Does Costco Accept EBT in California? (Food Stamps + More)

does costco accept ebt in california

Do you know if Costco accepts EBT in California? Well, you are at the perfect place to find the answer to such a question.

All Costco warehouses across the nation accept EBT, including Costco’s in California. You can use your Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) Card at your local Costco for grocery purposes.

You, too, can have the great groceries of Costco with your EBT card! In this article, I will explain how to use your EBTs at Costco and tips to help you get the best bang for your EBT bucks. 

How to use your EBTs at Costco

You have no reason to panic or feel anxious when you jump into line at Costco, hoping to use your EBT card.

The way to use it is super simple! You do not even have to separate your groceries. Gone are the days when you needed to split up what qualifies and what does not qualify to be covered by EBT. 

All you have to do is swipe your card. It is that simple. Here are a few easy steps to follow: 

  1. Scan all of your items.
  2. When ready to pay, swipe your EBT card at the register. 
  3. Enter the PIN associated with your EBT. 
  4. If you do not have enough funds in your EBT account to cover the eligible items, or if you have non-eligible items in your purchase, the register will ask if you would like to pay for the rest via credit/debit or cash. 

There you have it! 

There may be times that you will have to show a photo ID to confirm that you are the EBT cardholder. 

Be sure to have your other forms of payment available if you are planning to purchase non-eligible items or if your purchase exceeds your EBT funds.

Before shopping, you can quickly check your available funds on your EBT. 

If you are not using a self-checkout counter, you must tell the cashier that you intend to pay with EBT. You will need to inform them before you are ready to pay. Doing this will ensure that they ring you up properly.

Read also >> Does Target Accept EBT in California? (Food Stamps + More)

Read also >> Does McDonald’s Accept EBT in California? (Food Stamps + More)

Can you use EBTs for online orders at Costco?

While some grocery stores allow you to pay for your online orders with EBT, Costco does not. 

If you want to access your EBT funds while shopping at Costco, in-person shopping is the only way. 

While not being able to shop online may be a problem, the solution is that you can buy in bulk at Costco.

Since Costco is a warehouse store, you can purchase all items on your list in classic Costco bulk style, meaning you do not have to go shopping as frequently.  

What can you use your EBTs on at Costco?

In a post covid world, financial insecurity is a real issue for the American people. According to the Public Policy Institute of California, in June of 2020, about 4.8 million Californians signed up for the CalFresh EBT program and received about $166 monthly. 

Depending on the size of the family, shopping at Costco can make a difference and is very appealing. There are, however, a few limitations as to what you can use your EBTs on in the store. 

The list below shows you what qualifies for your EBT credit according to the United States Department of Agriculture: 

  • Fruits and vegetables;
  • Meat, poultry, and fish;
  • Dairy products;
  • Breads and cereals;
  • Other foods such as snack foods and non-alcoholic beverages; and
  • Seeds and plants, which produce food for the household to eat.

You cannot use your EBT card to purchase alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, cigarettes, vitamins, medications, supplements, or non-food items such as cleaning products or dog food.

You also cannot purchase food that is hot when sold, such as ready-made food straight from the deli section.

Read also >> Does Subway Accept EBT in California? (All You Need to Know!)

Best Costco Purchases for EBT customers

Now that you know how to use your EBT card at Costco, let’s break down a few of the best items for you to purchase at an average California-based Costco. After all, we are all in need of some great deals. 

For a quick breakfast option, you can get a 72-count of Eggo waffles for $11.99. Other retailers average $5.99 for a 24-count of Eggo waffles. 

If you need some quick additions to lunches or easy snacks for when you are on the go, you can grab a 54-count Frito-Lay Classic Mix variety pack for only $23.39. The average cost for a 28-count version at Target is 16.99. 

For great dinner ideas, you can grab a 6.5 lb bag of chicken breasts from Costco for $23.99. An average cost at Walmart for Chicken breasts is $11.31 for anywhere between 1.7- 3.0 lbs.

For another excellent kitchen staple to stock up on at Costco, you can purchase a 2-liter bottle of Olive Oil for $17.99. A smaller 8-ounce bottle at Target will run you about $12.69.

You get over twice the size of the same product for less than twice the cost! 

These are just a few ideas for you to consider while shopping at Costco to get some of the best deals for both you and your family.


All Costco’s in California allow customers to use EBT cards for qualifying purchases regardless of location. Using the easy steps in this article, as a Costco member with an EBT card, you can access all these great deals and more. 



Lindsey graduated with an MBA in 2009. Since then, Lindsey has worked in the retail and consumer service industry as a manager, advisor, and marketer. Lindsey is also the head writer and Co-founder of Lindsey is based in Morgantown, West Virginia.

Recent Posts

error: Content is protected !!