Texas EBT Card [2020 Guide]

If you have a Texas EBT Card (Texas Lone Star Card) and have questions about your card, you’ve come to the right place.

In this detailed guide, we will tell you everything you need to know about your Texas Lone Star card, including lost card replacement, how to log in online to check your balance, EBT discounts and perk you did not know about, and restaurants that take EBT in Texas, how to shop for groceries online with your EBT card, and much more.

"Texas EBT Card Questions and Answers"

This post on Texas EBT Card will cover:

  • What is Texas EBT?
  • How do I apply for EBT in Texas?
  • What can I buy with Texas EBT?
  • How Do I check my Texas EBT Card Balance?
  • Texas EBT Deposit Schedule
  • Which restaurants take EBT in Texas?
  • Texas EBT Phone Number
  • Is there a Texas EBT App?
  • Texas EBT Discount and Perks
  • Amazon Prime EBT Discount (50% OFF Prime)
  • How do I replace my lost Texas EBT card?
  • Texas EBT FAQs

What is Texas EBT?

"Texas EBT Lone Star Card"

An EBT (electronic benefits transfer) card is a plastic card that acts like a debit card that is used to distribute public assistance benefits.

The Texas EBT Card also called the Texas Lone Star card is used for the delivery of benefits such as food stamps (SNAP benefits) and Cash Assistance.

Once you are approved for food stamps or one of the programs listed above, you will receive your benefits each month on a Texas EBT Card.

How do I apply for EBT in Texas?

There are three ways to apply for SNAP EBT in Texas:

Option 1

The easiest way to apply for Texas food stamps is online using the Your Texas Benefits portal. Click here to be taken to the application website.

Option 2

You can also apply in person at your local Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHS) office. For the closest HHS county office near you, click here.

Option 3

You can also call the Texas HHS Information Line (1-877-541-7905) and have an application mailed to you, which you can complete and return it to your local HHS County office.

For more information on Texas food stamps, eligibility and income limits, click here.

The video below, from Texas HHS, does an excellent job of explaining the process of applying for Texas food stamps and other benefits using the YourTexasBenefits online portal.

What can I buy with Texas EBT?

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:

  • fruits
  • vegetables
  • meats, fish, poultry
  • deli meats and steak
  • dairy products
  • breads
  • cereals
  • seeds and plants that produce food for the household
  • soft drinks
  • candy
  • cookies
  • 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
  • soaps
  • paper products
  • medicines and vitamins
  • household supplies
  • grooming items
  • cosmetics

Can I use Texas EBT to Buy Groceries Online?

"Buy groceries online with Texas EBT Card"

If you are a Texas SNAP EBT Cardholder, you can now use your EBT card online to buy groceries for delivery! This is great news for Texas food stamps recipients.

In 2017, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced a pilot program for online EBT purchases. The program allows EBT Cardholders to purchase groceries online for delivery or pick-up.

Currently, the EBT Online Purchasing Program includes 19 states – with an additional 18 states expected to join the program in the coming weeks. This rapid expansion was the government’s response to the Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19).

The program’s expansion provides low-income households with access to fresh, nutritious food during stay-at-home orders and beyond.

Online Purchasing Pilot for Texas EBT Cardholders

In April 2020, the USDA expanded its Online Purchasing Pilot for Texas EBT Cardholders. The state’s SNAP participation includes over 3.2 million individuals and 1.4 million Texas households.

As a result of this change, Texas food stamp recipients can now use their EBT Card online to purchase groceries at select grocery merchants.

Below is a list of grocery stores that accept Texas EBT online and participate in the USDA’s Online Purchasing Pilot.

Where to use Texas EBT Card Online

You can use your Texas EBT Lone Star card to purchase groceries online at Amazon and Walmart.

For a step by step process on how to purchase groceries online on Amazon, see our post on How to Buy Groceries on Amazon with EBT Card.

How Do I check my Texas EBT Card Balance?

Here’s how to check the balance on your Texas Lone Star Card.

Option 1 – Check your Last Receipt

The first option for checking your Texas EBT Card balance is to check your last receipt. This is the easiest and quickest way to locate the current balance on your Texas EBT Card.

Your balance will be listed at the bottom of your most recent grocery store or an ATM receipt. You should get in the habit of keeping your most current EBT receipt, that way, you always have a quick way to check your balance before you shop.

