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Does Instacart Take EBT? Food Stamps on This Delivery Service

Last updated: July 18, 2021
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a hand holding a smartphone running the instacart app and another hand holding an ebt card - featured image for does instacart take ebt post

Instacart is one of the most popular grocery delivery services in the county.

Since the pandemic and wide availability of people looking for flexible employment, this company has taken off and grown to become a staple in most cities.

Instacart allows people to shop from their phone or computer and have their items delivered right to their location from their grocers.

For many, this convenience will enable them to make the most of their time and avoid issues getting to the store.

So, many people wonder, “Does Instacart take EBT?”

In fact, they do, and it helps many families struggling with transportation or the ability to get to the store during regular hours to get the food they need to feed their families.

Does Instacart Take EBT?

An EBT card allows users to access funds given by the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP in conjunction with the Department of Agriculture and USDA.

This program enables the program to assist with food costs for low-income families.

The EBT card stands for Electronic Benefit Transfer debit card.

These cards work just like a regular debit card but have restrictions on purchases for food.

The SNAP program only allows you to purchase specific food items.

Some essential food items that users may buy include food items like meat, veggies, cereal, snacks, drinks, and more.

There are some limitations on meat, such as shellfish and other possible items.

Also, you can buy some drinks, and you can purchase hygiene items or household cleaning products.

The program covers only basic foods, providing additional support for grocery orders to families with tight food budgets.

If you plan to use your EBT account to make purchases through Instacart, you first need to be aware of a few critical points.

  • Your state must participate in the SNAP Online Purchasing Pilot
  • Instacart doesn’t take EBT cash
  • The card information must be current and valid
  • You must link your EBT card to your Instacart account.

Additionally, participating retailers vary by select states such as the following.

  • Pennsylvania
  • Illinois
  • Georgia
  • ​Connecticut
  • Alabama
  • New York
  • California
  • Vermont
  • Virginia

Make sure you check to ensure you’re meeting all criteria before trying to make a purchase or complete a transaction with your EBT card.

You’ll also need to make sure your retailer participates in the Pilot Program.

It’s also worth mentioning that not all retailers take EBT payments, so make sure they do before you shop and try to make a purchase.

What Items Are Available Using EBT SNAP?

There are rules of use outlined by the SNAP program stating what can or can not be purchased using an EBT card.

These guidelines govern what items you can buy through Instacart.

Keep in mind while you can certainly select some non-eligible food items to put in your shopping cart, you’ll need to purchase them separately with another non-EBT SNAP card at the end of the transaction if you want to get your items delivered along with your EBT order.

A basic overview of what Instacart customers may purchase that are SNAP-eligible with their EBT card would be items like the following:

  • Dairy/Eggs
  • Fruit/Meat
  • Bread/Cereal
  • Snack foods
  • Non-Alcoholic Beverages

Items you can’t buy with EBT include the following.

  • Cleaning supplies
  • Pet food
  • Hygiene Items/Cosmetics
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Tobacco

If you purchase non-eligible items from the retailer, you’ll need to pay with a separate card to receive the items.

Some retailers working with Instacart via EBT SNAP benefits include the following.

  • Publix
  • ​Food Lion
  • ​Amazon
  • Walmart
  • ​Aldi
  • ​Price Chopper

Always check first to make sure your selected retailer accepts EBT payments.

What Are The Fees For Using EBT or SNAP Payments With Instacart?

If you choose to use EBT with Instacart, you’ll also need to have another credit or debit card on file.

This card is how the retailer assesses various fees such as bottle deposits, taxes, delivery tips, and non-eligible EBT items.

There is no fee for using an EBT card; however, depending on the state you live in, you may have specific fees applied for services.

Also, consider that delivery drivers work for tips, so you’ll want to consider this factor when placing an order each time.

Editor’s Note:

You can save money on delivery fees by purchasing an Instacart Express membership, a monthly pass for high-volume users.

This pass saves you money on delivery fees, which after all, stack up quickly!

How To Add Your EBT Card To An Instacart Account

Adding an EBT card to your account on Instacart is fast and easy.

Follow these easy instructions to link your accounts.

You’ll want to click or tap the three lines in the top corner of your screen.

It’s a drop-down menu with options.

  • Go to Account settings.
  • Click “Payment Methods”.
  • Locate “EBT SNAP card” and select “Add”.
  • Enter your EBT card details and card number in the appropriate fields.
  • Choose “Save”.

Once you finish this process, you’ll be able to do your shopping.

How to Check Out With Your EBT Card

Checking out with an EBT card is pretty straightforward, much like using a regular debit or credit card.

Before you begin, ensure you’ve successfully connected your EBT card to your Instacart account.

Next, follow these steps to successfully check out and have your order delivered to your location.

  • First, enter your credit or debit details in addition to your address.
  • Enter your EBT card details in the appropriate field.
  • Use the “Edit” features to change the amount you want to apply to your EBT card.
  • If the information is correct, click or tap the “Confirm Payment Method” prompt.
  • Go to the “Place Order” page and make sure all details about your information and the order are correct.
  • If the information is correct, click or tap “Place Order.”
  • Once the order goes through successfully, you’ll need to enter your EBT card PIN to finalize the purchase.

If you follow these steps, you’ll be able to place your order and have it delivered to your location by the specified time Instacart quotes once your order is received and picked up by a delivery driver.

Tips for Successfully Using Your Instacart Account With An EBT Card

The first tip to successfully using your EBT card with your Instacart account and online grocery delivery is to make sure your card has your own information on it and is valid.

Next, you’ll want to make sure your particular state is working with Instacart so you can link your card to your account.

Next, you’ll need to find out if the retailer you want to shop with can accept EBT cards.

There’s a list of retailers found on the Instacart site with some of the major grocery stores and retails chains they currently work with to accept EBT payments.

Follow the steps to correctly connect your EBT card to your account and keep your information up to date to avoid any problems with checkouts.

Don’t forget to also check your balance before shopping to ensure you have enough money on your card to complete your transaction.

Additionally, make sure you have a valid debit or credit card on file if you plan to use EBT online because there are delivery fees to consider depending on which state you live in.

Also, you’ll want to tip your delivery driver for their service.

You can’t add a tip for the driver using an EBT card.

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