If you have received a new or replacement EBT card and need help activating your card, we can help. In this post, we will review the EBT card activation process and provide you with the phone number and website for EBT Card Activation by state.
Once you have activated your card and created an online account, you can log in and view your account information, including balance, transaction history and change your pin.
Additionally, we will provide you with important information regarding your EBT card, including what you can buy with your card, grocery stores that take EBT online, restaurants that take EBT, and when your EBT benefits will be deposited onto your card.
Table of Contents:
- What is EBT Card?
- How to Activate Your EBT Card
- EBT Card Activation by State
- Can I use my EBT card without a PIN?
- What can I buy with my EBT Card?
- Can I use SNAP EBT to Buy Groceries Online?
- What Fast Food Places Take EBT/Food Stamps/SNAP?
- Get Amazon Prime for $5.99 with SNAP EBT Card
- When are food stamps posted on EBT Card?
What is EBT Card?
Electronic benefits transfer (EBT) is used by state agencies to distribute SNAP, TANF, WIC, and other government assistance benefits.
EBT cards look just like a credit or debit card and work similarly.
Once you are approved for food stamps or one of the other programs listed above, you will receive your benefits each month on an EBT Card.
SNAP EBT cards can be used at any eligible retailer in any state. For example, a Maryland SNAP recipient can use their EBT card at a SNAP-eligible California farmers market or grocery store.
How to Activate Your EBT Card
In order to use your EBT card, you must first call the EBT customer service hotline to activate your card.
Alternatively, you can also go online to activate your card.
Additionally, to begin using your card, you will need to select a Personal Identification Number – or PIN.
You will be required to enter this PIN whenever you make a purchase using your EBT card.
To activate your EBT card, call the number below for your state or click on your state’s EBT card name to be taken to the website to activate your card.
Once your card is activated, you may use your EBT food benefits to purchase food at any participating food store or your cash benefits to make purchases.
Your EBT food or cash benefit will remain available and accessible on your EBT card for at least 274 days from the date they were issued.
EBT Card Activation Online and by Phone (All 50 States)
|State||EBT Card Activation Phone Number||EBT Card Activation Online|
|Alabama||1-800-997-8888||Alabama EBT Card|
|Alaska||1-888-997-8111||Alaska Quest Card|
|Arizona||1-888-997-9333||Arizona Quest Card|
|Arkansas||1-800-997-9999||Arkansas EBT Card|
|California||1-877-328-9677||California Golden State Advantage Card|
|Colorado||1-888-328-2656||Colorado Quest Card|
|Connecticut||1-888-328-2666||Connecticut Connect Card|
|Delaware||1-800-526-9099||Delaware EBT Card|
|Florida||1-888-356-3281||Florida EBT Card|
|Georgia||1-888-421-3281||Georgia EBT Card|
|Hawaii||1-888-328-4292||Hawaii EBT Card|
|Idaho||1-888-432-4328||Idaho Quest Card|
|Illinois||1-800-678-5465||Illinois Link Card|
|Indiana||1-877-768-5098||Indiana Hoosier Works Card|
|Iowa||1-877-347-5678||Iowa EBT Card|
|Kansas||1-800-997-6666||Kansas Benefits Card|
|Kentucky||1-888-979-9949||Kentucky EBT Card|
|Louisiana||1-888-997-1117||Louisiana Purchase Card|
|Maine||1-800-477-7428||Maine Pine Tree Card|
|Maryland||1-800-997-2222||Maryland Independence Card|
|Massachusetts||1-800-997-2555||Massachusetts Bay State Access Card|
|Michigan||1-888-678-8914||Michigan Bridge Card|
|Minnesota||1-888-997-2227||Minnesota EBT Card|
|Mississippi||1-866-512-5087||Mississippi EBT Card|
|Missouri||1-800-997-7777||Missouri EBT Card|
|Montana||1-866-850-1556||Montana Access Card|
|Nebraska||1-877-247-6328||Nebraska EBT Card|
|Nevada||1–877-234-7056||Nevada Quest Card|
|New Hampshire||1-888-997-9777||New Hampshire EBT Card|
|New Jersey||1-800-997-3333||New Jersey Families First Card|
|New Mexico||1-800-843-8303||New Mexico EBT Fiesta Card|
|New York||1-888-328-6399||New York State Common Benefit Identification Card|
|North Carolina||1-888-622-7328||North Carolina Benefit Security Card|
|North Dakota||1-800-630-4655||North Dakota EBT Card|
|Ohio||1-866-386-3071||Ohio Direction Card|
|Oklahoma||1-888-328-6551||Oklahoma EBT Card|
|Oregon||1-888-997-4447||Oregon Trail Card|
|Pennsylvania||1-888-328-7366||Pennsylvania Access Card|
|Rhode Island||1-888-979-9939||Rhode Island EBT Card|
|South Carolina||1-800-554-5268||South Carolina EBT Card|
|South Dakota||1-800-604-5099||South Dakota EBT Card|
|Tennessee||1-888-997-9444||Tennessee Benefit Security Card|
|Texas||1-800-777-7328||Texas Lone Star Card|
|Utah||1-800-997-4444||Utah Horizon Card|
|Vermont||1-800-914-8605||Vermont Express Card|
|Virginia||1-866-281-2448||Virginia EBT Card|
|Washington||1-888-328-9271||Washington Quest Card|
|West Virginia||1-866-545-6502||West Virginia Mountain State Card|
|Wisconsin||1-877-415-5164||Wisconsin Quest Card|
|Wyoming||1-877-290-9401||Wyoming Benefit Security Card|
|District of Columbia||1-888-304-9167||District of Columbia Capital Access Card|
Can I use my EBT card without a PIN?
