Does Trader Joe’s take EBT? Imagine going into a store with all smiles and snickers. You go ahead and get yourself a cart or a basket depending on your preference. Afterward, you stroll the aisles, check the cabinets, ask for assistance, and shop to your heart’s content.
When you come up to the cashier, the cashier scans each and every item in your basket or cart and asks for your payment. You then take out your Electronic Benefits Transfer or EBT card to pay only to find out that that certain store does not accept these kinds of cards.
One way or another, we, EBT cardholders, have experienced this kind of infuriating experience. Believe us, we know the feeling of getting your hopes shattered and your day ruined. Worse is the fact that you will have to go search for another shop to look and shop for your needs.
Only this time, you are not as enthusiastic as before. Perhaps, even a tad bit angry for having to do the entire process all over again starting from the beginning.
To avoid experiencing these kinds of blunders and frustration further, we will be helping you by giving you information as to whether or not Trader Joe’s takes EBT cards and other relevant information.
Does Trader Joe’s accept EBT cards?
Going straight to the point, we will answer this question. In reality, all of Trader Joe’s locations do accept EBT cards. EBT cards are also sometimes called SNAP benefits. As such, we hope that your chests have heaved and your worries are gone.
Anyway, we have been talking about this EBT card thingy since the beginning, but what exactly is it? An EBT card is basically a government-sponsored public service that gives the cardholder some funds that can be used to buy various food items.
This is actually a good service that keeps most families from getting hungry, especially during tough times. If you are wondering what kind of items does an EBT cover, well, basically almost all food consumables.
This includes vegetables, meats, dairy products, and fruits. On the other hand, an individual is not allowed to use the allocated funds to purchase alcohol, tobacco, and/or other items that are not considered food.
If that has piqued your interest and want to apply for one, we sadly cannot help you with that. What we can do, though, is provide you some information regarding the process. First and foremost, if you want to apply for an EBT card, you must contact your local SNAP office.
After all, each state has its own EBT application and not every process is essentially the same. On the other hand, there are 42 states which offer an online EBT application. Go and check if your state is part of that list.
Read Also: Do Sprouts Accept EBT Payments?
Trader Joe’s facts and stuff
So, does trader joe’s take EBT? Let us take a look at some information regarding Trader Joe’s, the star of this article. Trader Joe’s is essentially a privately owned store. It is actually a chain of neighborhood grocery stores that eventually branched out. Trader Joe’s takes pride in providing consumers access to top-notch and high-quality organic and non-organic products.
They also offer different food products that came from different corners around the globe. Of course, that is in addition to splendid customer service and very cheap and affordable prices.
As we have stated, Trader Joe’s was just a neighborhood grocery. The very first Trader Joe’s actually started in California. Business boomed and it did what typical growing businesses do — expand. Currently, they already have 459 locations spread across the United States.
Can everybody get an EBT card?
Obviously, not everybody can receive and use an EBT. After all, why would Jeff Bezos need a few public service funds on top of his billions? Anyway, those who are eligible to receive such benefits will also need to make an account using their real legal name. The benefits are automatically sent to that account each and every month.
Accompanying that same account, the holder will also be given a plastic card which pretty much looks like any kind of ATM card. This card will then be used to avail and make purchases using the benefit funds on that account.
To be able to utilize your EBT card, you will first have to set a personal secret PIN or personal identification number. This is basically some kind of password that only you should know. In addition to that, this should be further expounded by a local worker so do not be shy to ask.
If your application is accepted and you are indeed qualified to receive some Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP benefit at Trader Joe’s, then you can use these benefits to buy certain items. These items are only selected though.
Do not just randomly grab an item and tell the cashier that you will use your EBT to pay or you will find yourself in a very awkward position.
In addition to buying food products, you may also use your EBT card in multiple other ways if you qualify for WV Works/Cash and Child Support Incentive benefits. Here are the other ways you can use your EBT cards.
- Get your benefits as cash from any QUEST® ATM from anywhere in the United States
- Use your benefits as payment for your purchases at the store
- Receive some cashback benefits after every purchase at the store
We know that that sounds very nice and sweet. However, there is also some other information that you better know by heart.
