Does Amazon accept EBT cash benefits? We already know that Amazon has an incredible discount program for EBT card users, but can you spend your cash benefits there?
Amazon is one of the biggest retailers in the U.S, so it’s natural that so many people have asked if this giant online megastore will accept your cash benefits. In this article, we’ll answer that question, discuss more what EBT cash benefits are and more.
What are EBT cash benefits?
Before we answer the question does Amazon accept EBT cash benefits, you need to know what EBT cash benefits are.
EBT stands for “electronic benefits transfer,” and it’s a system that allows state welfare organizations to issue benefit payments to a recipient’s payment card. This card is used to process benefits for cash programs like TANF, refugee cash assistance, and several other programs. Of course, EBT cards are also used to process food stamps payments under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
The EBT card has two parts: the cash side and the food side. Food benefits can only be used for food purchases, but cash benefits can be used for a wide variety of things.
Apply to receive EBT cash benefits
These funds are administered by each state, and thus the process for getting EBT cash benefits will vary based on your location. In most cases, you can apply online or via a phone call. Learn more about cash benefits here.
Does Amazon accept EBT cash benefits?
As of this writing, Amazon does not accept EBT cash benefits from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. However, Amazon DOES accept SNAP EBT benefits and even offers a great discount for EBT cardholders. Sign up here!
Although Amazon doesn’t accept EBT cash benefits, there may still be ways that you can spend your EBT cash benefits at Amazon if you’re a little creative. Read on to learn how!
How to Spend Your EBT Cash Benefits
As you likely know, if you don’t spend your EBT cash benefits in a certain amount of time, the funds can be removed from your EBT card. If you’re an EBT cash benefits recipient without many ways to use your funds, here are some alternative avenues to spend your cash.
Perhaps you have a family member that has more shopping options where they live that can help meet your needs.
If you need a family member to have access to your EBT benefits, you can contact your local agency about naming an authorized representative on your case. If approved, your state will provide a separate EBT card for you to share with your authorized representative.
Buy Amazon gift cards and use them online
In many states, you can withdraw your EBT cash benefits from ATM machines or receive cash back from your purchases.
For example, in Utah, EBT cash benefits recipients can withdraw cash benefits at most ATMs and store point-of-sale (POS) machines. A small transaction fee may be charged to your account when you do this and stores may limit the amount of cash you can get back with a purchase. However, once you have these benefits as cash, you should be able to use them to buy Amazon gift cards or as gift cards to other retailers.
Ask a friend to complete the purchase
While you should be careful with this alternative, you could withdraw your EBT cash benefits at an ATM and ask a trusted friend or family member to purchase your desired items online via Amazon.
Simply use your EBT card to withdraw your funds, coordinate your shopping list with your friend or family member and then have the items shipped to your home. Then you can simply pay your family member or friend in cash after they’ve finished the transaction.
Here’s what you need to know about using EBT at Amazon
You can shop on Amazon with SNAP benefits. If you choose to do that, there are some things you need to know.
Unfortunately, Amazon customers using SNAP cannot use the company’s “Subscribe & Save” feature that allows users to place recurring orders.
SNAP customers must authorize each of their transactions by entering their PIN number. Because the “Subscribe & Save” feature automates the process with a recurring order, customers cannot use their EBT benefits. Amazon customers can still subscribe to items using an alternative form of payment, such as a debit or credit card.
You also cannot use your SNAP EBT funds to cover shipping or delivery fees. If you add a certain amount of items to your order, however, Amazon will cover the shipping cost. Both SNAP-eligible and non-SNAP-eligible items will count toward the free shipping minimum.
If your friend asks you, “Does Amazon accept EBT cash benefits?” now you can respond unfortunately not yet.
While you can use your SNAP benefits at Amazon, the giant online retailer does not yet accept EBT cash benefits. There are some workarounds but, for now, SNAP food benefits is one of the only state benefits programs that can be used online at Amazon.