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California EBT Discounts & Benefits

A CalFresh electronic benefits transfer (EBT) card doesn’t just offer food benefits to individuals and families with low-income, you can also benefit from free access and discounts on museums, zoos, internet, utilities and much more. Below are some of the many additional discounts and benefits you get with a Golden State Advantage Card (EBT).

California EBT Discounts & Benefits

What is CalFresh EBT?

CalFresh, also known as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), provides nutrition assistance to low-income individuals and families. Formerly known as the Food Stamps Program, CalFresh offers electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards that can be used to purchase food items at authorized grocery stores, supermarkets, farmers’ markets, and select restaurants. Eligibility for CalFresh benefits is based on factors such as income, household size, and expenses.

California EBT Discounts & Benefits

Free Phone & Free Cell Phone Service

The Obamaphone program, officially known as the Lifeline Assistance program, provides CalFresh EBT recipients with discounted or free cell phone and internet services to ensure access to essential communication. Visit the California Lifeline page to get started.

Utility Discounts

Food Stamps/SNAP EBT customers that are enrolled in the CARE program receive a 30-35 percent discount on their electric bill and a 20 percent discount on their natural gas bill. Find your gas and/or electric service provider web page through California CARE/FERA page.

Laptop & Internet Service Discounts

The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) offers EBT recipients up to $30 per month discount on high-speed internet service through participating internet providers. Plus, a one-time discount of up to $100 for a laptop, tablet, or desktop computer (with a co-payment of more than $10 but less than $50).

Amazon

SNAP EBT recipients can enjoy the benefits of Prime for half the price. Prime Access gets you Prime Video movies, TV shows, and music, low prices on medications from Amazon Pharmacy, and more. To sign up, visit the Amazon Prime Access Page.

EBT Restaurant Meals Program

The CalFresh Restaurant Meals Program (RMP) enables recipients of CalFresh benefits and individuals who are homeless, disabled, or elderly (ages 60 and above) to use their EBT benefits to buy hot, prepared food from participating restaurants in California. Locate participating restaurants near you, Participating Restaurant links.

Metrolink Discount

Metrolink passengers with a California EBT card can enjoy a 50 percent discount on all Metrolink tickets and passes. Riders can use their EBT card at any Metrolink station ticket machine to validate and unlock the discounted fare.

Farmers Markets Discounts

Through Market Match, participating farmers markets provide matching funds for individuals with a CalFresh EBT card. When a CalFresh recipient spends their benefits at a participating farmers’ market, they receive additional funds, called Market Match, which can be used to purchase more fresh produce. Find a farmers market participating in the Market Match program.

Free ATM Access

Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Citibank, Wells Fargo and dozens of smaller banks and credit unions provide EBT card ATM access without surcharges in California. Here is a complete list of EBT surcharge-free ATMs.

No Sales Tax

CalFresh recipients are exempt from state and local sales taxes on all purchases made using CalFresh benefits. “CA CRV” deposits are not exempt but other deposits such as deposits on some milk bottles are not.

YMCA Discounts

Families who qualify for SNAP EBT benefits typically qualify for a discounted YMCA membership or some type of financial assistance. Inquire at your local YMCA for the specific discounts available as locations vary.

Summer EBT Program

Summer EBT benefits include a $40 pre-loaded card per eligible child, per month that can be used to purchase groceries.

Local EBT Discounts in California

Here are the many local freebies and discounts.

San Francisco

CalFresh recipients residing in San Francisco can take advantage of free or affordable entertainment, transportation, free diapers, reduced fines or fees and legal services.

Bay Wheels Bike Share For All

Bay Wheels is the Bay Area’s regional bike share program serving Berkeley, Emeryville, Oakland, San Jose and San Francisco. The program is available to Bay Area residents ages 18 and older who qualify for Calfresh.

Long Beach Bike Share For All

Bike Share For All (BSFA) provides CalFresh recipients with a $5 annual rate for Long Beach Bike Share.

Museums, Zoos & Aquariums

Through Museums for All Program, individuals with CalFresh benefits can receive reduced or free admission to more than 1,000 museums throughout the United States simply by presenting their EBT card. Search to find a participating museum near you. There are also many free museums for all or free or discounted access with a library card.

California Museums for All Participants

Simply present your CalFresh EBT card and a photo ID. The EBT card cannot used to pay for admission.


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Monique McArthur is a mother of two, writer, and creator of delicious recipes. In her spare time she enjoys exploring all that Orange County has to offer, traveling, shopping, running with her dogs and spending time with family.