As of 2022, Sam’s Club “currently accepts SNAP, also called EBT cards at all club locations.”
However, this member-only retailer does not accept EBT payments for any purchases made online. This includes curbside pickup, in-store pickup, and delivery orders.
Shoppers must be Sam’s Club members in order to use EBT at Sam’s Club.
You can read more about Sam’s Club’s EBT policy here.
But it doesn’t stop there. Keep reading to find out about some loopholes that enable non-members to shop at Sam’s Club as well as how you can use EBT to shop at Sam’s Club online.
How To Use An EBT Card At Sam’s Club?
There are two ways to use an EBT card for purchases at Sam’s Club.
First, EBT cards can be used for any purchases made with a checkstand employee or at a self-check station. To use an EBT card for these purchases, simply scan your card the same way you would with a credit or debit card. When prompted, enter the PIN number associated with your card.
If you do not have sufficient funds in your SNAP account or if the order total exceeds the amount you have, the transaction will be denied.
When your order total exceeds the amount you have in your account but you would still like to use the remainder of your SNAP benefits as a partial payment on your grocery order, you will need to tell the cashier exactly how much is on your card.
Your EBT food benefits balance is available by calling the number listed on the back of your EBT card or by checking the bottom of any receipt for a purchase made with your EBT card.
EBT cards can also be used for purchases made in store using the Sam’s Club Scan & Go app.
Here are the instructions provided by Sam’s Club for adding your EBT card to your Scan & Go app account.
Sam’s Club also put together this handy how-to video for shoppers interested in adding an EBT card to their Scan & Go account.
Please note that because Sam’s Club only just recently started accepting EBT through their Scan & Go app, only participating Sam’s Club locations are currently equipped to accept EBT San & Go payments.
EBT cards cannot be used for purchases made through the Sam’s Club website, including in-store and curbside pickup orders.
Put simply, EBT cards can be used for any purchases (on qualifying items) made in person at a Sam’s Club location.
Can You Use EBT On Sam’s Club Scan And Go?
Sam’s Club made the news recently by making EBT an accepted form of payment through their Scan & Go app. This makes Sam’s Club the first major retailer to allow EBT payments through a mobile app self-checkout service.
Note that the Scan & Go app is relatively new, and Sam’s Club only just recently made it EBT compatible. So, as of June 2022, only select Sam’s Club locations accept EBT payments through the Scan & Go app.
We expect that as the program becomes more established, these payments will be accepted at all Sam’s Club locations. Contact your local Sam’s Club to find out if they accept EBT payments through the app in their store.
What Items Can You Buy With EBT Cards At Sam’s Club?
It’s important to remember that EBT cards can be used to transfer different types of benefits to recipients, with food stamps being just one of those benefit types. So, theoretically, you could use your EBT card to make a wide range of purchases at Sam’s Club if you have been approved for cash assistance.
However, most people who have EBT cards have only been approved for food assistance.
Here we will go over the types of items you can buy with EBT food assistance (SNAP benefits), as well as some examples of items that do not qualify.
Some examples of items you can purchase at Sam’s Club with your EBT food benefits card include:
- Fresh produce
- Canned foods
- Boxed foods such as cereals, pastas, crackers, etc.
- Bulk foods
- Milk and dairy products
- Eggs, meat, and seafood
- Any grocery food item that is not considered a hot prepared food
Items that cannot be purchased with a SNAP EBT card include:
- Alcohol or tobacco
- Pet food
- Vitamins, supplements, or over-the-counter medications
- Prescription medications
- Non-food household items such as toilet paper, laundry detergent, or toothpaste
- Prepared foods such as from the Sam’s Club Café (food court)
- Hot foods such as prepared soups, entrees, etc.
- Anything that is not a grocery food item
Other Stores That Accept EBT Cards
Grocery stores are not required to accept EBT cards. So, it’s not always easy to know where you can use them.
Here is a list of common grocery retailers and wholesalers that also accept SNAP payments:
- Walmart (in store and online)
- Safeway (in store and delivery)
- Kroger (includes Fred Meyer and QFC)
SNAP benefits can also be used via Instacart to place online orders through a wide variety of retailers that may or may not accept EBT independently.
Residents of Alaska, Louisiana, and Montana are not currently eligible to use EBT benefits through Instacart as of June 2022.
