"Can I use my EBT Card at Trader Joe's?"

(Last Updated On: January 18, 2019)

In today’s post, we are going to answer one of our most popular EBT retailer questions: Can I use my EBT card at Trader Joe’s? If you are currently receiving food assistance (food stamps) or are in the process applying for food assistance and are wondering where you can use your EBT card, then this article will be a great resource for you.

Any government assistance program including food stamps can be confusing to navigate. We are here to help answer your questions so you can get the most out of your benefits!

In this post, we will cover the following topics:

To find out whether your local Trader Joe’s accepts EBT cards, including the topics highlighted above, keep reading this article.

About Trader Joe’s

Can I use my EBT card at Trader Joe's?

Trader’s Joe’s is a privately owned chain of neighborhood grocery stores. They pride themselves on their selection of high quality organic and non-organic products, their variety of food inspired from all around the globe, great customer service, and affordable prices. Trader Joe’s originally got it starts in California and has since spread to over 459 locations all over the United States.

Can I use my EBT Card at Trader Joe’s?

To answer the question you’ve been waiting for – Yes, Trader Joe’s does accept EBT cards as a form of payment at all locations. However, this wasn’t always the case for the popular health-conscious grocery store. In 2014, EBT card use was limited to only the 150 Trader Joe’s locations in California. Since that time, all Trader Joe’s locations across the United States have been approved to accept EBT as a form of payment. 

To find a Trader Joe’s store near you, use the store location finder here.

How to use your EBT Card at Trader Joe’s

If you would like to redeem your Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits (also known as food stamps) at a Trader Joe’s location for you, follow these instructions. We have made the process super easy for you!

Simply select the items you wish to purchase as normal and checkout at any of their available point-of-sale registers. You can use your EBT card just like a normal debit card at any of the available registers. Once you swipe your card and select the EBT option displayed on the screen, you’ll be prompted to enter your 4-digit Personal Identification Number (PIN). You must have this information in order to complete the transaction. Once you enter your PIN your transaction will be completed and you will receive your receipt with current EBT card balance.

There are a few important things to note regarding using your EBT card at Trader Joe’s. To find out what they are, keep reading below.

EBT Eligible Food Items

The first thing you should be aware of when using your EBT card at Trader Joe’s is the items you are buying. Be sure to only select eligible EBT food items when shopping with your EBT card to redeem food stamps. If you select unapproved food items and try to purchase them with your EBT card, your transaction will not be processed. You will have to pay for those unapproved items with another form of payment such as cash or credit.

Trader Joe’s Approved & Unapproved Food Items

Some common approved EBT food items include:

  • Bread, cereal, granola bars
  • Dairy products (milk, yogurt, cheese, etc.)
  • Fresh, Frozen and Canned Fruits
  • Fresh, Frozen and Canned Vegetables
  • Fresh and Frozen 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 (Trader Joe’s variety of chocolate bars)
  • Frozen food items (butter chicken, mushroom ravioli, pasta, etc.)
  • Soft Drinks (Italian soda, juice, etc.)
  • Snack Crackers and Chips (potato chips, veggie chips, crackers, pretzels etc.)
  • Cooking Oils (olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, etc.)
  • Seeds, Nuts, and Plants (cashews, nut variety packs, peanut butter, etc.)

Your EBT card cannot be used to purchase protein bars, protein powder or prepared food from Trader Joe’s. More items that cannot be purchased at Trader Joe’s using your EBT card include vitamins, medicine, household products, cleaning supplies, alcohol, tobacco, prepared food, feminine products, and cosmetics. For a full list of all EBT approved and unapproved items, check out our post here.

Check your EBT Card Balance

The second thing you should be aware of before redeeming your food stamp benefits at Trader Joe’s is your current EBT card balance. If you do not know how much money is on your EBT card and your transaction amount is larger than your available EBT card balance, your transaction will not be processed. You will have to pay for the extra difference with another form of payment such as cash or credit.

For help checking your EBT Card Balance, check out our EBT Card Balance by State list here. Once you are on the page, select the state where you are receiving benefits and follow the instructions provided to receive your current EBT Card Balance.

Stores that Accept EBT

Like Trader Joe’s, there are hundreds of other stores that accept EBT cards from food stamp recipients. EBT approved stores can include grocery stores, markets, wholesale stores, convenience stores, discount stores, specialty food stores, and farmer’s markets. To find out what stores take EBT near you, check out our full list of EBT approved stores here.

Popular EBT Store Questions

For more information about EBT Card approved stores, check out some of our most popular Q&A articles below:

We hope this post was helpful to you! If you have any other EBT retailer questions you would like us to answer, please let us know in the comments section below, We love to hear from you!



Related Posts