Illinois EBT cardholders have access to a variety of discounts and perks, enhancing the value of the assistance they receive. For instance, those with an EBT card may enjoy substantial savings, such as nearly half off the regular cost of an Amazon Prime membership. This service provides a wealth of benefits like complimentary expedited shipping on eligible items, access to a vast library of movies, TV programs, and music, exclusive shopping deals, unlimited reading, and more.
Additionally, EBT recipients in Illinois may qualify for reduced rates on home internet services. Beyond online benefits, the Illinois Link Card unlocks access to cultural centers and family-friendly attractions across the state, either for free or at a reduced cost. This allows individuals and families to engage in educational and recreational activities without the burden of high expenses.
Nationwide Benefits for EBT Holders
Reduced Cost Amazon Prime Membership
EBT cardholders can take advantage of a reduced Amazon Prime subscription rate. The standard cost for Amazon Prime is typically $14.99 per month, but EBT cardholders are eligible for a reduced rate of $6.99 per month. This reduced rate allows EBT cardholders to enjoy the full benefits of Amazon Prime at a significantly lowered cost.
Benefits included with the Amazon Prime subscription:
- Grocery Delivery: Select areas allow grocery shopping through Amazon Pantry with EBT cards.
- Shipping Advantages: Fast, free delivery on a vast range of items with options for FREE Same-Day Delivery in certain cities, and FREE 2-hour delivery on daily essentials via Prime Now.
- Entertainment Options: Unlimited streaming of movies and TV shows on various devices.
- Music Library: Access to over two million songs, including numerous playlists and stations without advertisements.
- Reading Material: Unlimited access to a diverse library of books and magazines on any device.
- Audible Narratives: Unlimited listening to original series from Audible.
- Gaming Perks: Free monthly gaming content and exclusive discounts through Twitch Prime.
- Photo Storage: Unlimited photo storage to preserve memories.
To register for this discount, cardholders can follow the sign-up process provided by Amazon, taking advantage of the opportunity to utilize the Prime benefits while making the membership more affordable.
Special Benefits for Illinois EBT Holders in 2023
Federal Lifeline Assistance
Illinois residents receiving EBT benefits may be eligible for either free or reduced-rate telecommunications services thanks to the Lifeline Assistance program. This federal initiative aims to make communication services more affordable for low-income individuals by providing a monthly discount of at least $9.25. However, beneficiaries must choose between utilizing this aid for home phone, cellular service, or internet, as the discount applies to only one option.
Cellular Service Savings
Numerous cellular providers in Illinois collaborate with the Lifeline program to offer lower-cost services to qualifying individuals. Some of these providers include:
- Life Wireless: 888-543-3620
- Safelink Wireless: 800-723-3546
- Illinois Telephone Corporation: 800-480-4198
- Yourtel America: 855-299-9990
- Access Wireless: 866-594-3644
Home Phone Service Discounts
Similarly, several home phone service providers work under the Lifeline program to offer cost-effective solutions to those on Food Stamps/EBT. Some key providers are:
- Consolidated Communications: 844-968-7224
- Frontier Communications: 800-921-8101
- Egyptian Telephone Cooperative Association: 618-965-3481
- AT&T: 855-301-0355
Internet Service at Reduced Prices
With the new Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), EBT cardholders can save $30 monthly on their internet bill. Additionally, they may be eligible for a one-time $100 discount to purchase a laptop, desktop, or tablet. Combining this internet credit with Lifeline phone services could lead to even greater overall savings on communications bills.
Museum Admission Deals
The EBT program in Illinois also accommodates discounted or complimentary access to various museums, promoting cultural enrichment among low-income families. Upon presenting their EBT card along with a photo ID, holders along with three additional guests can enjoy reduced admission fees, typically not exceeding $3.00 per person. It’s recommended to contact the museums beforehand to confirm their specific rates for EBT beneficiaries. Museums offering these special rates include:
- Children’s Discovery Museum in Normal, offering hands-on educational experiences.
- Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, providing free entry for eligible visitors.
- Peoria Riverfront Museum and Peoria PlayHouse Children’s Museum, catering to diverse interests.
- Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, where history comes alive.
- SciTech Hands On Museum in Aurora, inspiring innovation and creativity.
A vast array of other institutions across the state also participate in this program, ranging from arboretums and botanical gardens to children’s and history museums. This initiative ensures that cultural and educational opportunities are accessible to all segments of society, regardless of financial status.
Free Zoo and Aquarium Admission with Illinois EBT
Lincoln Park Zoo: No-Cost Animal Encounters
At Lincoln Park Zoo, visitors can experience the wonders of wildlife without any admission fee. EBT cardholders may also receive a pass from the Chicago Public Library for a 10% discount on select purchases within the zoo, enhancing the enjoyment of this cost-free adventure.
- Admission: Free for all
- Discount: 10% off with CPL pass
- Notable: Family-friendly environment
Aquatic Wonders at Shedd Aquarium Without the Expense
Shedd Aquarium welcomes families with EBT or WIC benefits to immerse themselves in aquatic life. Guests can enjoy complimentary access to permanent exhibits and special features, with the option to add a 4D experience at a minimal cost.
- Admission: Free for EBT/WIC holders
- Upgrade: $4.95 for 4D experience
- Highlights: Underwater Beauty exhibit, Stingray Touch
Chicago Botanic Garden: Blooms and Budget-Friendly Parking
While Chicago Botanic Garden always offers free admission, the Garden provides discounted parking rates for Illinois LINK cardholders. A serene day among flowers and fauna is made more accessible for military families as well with free parking available.
- Entry: Always free
- Parking: Discounted for LINK cardholders
- Bonus: Free parking for military families
The Morton Arboretum: Nature Exploration for a Symbolic Fee
The Morton Arboretum opens its vast expanse of natural beauty to Illinois LINK cardholders and their guests for just $1 per person. The enchanted children’s garden stands out as a highlight for young explorers.
- Admission: $1 per person (LINK cardholders + 7 guests)
- Feature: Award-winning children’s garden
- Size: Over 1,700 acres
Quad City Botanical Center: An Affordable Nature Experience
The Quad City Botanical Center offers LINK cardholders and their families a day amidst lush greenery for only $2 per person. This budget-friendly green haven encourages picnicking (with considerations) for a complete day out.
- Cost: $2 per person (LINK cardholders)
- Amenities: Picnic-friendly (certain restrictions apply)
- Environment: Rich, vibrant landscaping
Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Garden: Complimentary Horticultural Haven
Explore the expansive grounds of Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Garden at no charge with EBT or WIC benefits. Spanning over 150 acres, this largest public garden in Winnebago County is open to everyone and features accessible paths for all visitors.
- Admission: Free for EBT/WIC holders
- Accessibility: Handicap-accessible
- Expanse: Over 150 acres
Illinois EBT Discounts Summary
Insights Shared by Readers
- Sharing Knowledge: Readers who find the information beneficial are encouraged to use the share feature to inform others who could also gain from the guidance provided.
- Questions and Support: For any inquiries or additional information regarding Illinois SNAP or EBT, individuals are urged to post their questions in the comment section for assistance.
- Further Reading: Additional resources are available for EBT holders in Illinois including:
- Guidance on checking EBT card balances
- Assistance for login issues on the Benefits Eligibility Application site
- Instructions for creating an ABE account
- Income eligibility thresholds for Illinois Food Stamps
- Steps to apply online for Illinois Food Stamps
- Online grocery shopping guidance for EBT users
- How to obtain Amazon Prime at discounted rates with EBT
- Expertise and Dedication: Kwame Kuadey, with experience in personal finance and a focus on improving the financial conditions of low-income households, extends his knowledge through Empower Media. His insights cover the impact of government assistance, essential banking products, and tools that encourage financial stability and wealth growth. His influence and contributions have been acknowledged in notable national publications.
Readers’ interaction and the sharing of experiences offer a valuable exchange of knowledge that can further educate and support the community of Illinois EBT users.
Be sure to check out our other articles about Illinois Food Stamps and EBT, including: