Home  »  EBT California Guide   »   Does Trader Joe’s Take EBT in California?

Does Trader Joe’s Take EBT in California?

Trader Joe’s is an American chain of grocery stores based in Monrovia, California. It is dedicated to providing its customers exceptional value in the form of the highest-quality groceries at the best everyday prices. Since its inception in 1967, Trader Joe’s has worked towards transforming the banal process of grocery shopping into a pleasurable experience full of discovery and delight for its consumers.

You will not find many branded things at Trader Joe’s. Instead, you will find a store full of peculiar and fascinating products in addition to common necessities under its own personal label. Seasonal goods like Sweet-corn, Burrata and Basil Ravioli, and the Pepita Salsa, as well as fan favorites like the Unexpected Cheddar Cheese and Everything but the Bagel Sesame Seasoning Blend, are usually the best items to get at Trader Joe’s.

Trader Joe’s has over 550 stores across the United States. With 192 stores, California has the most Trader Joe’s locations than any other US state. Shopping at Trader Joe’s is a wise and practical choice for recipients of the CalFresh program. Keep on reading for information on using your EBT card at Trader Joe’s in California.

Does Trader Joe’s Accept EBT Payments in California?

Does Trader Joe’s Accept EBT Payments in California?

Yes, Trader Joe’s accepts EBT cards as payment at all its locations in the United States, including all its stores in California. You can use your EBT food and cash benefits for all in-store purchases at Trader Joe’s. As a USDA-authorized CalFresh retailer, Trader Joe’s abides by all state regulations regarding what you can buy with an EBT card.

You can find a nearby CalFresh-authorized Trader Joe’s store by entering your ZIP code on the Store Search page on its website or using the CDSS’s EBT Retailer Locator.

Trader Joe’s strictly adheres to all state regulations concerning what you can buy with your CalFresh benefits. It implies that only CalFresh-eligible items, for instance, fresh produce, discounted meats, baked goods, and non-alcoholic beverages, are accessible for purchase with an EBT card at its stores. Subsequently, you cannot use your EBT card to purchase ineligible CalFresh items, for instance, hot meals, liquor, and cigarettes at Trader Joe’s. 

Furthermore, if you get cash benefits through a financial aid program such as CalWORKS, you will also be able to use your EBT card to pay for your groceries at all Trader Joe’s stores in California. Alternatively, you can withdraw your cash benefits at a local Quest® ATM or Point-of-Sale (POS) machine to pay for your order.

You will find the Quest® Mark displayed on ATMs, POS machines, and checkout lanes to indicate that you can use your EBT card there. 

What can you buy with your CalFresh EBT card at Trader Joe’s?

What can you buy with your CalFresh EBT card at Trader Joe's?

You can use your food benefits to purchase CalFresh-approved necessary foods from Trader Joe’s. It may be difficult to remember everything you can and cannot buy with your CalFresh benefits, but the basic rule is that you can buy any non-hot food item that has a Nutrition Facts Label on the back.

To make your search easier, here is a list of food items that you can purchase at Trader Joe’s using your CalFresh benefits:

  • Sliced bread, loaves, rolls, and buns
  • Milk and dairy products
  • Eggs and poultry products
  • Fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables
  • Meat, Seafood, and plant-based protein products
  • Packaged fish, meat, fruit, and vegetables
  • Frozen ready meals such as pizza, pasta, and biryani
  • Bakery products such as donuts, bagels, cakes, cinnamon rolls, cookies, and brownies
  • Confectionery and candy
  • Ice cream and other frozen desserts
  • Nuts, dried fruit, and seeds
  • Packed snacks such as chips, crackers, and crunchy bites
  • Tea and coffee
  • Juice and cider
  • Drinking water, soda, energy (sports) drinks, and drink mixers.
  • Oils and vinegar
  • Herbs and spices
  • Dips, sauces, dressings, and other condiments
  • Seeds and plants to grow food

What can you not buy with your CalFresh EBT card at Trader Joe’s?

What can you not buy with your CalFresh EBT card at Trader Joe's?

Knowing what you can purchase at Trader Joe’s with your CalFresh EBT is not enough. It is also crucial that you understand what you cannot purchase with your CalFresh benefits. By doing this, you can prepare an alternate payment option in case one is required.

