Electronic benefit transfer (EBT) is an electronic welfare payment system that allows state governments in the US to issue benefits via a payment card that is similar to a debit card.
Can You Use EBT on Amazon?
You can use EBT on Amazon by going to Amazon’s EBT home page and add your card as a payment method on your Amazon account. After that, you can pay for your purchase of eligible items on Amazon by typing in your PIN at checkout.
Amazon accepts EBT cards from customers in all states except Alaska, Hawaii, Louisiana, Maine, and Montana. To see the complete list of eligible states, click here. Please note that Amazon does Not accept EBT Cash Cards.
The 2 main types of EBT accounts are food accounts and cash accounts. Money in an EBT food account can only be used to buy EBT-eligible foods and beverages and is distributed through a SNAP EBT card.
Money in an EBT cash account is distributed through an EBT cash card and can be used to buy any items at a participating retailer, as well as to obtain cash back or make a cash withdrawal from a participating ATM.
You can use your SNAP EBT card for food items on both Amazon.com and Amazon Fresh. You can also find fresh produce, meat, and dairy, and eggs on Amazon Fresh.
While Amazon Fresh is normally only for Prime members if you have a SNAP EBT card you can shop on Amazon Fresh without the need to pay for a Prime membership.
What States Can You Use EBT on Amazon?
In general, customers with a valid SNAP EBT card can use their card to buy SNAP-eligible grocery items on Amazon. However, Amazon does not accept SNAP EBT cards in Alaska, Hawaii, Louisiana, Maine and Montana as of 2023.
Amazon is working to expand its SNAP EBT coverage to more states. You can check the Amazon SNAP EBT homepage for the latest updates on area coverage.
Also, SNAP EBT cards are only allowed to be used in personal Amazon accounts. Amazon Business accounts are not eligible for SNAP EBT payment.
How to Add EBT Card on Amazon
You can add your EBT card on Amazon by visiting Amazon’s SNAP EBT page and adding your SNAP EBT card as a payment method to your Amazon account. You can also add your EBT card during the checkout process.
To sign up to use a SNAP EBT card on Amazon, you must first have an Amazon account. Go to the Amazon SNAP EBT homepage, type in your SNAP EBT card number and follow the instructions on the screen.
- Go to the Amazon SNAP EBT homepage
- Sign in to your Amazon account with your email address and password
- Click on the button Add your SNAP EBT card
- Type in your SNAP EBT card number in the box provided
- Click the Continue button and follow the instructions on the screen
- You are all set
Every 12 months, you must sign in to your Amazon account to re-qualify for using SNAP EBT on Amazon.
How To Pay with EBT on Amazon
To pay for your Amazon purchases with your SNAP EBT card, simply select EBT card as your payment method when you checkout your order.
Then, you will have to enter your EBT PIN using a virtual keypad on the screen. After that, you can just place your Amazon order as normal.
- Shop as you normally would – place items in your shopping cart
- Go to your shopping cart
- Click on the Proceed to checkout button
- Make sure your Payment method field is set to EBT card. If not, click on Change next to Payment method, select the SNAP EBT card you have set up in your Amazon account in the section above, and click Continue
- You will see a keypad appears on your screen. Use that keypad to enter the 4-digit PIN of your SNAP EBT card. The keypad will scramble after each time you punch in a digit, so pay attention to that
- After you have entered your 4-digit PIN, click the Submit button
- Click Place you order to check out your order
- You are all set
Surprising Things You Can Buy with EBT on Amazon
According to government requirements, SNAP EBT funds can only be used for SNAP-eligible food items. On Amazon, you can find SNAP-eligible food items in 2 main places: Amazon.com groceries and Amazon Fresh.
You cannot use your SNAP EBT card to buy household supplies, personal care products, vitamins, medicines, or supplements. Also, you cannot use it to pay for shipping fees or Prime membership fees.
In the “Grocery & Gourmet Food” category on Amazon.com, you will find pantry staples, shelf-stable food, and household items that are eligible for SNAP.
