Using your EBT Card

Find out where you are able to use your EBT Card

Table of Contents

What can you buy with your EBT Card

With SNAP benefits:

You can buy any food item except alcohol or prepared meals sold hot and ready to eat. You can even buy seeds or plants for growing food. Find out more about eligible food items.

You can't use SNAP benefits to pay for:

  • Non-food items
  • Prepared food 
  • Restaurant food
  • Pet food
  • Alcohol (Beer, wine, liquor) 
  • Recreational marijuana

With cash benefits:

  • Anything you need including

  • Rent
  • Utility bills
  • Money orders
  • Food
  • You can't use cash benefits to pay for:
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Court-ordered fees, fines, bail or bail bonds
  • Firearms and ammunition
  • Gambling
  • Lottery tickets
  • Jewelry
  • Adult-oriented entertainment material
  • Recreational marijuana 

Accessing Cash Benefits

Get cash

Withdraw cash from a store. 

You can withdraw cash from stores displaying the Quest® decal with the dollar sign ($). There are no fees. You don't need to make a purchase. Simply: 

  1. Get your balance by looking at your receipt, or call 1-800-997-2555.
  2. Swipe your card.
  3. Enter your secret PIN on the number pad, then press Enter.
  4. Tell the clerk how much money to enter or enter the amount yourself.
  5. Check to make sure the amount on the receipt is the same as the amount of cash you received.

    NOTE: You cannot redeem SNAP benefits for cash.

Withdraw cash from an ATM machine.

Find an ATM with the NYCE logo or Quest® logo but there may be fees. 


  1. Make sure it’s safe. Only use ATMs in clean, well-lit places.
  2. Know your balance.
  3. Follow the directions on the ATM screen.
  4. Insert your EBT card.
  5. Enter your secret PIN.
  6. Press Withdrawal.
  7. Press Checking.
  8. Enter the dollar amount you want.
  9. Watch for fees.
  10. Take your cash from the machine.
  11. Wait for your card and receipt.
  12. Check the receipt to make sure it is the same as the amount you got.
  13. Store your cash before you walk away from the machine.

Get cash back with a purchase.

Combine your purchase at a store with cashback service. There are no fees. Look for the Quest® decal and:

  1. At check-out, swipe your EBT card.
  2. Enter your secret PIN on the number pad, then press Enter.
  3. Tell the cashier how much money to enter for the purchase and your cashback amount or enter the amounts yourself. 
  4. Check your receipt to make sure that the amount on the EBT receipt is the same as the receipt for your groceries and the amount or cash you received.

Avoid cash fees

Sign up for direct deposit.

If you have your TAFDC or EAEDC benefits directly deposited into a checking or savings account,

  • You can use your ATM card instead of an EBT card for cash.
  • You may not have to pay fees for ATM withdrawals at your bank or other banks within that ATM network.
  • Complete a Direct Deposit form and send the form to DTA to request direct deposit.
  • Visit the website for information on no- and low-cost checking and savings accounts. 

Withdraw or use cashback service in a store.

  There is no fee when you use your EBT card in a store to:

  •  Withdraw cash 
  •  Get cashback with a purchase

Some stores will allow a cash withdrawal without a purchase. Some stores will let you get cash back above the cost of your purchase. Check with the store for the withdrawal rules and the maximum cashback amount. 

Use fee-free ATMs.

It costs you 75 cents each time you make 4 or more EBT cash withdrawals in a month from an ATM. To save money, try to make only 3 withdrawals each month.

Most banks charge another fee just for using their ATM. You will not pay the bank fee if you withdraw your cash benefits from an ATM that offers free EBT cash withdrawals. Always check the fee notices at the ATM before making a withdrawal.

No matter who operates the ATM, you will still pay the 75-cent fee if it is your fourth or more withdrawal in the month. (Bold is new)

There are no fees for ATM balance inquiries.

Know when your benefits are available

  • If you receive SNAP, you will receive it once a month
  • If you receive TAFDC/EAEDC (cash assistance), you will receive your monthly benefit in 2 payments.
  • You will receive your cash and/or SNAP on the same day(s) every month when your case is active.
  • Your benefits will be deposited into your EBT or bank account (for cash) based on the last number of your Social Security number (SSN)

For Example:

If your Social Security Number ends in a 0 (xxx-xx-xxx0)

  • You will receive your SNAP benefits on the 1st of the month.
  • If you are receiving cash benefits, you will receive your monthly benefit in 2 payments. You will receive it on the 1st and the 16th of the month.



Visual Chart of release date of payments and Benefits by Social Security Numbers

If you have a bank account, you may get your cash benefits by Direct Deposit on these dates and use your EBT card to get your SNAP benefits only.

Understand who can use your card

Even though your EBT card may have your photo on it, other household members who are receiving benefits as part of your case can use the card if they know your PIN.

Alert: Anyone who has your EBT card (or card number) and your PIN can access your benefits without your permission. You may not get them back. Change your PIN frequently.

Recognize where your card can be used

image of Quest and NYCE logo
Recognize where can I use my EBT card
image of accept EBT card

Request an authorized representative

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