Does CVS Take Food Stamps [Get The Facts]

There are few things more embarrassing than getting your card declined at the checkout. It’s even more awkward if you try and hand over an EBT card, only for the cashier to inform you that the store doesn’t accept food stamps. 

EBT, or Electronic Benefits Transfer, is a way to receive and pay out cash benefits. These benefits are usually SNAP, the program which has replaced the traditional food stamp coupons. While many stores do accept SNAP benefits and EBT cards, not every store is involved in the program. 

So, does the pharmaceutical chain CVS accept food stamps? What can you buy? 

Let’s find out. 

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Table of Contents:

Does CVS Accept Food Stamps? 

Yes, CVS does accept food stamps. However, not every individual store may accept EBT cards. So, it’s best to call ahead and check with customer service whether your local CVS will accept EBT. 

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It’s also worth noting that since CVS is primarily a pharmaceutical store, you may not be able to get everything you need. Food stamps are designed to pay for food items only. We’ll discuss more what you can and can’t buy at CVS next. 

What Can You Buy At CVS With EBT? 

At CVS, you can only buy food items. SNAP benefits are designed to supplement a household’s nutritional needs, not pay for their medicine. 

Here’s what you can buy at CVS: 

  • Fruit and vegetables
  • Meat, poultry, and fish
  • Dairy and non-dairy products (milk, cheese, almond milk, etc)
  • Bread, grains, and cereals
  • Baking ingredients (flour, sugar, etc)
  • Snack foods (chips, ice cream, candy, etc)
  • Baby food and formula
  • Non-alcoholic beverages

Essentially, most food items are covered by your SNAP benefits, at CVS and any other participating store. You can’t overspend on your EBT card, since once your benefits have run out, you won’t be able to buy anything else. 

What Can’t You Buy At CVS With EBT?

CVS is a pharmaceutical store. Vitamins and medicines aren’t covered by SNAP benefits, so you’ll be limited as to what you can buy. 

Here’s what you can’t buy with EBT:

  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Tobacco products
  • Lottery tickets or any other form of gambling
  • Pet food or live animals
  • Vitamins, medicines, or supplements (some energy drinks are classed as supplements)
  • Electronics
  • Personal hygiene items (soap, shampoo, etc)
  • Household supplies (cleaning products, paper goods, etc)
  • Clothes or cosmetics 

As you can see, some essential items (like household supplies, personal hygiene items, medicines, etc) aren’t covered by your SNAP benefits. So, at a place like CVS, you should be careful not to buy any unapproved items.

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The Bottom Line

If possible, it’s good to know ahead of time which stores will accept your EBT card, especially if you’re traveling or moving to another state. While many stores do participate in the EBT program, a little research can give you peace of mind, knowing you’ll be able to buy what you need. 

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