You can also search specifically for “SNAP EBT eligible food” on Amazon by clicking on that link.
If you have a paid Amazon Prime membership, you can receive free 2-day, 1-day, and even same-day delivery.
If you do not have a Prime membership, you can still get free shipping if you $25 or more of eligible items. However, non-Prime free shipping will take much longer – about 5 to 8 business days.
Amazon Fresh is essentially an online grocery store. It is the place where you will find perishable foods as well as shelf-stable and household products in everyday package sizes.
Normally, Amazon Fresh is available only to members of Amazon Prime. However, Amazon is making Amazon Fresh items available to customers who shop with a SNAP EBT card in eligible regions without Prime membership fees.
Products you can buy with SNAP EBT include:
- Produce: Fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, packaged produce, fresh herbs
- Meat & Seafood
- Dairy Products: Milk, cream, cheese, butter, yogurt, ice cream
- Beverages: Bottled water, soft drinks, juices, soy milk, almond milk
- Bread & Bakery
- Frozen Foods
- Deli & Prepared Foods
- Pantry Staples: Canned foods, dried pasta, pasta sauces, olive oil, peanut butter, sugar, flour, nuts, seeds, rice, dried beans, dried fruits, cookies, crackers, chips, cereals, energy bars
Products not eligible for SNAP EBT:
- Household Supplies: Cleaning supplies, laundry, dishwashing, paper, plastic
- Personal Care, Health & Beauty: Skincare products, cosmetics, toothpaste, mouthwash, deodorant, soaps, shampoo, conditioners, baby wipes, and diapers
- Vitamins, medicines, and supplements: Multivitamins, letter vitamins, immunity supports, herbal supplements, probiotics, throat drops, Tylenol, Aspirin
When you check out your order, Amazon will tell you which items are eligible for SNAP and which items are not. Amazon.com & Amazon Fresh Are Calculated Separately for Free Shipping Eligibility.
You Do Not Have to separate Amazon Fresh Groceries for EBT
You can buy both SNAP-eligible & non eligible items in the same order. You do not have to limit yourself only to SNAP-eligible items in one order.
When you check out your order and choose SNAP EBT as your payment method, Amazon will tell you which items are eligible for SNAP and which are not eligible.
You can use your SNAP EBT card to pay for the eligible items.
For the items that are not eligible, you would have to choose a different payment method, such as a credit card, debit card, Amazon gift card, checking account, or Amazon Cash.
The bottom line is, you can mix both SNAP-eligible & non-SNAP eligible items in the same order, but you would need to use 2 different payment methods to pay for the 2 types of items when you check out your order.
Is Amazon Fresh Delivery Free?
If you purchase $35 or more ($50 in select regions) in one Amazon Fresh order, you will get free delivery.
However, the order amounts for Amazon.com and Amazon Fresh are calculated separately. In order words, you will not be able to combine your Amazon.com and Amazon Fresh orders to meet free shipping thresholds.
When you place your Amazon Fresh order, you will be able to schedule your delivery for a 2-hour window.
That delivery window can be on the same day you are placing your order, or it can be a few days out in the future. Delivery windows can be scheduled to start as early as 5 in the morning or end as late as 11 at night.
You should make sure you are at home during the scheduled delivery window to receive your Amazon Fresh shipment in person.
Is Amazon Fresh Cheaper?
Compared to places such as Walmart Supercenters or traditional grocery stores, prices at Amazon Fresh tend to be on the high side.
That is not surprising given that many items on Amazon Fresh come from Whole Foods Market which is owned by Amazon. So, expect Whole Food Market prices when you order on Amazon Fresh.
Things You Cannot Buy on Amazon with EBT
Amazon Prime Memberships
You cannot use SNAP EBT to buy Amazon prime memberships. SNAP EBT funds can only be used for SNAP-eligible food items according to government regulations. An Amazon Prime membership is definitely not a SNAP-eligible food item.
If you want to buy an Amazon Prime membership, you would need to use a payment method other than your SNAP EBT card, such as a credit card, debit card, Amazon gift card, checking account, or Amazon Cash.
