The Regular Shopping Card is an electronic payment card for citizens in financial difficulty. The card is credited on a bimonthly basis with a sum of money that can be used to buy groceries in participating establishments and to pay gas and electricity bills in post offices. The card cannot be used to withdraw cash.
In accordance with article 19, Italian legislative decree of 15 September 2017, n. 147, since 1st January 2018, for family units with minor members who benefit from a Shopping Card who have submitted an claim for the Income Inclusion (REI), the related financial allowance is paid onto the same card, which in this case is known as the Carta REI (REI card). This receives the full benefit amount of the Shopping Card that may already be in use (INPS circular, 22 November 2017, n. 172).
Available since October 2008, the Regular Shopping Card is accessible to Italian citizens aged 65 years or over or younger than three years old.
The applicant must also meet one of the following general requirements:
- Be a citizen of an EU member state;
- Be related to an Italian citizen or to a member of an EU state that does not have EU citizenship but has right of residence or right of permanent residence;
- Be a foreigner in possession of a long-term EC right of residence permit (Italian law 147/2013, art. 1. p. 216).
€80 is credited to the card on a bimonthly basis to be used for grocery shopping or for paying gas and electricity bills. Shops participating in this initiative will display the following adhesive sticker:
Local authorities may decide to credit additional amounts onto the card and some companies may provide special discounts on the supply of public utility goods.
Shopping Card holders may also receive a 5% discount in participating shops and pharmacies. The discount is available solely for transactions made with the Shopping Card and cannot be used for purchasing medicinal products or paying for prescriptions. Shopping made with the card at participating pharmacies equipped with the necessary facilities also give access to free weight and blood pressure measurements.
The discount can be combined with other promotional offers or discounts that are available to all customers, as well as offers for loyalty card holders issued by the shops themselves (for example, by supermarkets).
Individuals can also make one-off gift payments to the Shopping Card fund.
In case of loss, deactivation, damage or theft of the card, the holder can claim an immediate block by calling +39 800 902 122, which is free of charge (from Italian landlines) and available 24 hours a day. During the call the holder will be given a block number and must give their name, surname, location, date of birth and the day on which the event occurred. The holder must then confirm the block claim at a post office.
In case of loss or theft of the card, the holder must also make a separate report to the appropriate authorities (judicial or public security authorities). To obtain a new copy of the card, the holder must present proof of this report to a post office.
The holder must also contact a post office in the case of damage or demagnetisation of the card.
To be entitled to the card, citizens of 65 years and over must meet the following requirements:
- Must not be receiving allowances or, in the year that the benefit is received, the allowance amount for the year 2019 must be less than €6,938.78 if the recipient is aged between 65 and 69 years or less than €9,251.71 for 2019 if the recipient is 70 years or over. In the event that part of the allowances is linked to the pensioner’s income, the total amount of income and allowances must be lower than these thresholds;
- Have a valid ISEE (Equivalent Economic Situation Indicator) of less than €6,938.78 for the year of 2019;
- Must not, either as a single individual or married couple, be the account holder of more than one domestic household electricity bill, more than one non-domestic electricity bill or more than two gas bills.
- Must not, either as a single individual or married couple, own more than two cars, own more than one residential property with a share equal to or higher than 25%, own a property that is not for residential use or one that is within cadastral category C7 with a share equal to or higher than 10%;
- Must not, either as a single individual or married couple, hold moveable assets valued at more than €15,000, as stipulated in the ISEE declaration;
- Must not benefit from meals from the State or other public bodies on account of being an inpatient in a long-term care institution or being detained in a penal institution.
Children younger than three years of age (in this case the card holder is a parental authority):
- Must have a valid ISEE (Equivalent Economic SituationIndicator) of less than €6,938.78 for the year of 2019;
- Must not, together with the parental authority or foster parent, be the account holder of more than one domestic household electricity bill, more than one non-domestic electricity bill or more than two gas bills, or have more than two cars;
- Must not, together with the parental authority or foster parent, own more than one residential property with a share equal to or higher than 25%, own a property that is not for residential use or one that is within cadastral category C7 with a share equal to or higher than 10%.
- Must not be a holder, together with the parental authority or foster parent, of moveable assets valued at more than €15,000, as stipulated in the ISEE declaration.
How can I claim?
The claim must be made at a post office, using forms available on the Poste Italiane website.
Citizens aged 65 or over must fill in the claim form for beneficiaries aged over 65 in accordance with the appropriate application guide.
Guardians, parental authorities or foster parents can apply using the claim form for minors younger than three years old in accordance with the appropriate application guide.
In the claim, the interested party must declare, on their own responsibility, that they meet all of the prerequisites required by the law.
The post office will send the claim electronically to the INPS for the necessary checks. If successful, they will invite the holder to a post office where they can collect the card, which will already have been credited with the bimonthly amount appropriate to when the claim was made.
In the case of an unsuccessful claim, the INPS will communicate this to the applicant, indicating the reasons for the negative outcome in the rejection letter.
The beneficiary of the card (if over sixty-five years old) or the card holder (if the beneficiary is a minor) can modify information relating to the place of residence (contained in section 5 of the claim) and claim for the card to be registered to another individual using the appropriate forms at the post office. To make changes to the information, the Mod CA/varanag65 forms must be used for beneficiaries aged over sixty-five years old and the Mod CA/varanag3 forms should be used if the beneficiary is a minor. To change card holder the Mod CA/titolare65 forms should be used if the beneficiary is over sixty-five years old and the Mod CA/titolare3 forms must be used for minor beneficiaries. The changes to information forms must be sent to the local INPS office.
For more information, please:
- See the Ministry of Economics and Finance website;
- See the Ministry for Employment and Social Policies website;
- Call the Poste Italiane, free of charge (Italian landlines), on +39 800 666 888;
- Call the Contact Centre on + 39 803 164 free of charge from an Italian landline or on +39 06 164 164 from a mobile phone.