Option 2 – At the Store

Another option is to check your Texas EBT card balance at the store before buying anything if the store allows it.

Option 3 – Check by Phone

The last option for checking your Texas EBT Card balance is by phone. Call the EBT Customer Service number (1-800-777-7328) on the back of your card. The Customer Service Hotline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

After you call, enter your sixteen (16) digit EBT card number and you will hear your current food assistance or cash account balance(s).

Which restaurants take EBT in Texas?

The Restaurant Meals Program 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.

Unfortunately, the state of Texas does not currently participate in the Restaurant Meals Program. We will update you as soon as the state joins the program.

Texas EBT Phone Number

Here’s the number to call if you are trying to reach Texas EBT Customer Service:

1-800-777-7328

You can call 24 hours a day/ 7 days a week

You can call the Texas EBT Phone Number if:

  • Your card is lost or stolen.
  • Your card does not work.
  • You want to change your PIN because you forgot it or if
    someone else knows your PIN.
  • You want to find out how much you have left in your account.
  • You have been charged for a purchase but you didn’t get the food or
    if you were charged too much for what you bought.
  • You have other questions or problems.

 How to use your Texas EBT Card to buy Food

Here are the steps you need to take to use your Texas EBT Card to purchase food that is on the food stamp list, at approved retail locations.

Before you shop, check your balance using one of the following methods, as explained in detail above:

  • By looking at your last receipt
  • You can also call Customer Service, toll-free at
    1-800-777-7328

This balance will be the most you can spend with your card.

Here’s how to purchase food with your card.

Step 1

Take your groceries to the checkout lane.
Depending on the store, you may need to separate
your eligible food items from non-eligible items.

Step 2

Swipe your card through the Point-of-Sale (POS)
terminal or hand your EBT Card to the clerk.

Step 3

Enter your four-number Personal Identification
Number (PIN) on the keypad. The terminal will
show **** instead of the numbers you entered.

Step 4

Press the “ENTER” key.

Step 5

The clerk enters the purchase amount. If the
amount is correct, you press the “OK” or “YES” key.

Step 6

You will get a copy of a printed receipt showing:

  • Store name and address
  • Amount of your purchase
  • Your new food stamp benefits account balance

Step 7

Keep your receipt so you will know your new balance the next time you shop.

Please note that you cannot be charged a fee to use your food stamp benefits.

Is there a Texas EBT App?

Yes, the Texas HHS has created a mobile application, called the “Your Texas Benefits App” as shown in the image below.

The Your Texas Benefits app is for people in Texas who have applied for or get:

  • SNAP food benefits
  • Health-care benefits (Medicaid and CHIP)
  • TANF cash help

The app is available for download from the App Store for Apple devices and from the Google Play store for Android devices.

Here is the list of services you can perform with the Your Texas Benefits App:

  • Log in or set up your account
  • View your case details
  • Report changes to your cases
  • Find an office near you

"Your Texas Benefits App"

Texas EBT Discount and Perks

Your Texas Lone Star EBT Card gives you access to the following discounts, freebies, and perks.

"Texas EBT Discounts"

Amazon Prime EBT Discount

If you have a Texas 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.)

Lifeline Program

If you are currently on Food Stamps/EBT Cardholder, and your income is below a certain level, you may qualify for FREE or low-cost home or cell phone service for you or a member of your family through the Federal Lifeline Program, which serves nearly 13 million Americans.

The Lifeline program helps to lower the monthly cost of phone and internet service. Eligible customers will get at least $9.25 toward their monthly bill. You can only use Lifeline for either phone or internet service, but not both.

Discounted Cell Phone Services

Below is a list of cell phone providers that participate in the Lifeline program in the state of Texas.

Company Name Phone
Tag Mobile 866-959-4918
West Central Wireless 325-944-9016
Assurance Wireless 888-898-4888
True Wireless 877-412-1919
StandUP Wireless 800-544-4441
Safelink Wireless 800-723-3546
Q Link Wireless 855-754-6543
TerraCom Wireless 877-351-4747
Truconnect 800-430-0443
Access Wireless 866-594-3644
Life Wireless 888-543-3620
Panhandle Telecommunications Systems 800-562-2556
enTouch Wireless 866-488-8719

Discounted Home Phone Services

Below is a list of home phone providers that participate in the Lifeline program in the state of Texas.

