Does Trader Joe's Take EBT(Food Stamp)

Trader Joe's retailer is one of the most renowned store brands for its high-quality and unique grocery items. It mainly deals with organic produce, international foods, and vegan options.

Many people usually consider Trader Joe's a luxury supermarket. As a result, they typically don't associate this upscale grocery with EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer) cards and EBT payments.

EBT cards usually come in handy and assist low-income individuals in buying the food items they need. All 556 stores under the Trader Joe's accept food stamps.

Therefore, all SNAP beneficiaries can get the groceries they need with minimal hassle using EBT food stamp at Trader Joe's!

However, Trader joes allows customers to make purchases that are covered under SNAP benefits/the SNAP program.

It is important to note that various items are not eligible to be bought with your EBT card. All EBT cardholders must therefore know what they can buy when shopping at Trader Joe's.

Food Stamp Benefits

EBT cards are a form of government assistance that has been around since the early 2000s. They’ve had many different names, and they were a part of the supplemental nutrition assistance program.

The federal government provides food benefits through these.

1. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program/SNAP Benefits

SNAP is just the upgraded version of food stamps. Instead of physically carrying them around, people can now have their food stamps accepted using an EBT card.

2. Temporary Assistance For Needy Families/TANF Benefits

TANF is another use of EBT cards. The federal government allows flexible use of an EBT card for needy families so they can purchase essential household items in addition to food.

Plus, with TANF, you could withdraw money from an ATM, like you usually would, with visa cards or debit cards. Now you can use this cash to make additional purchases similar to Trader Joe's cash cards.

Is Trader Joe's an Approved WIC Retailer?

WIC is available in all 50 States, 34 Indian Tribal Organizations, America Samoa, the District of Columbia, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.

Each State is responsible for authorizing stores to accept WIC checks. At a minimum, the State will consider the prices of foods, the business integrity of the store’s owner including if the owner has been disqualified from the SNAP, and the variety and quantity of foods available in the store.

Nearly 46,000 stores are currently authorized to accept WIC checks.It depends on your specific city and state as to whether Costco is a WIC approved retailer.

Shopping at Trader Joe's with EBT

If you haven’t shopped at Trader Joe's yet, you probably don’t own its membership card. If you’re among the non-members, you won’t be able to enter the Trader Joe's warehouses.

You’ll have to purchase a Trader Joe's membership first. Making purchases in person is only possible for Trader Joe's members.

You can shop at Trader Joe's, but only if you’re with a member or you have someone else’s membership card.

Items you can buy with food stamps at the Trader Joe's?

The EBT eligible items you can buy with EBT at Trader Joe's include;

  • Dairy products
  • Cooking oil
  • Vegetables
  • Bread and Cereal
  • Beverages (Non-alcoholic)
  • Fruits
  • Meat and Seafood
  • Snack food
  • Spices

Items you can't purchase with food stamps at Trader Joe's?

A few non-qualifying items include:

  • Alcohol
  • Healthcare products
  • Pet food
  • Toiletries
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Tobacco
  • Gas
  • Clothing

Using EBT Card for Unapproved Food Items

If you’ve somehow managed to make an unapproved food purchase, there are still consequences. The government won’t let you off the hook.

Here’s all that could happen if you find yourself in this situation.

  • A 3-month ban for the first unapproved purchase
  • A 1-year ban for the second unapproved purchase
  • A 2-year ban for the third unapproved purchase

How Do I Buy Items From Both Lists?

If your purchase includes approved and non-approved EBT items it’s totally doable but you need to be organized.

I suggest separating items in your cart and making 2 separate purchases.

Does Trader Joe's Offer Online Delivery and Pick-up with EBT?

Unfortunately, Trader Joe's does not offer any products for online delivery or curbside pick-up. Thus, you cannot use your EBT card online should you wish to shop at Trader Joe's.

However, they make up for it with access to 556 brick-and-mortar store locations across the US, so you will likely find a physical store nearby for a great shopping experience using your SNAP benefits.

How do you use EBT at Trader Joe's?

Trader Joe's takes EBT for SNAP-approved items, will not require you to separate your grocery items from your non-grocery items.

To use your EBT at Trader Joe's, all you have to do is swipe your EBT card. Then, you can choose to either pay with your SNAP/EBT benefits or with your Cash account. Let us highlight how!

Follow these steps to use your EBT card to pay at Trader Joe's!

1. When you want to pay for your purchases, your cashier usually rings up your food items.

2. You must then swipe or insert your card at the point-of-sale (POS) and enter your PIN.

3. You need to inform your cashier of the specific account, either SNAP or Cash, from which to charge your order.

4. You can re-enter your PIN on the POS keypad to confirm if the charges are correct.

5. Often, a supervisor or manager will require you to provide photo identification to verify that the EBT you want to pay with is under your name.

6. The purchase total will then be deducted from your SNAP or Cash account as per your directions.

It is always essential to keep your receipt during your shopping, and it will help prevent mischarges and show you the latest balance on your EBT card.

Can you use your food stamps for online purchases at Trader Joe's?

With your EBT card, you only have the option to use it for in-store purchase only. However, you won’t be able to use your EBT card for online shopping.

Is the Return Policy Different for EBT Purchases?

No, By Law store will have to honor same return policy that exists on regular purchases to all EBT purchases. This policy even extends to food and grocery items.

So if you’re not completely satisfied with an item, you can bring it back to Costco at ANY time for a full refund or exchange.


1. Do all Trader Joe's stores accept Food Stamp?

Yes, all Trader Joe's stores take EBT cards. As long as the holder uses it to buy approved items, no outlet will have a problem taking them.

2. What is the Return Policy Regarding All items covered under EBT?

You can return most of the items you have bought from Trader Joe's with your EBT card. Trader Joe's can accept some things without a receipt!

3. Does Trader Joe's Currently Take EBT for Online Purchases?

No! Customers are only allowed to use EBT cards to make purchases at Trader Joe's outlets for in-store purchases. You cannot use the card to buy qualifying items online or through their App.

4. Does Trader Joe's Offer Cash Back When Using an EBT Card for Payments?

Yes, Trader Joe's offers customers a cashback on every other purchase completed with an EBT card.

5. Can I Buy Gas with my EBT Card?

No, But you can make an ATM withdrawal with your EBT card and take cash out of your “Cash Account” and use that to buy gas.

Be sure you understand the cash withdrawal limits on your EBT account before doing this as it might not be worth the savings.

6. Can I Use My EBT Card for Grocery Delivery?

No, you can't use your EBT card to make your grocery delivery order as Trader Joe's.


Trader Joe's is one of the best stores for EBT holders as it allows its customers to get a variety of food products in its outlets. Trader Joe's is also convenient because it has 556 outlets spread across 42 states.

Customers who want to buy other items should let the EBT card cover what is eligible and then pay for the remaining items using the available payment options. Happy shopping.