Nowadays, Starbucks stores accept money in many forms, including credit card, debit card, cash, app payments, gift cards, Apple Pay, and more.

Because the payment options are so extensive, I couldn't help but wonder, does Starbucks take EBT?

Find out in this complete guide where I’ll be exploring what EBT is, if Starbucks accepts EBT, and licensed Starbucks locations that allow it.

  • EBT cards are used by SNAP-assisted customers to pay for EBT-eligible products
  • Most Starbucks company-operated stores do not accept EBT cards
  • Most Starbucks kiosks in grocery stores do accept EBT cards
  • Starbucks does not accept EBT cards for online orders
  • Some Starbucks stores that are part of the Restaurant Meal Program accept EBT cards

Does Starbucks Accept EBT Cards?

The answer is yes and no.

SNAP recipients needing food assistance use electronic benefits transfers (EBT) to save on essential food items through SNAP-authorized retailers.

Since Starbucks isn't considered "essential," Starbucks company-operated stores DO NOT accept EBT.

There is a loophole, though.

EBT is accepted at licensed stores where you purchase groceries and staple foods, household supplies, pet foods, and more.

Many of these grocery stores have a Starbucks kiosk inside, and most of these locations do accept EBT.

To recap, Starbucks partners that are located in grocery stores and other retail stores typically accept food stamp cards in the form of EBT.

If you’re looking for an authorized SNAP retailer near you, many of these grocery chains are home to Starbucks coffee.

Does Starbucks In Target Accept EBT?

Yes, Target is a major partner of the SNAP program.

What’s even better is that most Target stores have a Starbucks location inside.[1]

That means you can shop for EBT-eligible products - like accessory foods, soft drinks, snack foods, and essential non-food items - at Target.

After you’re done shopping, just head over to the Target Starbucks and order your favorite iced coffee using your EBT card to purchase.
Starbucks inside a Target store

Does Safeway Starbucks Take EBT?

Yes, Safeway grocery stores accept food stamps. 

Almost all of these stores accept EBT cards, making this a great place to buy your staple food categories.

Finding a Starbucks in Safeway isn’t as common as finding one in Target, but if you do, you can absolutely use your EBT card to buy cold beverages or energy drinks.

Does Albertsons Starbucks Take EBT?

Albertsons has locations in 35 states, and food stamp recipients are welcome, including SNAP EBT members.

A large percentage of Albertsons grocery stores contain Starbucks-licensed stores within them.

After you purchase SNAP-eligible items at the register, head to the Starbucks counter with your EBT card in hand for cold drinks or fresh-baked pastries.

Can You Buy Starbucks With EBT At Kroger?

Yes, the Kroger Co. Family of Stores accepts SNAP EBT at all participating locations.

Members of the food stamp program can even make online purchases of pickup orders for an easier-than-ever shopping trip.[2]

Many Krogers sell Starbucks products, so you can use your government benefits for that delicious pumpkin bread or PSL.

Does Vons Starbucks Take EBT?

Yes, Vons is a member of the Albertsons corporation, and they’ve been accepting EBT for years.

These stores even accept EBT for pick-up and delivery orders.

Best of all, Vons with Starbucks licensed stores take EBT payments.

Does Fred Meyer Starbucks Take EBT Card?

Yes, Fred Meyer is a partner of the Kroger Company, and accepts EBT cards.

Here, staple food sales for low-income families have risen thanks to SNAP.

The same goes for Starbucks-brewed cold drinks, thanks to the fact that Fred Meyer accepts EBT cards.  

Starbucks store inside a Fred Meyers

What Can You Buy With An EBT Card At Starbucks?

Shopping with EBT at Starbucks? Here’s a complete list of EBT eligible items at licensed stores:

  • Cold Drinks
  • Blended Drinks
  • Energy Drinks
  • Soft Drinks
  • Bottled Water
  • Cold Snacks
  • Instant Coffee
  • Ground Coffee
  • Coffee Ceans
  • Creamers
  • Cold Baked goods
  • Cold Sandwiches
  • Sweets
  • Other Starbucks Goods (like Packaged Goods)

What Can’t You Buy With An EBT Card?