Company Name Phone
Cameron Telephone Company 800-737-3900
AMA Techtel Communications 888-797-1444
Livingston Telephone Company 936-327-4309
Brazoria Telephone Company 800-396-2910
Smartcom Telephone 888-302-1125
CapRock Telephone Cooperative of the Panhandle 806-271-3336
WES-TEX Telecommunications 432-756-3826
Brazos Communications 800-687-3222
Windstream Communications 800-347-1991
VTX Telecom, LLC 800-446-2031
Five Area Telephone 806-272-5533
Etex Telephone Cooperative 877-482-3839
Muenster Telephone Corporation of Texas 940-759-2251
West Texas Rural Tel. Coop. 888-440-4331
Cutter Communications
GVTC 800-367-4883
Valley Telephone Cooperative, Inc. 800-446-2031
Ganado Telephone Company 800-395-1499
Lake Livingston Telephone Company 936-566-4242
Grande Communciations Networks 512-220-4600
Mid-Plains Rural Telephone
Peoples Telephone Coop 800-333-9779
GVTC Communications 800-367-4883
Plateau 877-752-8328
CenturyLink 800-407-5411
Eastex Telephone Cooperative, Inc. 800-732-7839
Lipan Telephone Company 866-364-5009
Community Telephone Company 800-794-6407
Cumby Telephone Cooperative 903-994-2211
Alenco Communications/ACI 800-628-5371
Tatum Telephone Company 903-947-2222
Central Texas Telephone Cooperative 800-535-8904
Industry Telephone Company 888-212-8872
La Ward Telephone Exchange 877-872-2213
Blossom Telephone Company 903-982-5200
WT Services 806-360-9000
Coleman County Telephone Cooperative 800-439-1723
Consolidated Communications of Fort Bend Company 844-968-7224
Santa Rosa 888-886-2217
NTS Communications 800-658-2150
Consolidated Communications of Texas Company 844-968-7224
Southwest Texas Telephone Company 830-683-2111
Hill Country Telephone Cooperative 800-292-5457
Poka Lambro 800-422-2387
Global Connection of America 877-511-3009
Dell Telephone Cooperative 800-245-2991
USFon 512-888-1300
Big Bend Telephone Company 800-592-4781
Riviera Telephone Company 877-296-3232
Electra Telephone Company 866-454-8387
Frontier Communications 800-921-8101
South Plains Telephone Cooperative 806-763-2301
Totelcom Communications 254-893-1000
AT&T 800-288-2020
Taylor Telephone 800-238-4155
XIT 800-232-3312
Colorado Valley Communication 800-242-5911

Free Admission with EBT Program

One of the great benefits of the Texas EBT Card is access to great tourist, cultural, educational and adventure museums – including zoos, aquariums, and many more.

This is under free admission with EBT program, otherwise known as Museum for all.

The Texas Museums listed below all offer FREE to $3.00 to individuals and families who have an EBT card, and a valid form of photo ID.

The offer covers up to four individuals per EBT card, which means that if you have a family of 4, you can use your Texas EBT card to get the special discounted rate or the free admission for all four members.

We advise that you call the museum first before you go – so that you can find out what their special rate is for EBT Cardholders (whether it’s free admission or $3).

See the list of Texas Free Admission with EBT Program sites.

How do I replace my lost Texas EBT card?

If you just realized your Texas EBT Card is lost or you simply do not know where it is, you should we can help you get a replacement card.

The first thing you need to do when you realize your Food stamps card is lost, stolen, or not working is to call the Texas EBT card customer service.

Report a lost, stolen or damaged Texas Lone Star Card

If your card is lost, stolen, or damaged call EBT Customer Service at 1-800-777-7328 right away.

Instructions on what to do when you call

First, when you call the customer service number above, you will be asked to enter your card number.

Do not enter your card number or press any keys. You will be asked to enter your card number again.

Again, do not enter your card number or press any keys. You will then be asked to press one to report your card as lost, stolen, or damaged.

Press the 1 key on your phone. Once you report it, your EBT card will be deactivated so that the benefits cannot be used by anyone else.

You should usually receive your new card in the mail within five days (excluding Sundays and holidays).

Call As Soon As Possible

We encourage you to call the customer service number as soon as you can so that your account can be secured, especially if you think the card is stolen.

That way, you don’t risk losing the money currently in the account.

When you call customer service, they will confirm your mailing address before they mail the card to make sure they have the current address on file.

You will be able to use the same pin you used on the previous card unless you decide to select a new pin with the new card.

