and Aldi.
Other major retailers like Amazon, Walmart, and Target also accept EBT for curbside pickup or grocery delivery.
Does Starbucks Accept EBT in Wisconsin?
According to Starbucks policy, it does not accept EBT cards or any other form of food stamps in any state.
However, this policy does not apply to licensed Starbucks locations and kiosks found in grocery chains like Target and Safeway.
Considering this, some Starbucks locations in Wisconsin may accept EBT cards as payment. If you’re unsure, simply call the Starbucks location and ask.
Does Starbucks Accept EBT in North Carolina?
Like Wisconsin or any other state, the only Starbucks locations in North Carolina that will accept EBT cards as payment are licensed Starbucks stores and kiosks in grocery chains like Safeway and Target.
Final Words on Using EBT at Starbucks
While Starbucks does not accept EBT cards as payment at any of its corporate-operated locations or online, it does accept EBT cards at some of its licensed stores and kiosks.
These licensed stores and kiosks are often found in grocery chains and retail shops such as Target, Safeway, and Walmart.
Like any other store that accepts EBT, these licensed Starbucks locations have restrictions on what you can and cannot buy.
For example, you can’t buy nonfood items, hot drinks or hot foods, live animals, supplements, alcohol, or tobacco with an EBT card.
You can only purchase things such as fruits, vegetables, meat, poultry, bread, cereals, snacks, and cold non-alcoholic beverages.
That said, to prevent an inconvenience, call your local licensed Starbucks location to ask if they accept EBT cards before heading there. If they don’t, consider going to a different coffee shop that does.