Once you have become an Amazon Prime member, you can then use your SNAP EBT card to pay for any SNAP-eligible purchases on Amazon while enjoying all the Prime benefits such as free delivery and member-only discounts and deals.
Amazon Subscribe and Save
You cannot use SNAP EBT to pay for subscribe & save items. According to government requirements, SNAP purchases require customers to authorize the transaction by entering their PIN.
Since ‘Subscribe & Save’ orders are automatic recurring orders, this authorization is not possible.
If you want to get a “Subscribe & Save” item on Amazon, you would need to use a different payment method such as a credit card, debit card, Amazon gift card, checking account, or Amazon Cash.
According to government requirements, shipping or delivery fees are not eligible for SNAP. Instead, you have 2 options for Amazon shipping fees:
- Use your SNAP EBT card to pay for your grocery purchase but use a separate payment method – such as a credit card, debit card, Amazon gift card, checking account, or Amazon Cash – to pay for your shipping fee
- Adding enough eligible items to your order to qualify for free shipping:
- Amazon.com Groceries Orders – $25
- Amazon Fresh Orders – $35 ($50 in select cities)
- Your orders at Amazon.com and Amazon Fresh are considered separate orders. You cannot combine them to meet the free shipping thresholds. Each order must meet its free shipping threshold on its own.
Amazon Items Sold by 3rd Party Sellers
No, you cannot use SNAP EBT to buy Amazon items that are sold by 3rd party seller. Amazon only allows you to use your SNAP EBT card to buy groceries directly from Amazon itself.
You cannot use your SNAP EBT card to buy anything from any one of the millions of 3rd-party sellers on the Amazon marketplace.
This is also the reason why you might see similar grocery items on Amazon having different SNAP eligibility. For example, one flavor or size of a cookie is eligible for SNAP but another is not.
This happens if one flavor or size is being sold by Amazon directly while the other is being sold by a 3rd-party seller on the Amazon marketplace.
Can You Use EBT Cash on Amazon?
Amazon does not accept EBT cash cards. They only accept SNAP EBT cards. While you cannot directly use your EBT cash card on Amazon, there are workarounds you can use to indirectly use EBT cash on Amazon:
Alternative 1: Amazon Cash
Withdraw cash from your EBT cash account at a participating ATM using your EBT cash card. Then, go to a retail location that accepts Amazon Cash.
You can add from $5 to $500 to your Amazon Balance at any Amazon Cash location. After that, you can shop on Amazon using your Amazon Balance.
There is no fee to use Amazon Cash. You can find a location close to you that accepts Amazon Cash using this online store locator for Amazon Cash
Alternative 2: Amazon Gift Cards
Just like the case with Amazon Cash, in this case, you start by withdrawing cash from your EBT cash account at a participating ATM using your EBT cash card.
Then, go to one of the many retailers that sell Amazon gift cards in their stores. Use the cash from your EBT cash account to buy an Amazon gift card.
Then shop on Amazon with your gift card. Major retailers that sell Amazon gift cards in their stores include:
- Dollar General
- Circle K
- Whole Foods Market
- Best Buy
- Office Depot
- Publix, Ahold
- Winn Dixie
To find a complete list of retailers that sell Amazon gift cards, go here.
Alternative 3: Prepaid Debit Cards
Besides using money from your EBT cash account to buy an Amazon gift card, you can also use it to buy a debit card at a retailer.
Then, use that prepaid debit card to shop on Amazon. In effect, you are using your EBT cash to pay for purchases on Amazon
Alternative 4: Checking Accounts
Another way to use your EBT cash on Amazon is to deposit it in a bank checking account. You can then add your checking account to your Amazon account as a payment method.
This way, every time you buy something on Amazon, you can opt to pull money – money that ultimately comes from your EBT cash account – from your checking account to pay for your order
Benjamin is a certified financial advisor, with over 10 years of experience in the industry. He is knowledgeable about various business and financial topics, such as retirement planning and investment management. Ben has been recognized for his work in the financial planning industry. He has also been featured in various publications.