Can You Use EBT at Self Checkout?

By Neil Harris 11 Min Read

Can you use EBT at self checkout? Many people wonder if they can use their EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer) card at self-checkouts in stores like Target or Walmart. While some have successfully used it in the past, others have faced challenges.

Well, factors like the remaining balance on the EBT card and store policies can influence the experience. So, in this post, I will take you into the details so you know what factors can stop EBT from working at self-checkout. Also, I have answered this question for several popular stores you might be planning to use.

[box title=”Key Takeaways” style=”soft” box_color=”#333333″ title_color=”#FFFFFF” radius=”3″]
  • You can use your EBT card at many self-checkouts, but you have to swipe the EBT card before any other payment method.
  • Some reasons EBT might not work at self-checkout include balance issues, restrictions on using multiple payment methods, and location-based differences.
  • Always check the store’s policy or ask an employee if unsure about using EBT at self-checkout.
  • The ability to use EBT at self-checkout depends on the store and your state, so be informed and prepared.

Can You Use EBT at Self Checkout?

Can You Use EBT at Self Checkout

Yes, you can use your EBT card at self-checkout in many places. It’s like using a normal checkout but without talking to a cashier. The machine knows how to split EBT food from other items, so you don’t need to buy them separately. Just remember to swipe your EBT card before any other payment method.

However, below are a few reasons why it might not work:

  1. Balance issues. If the total cost of your food exceeds the remaining balance on your EBT card, the self-checkout might decline the transaction.
  2. Multiple payment methods. Some self-checkouts don’t allow you to use multiple cards to pay. If your EBT balance is less than your purchase, you might need to get assistance from the cashier overseeing the self-checkout area.
  3. Location differences. The ability to use EBT at self-checkout might vary by state or store. For instance, if someone from Pennsylvania is facing issues, another from Hawaii might be working. This is sometimes due to the system being offline, an issue with the card, or the way it is being scanned.

Always remember to check with the store’s policy or ask an employee if you’re unsure!

Can You Use EBT at Self Checkout in Texas

Yes, you can use EBT at self-checkout in Texas. Texas WIC has made it possible for people to use EBT at self-checkout terminals. When you are shopping, it is just like how everyone else does. But, remember a few things:

  • There should be a self-checkout helper nearby.
  • The self-checkout machine must be set up for WIC-EBT.
  • If there is any trouble or you have questions, you can reach out to the EBT Operations Branch for help.

How to Use EBT Card at Self-checkout

Follow these simple steps to use EBT at self checkout.

1. Go to Self-checkout

Just like you would with any other payment method. To scan your items, place them in the bagging area after scanning.

2. Swipe Like a Debit Card

Your EBT card works just like a debit card. At the checkout, swipe it in the card reader. If you’re using multiple payment methods, always use the EBT card before any other card.

Follow on-screen instructions. The machine will separate EBT eligible items from non-eligible ones automatically.

3. Enter Your PIN

After swiping, you’ll need to enter a 4-digit code (your PIN) to approve your grocery purchase.

4. Check Your Balance

There are a few ways to know how much money you have left on your EBT card:

  • Look at the store receipt after buying something.
  • Call the toll-free number mentioned on your card.
  • Visit the official website associated with your EBT card.

Ensure your EBT food balance covers the total cost of your items. If it doesn’t, the machine might decline the transaction.

5. Know When It Reloads

Every month, your card gets reloaded with benefits. The exact day depends on the last digit of your Social Security Number.

Need Help?

If you’re unsure about using your card, the Department of Social Services (DSS) in your county can help. They’ll guide you on how to use the EBT card, especially if you ask.

Your EBT card looks and works like any other card at checkout, so you can shop without any worries. Just make sure to use it for eligible items and keep track of your balance.

Also, the ability to use EBT at self-checkout might vary by store or state, so always check the store’s policy if you’re unsure.

How Do I Use EBT at Self-checkout Target?

Using EBT at Target’s in-store checkout is simple.

  1. Swipe your EBT card when you’re at the checkout. The machine will automatically separate EBT eligible food from other items.
  2. A message will pop up asking you to choose between EBT cash or SNAP EBT balance.
  3. Pick the SNAP EBT balance for buying SNAP-approved items.
  4. If you have items that aren’t covered by SNAP, you can pay for them using another payment method.

That’s it. Just follow the prompts and you’re good to go. If your EBT balance does not cover the entire purchase, the machine might decline. This is because some self-checkouts don’t let you use multiple cards.

Can I Use EBT at Sam’s Club Self-checkout?

Yes, you can. Sam’s Club accepts EBT cards at all of their locations, including self-checkout lanes. So, if you have an EBT card, feel free to use it at Sam’s Club self-checkout just like you would at any other register. Happy shopping!

Note: Always ensure your card has sufficient funds and is active before making a purchase.

How do you use EBT at Sam’s Club self-checkout?

  1. Head over to the self-checkout lane at Sam’s Club.
  2. Start by scanning each item you want to purchase. Place them in the bagging area after scanning.
  3. On the payment screen, select the “EBT” option.
  4. Take your EBT card and either swipe it or insert it into the card reader.
  5. You’ll be prompted to enter your EBT card’s PIN. Make sure to keep this number private.
  6. The screen will show the total amount to be deducted from your EBT balance. Confirm if it’s correct.
  7. Once the transaction is approved, take your receipt. It will show your remaining EBT balance.
  8. Don’t forget to pack all your items and take them with you.

Can You Use EBT on Self-checkout Costco?

Yes, all Costco warehouses accept EBT cards. They follow state rules about what you can buy with EBT. If you want to know exactly what items you can get with your EBT card at Costco, you should check with your state’s agency.

You can refer here for confirmation.

Can I Use EBT for Walmart Pay at Self-checkout?

Yes, you can shop as usual and go to any checkout lane. Walmart allows you to use your EBT balances, such as WIC & SNAP before using Walmart Pay. Follow these steps.

  1. Shop and head to any self-checkout.
  2. Scan your stuff.
  3. Use EBT (like WIC & SNAP) before Walmart Pay.
  4. Open the Walmart app and click Walmart Pay.
  5. Confirm your payment method at the bottom. If you have a gift card, it’ll be used first unless you turn that off. You can switch cards if you want.
  6. To pay, show your phone’s screen to the register’s QR code.
  7. Wait for a beep sound. Your phone will tell you when your digital receipt is ready.
  8. Your receipt is in the app, no paper needed.

Can You Use EBT at Dollar General Self Checkout?

Currently, DG GO! accepts only credit or debit cards. Cash, check, EBT, paper manufacturer coupons, DG Cash, and gift cards cannot be accepted for DG GO! transactions—Dollar General.


Your ability to use an EBT card at self-checkout depends on your location and store. While some people can successfully use their EBT cards at self-checkout in certain states, others may have temporary issues. A common reason for the card being declined at self-checkout is if the food total exceeds the remaining balance on the EBT card. Also, some self-checkout systems might not allow the use of multiple cards for payment. However, in such cases, the cashier overseeing the self-checkout can assist and process the order at their booth.

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Seasoned, hands-on exec with a broad range of experience at both start-ups and large international corporations. Highly successful, results and customer oriented professional and with over 18 years experience in the software and payment innovations arena, with a proven track record in driving revenue growth and delivering results in operational performance and profitability through direct and indirect channels. Key focus is on customer success and delivering value and efficiency gains through tech. I live & breathe innovation in the payments arena - Visa & Mastercard card processing, UK Bacs, Faster Payments, Direct Debits, card acquiring & global payments are my junk food
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