Are you a SNAP recipient? Finding a convenience store that accepts EBT is a big plus if you want to grab a few items on the go and skip a trip to the grocery store. As the name goes, C-stores are great places to buy a newspaper, snacks, filtered water, soft drinks, gas, and get some of the cheapest foods to buy on a budget.
QuikTrip is one of the top convenience stores in the country. That’s why many SNAP recipients want to know whether QuikTrip accepts food stamps before visiting.
QuikTrip has served customers gasoline and other quality products for over 55 years. Fortune has even ranked it as one of the best places to work for fourteen years! It’s one of the grocery stores that hire at 16.
It has hundreds of convenience stores and gas stations that operate primarily in the Midwestern, Southern, and Southeastern United States. The retailer has about 910 store locations across twelve states.
Services offered at QuikTrip buying money orders, free air for tires, outdoor coolers where you can buy crushed ice, gas, QT kitchens, an ATM that dispenses $5,$1, $50, or $100, and curbside pickup services.
Can that convenience be extended to SNAP recipients? It leads us to the big question of the day: Does QT take EBT?
Short Answer: QuickTrip accepts EBT at more than 900 convenience stores in 12 states. You can only use your EBT card to purchase SNAP-eligible food items like cereal, energy drinks, protein bars, bread, eggs, dairy products, and other staple food items that you can carry and cook at home.
That said, you can’t use your SNAP food stamps to buy gas or purchase hot or prepared food at QT Kitchens. If you want to buy unapproved items like hot food, toiletries, tobacco products, medicine, or supplements, bring an alternative payment method, like a debit/credit card with a chip to fuel your car and pay for any ineligible-SNAP items.
An exception to the above general rule is when you live in a state like Arizona that participates in the Restaurant Meals Program(RMP). Or when you receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) instead of or in addition to SNAP food stamps.
If you and your state participate in the RMP, you may be able to purchase hot, prepared food at QT Kitchens. You can also pay for fuel with your EBT TANF benefits and get $5 or $10 cash back at QuikTrip or other gas stations that do cash back.
Frugal Reality Takeaway: QuickTrip convenience stores accept food stamps for SNAP-eligible products, but you can’t use your SNAP EBT food stamps to pay for fuel or hot prepared food in the QT Kitchen.
Recommended Read: Fast-food Restaurants That Accept Food Stamps.
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Does QuikTrip Accept EBT?
QuickTrip convenience stores accept EBT for SNAP-eligible food items. But, like other SNAP-approved retailers, you’re limited to what you can buy with your EBT card. You can only redeem your SNAP funds on staple food items like groceries that you can carry and cook at home or cold snack food like bags of chips, soft drinks, fruits, and dairy products like cheese that you can eat on the go without further preparation.
Your EBT funds will only work in the QuikTrip grocery department but won’t work at the pump or QT Kitchen food counter. In addition, the system won’t process your benefits if you try to charge ineligible items on your EBT card.
If you want to include SNAP-restricted items in your order, consider paying with an alternative payment card, like money on your Reliacard. Luckily, QuickTrip accepts other standard payment methods like unexpired debit cards, credit cards, PayPal, and contactless payment methods like Apple Pay.
Ask the cashier to split your order into multiple payment methods. First, pay with your EBT card, and then use alternative payment methods to cover any ineligible items in your order. If you try to pay for all items in a single transaction, the system won’t process the payment.
How Does SNAP Work for Convenience Stores?
The US Department of Agriculture administers the Supplemental Nutrition Program (SNAP). Its core aim is to alleviate hunger in the US by supplementing the food budget of low-income families and other disadvantaged groups, like the homeless, the elderly, and people with disabilities.
SNAP runs at the state level for a wider reach. State agencies determine recipients’ eligibility, while the USDA sets the rules and approves SNAP retailers. Once you become eligible to receive food stamps in your state, an account is established under your name where your SNAP food stamps are loaded every month. You’re then issued an EBT debit card to access and spend your SNAP funds easily.
How Is Your Eligibility For SNAP Determined?
There are a few factors that are considered before you’re deemed eligible for SNAP benefits. Your household income and expenses are considered before you can receive benefits and an EBT card.
