Does Trader Joe’s Accept EBT Cards? (Yes, And Here’s How)

Currently, there are lots of payment methods accepted in different grocery stores and supermarkets. The age of digitalization and cashless transactions is more useful in our daily lives because of their convenience.

If you have an EBT card and plan to stop by Trader Joe’s for a quick shopping run, can you use your card?

To help you get an idea, this article holds the answers!

Does Trader Joe’s Accept EBT Cards in 2023?

According to Trader Joe’s FAQ page, they accept EBT Cards as their customer’s payment method. Furthermore, you can also use your cash benefit from the TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) Program at any Trader Joe’s location. With the TANF program, you can get a $5 or $10 cashback as you purchase on Trader Joe’s with your EBT Card.

Who is Eligible For EBT Cards?

An EBT Card is a unique item given to employees who work in public service. You
need to meet the requirements given by the income guidelines of the
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP.

Your eligibility is based on your income from all sources, including cash
assistance. The following determines your eligibility:

  1. Your gross monthly income must be at or below 130% of the poverty line
    before deducting the program’s benefits. For example, the poverty line is computed on a $1,830 monthly income. And the 130% of the poverty line for a family of three is $2,379.
  2. The computed net income after the program’s deductions must be at or
    below the poverty line.
  3. Your assets also have a limit. If you have no household member aged 60 or
    above or have a disability, your assets must only amount to $2,500 or lower. If
    you have such members, the amount must be $3,750 or less.

These eligible individuals can get themselves an EBT Card in order to help
them and their families take advantage of benefits under the SNAP.

If You Are Eligible For An EBT Card, How Do You Get One?

After knowing if you are eligible for an EBT Card, these simple steps
outline how you can get one:

  1. Apply for an EBT Card. You can check local offices near you on this website.
  2. After applying for an EBT Card, you may eventually get approved as a SNAP
  3. You can open your account, and your food stamp and benefits will be loaded
    under that account monthly.
  4. You will receive your EBT Card, and you can now make purchases with it in
    participating groceries or supermarkets.
  5. An EBT Card works similarly to an ATM Card. You need to set up and authorize
    a four-digit passcode. You must remember this code because this is used to
    authorize your payment every time you check out with this card.

Which Trader Joe’s Stores Accept EBT Cards?

Fortunately, all locations of this grocery store accept EBT Cards from their customers. In short, you can use your card to purchase goods under the SNAP benefits.

However, since Trader Joe’s does not have any delivery service or curbside pickups, you can only use your EBT Cards inside the store during your check out. If you want to explore Trader Joe’s and delivery services, we have an article about it here.

What Other Payment Methods Does Trader Joe’s Accept?

Does Trader Joe's Accept EBT Cards

Aside from EBT Cards, Trader Joe’s also accepts other payment methods on all their grocery stores. Their website lists the following modes of payment:

  • Cash
  • Mobile payments like Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Google Pay
  • Credit and Debit Cards
  • Personal Checks
  • Physical Trader Joe’s Gift Cards

When using the gift cards from Trader Joe’s, note that you need to have the actual gift card bought from any Trader Joe’s store. And, you need to be at the store to present the card during check out.

You can read our article here if you want to know more about using Apple Pay at Trader Joe’s.

What Can You Buy With Your EBT Card In Trader Joe’s?

As we now know, you can definitely use your EBT Cards at Trader Joe’s. However, because it is under the regulations of SNAP, you cannot buy everything with it.

Here are some grocery items at Trader Joe’s that you can buy with your EBT Card:

  • Chips, crackers, and snacks
  • Ready-to-eat items
  • Fresh and canned fruits
  • Frozen vegetables, fruit, and meat
  • Nuts
  • Pork
  • Poultry
  • Non-alcoholic beverages
  • Bread and cereal
  • Cooking oil
  • Seafood and fish

Your EBT Card’s food stamps are under certain rules on which items you can only spend them on. Remember that SNAP’s primary purpose is to supplement public sector employees in their food budget and get adequately nutritious food items to remain healthy.

Are There Items That You Cannot Buy Using Your EBT Cards at Trader Joe’s?

Yes, there are items sold at Trader Joe’s that you cannot check out with your EBT Card. Essentially, you cannot redeem grocery items that are not food items or are too luxurious.

To guide you, try your best to steer away from the following if you are planning to shop at Trader Joe’s with your EBT Card:

  • You cannot buy medicines and vitamins
  • Alcoholic beverages and tobacco
  • Household products and feminine products

What Would Happen If Your EBT Card Balance Is Less Than Your Checked Out Price at Trader Joe’s?

Of course, it is highly recommended to check your EBT Card’s balance before entering Trader Joe’s and picking up your stuff.

If your EBT Card balance is insufficient, your transaction at the cashier will be denied. Running into this problem can be solved by using a different method of payment to purchase your goods.

Sometimes, customers consider the overall price of a grocery store or supermarket prior to shopping here. If you want to know if Trader Joe’s is cheap, you can read this article.

How Do You Use Your EBT Card When Shopping At Trader Joe’s

Does Trader Joe's Accept EBT Cards

You can use your EBT Card to pay for grocery products at Trader Joe’s, just
like you would an ATM card.

  1. Bring your EBT card to the checkout counter and swipe it at the card
    register once you’ve finished buying at Trader Joe’s.
  2. To authorize the purchase, select your EBT option and input your PIN.
  3. After you make your payments at the Trader Joe’s shop, you will receive a
    message with the new balance. This is essentially the same as receiving a
    notification from your bank detailing the amount being taken from your account.

Your purchase will not be executed if you include any SNAP-prohibited
products in your order. You can solve this by asking the cashier to divide your
items into various payment options.

To clear the amount for the other purchases, pay using your EBT card first,
then use another payment method.

Are You Still Covered By The Return Policy Of Trader Joe’s When You Pay Using Your EBT Card?

Yes, you may return most food goods bought with an EBT card to a Trader Joe’s shop for a refund or exchange.

They feature a generous return policy, allowing you to return practically anything for a full refund. Trader Joe’s welcomes products returned with or without a receipt, even food that has been opened and consumed.

According to SNAP, consumers must be treated equally to other customers and subject to the same shop return policy as everyone else.


EBT Cards are accepted as a payment means at any Trader Joe’s store. Along with this, Trader Joe’s can also accept cash, credit or debit cards, mobile payments, checks, and gift cards.

Fortunately, you can buy most foods like bread, snacks, vegetables, meat, and many more with your EBT Card. Just use it like your regular ATM card, and you will be good to go.

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