Today we are going to determine whether or not you’re able to use your EBT card at Costco. If you are not familiar with Costco, it’s a membership-only warehouse club that provides a wide selection of merchandise in bulk sizes at a discounted rate.
Costco memberships are perfect for families or those who like to buy in bulk and have stock for a period of time.
Costco sells a variety of items such as electronics, computers, furniture, outdoor living, appliances, jewelry, household items and of course, food.
There are more than 527 Costco warehouse stores nationwide – making whether Costco accepts EBT one of our most frequently asked questions. Keep reading to find out!
Next, we are going to talk about whether Costco is approved to take EBT and if so, what you can and cannot buy with your EBT card at Costco.
Can I use my EBT card at Costco?
The moment you’ve been waiting for – can I use my EBT card at Costco? Well, the answer is yes, you can!
All Costco stores nationwide accept EBT cards as a form of payment. To redeem Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits at Costco using your EBT card, simply select the items you wish to purchase as normal and checkout at any of their available point-of-sale terminals.
You can use your EBT card just like a normal debit card at the point-of-sale terminal. Once you swipe your card, you’ll be prompted to enter your 4-digit Personal Identification Number (PIN).
You must have this information in order to complete the transaction. Also, be sure to only select eligible food items when redeeming SNAP benefits at Costco using your EBT card.
If you are not sure about what foods items you are approved to buy with your EBT card, see the list of eligible EBT items below.
List of foods you can buy with EBT Card
Here is the list of items you are approved to buy with your EBT card. Buying items that are not approved your EBT card are considered EBT fraud and can land you in serious trouble with both state and federal law enforcement, including possible jail and loss of benefits. For more on this, scroll below to see the section on EBT fraud punishment.
Here is the list of approved EBT items:
- Bread and cereal
- Dairy products (milk, yogurt, cheese, etc.)
- Fresh, Frozen and Canned Fruits
- Fresh, Frozen and Canned Vegetables
- Seafood (fish, shellfish, etc.)
- Poultry (chicken breast, chicken thighs, chicken drumsticks, turkey breast, etc.)
- Pork products (pork chops, pork tenderloin, bacon, pork sausage, etc.)
- Red Meat (steak, ground beef, ribs, etc.)
- Dessert Items (ice cream, brownies, cookies, etc.)
- Candy (Snickers, M&M’s, etc.)
- Soft Drinks & Energy Drinks (Pepsi, Sprite, Red Bull, etc.)
- Snack Crackers and Chips (Doritos, Wheat Thins, Ritz Crackers, etc.)
- Cooking Oils (olive oil, vegetable oil, coconut oil, etc.)
- Seeds, Nuts, and Plants (cashews, peanut butter, etc.)
Your EBT card cannot be used to purchase food from the hot food bar and/or food court from Costco.
More items that cannot be purchased at Costco using your EBT card include vitamins, medicine, household products, cleaning supplies, alcohol, tobacco, prepared food, feminine products, and cosmetics.
EBT Stamps Fraud
As we have mentioned above, If you buy foods or items that are not on the approved list, you are committing food stamps fraud, which can land you in jail.
Federal and state law enforcement have stepped up their enforcement and arrest of people committing food stamps fraud. The penalties you could face are severe.
Possible Punishment for Food Stamps Fraud
If you are charged with food stamp fraud in a federal court, the possible penalties are based on the nature of the fraud, and the dollar value of the food stamp benefit involved. Here is the range of penalties:
- Less than $100 — The offense is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year in prison and a fine of up to $1,000.
- $100 to $5,000 — The offense is a felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000 on a first offense. A second or subsequent offense is punishable by a mandatory minimum 6-month sentence, and up to 5 years, as well as a fine of up to $10,000.
- $5,000 or more — The offense is a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
You could also lose your food stamps benefits for a long period of time and if you are a repeat offender, you could lose your benefits FOREVER, as shown below:
|First fraud/intentional program violation||12-month ban from receiving food stamps|
|Second fraud/intentional program violation||24-month ban from receiving food stamps|
|Third fraud/intentional program violation||Permanent ban from receiving food stamps|
|Providing false statement with respect to identity or place of residence in order to receive multiple food stamps benefit simultaneously||10-year ban from receiving food stamps|
We hope this post was helpful to you. If you would like us to find out whether more retailers accept EBT or not, please leave your suggestions in the comment section below. We love to hear from you!