In most cases, proof of funds in the bank will not be requested.
One of three criteria should be fulfilled for acceptance into the SNAP program:
- Your income should add up to less than your monthly expenses.
- Your monthly income should be less than $150, and your bank balance should be less than $100.
- If you’re a migrant worker, just showing proof that your bank balance is less than $100 should be enough.
There are also a few more rules depending on the state in which you’re applying for SNAP benefits. For example, some recipients might have to start looking for jobs in a few months of the beginning of their SNAP benefits. However, this is not the case for most people.
Even if you own a home, it will not be considered an asset under SNAP; you can still be considered for the benefits.
What You Can and Can’t Buy With EBT at QuickTrip
All SNAP-approved retailers must follow USDA rules when processing SNAP benefits. The rule of thumb is, SNAP doesn’t give the funds to splurge on luxuries. Thus, you can only use your EBT card to purchase staple food items approved by USDA. Mostly, it’s staple food items you can carry and cook at home or cold snack foods, soft drinks, and fruits that you can eat on the go without further cooking.
That’s to say, restrict yourself to the grocery department when shopping with your EBT card at QuickTrip.
Here’s a list of SNAP-eligible items you can buy at QuikTrip with EBT:
- Bread and cereal
- Poultry products like chicken meat and eggs
- Soft & Energy drinks like red bull, Pepsi, sprite, among others
- Fresh, Frozen, and Canned Fruits and vegetables
- Seafood like fish, shrimp, shellfish, lobster, and others
- Pork products like sausages, chops, bacon, and tenderloin
- Dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt
- Red meat like steak, ribs, ground beef, and more
- Dessert items like brownies, cookies, ice cream, etc.
- Cooking oils like olive, coconut, and vegetable oil
- Snack crackers and chips
What Can’t You Buy at QuickTrip With Food Stamps?
SNAP only gives you funds to supplement your staple food budget. That means you won’t be able to redeem SNAP funds on anything that leans on the luxury side of life. Therefore, your EBT card won’t work in the following departments and products at QuikTrip:
- Fuel pumps
- QT Kitchen Counters
- Beer, Wine, and Spirits
- Medicine and vitamins
- Tobacco products
- Cleaning supplies and household products
- Pet food
- Feminine products and supplements
Frugal Reality Tip: You may be able to use your EBT card at the QT kitchen counter if you’re eligible for the RMP program in your state or you receive other forms of government aid like TANF. Either way, it’s vital to ask before you order anything or be prepared with any other alternative payment method to cover SNAP-prohibited purchases.
Can you Buy Poke with EBT?
You can buy poke with EBT because it’s a type of salad dish made of rice and seafood. SNAP allows the purchase of seafood with EBT. Thus, you can purchase poke with food stamps.
There’s a catch, though. You can only purchase poke with EBT at the grocery store in the cold deli section and not at a restaurant where it’s served hot. So again, you can only carry and warm your poke to eat at home and not at the point of sale.
Recommended Read: Seafood Places That Accept EBT.
Can you Buy Candy with EBT?
Yes, you can buy candy with EBT. Candy comes in various confections made with sugar, syrup, chocolate, fruits, nuts, and many other nutritional ingredients. Thus, it falls in the same group as cookies, snack crackers, ice cream, soft drinks, and other snack food that you can eat on the go without further preparation, and hence, candy is eligible for SNAP purchase.
You can’t redeem your EBT funds on nonfood items like paper products, household supplies, cosmetics, soaps, grooming items, vitamins, pet food, medicines, and supplements. Also, you can’t use your EBT card to pay for vacations and travel deals, like booking hotels that accept cash, buying lottery tickets, bail payments, tattoos, and alcoholic beverages at nearby liquor stores.
Recommended Read: Pizza Places That Accept EBT
Can you Buy Chips with EBT?
Yes, you can buy chips with EBT. Cold snack foods like bags of chips, fresh fruits, cheese, soft drinks, candy, and other things you can eat on the go without further preparation are eligible for EBT purchase. Just make sure that you buy your chips, and snack crackers at the grocery store sold cold.
You won’t be able to purchase chips at coffee shops or restaurants where such snacks and chips are served hot and prepared for on-site consumption.
Can you Buy Chocolate with an EBT card for Valentine’s?
Yes, you can buy chocolate with an EBT card for Valentine’s if the decoration items’ value doesn’t exceed 50% of the purchase price.
About 50% of Americans give their valentine either candy or chocolate. Luckily, you may be able to use your EBT card to buy chocolate, holiday gift baskets, and special occasion cakes for valentines if such purchases fulfill basic SNAP conditions.
Basic SNAP rules allow you to buy staple food for your family to eat. But, there’s room left to use SNAP funds on Valentine’s Day candies, which usually contain chocolate.
However, you can only use SNAP funds to buy chocolates and special occasion cakes if the value of non-edible decoration doesn’t exceed 50% of the purchase price of the items.
SNAP funds can only be redeemed on gift baskets or gift vases containing edible and non-edible items. Again, only if the value of nonfood items in the basket doesn’t exceed 50% of the basket’s price.
Recommended Read: Can I Buy Protein Powder With EBT?
Can you Buy Donuts with EBT?
Just like in bakeries that accept EBT, you can buy donuts with EBT at the grocery store. That’s because wheat products like donuts, bread, pies, cakes, cookies, and other bakery products are considered healthy and nutritious foods by SNAP. Therefore, you’re allowed to purchase cold food items to eat on the go, as long as they’re not bought and eaten hot at the point of sale.
Can you Buy Soda with EBT?
You can purchase any type of soda, including Pepsi, sprite, Coca-Cola, Fanta, and other soft beverages with EBT. You can also redeem your EBT funds on energy drinks like Red Bull and others drinks that have nutrition facts labels.
However, soft drinks and energy drinks with supplement fact labels are seen as supplements by the FDA and cannot be purchased with SNAP funds.
You won’t be able to redeem your SNAP benefits on any type of alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, medicines, vitamins, grooming products, soaps, pet food, and other household supplies like cosmetics. It’s because they are considered luxuries and aren’t eligible for SNAP purchases.
That said, you can use an EBT card to buy candy, cookies, ice cream, soft drinks, snack crackers, protein bars, and other cold food items you can eat on the go.
Can You Buy Supplements With EBT?
This question is of key importance to people who want to supplement their diets with extra protein. The quick answer is no, you cannot buy protein supplements with EBT. However, there are some options that you could consider as alternatives.
As EBT is only available for food items, you should check the label of every product you’re trying to buy. A lot of protein bars or muscle milk can be considered food and not supplements.
If the label says “supplement information,” you won’t be able to purchase it. However, if the label says “nutritional information,” it qualifies as a food item and can be purchased with SNAP benefits.
If you’re trying to eat healthy and you want to use your SNAP benefits for protein-rich food sources, you might want to choose products that are classified as food items in order to get your daily macros in.
Does QuikTrip Take EBT Summary
QuickTrip is among the SNAP-approved convenience stores that accept EBT. Thus, QT takes EBT at all its 910 24-hour convenience stores across the country for in-store purchases. However, you can only use EBT to purchase SNAP-eligible items like groceries, dairy, poultry, meat, soft beverages, wonton wrappers, and cold snack foods.
However, you can’t use your EBT card to pay for the fuel at the pump with food stamps. The only way around it is if you receive other forms of government aid like TANF. In that case, your EBT card will work at the pump, get cash back, withdraw cash at Quest ATM that dispenses $10, or use your TANF benefits to buy hot and prepared food at a QuickTrip deli counter.
Unless you qualify for the RMP and live in a state that participates in the program, like Arizona, you won’t be able to use your EBT card at QT kitchen counters.
That said, you can use your SNAP food stamps to buy items like poke bowls, soda, donuts, chocolate for valentines, chips, candy, and other cold snack foods or soft beverages you can eat on the go without further preparation.
Use the QuickTrip store locator to find a favorite location nearby to spend your SNAP funds.
See our guide on gas stations that accept EBT to find a suitable QuickTrip alternative.