Starbucks does not officially accept EBT cards and food stamps at company-owned or stand-alone stores.
However, licensed Starbucks branches and kiosks inside retail and grocery stores accept EBT.
However, there are still restrictions on your purchases, so be sure to ask for help before ordering.
Read below to find out how you can use your EBT card at Starbucks.
How To Check If Your Local Starbucks Accepts EBT?
As mentioned, only licensed Starbucks stores accept EBT or food stamps as a payment method, and corporate-owned stores have a strict policy on food stamps.
That said, below are some ways to check whether your local Starbucks accept EBT and food stamps:
- Use the Starbucks store locator tool: The Starbucks website has a tool that allows you to look for the nearest store in your area. All you need to do is put your address, state, city, or zip code, and the tool will provide you with the location of nearby stores. The tool also provides the store’s phone number so you can call them and ask if they accept food stamps.
- Check if the store is corporate-owned or a licensed one: Unfortunately, Starbucks stores don’t have any sign on whether they are licensed or corporate-owned. However, you can easily determine the two by checking where it is located. Most licensed stores are inside a retail store, grocery, airport, or hotel. For example, Starbucks found inside Target are usually licensed stores.
- Request a list from your local SNAP agency: The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) agency in your area typically provides a list of all SNAP-approved restaurants and stores. You can request this list to find out which Starbucks accepts EBT cards.
- Visit the store: If you don’t have access to the internet, you can visit your local store and ask whether they accept EBT cards or not.
What Is Starbucks’ Official EBT Policy?
Starbucks accepts EBT and food stamps in some of its licensed stores. However, corporate-owned or stand-alone stores don’t take EBT cards.
Licensed Starbucks, also known as non-corporate Starbucks, are the kiosks you usually see inside grocery stores such as Fred Meyer, Target, Safeway, or stores inside hotels like Marriott Hotel.
These branches are attached to Starbucks through business agreements.
Licensed stores lease the Starbucks logo, name, look, practices, operations, and other marketing materials, allowing them to operate as regular Starbucks stores.
In exchanges, part of their profit goes to Starbucks.
Since licensed stores are primarily groceries, some branches accept SNAP benefits, allowing EBT cardholders to use their food stamps to buy food in Starbucks.
This is because the retail store where Starbucks is located accepts EBT. Therefore all the stores inside it are also permitted to take SNAP benefits.
However, even if your EBT card is accepted at Starbucks, you can only purchase SNAP-approved items. If the product isn’t approved, your food stamps can’t be used.
So be sure to ask the Starbucks store before buying anything to save time and effort.
Corporate-owned or stand-alone Starbucks stores don’t accept EBT cards because SNAP does not consider the food they sell as essential items.
In reality, Starbucks is seen as a luxury brand, so the company isn’t an approved retailer.
Which Items Can You Buy From Starbucks Using EBT?
SNAP has complete control over what you can purchase with your benefits.
That’s why you can only buy SNAP-approved products in Starbucks with your EBT card. Unfortunately, SNAP doesn’t allow beneficiaries to purchase hot food and drinks at Starbucks or any groceries and restaurants.
This means that you can buy iced coffee or other cold drinks at Starbucks with your food stamps.
At the same time, you can buy sandwiches, sweets, soft drinks, and snacks since they are EBT-eligible items at Starbucks. In general, anything with a nutritional label is EBT-eligible, except hot products.
But to be sure, always ask the staff what you can purchase with your food stamp benefits.
Which Items Can’t You Buy From Starbucks Using EBT?
SNAP does not allow beneficiaries to purchase hot food items or hot food at the point of sale.
This means that any hot beverages such as coffee or prepared food aren’t allowed to be purchased with your EBT card at Starbucks.
Other Coffee Shops That Accept EBT
Starbucks and coffee shops are considered luxuries by SNAP; that’s why EBT benefits do not cover it.
Generally, food stamps are intended to provide food and nutrition assistance to families.
However, SNAP provides exceptions to several cafes, restaurants, and fast food, like Burger King.
If you want to know which places accept EBT, you can take advantage of the SNAP retailer locator tool to find which stores accept EBT cards.
The USDA has an online retailer locator that you can use to search by street address, city, and state, or zip code for locations that accept EBT cards.
Are There Any Restrictions On Who Can Use EBT In Starbucks?
SNAP beneficiaries have a gross income level below the federal poverty line and either elderly, disabled, or homeless. So, those who are not qualified to get food stamps from SNAP aren’t not allowed to purchase using EBT cards in Starbucks.
However, authorized users of the card are allowed to buy on behalf of the card owner.
Lastly, the Starbucks manager also serves the right to accept or deny your food stamps.
How To Use Your EBT Card At Starbucks
EBT cards work like debit or credit cards. However, with EBT, you need to authorize your transaction by inputting a PIN. This secures your card, protecting your benefits from fraud or theft.
Below are the steps on how to use your food stamp benefits at Starbucks:
- Go to the nearest Starbucks store that accepts EBT cards.
- Since only a number of products are SNAP-eligible, it is best to ask the staff which food and drinks can be purchased with food stamps. This cuts down any inconveniences and allows you to have a seamless transaction.
- Place your order and allow the staff to process it. During payment, you need to swipe your EBT card through a Point-of-Sale (POS) terminal or hand your EBT Card to the cashier.
- Then, enter your four-number PIN on the keypad. Keep in mind that your password will not appear on the screen and will only show **** instead. Press the Enter or OK key.
- The cashier will enter the amount of your purchase. If the amount is correct, proceed with the transaction by pressing the OK or Yes key. The cashier will provide you with a copy of the receipt.
Does Starbucks Accept Food Stamps?
Yes, Starbucks accepts food stamps. However, only licensed stores or branches inside a hotel, retail, or grocery store accept this mode of payment.
If it’s a stand-alone or corporate-owned branch, your food stamp will be rejected.
Make sure to ask the staff about your food stamps before proceeding with the purchase.
- Does Walgreens Accept EBT?
- Does Dollar General Accept EBT?
- Does Burger King Take EBT?
- What Can You Buy With EBT At Walmart?
Company-owned Starbucks does not accept EBT and food stamps as payment.
However, some branches or kiosks located inside a retail or grocery store allow you to pay with your EBT card.
But before ordering, be sure to ask about the store’s EBT policy and what you can purchase with your food stamps.