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Does Sam’s Club Take EBT? (Yes, but Not Online)

Retail warehouse clubs provide bulk item purchases – grocery, personal care, household essentials – at a discounted price to their club members. These retailers, like Sam’s Club and Costco, are resourceful for large families who are a part of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also referred to as EBT or food stamps.

Sam’s Club takes EBT SNAP payments for purchases made in-store only. You cannot use your EBT card to purchase food stamp items at Sam’s Club online, including pickup and delivery orders. Additionally, Sam’s Club members cannot use their EBT cards at the food court or through the Scan and Go app.

This article will help you optimize your EBT benefits by shopping Sam’s Club’s amazing in-club deals.

Keep on reading to find out how to use your card in-store, what Sam’s Club items are approved for purchase with EBT, and what items or services you are not allowed to use your EBT card for at Sam’s Club.

How to Use EBT at Sam’s Club

Shopping with your EBT card at Sam’s Club is similar to how you use your EBT card at any other approved retailer. It is as simple as following these five steps:

  1. Shop throughout the store for all your grocery needs – both approved and non-approved EBT items.
  2. Check out with all your grocery items at either a cashier or a self-checkout kiosk (there is no need to separate your approved and non-approved EBT items)
  3. Swipe your EBT card first, before your personal debit/credit card.
  4. All EBT approved items will be deducted from your overall total.
  5. Swipe your personal debit/credit card (or other approved payment method) to purchase the remainder of your grocery items.

Since Sam’s Club is considered a membership-only retail warehouse, you must pay an annual membership fee to be able to shop in-store, online, and take advantage of some of the other services they offer to their club members. 

Getting a Sam’s Club Membership (If You Don’t Have One Already)

A Sam’s Club membership is cheaper than a Costco membership and, frankly, a reasonable investment for families. You quickly make back the money you spend on your membership through the money you save by shopping at the club.

Standard Club membership costs $45 per year ($100/year for the Plus membership). The standard membership allows you to shop in-club and online, as well as:

  • Fill-up at Sam’s Club fuel station
  • Free tire repair, battery testing, and wiper installation for your vehicle
  • Complimentary membership for a household family member

You can take a closer look at both of the membership plans on the Sam’s Club website.

You must physically present your Sam’s Club card to shop in-store. Most clubs will not accept a photo of your card displayed on your phone.

It is also important that you have a photo I.D. on you when you shop with your EBT card because some cashiers may ask for your I.D. to ensure you’re the one using your card.

This easy process makes shopping with your EBT card effortless and inconspicuous to other shoppers.

If you have not used your EBT card at your local Sam’s Club, then you can always call ahead to double-check that EBT is accepted at your club.

Does Sam’s Club Take EBT Online?

Sam’s Club does not take EBT as an approved payment method for online orders. This includes both online pickup and delivery orders. Online orders must be purchased using a personal debit/credit card, store credit, or gift card.

Ordering grocery online for pickup or delivery has become a popular method of grocery shopping, especially when you are busy and don’t have the time to shop in-store.

If you find yourself in need of grocery pickup or delivery services, then you may use your EBT card for online purchases through Walmart (owns Sam’s Club) or another approved retailer.

You can check to see what retailers in your state participate in the SNAP Online Purchasing Pilot Program.

This program allows EBT receivers to use their benefits for online pickup and delivery orders at certain retailers.

It is important to note that your EBT card cannot be used to pay for delivery fees or additional fees tacked on to your total when using your EBT card to purchase groceries through a delivery service.

Can You Use EBT at Sam’s Club Food Court?

EBT cards cannot be used to purchase food items at the Sam’s Club Food Court. Food court items would be considered prepared or hot foods which are not eligible for purchase with your EBT benefits.

The Sam’s Club Food Court includes ready-to-eat pizza, hot dogs, and pretzels.

They also sell prepared foods just as yogurt cups and salads. All of which are not included in approved EBT food items.

Can You Use EBT on Sam’s Club Scan and Go?

Unfortunately, club members cannot use their EBT card to purchase EBT approved items through Sam’s Club Scan and Go app feature. You must either see a cashier or head to a self-checkout kiosk to use your EBT card.  

Sam’s Club Scan and Go app feature allows you to expedite your shopping experience.

Upon downloading the Sam’s Club App, you can scan the items you wish to purchase yourself as you shop throughout the club.

As you leave the store, a team member will verify that you have paid for your items through the app.

Sam’s Club does not explain why you cannot enter your EBT card as a form of payment on the app.

They just state that EBT is not currently supported as a payment method on the Scan and Go app.

What Can You Buy at Sam’s Club With Food Stamps?

You can use food stamps to purchase any of the EBT approved food items that Sam’s Club has in stock. Some of the EBT approved food items you can likely find at your Sam’s Club include:

  • Meat products
  • Seafood
  • Dairy products
  • Produce
  • Bread
  • Breakfast cereals
  • Snacks
  • Non-alcoholic beverages
  • Plants or seeds used to grow your produce at home

A complete list of approved and non-approved EBT food items can be viewed on the USDA website.

You may shop for both approved and non-approved items at the same time.

Non-approved EBT items will still be left as a remaining balance after your EBT card is swiped at checkout.

Prepared foods, like those from the Sam’s Club food court, cannot be purchased with EBT benefits.

Additional products that will not be deducted from your subtotal at checkout include:

  • Supplements and vitamins
  • Medicine
  • Non-food items, such as paper products, personal hygiene products, furniture, etc.

Your EBT card cannot be used at any Sam’s Club gas stations to purchase fuel. You also may not use your EBT to put towards your annual Sam’s Club membership fee.

Conclusion

A Sam’s Club membership is a great, cheap annual investment to take advantage of for large families who receive SNAP benefits.

Your membership fees quickly pay for themselves with the money you will save on just your first couple of visits. If you are not already shopping at Sam’s Club, check to see if there is a store near you and get to saving.

If you’re interested in finding out more about shopping at Sam’s Club, check out the related articles below.

Related Articles:

Sam’s Club Membership: Everything You Need to Know

Sam’s Club Delivery: How to Order and Get Membership Perks on Instacart

Member’s Mark: Deconstructing Sam’s Club Store Brand

Sam’s Club Pickup: How It Works and Tips to Get Started

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About the Author

Kayece Flood is a writer on the Shopfood.com team. She is a nutritionist and content creator with over 2 years of experience writing articles and recipes for clients in the nutrition and food industries.

Being a military wife, she has lived in different areas around the U.S. and enjoys traveling. When not working, she likes going to the beach, hiking, or camping with her family.

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