Does Starbucks Take EBT?

Starbucks is a popular coffee chain that is known for its delicious drinks and pastries. But what about people who use EBT, or the Electronic Benefits Transfer card, to pay for food? Can they use their EBT card at Starbucks? The answer is a little more nuanced than a yes or no — it’s a sort of. Here’s everything you need to know about using EBT at Starbucks.

Does Starbucks Take EBT?

Company-owned Starbucks locations do not accept EBT. This is because Starbucks is not considered an “essential” food store by the USDA, the government agency that oversees the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) program. As a result, company-owned Starbucks locations are not allowed to accept EBT payments.

However, some licensed Starbucks locations do accept EBT. These are Starbucks locations that are located inside grocery stores like Target. Licensed Starbucks locations are allowed to accept EBT payments because they are considered to be part of the grocery store, which is an “essential” food store.

What Can You Buy with EBT at Starbucks?

If you are using EBT to pay for food at a licensed Starbucks location, there are some restrictions on what you can buy. You cannot use your EBT card to purchase hot food or drinks. You can only use your EBT card to purchase cold beverages and prepackaged cold food items, such as muffins or bread.

This is because the USDA only allows EBT to be used to purchase food items that are considered to be essential. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which issues the SNAP benefit to low-income individuals and families, does not consider hot foot and beverages, gift cards, and merchandise, to be necessities.

You must also have a valid EBT card to shop at a qualifying Starbucks location, in its physical form — EBT cards that are loaded onto smartphones are not accepted. It must be presented alongside a government-issued photographic ID as well. You also can’t put part of the transaction though EBT and the rest in cash: You’ll need to do two separate ones.

How do I know if a Starbucks location accepts EBT?

You can call ahead to the store or check the Starbucks website to find a list of licensed Starbucks locations that accept EBT. You can also ask the barista at the store if they accept EBT. They will be able to tell you if they take EBT and exactly what items you can purchase with your EBT card.

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