What’s an EBT card and why do I need one?


You  may have noticed a sign as you walk into the grocery store that says, “We accept EBT cards.” Are you wondering what an EBT card is used for? The money that is provided to you from Food and Nutrition Services/Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is loaded onto an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card.  These benefits are reloaded on the same date each month so you always know when your new food dollars will be available to you.

 EBT card is used just like a debit card – you swipe it at the cash register to make food purchases. When you receive your EBT card it will come with a PIN number, which is also similar to a debit card.  You will need to enter your PIN number each time you use the card.

EBT Card

EBT cards are accepted at nearly 9,000 retail businesses in North Carolina![i] Most grocery stores accept EBT cards, but many other retailers – including many farmers’ markets – also accept EBT cards. Here’s a list of some other stores that accept EBT cards.

  • Target (general merchandise)
  • Family Dollar (dollar stores)
  • Costco and Sam’s Club (membership)
  • 7-Eleven (convenience)
  • Wal-Mart, Roses, etc. (large discount store)
  • Aldi (value food)

This is just a short list to give you an idea of the variety of store accepting EBT cards.  To find other stores in your area that accept EBT cards, check out the SNAP Retail Locator.

 There are several benefits to using an EBT card:

  • Rollover.  The money you don’t spend in the current month is carried over to the following month for up to 12 months from the date they are originally loaded on your card!
  • No tax. When you use an EBT card, tax is not added to your grocery bill so that saves you 2% on your food purchases!
  • No waiting. You don’t have to wait for your food stamps to come in the mail because they are automatically loaded onto your card each month!
  • Available balance.  Each time you use your EBT card the balance is shown at the bottom of the receipt!
  • Check your balance anytime If you forget what your balance was from the last time you went shopping you can always call a toll free number on the back of the card to check your current balance!

Interested in finding out if you’re eligible to receive an EBT card by signing up for FNS/SNAP? Call More In My Basket at 1-855-240-1451 to complete a quick eligibility screening. If you’re eligible we can even help you complete the FNS/SNAP application. Call us today!


[i] United States Department of Agriculture (2013). 


SNAP Retail Locator. Retrieved from: http://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/retailerlocator