No. Your EBT Card will not work without your PIN. If you forget your PIN or want to change your PIN at any time, the EBT Card number above for your state.
You will be asked to provide certain information for security purposes.
You may also change your PIN at most food stamps offices.
What can I buy with my EBT Card?
Your EBT card works like a debit card. It can be used to purchase food at grocery stores, convenience stores, and some farmers’ markets and co-op food programs.
The USDA, which runs the food stamps program has a strict guide on what you can and cannot buy with SNAP benefits.
Here is the list of food items you are allowed to purchase with your SNAP Benefits card:
- meats, fish, poultry
- deli meats and steak
- dairy products
- seeds and plants that produce food for the household
- soft drinks
- snack crackers
- ice cream
- energy drinks (must have a nutrition label)
- live seafood, such as lobster, fish, and shellfish
- pumpkins (as long as they are edible)
- birthday cakes (the non-edible piece of the cake cannot exceed 50 percent)
- bakery items
Here’s what you CANNOT buy with your SNAP benefits:
- Alcoholic beverages
- tobacco products
- hot food (prepared for immediate consumption)
- Nonfood items
- pet foods
- paper products
- medicines and vitamins
- household supplies
- grooming items
Can I use SNAP EBT to Buy Groceries Online?
If you are an EBT Cardholder, you can now use your EBT card online to buy groceries for delivery!
In January 2017, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the selection of seven retailers for the initial launch of the SNAP Online Purchasing Pilot (Amazon, Dash’s Market, Fresh Direct, Hy-Vee, Inc., Safeway, ShopRite, Walmart Stores Inc., and Wright’s Markets).
In April 2019, the online purchasing program was launched in the state of New York, with Walmart, Amazon, and Shoprite as the participating retailers.
In March 2020, the USDA expanded its Online Purchasing Pilot to other states in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
As of November 2021, 47 states and the District of Columbia have been approved to allow SNAP EBT cardholders to use their benefits online to buy groceries.
For a list of which groceries stores accept EBT online in your state, see our post on: Where You Can Shop for Groceries Online.
What Fast Food Places Take EBT/Food Stamps/SNAP?
The Restaurant Meals Program (RMP) is a federal program that enables qualified elderly, disabled, and homeless food stamps recipients to buy food at authorized restaurants. Any state or county can enroll in the Restaurant Meals Program.
The purpose of the program is to help expand food access to those who do not have a place to store and cook food, who may not be able to prepare food or who don’t have access to a grocery store.
Not all states participate in the RMP.
Currently, the Restaurant Meal Program is running in the following states:
- New York
- Rhode Island
If you don’t live in a state that has been approved to offer the RMP, you cannot use your SNAP EBT card at restaurants.
Unlike federal requirements that allow you to use your EBT card at grocery stores in different states, you have to live in RMP state to use your EBT card at approved restaurants.
Get Amazon Prime for $5.99 with SNAP EBT Card
If you have a SNAP EBT Card, you can now sign up for Amazon Prime EBT Discount and get all the great benefits that come with Prime membership, at a fraction of the cost.
Amazon wants to make Amazon Prime membership more affordable to low-income households.
The regular Amazon Prime membership is $12.99 a month. However, if you have an EBT Card, you can get Prime Membership for $5.99. That’s over 50% off the regular price.
The table below shows how the EBT and Medicaid discount on Amazon Prime compares to the other Amazon Prime memberships.
|Amazon Prime Membership||Price||Full Prime benefits|
|Amazon Prime month-to-month||$12.99/mo.||✓|
|Amazon Prime annual||$119/yr.||✓|
|Prime Student (monthly)||$6.49/mo.||✓|
|Prime Student (annual)||$59/yr.||✓|
|Amazon Prime EBT/Medicaid cardholders||$5.99/mo. (max. 4 yrs.)||✓|
When are food stamps posted on EBT Card?
When your food stamps benefits are posted varies by state.
Below is the schedule by state. Click on your state to see your EBT Deposit schedule.
If your state is not listed, it means we are working on posting the schedule soon.
- District of Columbia
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
Once your benefits are deposited into your account, you can begin using them with your Alabama EBT card to purchase eligible food items. For a full list of approved food items, see the Food Stamps Eligible Food List here.
EBT Card Activation Summary
We hope this article on EBT Card Activation was helpful.
If so, we encourage you to share this article with anyone who may also find it helpful by using the “Share this” button below.
If you have additional questions about the EBT Card Card or food stamps, please leave those in the comments section below. We are here to help you!
Be sure to check out our other articles about SNAP and EBT, including:
Free Admission with EBT in all 50 States
How to check ebtEDGE balance
ConnectEBT card balance
What you can buy with an EBT Card
How much in food stamps can I get?