Can You Use Food Stamps With Instacart

Instacart accepts Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards for purchases of eligible food items. To use EBT on Instacart, customers must first register their EBT card with the company. This can be done by linking the card to an Instacart account online or through the Instacart app. Once the card is registered, customers can add eligible food items to their Instacart shopping cart and select EBT as the payment method at checkout. Instacart charges a delivery fee for EBT orders, which is typically around $3.99-$5.99. Customers can also use EBT cash benefits to pay for Instacart Express, a subscription service that offers unlimited free delivery on orders of $35 or more.

Instacart Payment Methods

Instacart accepts various payment methods for grocery deliveries. These include:

  • Credit cards (Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover)
  • Debit cards
  • Instacart gift cards
  • Apple Pay
  • Google Pay
  • PayPal
  • EBT cards (in select areas only)

Using EBT Cards with Instacart

EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer) cards, commonly known as food stamps, are accepted by Instacart in some areas. However, it’s important to note that EBT card usage on Instacart is subject to specific rules and limitations:

  • EBT cards can only be used to purchase eligible food items as defined by the USDA. This includes fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, dairy products, and grains.
  • EBT cards cannot be used to purchase non-food items such as household supplies, personal care items, or alcohol.
  • EBT card usage is only allowed in areas where Instacart has partnered with authorized retailers. These retailers typically include major grocery chains and select local stores that accept EBT cards.
  • To use an EBT card with Instacart, customers must first link their EBT card to their Instacart account. This can be done through the Instacart app or website.

States Where Instacart Accepts EBT Cards

The following states currently allow EBT card usage on Instacart:

StateEBT Card Issuer
CaliforniaCalifornia Department of Social Services
ColoradoColorado Department of Human Services
FloridaFlorida Department of Children and Families
MarylandMaryland Department of Human Services
New YorkNew York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance
OregonOregon Department of Human Services
PennsylvaniaPennsylvania Department of Human Services

Please note that this list may change over time as Instacart expands its partnership with authorized retailers in different states. It’s always a good idea to check with Instacart’s customer support to confirm whether EBT cards are accepted in your area.

Food Stamps Eligibility

To be eligible for food stamps, you must meet certain requirements. These requirements vary by state, but in general, you must be:

  • A U.S. citizen or legal resident
  • Have a Social Security number
  • Meet income and asset limits

Income Limits

The income limits for food stamps are based on your household size and income. Here are the income limits for a household of four in 2023:

Gross Monthly IncomeNet Monthly Income

If your household income is below these limits, you may be eligible for food stamps.

Asset Limits

The asset limits for food stamps are also based on your household size. Here are the asset limits for a household of four in 2023:

Countable AssetsLimit
Cash, bank accounts, and investments$2,750
Other assets (such as land, buildings, stocks, and bonds)$10,000

If your household assets are below these limits, you may be eligible for food stamps.

How to Apply for Food Stamps

If you think you may be eligible for food stamps, you can apply online or at your local Social Security office. The application process can take several weeks, so it’s important to apply early.

Limitations of Using Food Stamps with Instacart

While using Food Stamps with Instacart offers convenience and accessibility, there are limitations to consider:

  • SNAP Eligibility: Not all SNAP recipients are eligible to use Instacart. Eligibility is restricted to certain states and regions participating in the SNAP Online Purchasing Pilot Program.
  • Limited Stores: Not all grocery stores accept SNAP payments through Instacart. Check Instacart’s website or app for a list of participating stores in your area.
  • Delivery Fees: Instacart charges delivery fees for its services. These fees can vary depending on the store, location, and delivery time. SNAP benefits do not cover these fees, so you’ll need to pay for them out of pocket.
  • SNAP Balance Management: You cannot use your SNAP benefits to pay for non-eligible items or delivery fees. If your SNAP balance is insufficient to cover the total cost of your order, you’ll need to make up the difference with another payment method.
  • Limited Selection: While Instacart offers a wide variety of products, some items may not be available for purchase with SNAP benefits. This can include certain prepared foods, alcohol, and tobacco products.

Can You Use Food Stamps With Instacart?

Unfortunately, you cannot use food stamps directly with Instacart. Instacart accepts various payment methods, but food stamps (EBT) are not among them. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) doesn’t allow the use of food stamps for online grocery shopping, including Instacart. This restriction is due to the requirement that food stamps must be used to purchase food in person at authorized retailers.

Alternatives to Instacart for Food Stamps Users

  • Amazon Prime Pantry: Amazon Prime Pantry offers grocery delivery services that accept EBT payments. You can add eligible food items to your cart and pay with your EBT card at checkout. However, keep in mind that not all items on Amazon are eligible for purchase with food stamps.
  • Walmart Grocery Pickup: Walmart’s Grocery Pickup service allows you to order groceries online and pick them up at your local Walmart store. You can pay for your order with your EBT card at the pickup location. Walmart also offers delivery in some areas, but you won’t be able to use EBT for delivery orders.
  • Farmers Markets: Many farmers markets accept EBT payments. This is a great option if you want to buy fresh, local produce and support local businesses. Check with your local farmers market to see if they accept EBT.
  • Community Supported Agriculture (CSA): CSA programs allow you to buy a share of a local farm’s harvest. You’ll receive a weekly or monthly box of fresh produce directly from the farm. Many CSA programs accept EBT payments.
  • SNAP-authorized Retailers: You can find a list of SNAP-authorized retailers in your area on the USDA website. These retailers accept EBT payments for food purchases made in-store.
SNAP EligibilitySNAP Balance ManagementDelivery FeesLimited StoresLimited Selection
Restricted to participating states and regionsCannot pay for non-eligible items or delivery feesCharged by Instacart, not covered by SNAPNot all stores accept SNAP paymentsSome items may not be available for purchase with SNAP
Comparison of Food Stamp Payment Options
Payment MethodWhere AcceptedProsCons
InstacartNot acceptedN/ACannot be used to purchase food stamps
Amazon Prime PantryOnlineConvenient, accepts EBTNot all items are eligible for purchase with food stamps
Walmart Grocery PickupIn-store pickup, delivery in some areasConvenient, accepts EBTDelivery not available in all areas
Farmers MarketsLocal farmers marketsFresh, local produce, supports local businessesAvailability may vary
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)Local farmsFresh, local produce, supports local businessesAvailability may vary
SNAP-authorized RetailersIn-storeConvenient, accepts EBTMay not have a wide selection of items

You’ve reached the end of the article, folks! If you’re still hungry for more information about using food stamps with Instacart, feel free to drop a comment below – I’ll be happy to answer your questions. And don’t forget to check back often for updates, because I’m always staying on top of the latest changes in the Instacart-EBT world. Until next time, happy shopping!