The answer is: It depends!
Depends on what? On factors like the location, if it’s a company-owned store or a franchise, and the kind of food item that you’re trying to buy with the EBT card. Most company-owned Starbucks stores do not accept EBT cards. However, if any Starbucks outlet has been leased within a grocery store, they are eligible to accept EBT cards on a selected list of items.
Most people in America are particularly fond of Starbucks. I mean, who doesn’t enjoy grabbing a much-required cup of iced tea or coffee right after a workout session in the morning?
Or hang out with a friend on a Tuesday afternoon with cute Starbucks cups with your name written on them? Quite the Instagram content, right?
As far as EBT is concerned, currently millions of Americans are dependent on the government-aided card-based system that helps several American households afford food and essentials.
Now the main question is: Does Starbucks accept EBT cards?
In this article, we will clarify all your doubts related to EBT cards, how to use them, and if you can grab a quick Starbucks coffee using your EBT card or not!
What is an EBT Card and How to Use it?
An EBT card, also known as an Electronic Benefits Transfer card is a government-aided card-based system that is provided to all the households in America that falls under a low minimum income range.
EBT card helps several American households scattered over all the 50 states to meet their daily food and nutrition requirements.
With an EBT card, you can find food items that contribute to your nutritional development. Buying luxury beverages, alcohol, or cigarettes with an EBT card is not possible.
If you have an EBT card, you can use it to buy essential food items for yourself as well as your family. Using an EBT card at any grocery store is fairly simple!
All you have to do is mention at the checkout counter that you want to pay using your EBT card. Mention if you want to use SNAP or cash and proceed to checkout.
Scan your card through the card reader and wait until you receive a confirmation notification.
Can You Use EBT Cards at Starbucks?
According to Starbucks’ policy, you cannot use an EBT card to buy anything from a company-owned Starbucks store.
The government considers Starbucks to be a luxury brand that doesn’t fall under EBT criteria and all company-owned stores abide by this policy.
However, if you decide to buy something from Starbucks-licensed counters located at your local grocery stores, there are certain restrictions to what you can buy from a Starbucks-licensed store with your EBT card.
Whether a particular license outlet will accept an EBT card or not is subject to two factors: where the store is located and the particular store’s policy.
Since they are not directly company-owned stores, the policies of various licensed stores can vary from one another. It is advisable that you verify if the outlet that you’re visiting is known to accept EBT cards or not.
What Items Can You Buy at Starbucks with an EBT Card?
Although some of the licensed stores allow you to pay through EBT cards, there are certain restrictions on what you can order from Starbucks through an EBT card. You are eligible to buy only a select few items.
How can you understand what you can order and what not?
Starbucks doesn’t allow you to order any hot food or beverage through your EBT card. Although the reason behind this is unknown, pretty much every licensed store follows this policy.
One can order beverages like iced tea, cold drinks, or cold coffee as well as food like sandwiches and other snacks with the help of their EBT cards.
However, purchasing any hot food or beverage is not allowed under Starbucks’ policy!
What Can You Actually Buy with an EBT Card?
The USDA has made provisions for the American citizens who have a lower income range to purchase food items that can help improve the nutrition content in their staple diet.
The aim of the government is to provide maximum nutritious value to as many households as possible.
Hot food items aren’t meant to be taken back at home to share with the household which is why an EBT payment is not eligible for hot food items.
So what can you actually buy using an EBT?
Food supplies with huge nutritional value such as fresh fruits, vegetables, poultry, fish, cereals as well as health and energy drinks can be purchased using an EBT card.
Items that you cannot purchase with the help of an EBT card are cosmetics, cleaning items, alcohol, cigarettes, tobacco, medicines, etc.
Can You Make an Online Purchase Through an EBT Card?
Although there was no provision to use an EBT card to complete an online transaction, it has recently been introduced. With the advancement in technology, most things have gone digital.
People now prefer ordering their weekly groceries from the comfort of their homes. This is why the government had to make proper provisions in order to make it happen.
How Can You Get an EBT Card?
In order to apply for an EBT, you’ll have to contact your local Government office.
The EBT cards are an integral part of the American government’s SNAP program. USDA plays a crucial role in providing EBT cards to vulnerable families where the working member is having a hard time making ends meet and taking care of the nutritional aspect of the family members.
The EBT card is linked to a specific individual’s bank account wherein a specific amount of money is added by the government at the beginning of each month. The EBT cardholder can track their account and keep a tab on the balance left on the card.
In this article, we have extensively covered everything you need to know about an EBT card, how to use it, and what food items you can avail of from Starbucks using your very own EBT card.