Food Stamps: 5 Discounts New York EBT Cardholders Can Use To Save Money

Dad and little girl on Brooklyn bridge, New York City stock photo
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The Supplemental Assistance Nutrition Program provides benefits to help families stretch their food budgets by offering prepaid electronic debit cards (electronic benefits transfer, or EBT) that can be used to purchase healthy foods, seeds and even trees or plants that produce food.

The SNAP program is federally funded but locally administrated, which means that maximum income requirements and other qualifications , as well as the funds provided, may vary by state. For instance, in New York, a family of four can receive a maximum amount of $835 per month, and an individual can receive up to $250 per month.

But a lot of New Yorkers may not know that you can also get savings and perks in a variety of places just by showing your EBT card. These discounts aren’t subsidized by the government, but are offered as a courtesy to SNAP recipients by businesses or, in the case of museums, as part of a partnership agreement with Museums for All.

Here is a list of some of the best discounts and attractions your EBT card grants you access to:

1. Museums and Attractions Across New York

The New York metro area, as well as upstate regions, are filled with fun and education for all ages. Museums and attractions in New York City and its boroughs, as well as those in other areas of the state, offer free or discounted admissions for SNAP recipients. You only need to show one EBT card for discounted membership for your entire family.

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Museums include children’s museums like the Children’s Museum at Saratoga, the Children’s Museum of the East End in Bridgehampton, and the Explore & More Children’s Museum in East Aurora. Attractions for all ages including Frank Lloyd Wright’s Martin House in Buffalo, the Corning Museum of Glass in Corning (which is currently displaying the World’s Largest Glass Pumpkin through October 31, 2022), the International Center of Photography in New York City on Essex Street, and the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, housed in an aircraft carrier on Pier 86 in Manhattan.

Consider calling ahead or checking the website to confirm the price for discounted admissions to these and other museums, and make sure that specific museums are still participating in the program.

2. New York Zoos

The Seneca Park Zoo in Rochester, NY, is now offering zoo admission for just $1, good for families of up to 4 people per one EBT card. Revenue from other zoo admissions covers the program, according to an article on Rochester-based Democrat & Chronicle.

3. Other Children’s Attractions

The Adirondack Carousel at Saranac Lake is a unique attraction that combines intricate artwork and family fun. Rides on the hand-carved animals typically cost $2.50 each, with bulk discounts for three or seven rides. However, SNAP recipients can ride free, enjoying this local landmark that will create memories for a lifetime.

The carousel website indicates it will be closed for annual building maintenance for most of September, but will re-open Sept 29. Regular hours are Thursday through Saturday, 10 AM to 5 PM, and Sunday from 10 AM to 3 PM.

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4. Discounted Prime Membership

SNAP recipients in New York can enjoy a steep discount off Amazon Prime membership. Prime membership provides free two-day delivery on many items, special offers on Amazon Prime Day, access to the Amazon Prime streaming service, free access to select Kindle books, and all the other benefits the service offers. You’ll need to qualify online annually by submitting your EBT number and an image of your EBT card to subscribe to Prime for just $6.99 per month.

5. Free Home Internet and Smartphone Services

The federally funded Lifeline program provides up to $9.25 off per month on either smartphone or home internet service. You can call your current cell phone or home broadband internet provider to see if they offer the Lifeline discount or sign up with a new provider that does offer it.

Assurance Wireless is one provider in New York that offers the Lifeline discount. The company also participates in the Affordable Connectivity Program, which offers SNAP recipients and other qualifying customers unlimited data, texts and minutes plus 10GB of mobile hotspot data and a free Android phone.

It always pays to ask if there are any discounts for SNAP recipients when you are visiting a tourist attraction, museum, zoo or science center. If you’d rather not ask, check online before you leave. New attractions are added frequently, so you never know when you’ll find discounts for some of your favorite activities.

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