At a neighboring Trader Joe’s store, you cannot utilize your CalFresh benefits to buy the following non-CalFresh eligible items:

  • Hot and ready-to-eat foods
  • Alcoholic drinks such as wine, beer, and liquor
  • Cigarettes and other tobacco products
  • Medicines, vitamins, and other nutritional supplements
  •  Pet food and supplies
  • Cleaning supplies and other household essentials 
  • Face and body care products
  • Flowers and plants that do not yield food
  • Other non-food items

How to use an EBT card at Trader Joe’s?

How to use an EBT card at Trader Joe’s?

Trader Joe’s stores typically are open from 8 am until 9 pm. However, some stores might have varying timings. You can go to the Trader Joe’s Stores Page and enter your ZIP code or a city to find a nearby store and to make sure you are visiting during business hours. Additionally, the store listing will include the contact details.

Else, you can look up a store location by state and city using a complete list of Trader Joe’s locations in California. You can call the store to verify its status as a USDA-authorized CalFresh retailer.

When you visit a CalFresh-authorized Trader Joe’s store, you can add any of the eligible items from the above list to your shopping cart. Next, follow these easy instructions to make a purchase at a Trader Joe’s Point-of-Sale (POS) with your EBT card:

  1. Pick out your groceries and proceed to the checkout aisle. You may need to separate your CalFresh-eligible items from non-eligible items in your cart.
  2. At the point-of-sale (POS) terminal, swipe or insert your EBT card. Instead, you can give your EBT card to the cashier to process your payment. 
  3. If you have cash benefits (if eligible) on your EBT card, you must inform the cashier of which account benefits (Food or Cash) to charge for the order. 
  4. Enter your four-digit EBT Personal Identification Number (PIN) on the keypad. The POS screen will display **** rather than show the numbers you enter. After that, press Enter. The system will process your information in a few seconds.
  5. The cashier will charge your CalFresh EBT card for all eligible items in your cart. Click on OK or YES if the amount is correct. 
  6. If you select NO, a screen error message will show up, allowing you to go back and enter the correct amount.
  7. In rare cases, the cashier might do your photo ID verification to confirm that the card is in your name.
  8. When the transaction is complete, you will get a copy of a printed receipt that includes the name and address of the retail store, the total cost of your order, and your updated EBT account balance. When you go shopping later, keep your receipt so you can check your updated EBT balance.
  9. After that, you can use a secondary payment method, like a credit/debit card or cash, to pay for any non-CalFresh-eligible item in your cart.

If you face an issue while using your CalFresh EBT card at Trader Joe’s, you can call the toll-free number 1-877-328-9677 (TTY: 1-800-735-2929) to reach EBT Customer Service in California.

Note: It is important to note that you cannot be charged an extra fee or tax on your CalFresh EBT purchases. Also, you cannot withdraw money from your EBT food benefits account.

Does Trader Joe’s accept CalFresh EBT for online delivery or pickup in California?

Does Trader Joe's accept CalFresh EBT for online delivery or pickup in California?

Unfortunately, Trader Joe’s does not provide online delivery and curbside pickup services at any of its store locations. Therefore, you can not use your CalFresh EBT card to shop online at Trader Joe’s in California. To make up for it, Trader Joe’s has a huge number of physical stores spread across the state of California, so you should be able to find one near you that offers fantastic deals on your CalFresh purchases. 

Although Trader Joe’s does not offer online delivery and pickup on its website, you can use CalFresh benefits to pay for online grocery delivery and pickup at other retailer websites as listed:

  1. Amazon 
  2. Walmart
  3. InstaCart 
  4. Albertsons 
  5. Vons
  6. Safeway
  7. Aldi
  8. Food 4 Less
  9. Food Maxx
  10. Sam’s Club Scan and Go

Key Takeaways

All Trader Joe’s grocery stores in California accept CalFresh EBT cards. It is an excellent shopping location for people and families on a small budget. Trader Joe’s follows state laws in determining what you can and cannot buy with your CalFresh benefits. You can use your CalFresh EBT card to purchase anything with a Nutrition Facts Label. Trader Joe’s does not accept EBT online because its website does not offer online delivery and pickup options.

Leigh Buttrey

Leigh Buttrey

Leigh Buttrey is the SEO Editor on our team. She’s responsible for making sure our articles are optimized for search engines so that they can reach the widest audience possible.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *