Are you a beneficiary of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and plan to shop at Sam’s Club?
The retail warehouse is popular among shoppers who want to save money. Due to their affordable pricing, it's an attractive option for Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) users. But you must pay $45 for annual membership to gain access. So you might ask, “Does Sam's Club take EBT as a form of payment?”
We've researched and checked their official sites to verify that they take EBT. Find our best tip for making the most of your EBT, and don’t miss the opportunity to save money.
Does Sam's Club accept EBT?
Fortunately, Sam’s Club takes food stamps. According to its website, EBT is one of the accepted payment methods in the retail chain. Here are the other modes of payment accepted in-store:
- Sam's Club Credit (PLCC)
- Walmart & Sam's Club Gift Cards
- Debit Card
- Walmart Credit (PLCC)
- Prepaid Credit Cards
EBT card at self-checkout
Since the retail chain recognizes food stamps, you can also use your EBT card at self-checkout. The store even allows split payment if you don’t have enough funds on your card. But note that you must use a credit card because the self-checkout machine won’t accept cash.
To use your EBT card, simply swipe and enter your PIN.
Take note of Sam’s Club hours:
|Monday to Friday||Saturday||Sunday|
|Club hours||10AM to 8PM||9AM to 8PM||10AM to 6PM|
|Early shopping||8AM to 10AM||–||–|
|Cafe hours||10AM to 7PM||–||–|
|Fuel center hours||6AM to 9PM||9AM to 7PM||–|
EBT card on Scan & Go
Scan & Go is Sam’s smartphone app that you can download on your iOS and Android devices.
You can use Scan & Go to simply scan items as you shop and pay via the app. You can then exit the club while skipping the checkout line.
Fortunately, the store included EBT as one of the payment options within Scan & Go. Once you finish scanning your items, proceed to a checkout screen, then click “Add an EBT card.”
After adding your EBT SNAP card, “Slide to pay,” then verify your PIN. Once verified, you may proceed to an exit greeter and present your transaction’s QR code.
EBT on Sam’s website
The Sam’s Club website allows you to shop for groceries, household items, electronics, and health and beauty products. It provides a convenient way to purchase discounted items.
Unfortunately, you can’t use your EBT card for any SamsClub.com purchases. Here are some of the accepted modes of payment at SamsClub.com:
- Sam's Club Credit (PLCC)
- Sam's Cash
- Digital Wallet Service
- Debit Card
- Prepaid Credit Cards
- Sam's Club Credit Direct Accounts
EBT for curbside pick-up and delivery
Since pick-up and delivery orders are made online, you can’t pay for them using your EBT card. You’d need to go in-store and use the self-checkout machine or Scan & Go to use your food stamps.
EBT for Sam’s Club Instacart
So what can you do to use your EBT for online shopping?
You can order through Instacart, which is a grocery delivery service. You can download the app or use the website to sign up.
Here’s how to checkout using your EBT card:
- Enter your EBT card information.
- Type the amount that you want to get from your card.
- Click “Confirm payment method.”
- Tap “Place order.”
Can you shop with a friend who’s a member to use your benefits? No, Sam’s Club requires you to pay the $45 annual membership fee.
But it’s different when it comes to your family members. They could use your EBT card if you listed them when you filled out the benefits application form. Here’s a list of people who can also use your card:
We discovered that the rules vary per state, so you must inquire at the nearest Sam’s Club if you want family members to use your card.
So can you enter Sam's without a membership? Yes, you can accept the invitation for the 90-day trial membership. But you need an email invite from a current Sam’s Club member. You can also become a complimentary add-on member, but the original member must pay $40, so there’s a $5 saving.
Due to these policies, you might ask, “How can I get a free Sam's Club card?” You can wait for the latest membership deals, which provide that if you spend $45 on your first purchase, you’ll get a card for free.
What can you buy with EBT?
Sam’s Club follows the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) guidelines regarding staple foods. These refer to basic foods essential for a person’s diet. Also, they’re usually prepared at home and eaten as a meal.
We listed the eligible items for purchase when you use EBT at Sam’s Club.
- Bread and cereal
- Dairy products
- Fish and seafood
- Fruits and vegetables
- Non-alcoholic beverages
- Plants and seeds to grow food
- Poultry and meat
- Soft drinks
So when you visit Sam’s Club, you can buy potatoes, oranges, apples, chicken, beef, tuna, cheese, milk, almond, pasta, rice, and similar items.
It will help if you prepare a shopping list to help budget your benefits.
What are the items you can’t buy using an EBT card?
The USDA prohibits the purchase of the following products using EBT:
- Any non-food items like pet foods, cleaning supplies, and paper products
- Beer, wine, liquor, cigarettes, or tobacco
- Hot or pre-prepared foods
- Live animals, except:
- Shellfish, fish removed from water, and
- Animals slaughtered before pick-up
- Vitamins, medicines, and supplements
Take note that if you see a supplement facts label, the product is considered a supplement. Hence, it’s not eligible for SNAP purchase.
You might also notice that hot foods are excluded from EBT's coverage. It’s because the USDA defines staple food as those prepared at home. Naturally, if a food is hot at the point of sale, then it should be consumed immediately, which doesn’t fit the department’s definition.
What are the benefits of being a Sam’s Club member?
Despite the $45 to $100 annual membership fee, most shoppers still choose to buy at Sam’s Club. So what are the advantages of signing up for membership?
- You can save money when buying in bulk. For example, you can purchase Quest protein chips at Walmart for more than $2. But if you buy a six-pack chip of the same kind at Sam’s, each will only cost about $1. Imagine the savings you’ll have after purchasing several items.
- Sam’s Club gas is about $0.05 cheaper than most gas stations. So if you buy 45 liters of fuel, you can save $2.25, which you can use for other necessities.
- You can buy vouchers for less than the original amount at Sam’s. For example, you can have a $50 Krispy Kreme gift card for only $37.50. In that case, you already saved $12.5.
- Sam’s Club also offers generic medicines for as low as $4. You can also receive ten free prescriptions for certain generics.
- The retailer also offers tire services, which most customers commend. When you buy tires at Sam’s, the store will balance and repair them without additional charges.
What are other places that accept EBT food stamps?
We compiled stores and fast food restaurants which included EBT as one of their payment methods.
- Big Y Foods
- BJ's Wholesale Club
- City Market
- Family Food Stores
- Food Lion
- Friendly Foods
- Harris Teeter
- Hometown Foods
- Jubilee Foods
- Market Basket
- Piggly Wiggly
- Sam’s Club
- Schwan's Fine Food
- Shop N Save
- Stop & Shop
- Trader Joe's
Fast food restaurants
- Burger King
- Carl’s Jr.
- Dairy Queen
- Domino’s Pizza
- El Pollo Loco
- Jack in the Box
- Jamba Juice
- Papa Murphy’s
- Pizza Hut
- Taco Bell
You might notice that hot foods are being served at these restaurants, but they’re included in the eligible items. Check your state’s policies first before buying pre-prepared meals.
Make the most out of your EBT
Your EBT is supposed to help you with daily needs; thankfully, several stores, including Sam’s Club, accept it as a payment method. You can purchase bread, grains, dairy products, meat, seafood, and other necessities with your EBT.