You probably noticed that Starbucks hot beverages and hot foods and were not included in that list above.

That's because you can't use EBT cards to buy hot drinks and hot foods, as these are considered prepared foods.

As prepared food isn’t considered essential, there are restrictions on hot food items at every Starbucks location.

You cannot buy a piping hot Americano or fresh-out-of-the-oven breakfast sandwich when you use your EBT card at a licensed Starbucks location.
Person paying at a store with an EBT card

What Exactly Is An EBT Card?

In order to understand EBT cards, you first have to know about SNAP.

SNAP, short for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, is a government-run program to help low-income families pay for food and other household essentials.[3]

So how does one go about spending government-issued SNAP funding? This is where EBT cards come into play.

An EBT card is very similar to a debit card in the way it works. When someone receives government assistance, a balance is credited to the card, and money is deducted as it is used.

If you qualify for SNAP, you can use your EBT card on eligible food items at any location that accepts SNAP EBT.

You can then check your EBT bank account online or ask the cashier to check the balance.

What Can You Buy With An EBT Card?

When shopping in the grocery store, there’s a lot you can purchase with EBT, like:

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Meat, fish, and poultry
  • Dairy products
  • Grain products
  • Snacks and sweets
  • Non-alcoholic beverages
  • Some seeds and plants
Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card

For more info, here are the exact words from the federal government explaining EBT:

“Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) is an electronic system that allows a SNAP participant to pay for food using SNAP benefits.

When a participant shops at a SNAP-authorized retail store, their SNAP EBT account is debited to reimburse the store for food that was purchased.”[4]

How Do You Purchase These Items At The Store?

Using SNAP benefits is an easy way to save at Starbucks. The process for purchasing is easy, too.

Once you’re at a licensed Starbucks location, confirm with the staff or customer service desk that EBT is accepted and ask about eligible items.

Then, select the items you’d like to buy, head to the cash register, swipe your card as payment, and enter your PIN. That’s it!

Related Starbucks And EBT Card Questions

Does Starbucks take EBT in certain states?

Some Starbucks stores (not those found in grocery stores) do accept EBT in certain states, but this list is very limited to Arizona, California, Rhode Island, Michigan, Illinois, and Maryland.

Does Starbucks accept EBT online?

No, Starbucks does not accept EBT payment from online orders. You must physically go to a licensed location to place your order for cold foods and drinks.

What is the EBT card application process for Starbucks?

The EBT card application process starts with confirming your eligibility for SNAP. Once you are found eligible by your state government agency, you'll send in your application and wait for your card to arrive.

Can you return Starbucks items purchased with EBT?
“Yes, you may refund an item bought with SNAP Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT), so long as your store policy allows it,” according to the US Department of Agriculture.[5]
What is The Restaurant Meal Program?
"The Restaurant Meals Program (RMP) is a state option to allow certain SNAP clients, who might not be able to prepare meals for themselves or who do not have permanent housing for storing and preparing food, to be able to buy prepared meals at restaurants with their SNAP benefits." [6]


Does Starbucks take EBT? Let's do a quick recap.

Standalone Starbucks corporate stores do not typically accept food stamps in the form of EBT unless you’re in a state that offers the restaurant meal program.

However, retailers that carry staple food stock, like Starbucks and Kroger, do accept EBT cards, and many of these stores are home to participating Starbucks locations.

Keep in mind that there are some restrictions on what you can purchase with EBT cards at Starbucks.

Cold foods and drinks are fair game at Starbucks stores, but hot items are generally a no-go.



Caitlin Shaffer


Caitlin Shaffer
Caitlin Shaffer, is a knowledgeable coffee expert and passionate writer. Her articles are a mix of personal experiences, insights gained from her travels, and interviews, offering an extensive view of the global coffee scene. Caitlin enjoys embarking on new travel adventures, often to destinations celebrated for their unique coffee offerings, from Indonesia to Italy and Colombia, adding a worldly flavor to her articles. Her go-to coffee? Cold brew with homemade vanilla syrup – a personal favorite that keeps her love for coffee fresh and exciting.

My favorite drink? I'd go with... cold brew with homemade vanilla syrup.

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