What food items can I buy using my EBT card?
As we have already highlighted, you can only use your benefits to purchase food items. However, it is also important to note that only selected items at Trader Joe’s can be purchased using your benefits. We also highly advise that you should select food items that are eligible for food stamps.
If you do not heed our warning and still got some random food item, went to the counter, then tried to pay using your EBT card, the transaction will not be registered and you will get countless glares from other customers.
In addition to that, you will also have to pay for these items some other way. Get your mind off the gutter. By that, we meant through cash or credit card.
We have made a very comprehensive list of food items that you can purchase using your EBT benefits.
- Soft Drinks (Italian soda, juice, etc.)
- Snack Crackers and Chips (potato chips, veggie chips, etc.)
- Poultry (chicken breast, chicken thighs, turkey breast, etc.)
- Pork products (pork chops, pork sausage, etc.)
- Red Meat (steak, ground beef, ribs, etc.)
- Dessert Items (ice cream, brownies, cookies, etc.)
- Bread, cereal, granola bars
- Dairy products (milk, yogurt, cheese, etc.)
- Fresh, Frozen, and Canned Fruits
- Fresh, Frozen, and Canned Vegetables
- Cooking Oils (olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, etc.)
- Seeds, Nuts, and Plants (cashews, peanut butter, etc.)
- Fresh and Frozen Seafood (fish, shellfish, etc.)
- Candy (Trader Joe’s variety of chocolate bars)
- Frozen food items (butter chicken, pasta, etc.)
On the other hand, life is not so sweet and there are also items that cannot be purchased using your card. Unfortunately, one of these items is protein powder. As such, you might have to postpone that dream of joining some sort of bodybuilding contest.
Trader Joe’s prepared food and protein bars are also out of the table. We have also made a hopefully comprehensive enough, but incomplete list of items for which you cannot use your EBT card and benefits to pay.
- Household products
- Cleaning supplies
- Prepared food
- Feminine products
These are just a few of those items. If you want a full list of the items, you simply have to and search it. It is actually pretty easy to find.
Make sure to always check your EBT card balance
It goes without saying that you should always ensure that you have enough credits before buying anything at Trader Joe’s. Obviously, if you go and get more items than your EBT card balance you will have to pay for the excess. After all, you need enough balance in order to redeem food stamps.
If you are wondering as to what may happen if you went ahead and purchased with a lack of balance. Nothing too action-packed. You will just usually have to return a few items and face shame as you do so. The transaction will also not be processed.
You can either pay another way or just face your shame. If you do not want either, then make sure to always check how much your EBT card still has left.
If you do not know how to do this, you can find help by going to an EBT Card Balance by State. Once you have found one, just click it and go to the page. Once you are there, you just have to browse and select which state you are currently residing in. A series of instructions will pop.
Just follow these instructions and you will then receive your current EBT card balance. Just make sure to select the correct state and follow the instructions properly. Otherwise, there might be some sort of error.
Are there other stores that accept EBT?
To answer this bluntly, yes there are other stores out there that will accept your EBT card as payment. In fact, there are actually hundreds of other stores like Trader Joe’s that will get and process your transaction using your EBT card to get some food stamps.
The long list includes various stores like grocery stores, markets, wholesale stores, convenience stores, discount stores, specialty food stores, and even farmer’s markets.
If you want to know more regarding which stores accept EBT cards, you can always search the net for a comprehensive list. Better yet, there is a more surefire way.
Go to that local shop you are uncertain about, tap the cashier, and tell her “Do you accept EBT cards here?” After that, you will most definitely get your answer.
Read also: Does VONS Accept EBT Card?
Robert Gomez was born and raised in the Bronx, New York. He currently lives in Northern California with “the wifey,” “the kids,” “the dog,” and “that cat,” 🙁 He is also a former journalist who has interviewed murderers on death row. Felonyfriendlyjobs.org was born to help ex-felons get a second chance in life.