How to Use Your QUEST Card

Using Your Wisconsin QUEST Card

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Your Wisconsin QUEST card can be used to buy groceries, at swipe card terminals at stores taking part in FoodShare.  It is a plastic debit card with your name, card number and the Wisconsin QUEST logo on it.

WI EBT card front

You must have your QUEST card with you at the store to purchase food using your FoodShare account.

Choosing a Personal Identification Number

When you receive your QUEST card, you will be asked to select a personal identification number (PIN) that must be used to access your benefits when using your QUEST card. You will choose four numbers that are easy for you to remember but hard for someone else to figure out. Keep your PIN a secret. Do not write your PIN on your card, your card carrier or keep your PIN in your wallet or purse.

Using Your QUEST Card

You can use your benefits to buy food at some farmers markets and at grocery stores that have the Quest® sign.

Your benefits will be put into your FoodShare account using an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) system. You can spend them by using your Wisconsin QUEST card.

Your QUEST card lets you use your benefits at the swipe card terminals in the check-out line in food stores. You use your card like a debit card and there is no fee to you.

At the checkout lane, tell the clerk that you are using your QUEST card. Once your card has been swiped through the terminal at the check out counter, either by you or the clerk, you will enter your PIN. The PIN allows you to use your card.

Spending Benefits

Each month, you may use your QUEST card as often as you want and spend as much of your benefits as you want. You can leave as many benefits in your account as you wish at the end of each month to use in the following month. Keep in mind that any benefits not used after 365 days, will be removed from your account.

When Benefits are Deposited

Each month that you are enrolled in FoodShare benefits, your benefits will be automatically deposited to your QUEST card account. The date that they are deposited is based on the 8th digit of your Social Security number (SSN).

If the 8th digit of your
Social Security number is...
Your FoodShare benefits will be available on your Wisconsin QUEST card on the....
0 2nd of each month
1 3rd of each month
2 5th of each month
3 6th of each month
4 8th of each month
5 9th of each month
6 11th of each month
7 12th of each month
8 14th of each month
9 15th of each month

Your benefits will be available on your specified date-even if it falls on a weekend or holiday.

Account Balance

You should always know the balance in your account before you shop. If you do not know your balance, you can call QUEST Customer Service at 1-877-415-5164.

You should get a printed receipt at the time you make a food purchase with your QUEST card. The receipt will show the balance in your account. If you do not get a printed receipt, ask for one.

Authorized Buyer and Alternate Payee

You can choose an authorized buyer to help you use your FoodShare benefits. In addition to the card you receive, the authorized buyer will receive a QUEST card with his/her name on it, and will have access to your FoodShare benefits to purchase food for your household.

You may also choose an alternate payee to use FoodShare benefits on your behalf. The alternate payee will receive a QUEST card with his/her name on it. You will not receive a QUEST card.

Once you tell someone your PIN and give them your card, they could use any or ALL of your benefits. These benefits will NOT be replaced. You may contact your worker to designate an "authorized buyer" or "alternate payee".

You can cancel access to your QUEST card account that you have granted to others at any time. To cancel access to your account, call QUEST Customer Service.

Problems With Your QUEST Card

If your QUEST card does not work, call the QUEST Customer Service Help Line. If you still need assistance contact your agency worker.

If You Forget Your PIN

If you do not remember your PIN, call QUEST Customer Service and choose a new PIN. You also should select a new PIN if you think that someone else knows your PIN. If you are in the grocery store and enter the wrong PIN, you have two more chances that day to enter the right PIN. If you do not enter the right PIN by the third try, a "lock" is put on your card and you will not be able to use your card until the next day.

Error Messages You Could Get When Using your QUEST Card At The Check Out Counter

Call QUEST Customer Service if you get an error message when using your QUEST card at the check out counter that you do not understand.

Examples of error messages you could get are:

  • Card not on file -  If you get this message, contact the QUEST Customer Service Help Line.
  • Invalid PIN -   If you get this message, you have entered your PIN incorrectly. If you do not enter the correct PIN on the third try, a "lock" is put on your card until the next day. If you cannot remember your PIN, call the QUEST Customer Service Help Line and choose a new PIN.
  • Insufficient balance -  Before you shop, check your balance. If you get this message, you have tried to spend more than your balance in your QUEST card account. If your groceries cost more than your balance, you can put back some groceries or pay for the rest in cash.
  • Inactive card -  If this is your first card, you must select a PIN before it can be used. Call the QUEST Customer Service Help Line to request a PIN.

If Your Card is Lost or Stolen

You must immediately report a lost or stolen QUEST card to QUEST Customer Service. Your card will be cancelled when you call. If someone uses it before you call to cancel your card, your benefits will not be replaced. It is important to call immediately. Once your card is reported lost or stolen a new card will be mailed to you on the next business day.

If Your Card is Damaged

If your card is damaged or the store must manually key your card number each time you use your card, call the Customer Service Help Line and request a replacement card.

Returning a Purchase

If you need to return an item to the store, take the item, store receipt and your QUEST card to the store where it was purchased. The store will issue a credit to your QUEST card account. This credit will be available to you immediately. You will not get cash back. Food items in a container that has a deposit fee cannot be purchased with FoodShare benefits or returned for credit.

If You Move

If you plan to move, contact your FoodShare worker to report your new address. If a card is mailed to your old address, it will not be forwarded to your new address.

If You Move Out of State

If you move out of state, you should still be able to use any remaining balance on your Wisconsin QUEST card in your new state. If you cannot find a store in your new state that accepts the Wisconsin QUEST card, contact the Wisconsin agency that issued the FoodShare benefits. To continue receiving benefits in your new state, you must apply there.

Taking Care Of Your QUEST Card

  • Keep your QUEST card safe.
  • Keep your QUEST card clean.
  • Take care of your QUEST card like you would a credit card.
  • Do not bend or twist your QUEST card.
  • Do not use your QUEST card to scrape windshields, open door locks, etc
  • Keep the magnetic stripe clean and free from scratches.
  • Store your QUEST card in a wallet or purse.
  • Keep your QUEST card away from magnets such as handbag clasps, televisions, etc.
  • Follow the instructions of the store clerk when using your QUEST card.
  • NEVER tell anyone your PIN, including the store clerk.

For More Information:

Information provided in is general. To find out more detailed information regarding FoodShare, please contact your local county or tribal agency.

The Department of Health Services (DHS) is an equal opportunity employer and service provider. If you have a disability and need to access this information in an alternate format, or need it translated to another language, please contact (608) 266-3356 (voice) 1-888-701-1251 (TTY). All translation services are free of charge.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture prohibits discrimination against its customers, employees, and applicants for employment on the base of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, gender identity, religion, reprisal, and where applicable, political beliefs, marital status, familial or parental status, sexual orientation, or all or part of an individual's income is derived from any public assistance program, or protected by genetic information in employment or in any program or activity conducted or funded by the Department. (Not all prohibited bases will apply to all programs and/or employment activities).

If you wish to file a Civil Rights program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, found online at, or at any USDA office, or call (866) 632-9992 to request the form. You may also write a letter containing all of the information requested in the form. Send your completed complaint form or letter to us by mail at U.S. Department of Agriculture, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410, by fax (202) 690-7442 or email at

Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339; or (800) 845-6136 (Spanish).

USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

P-16088 (06/14)

Last Revised: May 20, 2015