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Oregon Trail Cards

Protect your card. Protect your benefits.

What is an Oregon Trail Card?

An Oregon Trail Card is an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card and is similar to a debit card from a bank. It is what DHS uses to get benefits to clients.

When individuals or families qualify for food or cash benefits, Oregon Trail accounts are set up for them. Benefits are deposited into the accounts each month. The Oregon Trail Card, along with a private, Personal Identification Number (PIN), is used to access benefits.

Oregon Trail Cards are used mostly for food benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as Food Stamps. They also are used for cash benefits through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program.

CheckmarkOregon Trail Card Tips:

Use the same card every month.

Know your account balance before you go shopping. Check your last receipt for the balance or call the Customer Service Help Line at 1-888-997-4447.

Save your receipts so you know your account balance.

Using Your Oregon Trail Card

Most stores that take Oregon Trail Cards will display a sign to show the store accepts the card.

With SNAP food benefits you can:

  • Buy food. SNAP benefits can be used only to purchase food. SNAP benefits cannot be used to buy non-food items such as alcoholic beverages, cigarettes, vitamins or medicines, pet foods or household products. To learn about the types of food items you can buy with SNAP benefits, see the Eligible Food Items page.
With TANF cash benefits you can:
  • Buy non-food items.
  • Get cash from your cash benefits account when you make a purchase.
  • Get cash from your cash benefits account without making a purchase. There is a fee if you get cash without a purchase more than two times a month. After the first two withdrawals, your benefits account will be charged 85 cents per transaction.

You can also get cash from your cash benefits account at an ATM. Your cash benefits account will be charged 85 cents for each withdrawal from an ATM. Some ATMs may charge you another fee as well. You can find out if you will be charged an extra fee by starting to take out money. The ATM will tell you how much it will charge. You can then cancel the withdrawal​ and try another ATM.

Oregon Trail Cards cannot be used to withdraw or spend TANF cash benefits at:

  • ​Liquor stores;
  • Casinos, gambling casinos or other gaming facilities; and,
  • Retail businesses that provide adult entertainment in which performers disrobe or perform in an unclothed state.


For more information, read the How to Use Your Oregon Trail Card brochure:

Keeping Your Card Safe

Your Oregon Trail Card is just like cash and it’s important that you keep it safe. It’s also important that you keep your PIN a secret. Your card doesn’t work without your PIN. Don't let anyone else use your card and PIN.  

Safety Tips:


Don't let anyone else use your card. If they spend your benefits, you can't get them replaced.

Keep your PIN a secret. Don't tell anyone your PIN, even store or DHS employees.

Don't leave your card near magnets, TVs, stereos, VCRs or microwaves because they can damage the card.​​

Frequently Asked Questions

Misuse of an Oregon Trail Card


It is against the law to misuse the Oregon Trail Card. Misuse of an Oregon Trail Card is considered fraud and can result in the re-payment of benefits, a temporary or permanent end to your benefits, and criminal prosecution.

Fraud or misuse of a card includes:

  • Offering to sell or selling your card or benefits.
  • Making false statements or misrepresenting facts or situations to get benefits you are not eligible to receive.
  • Allowing your card to be used by an unauthorized person.

Anyone can report possible card misuse or fraud in a DHS program by: