How to use your Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) Card to access your SNAP Benefits

Once you are approved by the SNAP office, you will get an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card. The EBT card, is a plastic card just like a bank card or ATM card, which you can use to buy food. You can choose from a variety of foods including nutritious fruits and vegetables. You will be able to access cash assistance only if you had applied and had been determine eligible to receive these benefits.


How do I activate my EBT Card?

You will need to activate your new EBT Card before using it. You can do this by calling the number on the back of your card: 1-888-328-6399. Make sure you have the following information: your 16-19 digit card number, the last four digits of your social security number, and your zip code. You will also need to select a 4-digit PIN number. Pick a number that is easy for you to remember.

How do I pay using my SNAP EBT card?

Your benefit is automatically added to your account at the beginning of each month. You can access these benefits at most grocery stores and participating farmers’ markets. When you’re ready to pay for your food:

  • Swipe the card at the same terminal you would swipe a credit or debit card.
  • Choose EBT / food as your payment method.
  • Follow the direction on the machine to enter your PIN. Only you should enter your PIN. If you forget your PIN or want to change it, call 1-888-328-6399 or go to
How does the SNAP EBT card work?

The cost of the food you buy is subtracted from your SNAP account automatically. The cash register receipt tells you how much is left in your SNAP account to use at future visits. You can use your EBT card as many times a month as you want to. There is no fee for using your card.

Checking your SNAP account balance

Before you shop, check your last receipt to find out how much is available on your account. You can also check your balance in person at SNAP participant stores or online at or by calling 1-888-328-6399.

What can I buy with my SNAP benefits?

You CAN use SNAP benefits to buy:
Foods for the household to eat, such as: breads and cereals, fruits and vegetables, meats, fish and poultry; and dairy products. You may also purchase seeds and plants to produce food for the household to eat.

You CANNOT use SNAP benefits to buy: beer, wine, liquor, cigarettes, tobacco; nonfood items such as pet foods, soaps, paper products, diapers, or household supplies; vitamins or medicines; food that will be eaten in the store or hot foods.