Does Target Take EBT? Yes – but with restrictions!

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    Target has a lot of great ways to save money – including sales, Target Circle discounts, matching competitors’ pricing, and more. Having multiple ways to save money at Target quickly makes it a great place to shop. But does Target take EBT? 

    You are probably already aware of what EBT is. Still, if not, EBT (Electronic Benefit Transfer) is a payment method to help lower-income families with food assistance at a local store. Money and food stamps are electronically added to the card, and then used to purchase groceries.

    Restrictions and benefits for using your electronic benefits transfer card vary state-by-state, so it’s important to know what is allowed where you live.

    Does Target accept EBT cards in-store?

    Yes, Target does accept EBT in-store. However, there are some restrictions to be aware of and plan accordingly. 

    graphic of ebt card with target logo

    While Target has over 1900 stores, not all EBT will be accepted across all stores. There are two main EBT programs to be aware of, WIC and SNAP benefits.

    WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) is a supplemental nutrition program for those at nutritional risk. This risk can mean they have a medical issue or don’t have access to all of the different types of nutrients that they need. 

    The WIC EBT card is not accepted at all Target stores and can only be used at authorized Target Superstores. WIC labels throughout the store and on items can help you determine which eligible food items you can purchase with your WIC EBT.

    The SNAP EBT card (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) is also accepted in all 1900 Target stores. This program helps needy families purchase healthy foods and supplement their daily intake. 

    How to use your EBT card when checking out at Target

    When checking out with a cashier, you’ll do things differently than you would if you were paying with just a debit or credit card. 

    Your EBT card can only be used on approved products, so you’ll want to divide out purchases into EBT approved items and those that are not. You’ll ask the cashier to ring up the SNAP purchases and then use your EBT card to pay. 

    The card has a magnetic strip, just like a debit card, and you’ll use it in the card reader. You’ll need to know your EBT pin to complete the purchase. Then, you’ll make a second purchase for non-EBT items with a second payment method, such as cash, check, debit, or credit card.

    Using EBT at self-checkout is even easier. The checkout kiosk is smart enough to tell what items apply for the EBT discount and can electronically separate those items. Because the kiosk does all the work, you don’t have to divide your order into two separate purchases.

    How do Target returns work when purchasing with EBT?

    Returns work a little differently when buying items using an EBT card at Target. You’ll have one of three options: the refund amount can go back onto your EBT card, receive a store credit, or exchange the item for an identical one. 

    Remember, no matter what form of payment you use, all returns have to be made within 90 days of purchase with a receipt.

    What other payment methods does Target accept in-store?

    Target does accept multiple other payments in-store, including:

    • Cash (must be local currency; however, if it’s close to the borders of the US, they may be able to accept Canadian dollars or Mexican pesos)
    • Target RedCard
    • Target Mobile app
    • Target Temporary Slips 
    • Credit cards, such as Visa, Mastercard, Discover, American Express, foreign bank credit cards, and Diner’s Club International
    • FSA/HSA cards (for FSA/HSA eligible items)
    • Debit/ATM cards (US-issued as well as Canadian issued with VISA logo)
    • EBT cards, such as SNAP
    • WIC Program (approved in authorized stores only)
    • Contactless pay
    • Gift cards
    • Merchandise Voucher
    • Personal Checks
    • Rebate Checks
    • Mobile Payments, such as Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay
    • Alipay in authorized stores
    • Campus Cash in authorized stores

    There are a couple of payment types that Target does not accept. These include:

    • Foreign checks and currency
    • Mall certificates and Chamber bucks (varies – call your store)
    • Money orders
    • Business checks
    • Merchant gift card (for stores other than Target)

    For more information on acceptable payment methods at Target locations, read more here

    Does Target take EBT online?

    No, Target does not accept EBT online or through the Target App. 

    What other payment option does Target accept online? and the Target app accept the following payment methods:

    • Target Redcard
    • Credit Cards
    • Debit Cards
    • Target gift cards
    • Installment plans such as Afterpay, Klarna, Zip Affirm, Sezzle, and PayPal Pay in 4
    • PayPal (not for items sold by Target Plus Partners)

    Does Starbucks in Target take EBT?

    EBT cards can purchase items like coffee beans and snacks at in-store Starbucks. EBT programs don’t cover hot foods or drinks, so while you can’t pick up your favorite latte, you can grab other items with a nutrition label, such as bananas, granola bars, or beef jerky.  

    If you aren’t sure what’s an acceptable EBT purchase, you can talk with your advisor and ask. 

    What about other Target Based centers?

    Target stores often host various other centers, such as CVS health centers, optical stores, or Apple stands. Unfortunately, EBT cards are not accepted at these different types of facilities within Target.

    Does Target accept EBT for formula?

    Yes, Target stores that accept the SNAP program will accept EBT for formula. This coverage also includes similar items, such as cereals, juices, and baby food.

    WIC provides formula rebates for a particular formula brand, and Target will accept these. To learn more about the WIC formula rebate system, click here.

    What stores accept EBT online?

    It’s a disappointment that Target doesn’t accept EBT purchases online. However, some other online stores do now. 

    Depending on which state you live in, a SNAP online purchasing pilot program allows purchases at an online retailer. For example, in Ohio, participating retailers include Aldi, Amazon, BJ’s Wholesale Club, Earth Fare, Giant Eagle, Meijer, Sam’s Club Scan and Go, and Walmart.

    For more information on which stores your area allows online purchases with EBT, visit the USDA website here.

    What EBT is and how it works

    If you found this post, you understand what EBT is and how it works. However, if you don’t, here’s a quick overview. EBT (electronic bank transfer) is a plastic card with a magnetic strip and a PIN number. Families or individuals have an EBT account that allows them to purchase groceries or other items they need with this card at a variety of stores, including some farmers markets

    Depending upon your EBT benefits (SNAP or WIC), it can limit what you can purchase. For example, EBT cardholders who are SNAP recipients are allowed to buy:

    • Dairy products such as milk and cheese
    • Whole wheat products, such as bread
    • Whole grains, including rice and oatmeal
    • Meat and poultry
    • Soy and tofu items
    • Fruit and vegetables
    • Juice
    • Cereals
    • And other staples, such as tortillas, pasta, peanut butter, cooking oil, and more

    Items that are not allowed include supplements, cleaning supplies, and more:

    • Beer, wine, or liquor
    • Cigarettes or tobacco
    • Vitamins, medicine, or supplements
    • Live animals (seriously)
    • Paper products
    • Pet food
    • Hygiene items, such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, or menstruation items
    • Cosmetics
    • Cleaning supplies
    • Diapers
    • Other household items
    • Delivery fees or service fees

    So, does Target take EBT? The answer is yes – and paired with sales, coupons, and other offers, it should help stretch your grocery budget even further.

    Want to stretch that money even further at grocery stores? These are the best cheap grocery list items and tips on how to cut your grocery bill in half

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    A forty-ish web designer/developer by day, a budget & financial fanatic by night. I’m a mom, wife, avid reader, and DIY enthusiast who’s tracking our journey to debt freedom. Read More

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