How long does it take to get a Replacement Texas EBT Card?

Your replacement card will be mailed to you and it will take 7-10 business days to arrive.

However, unlike getting a credit card or debit card replacement, you cannot get your EBT card expedited or a tracking number for the card.

In addition, there is no option to get a replacement EBT card the same day.

Furthermore, while you wait for your card to arrive, you cannot use your EBT funds. There is no way to manually enter the card number at retail locations and online And even with online shopping on Amazon, you need to enter your card CVV number to complete the transaction.

Therefore, Unfortunately, you have to wait for your card to arrive before you can use the funds in your EBT account.

Replacement Card did not arrive?

If you have requested a replacement Texas EBT Card and it has not yet arrived in the mail after 5-7 business days, here’s one possible reason.

If you previously changed your address and did not update your EBT account, that is probably the reason your card has not arrived.

That is because your new card is going to be mailed to your old address, and if it is mail that cannot be forwarded, then the card will likely be returned to the card issuer, which means you will have to wait longer to receive the re-issued card, further delaying your ability to be able to buy the food you need.

You can resolve this by calling the Texas EBT Customer service number and updating your mailing address so that your new card can be mailed to the correct address.

Texas EBT FAQs

"Texas EBT Card FAQs"

Here are the most frequently asked questions about Texas EBT.

I didn’t get my EBT benefits this month

If you did not receive your benefits this month, you should contact your local Texas HHS office for help. For the HHS county office closest to you, click here.

The ATM didn’t give me the money I requested, but it took it from my cash benefits. What do I do?

You should call the EBT Card customer service telephone number at 1-800-777-7328.

You will be provided directions for filing a claim.

Note that the bank or ATM owner will not be able to give you the missing cash. You will have to go through the claims process with EBT customer service.

How can I set up or change my EBT card PIN?

To set or change your PIN, call the Texas EBT Card toll-free customer service telephone number at 1-800-777-7328.

You will be able to set up a PIN over the telephone.

Can I have someone else help me shop using my EBT account?

Yes, you can set up an Authorized Representative (AR) to help you shop with your EBT Card.

However, the AR will have a separate card with his or her own account number and PIN.

The EBT system is able to track which card is used at any time. The AR will have access to your entire benefit account.

Note that it is not possible to limit the AR’s access to a lesser amount.

However, you may choose the account(s) to which the AR has access.

If you don’t want him or her to have access to all of your benefits, it is possible to limit the AR’s access to either your food benefits or cash benefits if you like.

Ask your county caseworker about setting up an Authorized Representative (AR).

Can I use my Texas EBT card in other counties and other states?

Your Texas EBT card will work at any store in the state that accepts SNAP/EBT benefits.

In addition, you can use your card in the other 49 states in the United States, as well as the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Guam.

However, if you are unsure, ask the store manager.

Currently, Texas EBT cardholders cannot use their EBT cards in Puerto Rico.

If I don’t use all my Texas EBT benefits this month, will I lose them?

No. If I don’t use all of the benefits you received this month, they will stay in the EBT account, and you may use these benefits in the following months.

What happens if the ATM does not give back my EBT card?

Occasionally, an ATM will not return your EBT card. In most cases, this occurs when you do not remove your card from the ATM within a certain amount of time.

In some cases, the bank will return your card if you present proper identification.

However, in many cases, the bank will destroy the card even if you request it be returned to you showing proper identification.

If your card cannot be returned, you should request a new card by calling customer service at 1-800-777-7328.

When are PA food stamps posted on EBT Card?

The Texas EBT Card, or the Texas Lone Star Card, holds the food assistance benefits assigned to you each month. Your benefits will be deposited onto your EBT card according to the schedule below:

If the Last digit of your EDG Number is Benefits are deposited on the
0 1st of the month
1 3rd of the month
2 5th of the month
3 6th of the month
4 7th of the month
5 9th of the month
6 11th of the month
7 12th of the month
8 13th of the month
9 15th of the month

Once your benefits are deposited into your account, you can begin using them with your Texas EBT card to purchase eligible food items. For a full list of approved food items, see the Food Stamps Eligible Food List here.

Texas EBT Card Summary

We hope this article on Texas EBT Card 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 Texas EBT for 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 EBT, including How to get 50% OFF Amazon Prime for EBT Cardholders and Medicaid Cardholders and EBT Discounts and Free Stuff

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