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Walgreens accepts EBT cards, formerly known as food stamps, in all its locations. The store also offers a range of other payment methods, including contactless systems like Apple Pay and Google Pay.
Since Walgreens is popularly known to be a pharmacy and healthcare store, buying medicine will be problematic for you. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which provides nutrition benefits for low income earners, prohibits anyone from buying vitamins, medicines, and supplements with their EBT cards.
The good news is that Walgreens sells other products besides pharmaceutical goods. Walgreens takes passport photos and provides other photography-related services like creating custom photo books, calendars, cards and stationery. The store also sells groceries you can buy with your EBT card, which includes fresh produce, dairy, bread, and more.
Keep reading to learn how you can start shopping with your EBT card at Walgreens.
Does Walgreens accept EBT cards online?
Walgreens doesn’t accept EBT cards on its website. Currently, there’s no option that allows you to link your card to your account and pay for groceries online. Since the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits paying for deliveries and curbside pickup with EBT cards, you can’t pay to have your groceries brought to your apartment.
You can only use your Visa, MasterCard, Discover Network or American Express cards to pay online. PayPal is another available option. Currently, the store doesn’t accept gift card payments online. At the brick-and-mortar stores, Walgreens stores accept cash, check, gift card, debit card, Visa, MasterCard, Discover Network, American Express, and CareCredit.
Walgreens also accepts contactless payment methods like Apple Pay, tap-to-pay credit cards, and Google Pay. But not all Walgreens stores accept these methods. You may want to contact the store for confirmation.
What can you buy from Walgreens with your EBT card?
You can buy every grocery item that the SNAP approves. Outside the approved items list, you can’t buy medicine, vitamins, and supplements at Walgreens with your EBT card. You also can’t pay for photo gift cards or print and copy services because they’re not ‘staple food items’ that your household can consume.
Below are the items that you can buy with your EBT card at Walgreens:
- Fresh produce: fruits and vegetables that have not been processed. For example, broccoli, apples, tomatoes, peppers, berries, carrots, asparagus, and more.
- Meat and fish: Meat like pork, beef, lamb, and chicken. Fish like tuna and mackerels.
- Breads and cereals: wheat bread, white bread, baguettes, tortilla, and banana bread.
- Dairy products: milk, yogurts, butter, cheeses, and ice cream.
- Snack foods and non-alcoholic beverages: popcorn, pretzels, potato chips, iced tea, ginger beer, smoothies, lemonade, and more.
- Seeds and plants: you can buy seeds that grow food or buy plants with food-producing roots or plant bulbs, and bushes. For example, potatoes and squashes.
Grocery items that are not eligible for EBT payment at Walgreens
Below are the ineligible food items you can’t pay for with your EBT card at Walgreens:
- Alcohol & tobacco products: That includes beer, wine, and cigarettes. We explain why alcohol has strict regulations in the USA.
- Live animals: unless the animal is to be killed and cleaned or prepared for you before payment. For example, fish or other seafood removed from water and cooked right there at the store.
- Hot foods: any food that still has steam coming out of it or has just been removed from the fire or oven.
- Pet foods, cleaning supplies, hygiene products, and cosmetics.
- Photo gift cards and other photography-related services.
Does Walgreens accept EBT cards for cashback?
Walgreens does not give cashback on EBT transactions. Remember that your EBT card is meant for buying food items only. You might want to retrieve the money preloaded on your card and use it to buy ineligible items.
However, it is illegal to get cashback with EBT cards and you can get into trouble with the law if you fail to comply with this policy. Ignore the many YouTube videos and websites telling you otherwise.
But suppose you change your mind about your purchase and would like your money back. The store’s cashiers will return the money back to your EBT card, rather than give you in cash.
Can you return or refund an item bought with an EBT card at Walgreens?
You can make returns for purchases you made with your EBT card at Walgreens. According to the USDA, all SNAP card holders should be treated equally with regular customers.
You may return or refund an item bought with a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card, so long as store policy allows it.
Walgreens return policy states you can return items bought online and in the brick-and-mortar stores within 30 days of purchase. You must come along with your original receipt as proof of purchase, otherwise the store may not process your return.
The store may choose to refund you fully or refuse your return, and it has the right to do so. If Walgreens finds reason to believe that the return item is a potential health or safety risk, you won’t be able to return it successfully and get a full refund.
Alternatives to EBT for buying low-cost medicine
Walgreens is EBT-friendly, and you can buy your groceries from any of its stores – but you might want to go with your bank cards for drugs. The SNAP regulations prohibit you from buying medicines to treat yourself with, which is a major downside for low income earners seeking affordable healthcare.
That said, you can only rely on your EBT card for buying healthy meals that will complement your medication. So what happens when you don’t have insurance or the drugs you need aren’t covered by your insurance?
Enroll for Patient Assistance Programs (PAP)
Patient Assistance Programs (PAP) are sponsored by pharmaceutical companies to help people without insurance or under-insured patients afford medications. Some PAPs may cover the cost of your medications fully or give you discounts. Notable PAPs include Gilead’s Advancing Access, Novo Nordisk PAP, and PAN Foundation.
Get prescription coupons & discount cards
Pharmacies don’t accept EBT cards for drug purchases, but they offer special coupons and discount cards you can use to save money. You can also get the coupons from your doctor or from healthcare websites like WebMDRx.
Target government benefits programs
Besides the SNAP, The federal government of the USA offers other benefits Programs that can provide you with healthcare services at low costs. For example, Medicaid is a healthcare program for low-income adults, children, pregnant women, elderly adults and the disabled – and you don’t need an EBT card to access the benefits.
Walgreens faces strict EBT regulations, just like many other stores. Not allowing customers to shop online is one of them. If you’re a couch potato who dreads going to grocery stores and supermarkets to shop, there are alternatives. You can check out these grocery stores that accept EBT online instead.
Irene is a Freelance content writer who helps professionals and startups build an audience with original content online. She has written over +100 articles, and is backed up by 3 years experience. She loves gaming and listening to music, while she’s not tapping furiously on her laptop.