Other Forms Of Payment Accepted At Sam’s Club
Other forms of payment accepted at Sam’s Club include:
- Cash or check (in store only)
- Debit cards
- Credit cards (American Express, Mastercard, Discover, Visa)
- Prepaid credit cards
- Sam’s Club Credit
- Walmart Credit (in store only)
- Walmart and Sam’s Club gift cards
- Digital wallet – VISA Checkout (online only)
- Sam’s Club Credit Direct Accounts (online only)
What Are SNAP / EBT Cards?
If you’re not familiar with government food assistance programs, you might be wondering what SNAP and EBT mean.
The first thing to know is that while SNAP and EBT are often used as interchangeable terms, they don’t exactly mean the same thing.
SNAP stands for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. It is a federal program designed to assist low-income individuals and families with getting access to an adequate amount of food each month.
Recipients are approved through a rigorous application process that looks at income, household status, bank balance, and other financial metrics to gauge the level of need. The amount of money each recipient receives each month is based on the level of need as determined by the government.
Individuals are also subject to ongoing review so that if and when their financial circumstances change, their benefits will fluctuate or, in some cases, end.
EBT stands for Electronic Benefits Transfer and refers to the way in which SNAP benefits are transferred to benefit recipients in the form of an “EBT card.” EBT cards are also used to convey other funds-based benefits to recipients.
In other words, an EBT card is what you use to purchase food with your SNAP benefits, but it can also be used to access other forms of assistance.
For the purposes of this article, we will be using the terms “EBT card” and “SNAP benefits” interchangeably.
How To Get EBT Cards
Despite being a federal program of the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture), SNAP benefits are distributed by state agencies.
To apply for an EBT card, you will need to contact your state-specific social services office.
For example, in Washington State, food stamps are accessible through the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS). In California, applicants will need to go through the CalFresh Program operated by the California Department of Social Services.
If you search for “the name of your state + food stamps + apply” using a search engine tool such as Google, you should be able to find the information you need. You can also visit the SNAP State Directory of Resources provided by the USDA to find out which agency distributes food stamps in your state.
To get an idea for how the SNAP program works and whether you might be eligible, you can start by checking out the USDA’s Food Stamps Eligibility information and FAQs.
Is the return policy different for EBT purchases at Sam’s club?
No. EBT purchases can be refunded like other purchases. However, you will be refunded to your EBT card, meaning that you will not receive a cash refund for a purchase made using an EBT card. Receiving cash in exchange for EBT benefits is illegal and considered a form of fraud.
Can you buy gas with your EBT card?
If you have cash benefits, yes. EBT cards can be loaded with two different types of funds: food and cash. If you have been approved for cash assistance, then you will be able to use your EBT card to purchase things like gas. However, the threshold of need is extremely high to receive cash assistance, so most people are only approved for food benefits, which cannot be used to purchase anything other than grocery food items, excluding prepared foods, alcohol, etc.
Can you use an EBT card for grocery delivery?
Yes. If you use a grocery delivery service like Instacart, then you can use use your EBT card to pay for a grocery delivery order. However, Sam’s Club does not accept EBT payments for grocery delivery orders placed directly through their website. Any purchases made online without visiting a physical Sam’s Club location do not qualify for EBT payment. This includes in-store pickup orders placed online.
Does Sam’s Club take EBT for delivery?
No. EBT purchases at Sam’s Club are only accepted in-store, either through the Scan & Go program or through traditional in-person purchasing methods.
Can you pay with EBT on the Sam’s Club app?
Yes, at participating locations. As of 2022, Sam’s Club has announced that they are now able to accept digital EBT payments through the Sam’s Club Scan & Go app.
Can you use someone else’s EBT Card at Sam’s Club?
Yes. As long as you know the PIN number for the EBT card you’re using, you shouldn’t have a problem using the card as a form of payment anywhere that accepts EBT.
Does Sam’s Club Instacart accept EBT?
Yes. Although Sam’s Club does not accept EBT payments for online orders, Instacart is a valid workaround. You also do not need a membership to shop at Sam’s Club if you use Instacart, as Instacart acts as a go-between, getting you access to some of the benefits of membership. Instacart accepts EBT as a valid form of payment for grocery food items in all states except Alaska, Louisiana, and Montana.
Shopping at Sam’s Club using your EBT card has never been easier! With the newly added benefit of being able to use SNAP through the Sam’s Club Scan & Go app, you will be able to shop at Sam’s Club with ease using your EBT card. Plus, if you use Instacart, you won’t even have to pay for a Sam’s Club membership or leave the comfort of your home to get your groceries.