Does Instacart Take EBT? (No, but this alternative works great!)


On a reduced or limited income, times can be tough without the support of SNAP and EBT cards. But home grocery delivery or pickup is often seen as a premium service. So Does Instacart take EBT?

I did some research, and here’s what I discovered:

Instacart does not take EBT cards and is unable to accept SNAP benefits or similar types of government food assistance. While the USDA began a pilot program in 2014 for online grocery ordering as part of the EBT/SNAP program, Instacart has not yet had the opportunity to be a part of the program.

But Instacart is not your only option, and EBT is not all about limitations. Therefore there’s much more you need to know about using government assistance with online grocery delivery services.

Keep reading to know more!

Ready to start ordering from Instacart?

CLICK HERE to go to the Instacart order page.

(source)

Can I buy food online with EBT?

Online grocery shopping has taken off in the last few years.

Until recently, this time-saving option has not been available to folks that use EBT/SNAP benefits to purchase their groceries.

Fortunately, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the federal agency that oversees the SNAP program launched the EBT Online Purchasing Pilot. This pilot program allows states to add online purchasing as an option for EBT cardholders.

Amazon and Walmart accept EBT payment online from just about every state. source

However, there are some rules when it comes to paying with EBT online. You can only purchase EBT eligible items. You can’t pay delivery fees, tips, or other associated charges with SNAP benefits. Those extra charges will have to be paid for with a different form of payment.

Unfortunately, Instacart is not yet a part of the USDA pilot program and thus it cannot accept EBT as a payment method for delivery or pickup.

If you are still interested in how Instacart pickup works, check out my recent article I get into all the details of how it works, how much to tip, and how quickly you can expect your groceries to be ready.

Just click that link to read it on my site.

Can you use EBT for Aldi delivery?

Unfortunately, no!

Like Walmart, Aldi uses Instacart for its delivery service. Unfortunately, Instacart is not part of the USDA pilot program that allows online purchasing for EBT customers. 

If you choose to have groceries delivered from Aldi, you’ll need to use a different payment form.

Ordering groceries to be delivered via Instacart is easy to do through the website or the mobile app. You’ll input some personal information, such as your zip code, to show which stores are available in your area. Instacart doesn’t work with every store, so just select the store that shows up on your app or the website.

Once you’ve picked your store, load up your virtual cart to place an order. In most cases, your Instacart order can be delivered within an hour.

Once the driver brings your groceries, and the transaction is complete, don’t forget to tip your driver.

Not sure how much to tip? Just read this recent article where I talk about how and how much you should tip your driver, especially if you plan to do it through the app itself instead of with cash.

Just click the link to read it on my site.

Can you use EBT for Walmart’s delivery?

Walmart’s grocery delivery using EBT is currently available only in New York State.

However, you may be able to use EBT/SNAP for Walmart Grocery Pickup, depending on the state you live in.

Just order your groceries at walmart.com or through the Walmart mobile app. Put all of your groceries in the cart and select the time you want to pick up your groceries.

During checkout, select the EBT Card as your payment method. When you pick up your groceries, the Walmart associate will be able to swipe your card at the pickup.

When you get to Walmart to pick up your groceries, the associate will know that you are paying with EBT. Any items that are not eligible for EBT can be paid for with another payment method like credit or debit.

While it’s not as convenient as having your groceries delivered, it will be much more comfortable for whoever may be driving you to the store. They won’t have to wait an hour or so while you do your shopping. And you won’t feel like you’re putting someone out so much.

However, using your EBT/SNAP benefits for pickup is not available in every state.

Currently, only the following are the states that offer the benefit:

  • Arkansas
  • Alaska
  • Kansas
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Mississippi
  • Montana
  • North Dakota
  • South Carolina
  • Utah 

source

I know that this information conflicts with the information above.

My best advice is just to try it out. Perhaps Walmart hasn’t updated their website yet. Put a few items in your cart and act like you are going to check out. See if the app or website gives you the option to pay with EBT.

It’s possible that the USDA has permitted other states, and it just hasn’t been implemented yet.

Can EBT be used on Amazon?

Maybe is the short answer.

Customers in “select states” can use SNAP EBT on Amazon groceries, Amazon Pantry, and Amazon Fresh. In fact, not only can you use EBT, but as an EBT cardholder, you can get a discount on Amazon Prime.

To use your EBT card on Amazon, you first need to register your card using this link.

Just follow the instructions on the screen. If you are not already an Amazon customer, you’ll need to create an account. Once you have created your account, you’ll enter your zip code and SNAP EBT cart information.

You can also add your EBT card during checkout as well.

In many states, you won’t need to have an Amazon Prime membership to shop Amazon Fresh with your EBT card. But as Amazon states, “Amazon accepts SNAP EBT in all states except: Alaska, Arkansas, Hawaii, Louisiana, Maine and Montana. See FAQ for more information.”

The good news is that Amazon offers a 50% discount on Amazon Prime for EBT and Medicaid cardholders.

Shopping Amazon with EBT is probably a better deal than shopping with Instacart anyway, as Instacart’s prices are an average of 15% more than at the grocery store. This can add up if you have a lot of mouths to feed.

Just read this recent article to learn more about Instacart’s pricing. Just click the link to read it on my site.

Does DoorDash accept EBT?

If you want to have groceries delivered from Walmart, using DoorDash may be an option.

DoorDash delivers for Walmart in 46 states, and they do not charge higher than store prices. Walmart recommends not tipping drivers.

I wrote this recent article about how DoorDash works with Walmart delivery.

Just click the link to read it on my site.

Unfortunately, DoorDash does not accept EBT as payment. DoorDash typically delivers food for restaurants, and you can’t use EBT to purchase hot, prepared foods. They are simply not a part of the USDA pilot program.

Did I answer everything you wanted to know about whether Instacart takes EBT?

So now you know that Instacart doesn’t accept EBT for its delivery or pickup services. Besides, you can’t use EBT for Aldi or Walmart delivery because they use Instacart to provide delivery services. You can also not use your EBT with DoorDash.

However, there are still many options out there for delivery and pickup services if you are using EBT for payment. For instance, Amazon and Walmart grocery pickup. You may even get a discount on an Amazon Prime membership with an EBT card. 

Ready to start ordering from Instacart?

CLICK HERE to go to the Instacart order page.

 

Jeff Campbell

Hi! I'm Jeff Campbell. I was a leader for Whole Foods Market for over 2 decades. I worked in 9 stores in 4 states, not counting the hundred-plus stores I've assisted in other ways. I was a Global All-Star, a Gold Pen Winner, and won Top-10 Store (company-wide) 3 times in addition to Best New Store (company-wide).

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