Though the COVID-19 pandemic is drawing to a close, many families are still feeling its effects. Millions of Americans lost their job or had their employment hours reduced, which created a financial burden for people across the country. For those who are still struggling to pay for the basics like groceries, any help is appreciated. The US government’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as SNAP, can help needy families put food on the table.
SNAP, which is distributed through electronic benefits transfer cards (EBT) is accepted at most grocery stores around the country, but for people who need to order groceries to be delivered, options may be limited.
Does Amazon Accept SNAP EBT?
Many people don’t realize that Amazon, one of the largest retailers in the world, accepts SNAP EBT benefits. In the midst of a global crisis, Amazon is trying to make grocery shopping a little easier. Amazon is part of a pilot program run by the USDA. Currently, customers in any state (except for Alaska, Hawaii, Louisiana, and Montana) who possess a valid SNAP EBT card can use their SNAP benefits when purchasing products on Amazon
The US government determines what food products are eligible to purchase with SNAP benefits, so it’s important to stay aware of what can be purchased. Understand that Amazon doesn’t make these rules.
What Groceries are Available on Amazon?
Many people may not even think of buying their groceries from Amazon, but the truth is, they have a huge selection with thousands of products to choose from. In addition, for those who qualify for SNAP, Amazon offers additional benefits, like free delivery with a minimum purchase, and exclusive deals. Most food items qualify for SNAP under USDA regulations.
When shopping for groceries on Amazon, customers have two choices. First, you can purchase from amazon.com. You can also choose to purchase from Amazon Fresh. We’ll discuss the differences between these two options and the benefits of each below.
Groceries on Amazon.com
Your first option is to look at the Grocery and Gourmet Food category on Amazon. This section of the site features pantry staples and shelf-stable foods like canned goods. There are also a variety of household essentials in this section, but remember, only food and drink items qualify for EBT.
The drawback to buying groceries on amazon.com is that you’ll have to wait a few days for your groceries to be delivered. Prime members receive free two-day shipping, but non-Prime members may have to wait a few extra days for their order to arrive. Orders of $25 or more of eligible items will qualify for free shipping, but note that it takes five to eight business days. For orders that are smaller than $25, you’ll need to pay a shipping fee.
Shopping on Amazon Fresh
Amazon Fresh, on the other hand, resembles a traditional grocery store more closely. You’ll be able to get perishable items like produce and meat, along with shelf-stable products and other essentials. Customers can select their preferred delivery time, usually within the same day.
In most cases, Amazon Fresh is only available to Prime members, but Amazon is making Amazon Fresh available to those who shop with an EBT card, no Prime membership is required.
To receive free delivery on Amazon Fresh orders, you’ll have to make a purchase of $35 or more (or $50 in certain regions). If you place a smaller order, you’ll need to pay a delivery fee. Learn more about Amazon Fresh to see if it’s right for you.
Amazon Prime Discounts
If you qualify for SNAP, you may also be able to get a discount on Amazon Prime membership. Usually, Prime members must pay $12.99 a month or $119 annually, but those who qualify for SNAP get 50% off, which means they get all the same benefits and only have to pay $5.99 per month. With Prime membership, you get free two-day shipping on Amazon orders, along with access to award-winning movies and TV shows on Prime’s exclusive streaming service.
Prime members also receive access to special deals, discounts, and member savings. Included in Prime membership is unlimited photo storage on Amazon photos, and 5 GB of video storage, so you can protect your precious memories on the cloud.
As you can see, Prime membership has some serious perks, so if you qualify for SNAP benefits and can squeeze the $5.99 into your monthly budget, take advantage of this deal.
The Benefits of Using SNAP EBT on Amazon
Like millions of other Americans trying to make ends meet, you’re likely facing challenges day to day. When you buy groceries on amazon.com or Amazon Fresh, you can save yourself the trip to the grocery store. You’ll spend less time shopping and more time on what’s important to you. In addition, getting groceries delivered directly to your house means you won’t have to put your health or the health of your family at risk. Though COVID cases are on the decline and vaccine rates are going up, being out in public may pose a risk, especially for those who are immunocompromised.
Using your SNAP EBT benefits on Amazon is just as easy as using them at the store, and you’ll be able to find many of the products you know and love without having to leave the house. For more information on using your EBT benefits on Amazon, check out their FAQ page.
And if you want to learn more about who can get SNAP benefits, you can read about who qualifies. You may be eligible to receive money to put towards groceries each month.
Don’t Forget About Prime Day!
For Amazon Prime members, Prime Day 2021 is right around the corner. This year, Prime Day is June 21 and 22. On this day, Prime members will receive a ton of great deals and offers. If you’re not already a member or do not qualify for a reduced rate, you can still sign up and take advantage of all the available Prime Day deals.