Can You Use Ebt at Starbucks? (Does Starbucks Take Ebt? How It Works, Eligible Items + More Information?)

Yes, but only in licensed Starbucks stores. Company-operated stores do not allow customers to use EBT. You can only purchase cold foods and drinks using EBT.

Most customers assume that every store accepts any card payment method. I once took a girl out for coffee at Starbucks and had an embarrassing ordeal. I only had an EBT card, but the store declined it. The girl was forced to pay since I had no cash on hand. We wrote this post to help Starbucks customers figure out if they can use EBT cards and which items are eligible. Enjoy!

Can You Use EBT Cards At Starbucks?

Starbucks is the go-to coffee brand for many customers in different parts of the world. It accepts not only cash but also card payments. One of the cards that many Americans use to meet their nutritional needs is Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT).

Though many retail and grocery stores accept payment through EBT cards, Starbucks does not. This is one of the policies that the company sets. The biggest percentage of Starbucks stores are company-operated while others are licensed stores. You cannot use an EBT card to pay for foods or drinks at Starbucks company-operated stores. These stores are also referred to as corporate stores or stand-alone Starbucks stores.

The only Starbucks stores that accept EBT cards are the licensed ones that are found inside retail or grocery stores. If you buy your favorite coffee drink at a Starbucks located in a grocery store such as Target, Safeway, Fred Meyer, Publix or Marriott hotels, or a pharmacy, you may be allowed to use an EBT card.

Such stores lease the Starbucks logo, name, and marketing materials to become licensed. EBT cards form part of SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program). The federal government developed this program to offer food aid to the vulnerable in society.

This program was designed for low-income households. Since it was established, it has been expanding over time to accommodate the needs of recipients. Since Starbucks is considered a luxury brand, it is not an authorized SNAP retailer. This coffee brand does not form part of the Restaurant Meals program in the US.

What Items Can You Buy with An EBT Card at Starbucks?

Can You Use Ebt at Starbucks?
Buy with An EBT Card. Source: Pinterest

Before ordering foods from Starbucks, you should comprehend this company’s policies and protocols. Though you may find licensed Starbucks shops in grocery stores that accept EBT, you should understand they have specific restrictions on what you can buy with the card.

You can only use an EBT card to purchase cold foods or drinks such as iced coffee from Starbucks. According to Starbucks policies, other EBT eligible items at licensed stores include snacks, energy drinks, soft drinks, sweets, and sandwiches. You cannot use an EBT card to pay for Starbucks’ hot drinks such as cappuccino or hot mocha.

Starbucks stores that take EBT cards also consider the nutritional label on a food’s packaging before allowing customers to use this payment method. You can pay for an item whose label outlines its nutritional values using an EBT card at licensed Starbucks. On the other hand, most prepared items and non-essential luxuries are not EBT eligible.

If you want to use an EBT card but cannot do this at your nearest Starbucks store, consider searching for a gas station that accepts this card. If you are not sure whether the Starbucks store accepts EBT cards and you only order drinks from the brand, always carry another payment card just in case. You can also pay for your favorite drink or food through the Starbucks app.

How to use an EBT card at Starbucks?

Does Starbucks Take Ebt?
Pay using EBT card at Starbucks. Source: Starbucks

Every EBT recipient receives a card connected to a specific bank account. Money is deposited into the bank account every month. You can use these funds to pay for EBT eligible foods or drinks at a licensed Starbucks store.

Start by visiting a Starbucks store that accepts EBT cards. If you are not certain about which payment card to use, you can quickly stop at the customer service desk. While there, find out which items you can pay for using the EBT card. You can either use this card offline or online to make purchases.

Using an EBT card at a licensed Starbucks store is as easy as using a debit card since you only need to swipe the card. Pick SNAP as the payment option you wish to use. You then have to enter your pin to pay for the item.

Once you use it to pay for a drink or food, you will receive a receipt that displays the specific amount you have paid. The printed receipt also shows the account balance for that specific month. Ensure you monitor how much you spend with an online account every month, especially if you are a regular Starbucks customer. If you wish to buy an EBT-eligible item on behalf of someone else at Starbucks, you can still use their EBT card as long as they give you the pin.


Many Snap recipients wonder if it is possible to use EBT cards at Starbucks. This coffee brand only accepts EBT at certain licensed stores, not company-operated stores. Even licensed stores that accept EBT cards have certain restrictions that customers must understand.

You can avoid any inconveniences by calling a Starbucks store to confirm the payment methods it accepts before placing an order. If you find out that the Starbucks you order food or drink from does not accept EBT, you can consider using other cards like credit or debit cards or look for an alternative store.


Do Starbucks in Target accept EBT?

Yes. Starbucks in the Target grocery store is considered a non-corporate store. Since this is licensed, it accepts the use of EBT cards.

Can you use food stamps at Starbucks?

SNAP was initially referred to as food stamps. One of the policies of Starbucks is that it does not accept food stamp cards. You cannot use food stamps at company-operated stores.

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