Does Starbucks Take EBT? (Things Are Not That Simple)

Thomas Joseph
Does Starbucks accept EBT card payments for online shopping or in-store purchases? If you are curious, then read the article below. Find out if Starbucks participates in the food stamp and also alternative stores on the market.

Based on the reports, millions of Americans from low-income families rely on the general standing for Electronic Benefits Transfer to obtain their basic nutrition and other necessities. However, only selected stores participate in the food stamp programs across the US regions.

You are here because you need answers to your big question;- Does Starbucks take EBT? That is okay, and if you are very curious to find out more, we insist that you read our article until the end. We have compiled everything you need to learn, including the FAQs, locating participating stores, eligible people, foods, and particular policies, as well as restrictions.

Table Of Contents

Does Starbucks Accept EBT?

First, we have to state that, based on Starbucks policy, they should not accept any EBT card from the stores owned and managed by the company. However, you must also keep in mind that hosts of the Starbucks licensed kiosks and stores are based inside grocery stores as well as retail stores that feature the grocery section. This must be telling you something. If we are thinking alike and from hands-on experience, most of such store locations take EBT card payments.

Note that these stores also come with restrictions when it comes to the eligible products under the EBT program. There are many facts that you need to learn in this article; if you still have many pending questions or are curious to learn more about using EBT cards at Starbucks, restrictions, eligible products, alternative payment methods, and many more, keep reading. From our research, here is everything we have found.

Starbucks Policy on the EBT and SNAP Program

The official policy of Starbucks doesn't allow licensed stores to accept EBT cards or Food stamps. Starbucks has licensed stores that are located in retail and grocery stores, such as Target, which accepts EBT cards.

Equally, Starbucks stocks are situated in locations such as Marriott hotels, which also use EBT as the payment method.

Therefore, the question of whether Starbucks accepts the EBT depends on the policy as well as the particular location of the participating store. The policy is variable from one store to the next. It is thus recommended that you call in to confirm if the particular Starbucks store is participating in the SNAP program and accepts EBT cards.

How to Use an EBT Card at Starbucks?

If you want to redeem the SNAP benefits at Starbucks, the process is very simple. But, you need to understand that an EBT card is ideally linked to the bank account where the money is deposited for the eligible person to use each month. If you want to track your spending, you can also create an online account to access more information, including the current balance, within a click.

Therefore, you can use the EBT card just like the credit card for online & in-store purchases only at the participating store.

Once you make the payment, the customer gets the printed receipt indicating the amount spent and the balance on the EBT card to use for the particular month. However, due to unavoidable circumstances, there is a time when the cardholder is unable to go shopping themselves. This can be because of disability or illness. After that, the holder can select the family member and then design to act as the authorized representative who can go and shop with the card.

Generally, the process of making a payment at Starbucks using the EBT card is easy. Here is all you need to do:

Items Eligible for EBT and SNAP Benefits at Starbucks

However, we have seen that Starbucks stores in various locations accept EBT cards. Unfortunately, they come with strict restrictions formulated by the SNAP program guidelines. Therefore, when you are in the grocery store, you are entitled to purchase everything with your EBT card.

Thus, just like other stores, Starbucks stores also restrict members from purchasing products like hot food, alcoholic drinks, and hot drinks with the EBT card. But you are here to purchase products like iced coffee, general cold drinks, etc, instead of hot drinks.

Keep in mind that products like energy drinks, snacks, soft drinks, sweets, and sandwiches are among the eligible items that fall under the SNAP benefits at participating Starbucks-owned stores. Any product that features the nutritional or WIC label is eligible for the EBT but does not cover all the hot drinks and food in the store.

Starbucks only accepts the EBT card on products that are exclusively made for consumption while away from home. From the UDA, you can easily access the list of all eligible products that Starbucks permits you to make payment with the EBT card. some of this household are listed in the below highlight:-

It would help if you also kept in mind that there are special types of products which are not eligible for the SNAP program. Some of the popular categories include all the hot drinks and food. The other ineligible products are:-

Other Stores that Accept EBT Cards as the Payment Method

In most cases, as you know it, Starbucks is regarded as a luxury brand. This means, from the SNAP program, the EBT card doesn't cover it as stipulated in the company's policy. The EBT card is only meant to help provide essential nutrition to needy and low-income families.

However, there are many other groceries featuring the retail or grocery sections that accept the EBT card. Among these are Walmart and Target.

Still, you can refer to the USDA Website and utilize their unique online retailer locator feature to see all the participating stores. You can search by street address, zip code, and city based on your location to get all the stores in the region that accept the card.

Using an EBT card to purchase online.

Based on the recent report, they have made everything possible, and customers can easily utilize the EBT card to make payments for online shopping and get groceries. Lately, the popular Instacard, which is the online grocery delivery service, has now taken the EBT card as the official payment method.

Instacart services famous chain stores. Some of these are Walgreens, Publix, Aldi, etc. However, when you use good delivery services such as GrubHub and Doordash, they do not accept this EBT card when making payment.

How to get an EBT card

EBT cards are simply part of the bigger Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program known as SNAP. However, going deeper, SNAP is a program managed by the US Department of Agriculture, USDA, and Food and Nutrition Services.

Therefore, SNAP services the purchase to ensure that the vulnerable families get access to food aid. This is a program for the federal government. However, it is administered through states. Previously, NSP was well known as the Food Stamps. If you meet the qualifications outlined here  to enjoy the SNAP benefits under the program, then you can receive the EBT card alongside the particular PIN to start using them in the participating stores.

Alternative payment method at Starbucks

If you are looking for the alternative payment method that Starbucks accepts, kindly visit the Starbucks stories  and explore them.  Among these methods include cash, Starbucks cards, apple pay, google pay,venmo, credit card, debit cards, paypal etc.


Based on the policy, Starbucks doesn't accept EBT cards through the company-owned stores. Using company-licensed stores such as Target & Walmart that feature a grocery section, they accept EBT cards. Still, they have special restrictions. Otherwise, many other stores accept EBT cards. If you must, then you can purchase products from Starbucks and make payments using other eligible payment methods besides the essential nutritional products.

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