Sam's Club is a chain of warehouse-style stores that sells everything from groceries to electronics and from tires to jewelry. The retailer accepts a variety of payment methods, including food stamps, also known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
If you have SNAP, you're most likely familiar with the ins and outs of the program and its rules and requirements. Those rules apply at Sam's Club, with a few more thrown in.
Food Stamps Accepted In-Store
Like many retailers, Sam's Club has branched out from having only brick-and-mortar locations to offering online shopping. However, if you want to use SNAP or your electronic benefits transfer (EBT) card at Sam's Club, you need to go to a physical store. The company doesn't accept SNAP for online orders.
Sam's Club and similar warehouse stores operate under a membership model. You pay a fee, usually on an annual basis, and you get access to the discounts and deals offered by the retailer. You can't shop at Sam's Club unless you're a member. So, you can't use food stamps at the retailer if you're not a member.
The retailer has two membership levels: the regular membership and the Plus level membership. The Plus level offers more benefits than the regular membership, but also has a higher annual fee. If you're a member of the military or a college student, you can join Sam's Club for a reduced rate.
What Can You Buy With Food Stamps at Sam's Club?
Although Sam's Club sells a lot of stuff, you can't buy everything in the store using food stamps. The same rules apply at Sam's Club as at any other supermarket or grocery store. You can use SNAP to purchase food, such as milk, produce, meat and bread. You can't use SNAP to purchase prepared or hot food that's designed to be eaten right away. You also can't use SNAP to buy alcohol, personal care items or pet supplies.
How Do Food Stamps Work?
Not every household or individual qualifies for food stamps. You need to apply for the program in your state. How much money you earn and how much you have in savings influence your eligibility for the program.
If you do qualify for food stamps, money is loaded onto your EBT card at the beginning of each month. You can use your EBT card to purchase food at Sam's Club, supermarkets, grocery stores and some farmers' markets. Once you've spent the money on the card for the month, you need to wait until the beginning of the next month for it to refill.
Does Sam's Club Accept Other Forms of Government Aid?
Sam's Club doesn’t participate in other government aid programs, such as the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). If you have WIC, you can purchase qualifying items at your local supermarket or grocery store instead of Sam's Club.