Walmart might be a popular place where US residents can shop for basic supplies and other essentials, and people know that it's the go-to store for this specific form of payment. On the other hand, Target, the country’s second-largest retailer, does the same, but many don't realize it. So, if you have an EBT card and would like to shop for groceries, you likely wonder; Does Target take EBT Payments? Read on to find out.
What is EBT?
Before knowing which allowances you can benefit from EBT, it’s imperative to know what this abbreviation stands for. Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) is a payment system involving a plastic card with a magnetic strip and PIN. The federal government’s initiative for assisting low-income earners and people with bad credit history to access food essentials through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The government introduced it in 2004 and has remained effective since then. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many people were laid off from work, while others struggled to keep their businesses afloat. The financial burden made it daunting for people to access basic needs, leave alone pay their utilities. The government had to make these essentials available to economically struggling individuals using EBT.
Does Target approve of EBT use?
According to Talk Radio News, specific Target stores accept EBT as a form of payment. However, you must fulfill conditions to pay for items via EBT.
- You must have an account from Wells Fargo, Citibank, Capital One, or Chase because they partner with Target.
- You can only buy edibles like groceries, breakfast cereals, yogurt, juice, peanut butter, milk, canned fish, and chicken. Using this card, you can’t buy live or hot foods like fish and chicken at Target.
- You can’t buy non-food items like cleaning supplies, cosmetics, clothes, toys, or video games via EBT lest you get in trouble with the law.
- You can’t use the card only to request cashback. Target gives you a standard 90-day return time frame. Produce a receipt, and you will be given store credit or a similar item in exchange.
- You need to be at the store to use the card, not online.
Should you get caught buying items not approved by SNAP via your EBT card, your state’s food stamps agency will launch an investigation to determine if you went against the law. They may take necessary actions like serving you with a penalty and revoking your EBT card.
How to use your EBT card at Target
The general rule of the thumb for using an EBT card at target is separating items it can pay for from the ones it can’t. Follow these steps
Step 1: Ensure EBT-approved items pass the register first
While at the cashier, ensure the food items approved for EBT payment pass the screening machine first. The computer will not process the transaction if you attempt to buy food products that don’t qualify under SNAP.
Step 2: Card processing
The cashier will pass the card with a normal debit card because it has a magnetic strip. You can now enter your PIN upon confirmation of your card’s authenticity.
Step 3: Get a self-checkout EBT card
If you have self-checkout EBT, separating the items isn’t a must. The computer system will identify the EBT-approved items for you. Either way, make sure you don’t use your card for non-approved items. If you’ve qualified for WV Works/ Child Support Incentive benefits, you’re allowed to cash-out funds at specific ATMs. From there, you can pay using your EBT card at your local Target store to get cashback benefits.
Do all Target stores accept EBT?
According to Query Sprout, Target has more than 1900 stores countrywide. However, not all of them may accept EBT. It would be wise to contact your local store to confirm purchasing products through EBT. Alternatively, use online store finder tools to access other stores accepting the mode of payment. Keep in mind that EBT is only applicable to physical stores. Therefore, you cannot use the card directly at Target’s official website or app. You have to be there in person to use it since it doesn’t cover grocery delivery.
Does Target’s Starbucks accept EBT?
Target’s Starbucks specializes in luxurious items, hence not qualified as a SNAP retailer. That means you can’t use your EBT card to buy items at Starbucks. Surprisingly, Starbucks might consider your EBT if you’re in a grocery store or retail store. According to Money Pantry, Starbucks has more than 6,300 licensed stores countrywide. That means if you’re in Starbucks inside a Target store accepting EBT, you could get lucky to use your card. But keep in mind that only SNAP-approved items will be accepted at selected Starbucks stores.
What happens if your EBT card runs out of funds?
Like debit cards, your EBT may run out of funds. Should this happen, make the federal government aware. You will get a grace period to assess what you bought and how to fund your card. The grace period depends on where you live. Normally, your card receives benefits per month, precisely the first day of the month. Nevertheless, not all states have the same privilege. It depends on your Social Security Number (SSN). For example, if it ends between 00 and 04, you’ll get your benefits on the first day of the month. For SSN holders ending in 15 to 19, the earliest they can receive their benefits is on the fourth of every month. Whatever the case, funds should be added to your account before the 20th of every month. All you need to do is check with the SNAP local agency to determine when your card will receive benefits to get activated.
Target accepts EBT as a form of payment for items under the SNAP category. It’s the federal government’s initiative to lift the financial burden of low-income earners by availing affordable food items, thus alleviating poverty. However, it’s imperative to find out if the Target store near you will accept your card because some keep changing their policies to meet the needs of beneficiaries.
Written by Dana Hanson
Read more posts by Dana Hanson