For a long time, Aldi was very particular about what forms of payment it accepted. Specifically, if you didn’t have cash, or maybe access to cash via a debit card, you were out of luck. This may have been due, in part, to Aldi’s German origins, since Germans use cash more than many other groups do.
Times though, have changed. Cash is only used regularly by a small percentage of Americans, with many shoppers preferring faster and more convenient options. In response, Aldi has steadily expanded the forms of payment it takes in its American stores.
Still, people may wonder, especially if they haven’t been to Aldi in a while. It’s a given that Aldi takes cash. But what about other options?
Here’s a quick roundup.
Does Aldi Take Credit Cards?
Credit cards are one of the most popular forms of payment in the United States, both for their ease of use and for their benefits, including fraud protection. For a long time, Aldi did not take credit cards, possibly because of the fees credit card companies impose on retailers. In 2016, though, Aldi changed course.
Today, the grocer takes Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover.
Of note: if your local Aldi has self checkout, these machines only take card payments, including credit cards. This is most likely for speed and convenience because it can take longer to feed cash into a self checkout machine and get change back.
Does Aldi Take Contactless Pay?
Contactless pay, or using a smartphone or other capable device, has become popular in recent years. Starting back in 2017, Aldi began taking Contactless Pay through Apple Pay and Google Pay.
Does Aldi Take Checks or Debit Cards?
Checks are an old method of payment. In recent years, fewer and fewer retailers have accepted checks, and for a simple reason: if the checking account doesn’t have enough money, the check bounces. If the check bounces, the retailer doesn’t get its money, and most retailers don’t want the hassle of trying to go after the buyer.
As of now, Aldi does not take checks of any type.
You can, however, use a debit card at Aldi. Aldi has been accepting debit cards for a long time, before the store even started accepting credit cards. Debit cards are also accepted at Aldi self checkout stations, which don’t take cash.
Does Aldi Take EBT?
EBT is short for Electronic Benefits Transfer, a program that distributes money to people in need through a payment card, similar to a debit card. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or what was once known as food stamps, distributes money to people in need through the EBT program.
If you’re making a purchase in the store, Aldi does take EBT including at self checkout. Keep in mind, though, that EBT does place restrictions on what can be purchased under the program, notably alcohol.
What about Instacart, which runs both Aldi delivery and curbside pickup? The answer is: it depends. The federal government has been piloting online EBT purchases in recent years, and many states and grocers are now in the pilot. To find out if you can make EBT purchases on Instacart in your area, you can check out the government’s online list.
If the Aldi in your state is not on the list, you’ll need to go into the store to make EBT purchases.
Does Aldi Take WIC?
WIC is short for Women, Infants, and Children, a program that provides support for needy mothers. This program includes a number of benefits, including some food benefits as part of the SNAP program.
Aldi does not take WIC. Aldi claims it does not qualify, due to its large volume of house brands rather than national brands. However, this is a controversial position, as WIC guidelines vary from state to state and a number of house brands from other grocers are allowed. Walmart and Kroger brands, for instance, are common on many state WIC-approved lists.
Aldi has come a long way when it comes to payment options. At one time, you didn’t have a lot of choice beyond cash and maybe debit or EBT. Now the grocer takes credit cards, Apple Pay and Google Pay, and even online EBT through Instacart in some places. WIC, unfortunately, remains MIA in Aldi stores, but given how the store has come along in other areas, we can always hold out hope that the supermarket may bring that into the fold at some point in the future.
In the meantime, you’ve got a lot of options to complete your transaction at your local Aldi.