Sam’s Club is known for saving shoppers significant money. Because of their affordable pricing, it’s a very attractive option for EBT users, even if they have to pay $45 for an annual membership to gain access. But it begs the question, does Sam’s Club take EBT as a form of payment? I set out to answer this question and a bunch of other related questions that will make using your EBT card a very simple task.
Does Sam’s Club Accept EBT?
You can use EBT (Electronic Benefit Transfer) at ALL Sam’s Club in the United States.
What’s the Difference Between SNAP, EBT, and Food Stamps?
SNAP stands for “Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program” and is essentially “tech savvy” food stamps.
So instead of getting actual paper food stamps, you’ll get your benefits on a plastic card, similar to a debit card, which is called an EBT card.
Your EBT (or SNAP) card is then used just like a debit card at Sam’s Club.
What Foods Are Eligible for Purchase at Sam’s?
Here are a few of the most popular items you CAN buy with your EBT card at Sam’s…
– Meats – Includes beef, chicken, fish, and turkey.
– Produce – Includes both fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables.
– Dairy – Think things like milk, cheese, yogurt, and ice cream.
– Plants and Seeds – If you can grow it for food, you can buy it with your EBT card.
– Breads/Cereal – These are typically a great deal at Sam’s.
– Non-Alcoholic Drinks
– Snack Foods
What Items Can’t I Buy With my EBT Card?
Here are the major items you CANNOT buy…
– Tobacco Products
– Hot “Already-Cooked” Foods – This includes items from the Sam’s Club food court.
– Diapers – This one really surprises me. Fortunately, there are many ways to get free diapers if you need them.
– Live Seafood
– Paper Products
– Health Items
– Pet Food
– Cleaning Items
– Women’s Hygiene
Can I Use My EBT Card at Self-Checkout?
Your EBT card is an allowed payment method when using self-checkout at Sam’s.
You can even do a split payment if you don’t have enough money on your EBT Card.
Once you swipe your card it’ll tell you how much money is on your card.
Then you just swipe your card again and enter your PIN.
The amount on your EBT card will be deducted then you can use a credit card to pay for the remaining balance.
Keep in mind that you must use a credit card to pay the balance as the self-checkout machine WON’T accept cash, even SNAP cash.
What is Sam’s “Scan & Go” Service and Should I Use It?
Yes, definitely use it.
You just walk around the store, scan items, and put them in your cart.
When you’re done shopping, you just complete your purchase on the app, and as of 2022, you can choose EBT as your payment method.
The great thing about the app is that it tells you immediately if the item you just scanned can be purchased with your EBT card.
Can I Shop With a Friend Who’s a Member and Use My Benefits?
In order to use your EBT card (or SNAP benefits) at Sam’s Club, you must pay the $45 annual membership fee.
Can I Use my EBT Card on Sam’s Website?
Unfortunately, you can’t shop the Sam’s website and use your EBT card, you’ll have to go to an actual store to make it happen.
Can I Use EBT on Sam’s Club “Curbside Pickup”?
Curbside pickup orders at Sam’s are not eligible for EBT as your payment method.
The same goes for Sam’s Same-Day Delivery service.
Can My Family Members Use My EBT Card?
But…the only way family members can use your EBT card at Sam’s (or anywhere else) is if you list them when you fill out the benefits application form.
This includes your spouse, parents, and children.
Won’t work if you list your girlfriend or boyfriend, you must be married.
Note: I’ve been told this policy could vary by state, so be sure to do the research on your particular state.
Does Sam’s Also Accept WIC?
WIC, which stands for “Women, Infants, and Children”, is a supplemental federal program offering healthy food and nutrition education.
Unfortunately, Sam’s Club is not an authorized WIC retailer and thus not accepted at their store.
But not all hope is lost as most grocery stores DO accept WIC.
Notably, this includes national retailers like Safeway, Target, and Walmart.
Ask the Reader: Do you regularly use your EBT card at Sam’s Club? Is it an easy process? Let me know if this article is missing any information and I’ll be sure to add it.
By Kyle James
Photo credit to Mike Mozart.