Does McDonald’s accept EBT?
That’s a question many people who’re enrolled in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) ask. About 42 million Americans receive SNAP benefits, and many want to know where they can actually use their EBT card.
There are a lot of places that do and a lot of places that don’t and there are some that MIGHT accept EBT. For example, while Starbucks doesn’t accept EBT, there are exceptions!
SNAP provides benefits to low-income families and individuals through an Electronic Balance Transfer card which can be used like a debit card to purchase eligible food items from authorized retailers.
The Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) is a system, which allows people who are enrolled in SNAP to pay for food using their SNAP benefits.
McDonald’s rarely accepts EBT, but there are a couple of exceptions where you can use your food stamps at the fast food restaurants. We’ll cover using your EBT card at McDonald’s in more detail below.
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What will I learn?
Does McDonald’s Accept EBT?
Most McDonald’s locations don’t accept EBT. However, you’re able to use your EBT card at certain locations if you live in a state that participates in Restaurant Meals Program (RPM).
Using your EBT at McDonald’s Locations that participate in RMP
SNAP-eligible foods, outside of RMP, are cold foods that you can prepare at home. This means that people who are disabled or unable to cook for themselves are left struggling. This is why the Restaurant Meals Program was launched.
It’s a state-run program that allows elderly, homeless, and disabled SNAP recipients to buy food at SNAP authorized restaurants using their EBT cards.
Although states can extend their SNAP programs to include the RMP, only a handful do. This is really unfortunate.
Just six states have RMPs:
- Rhode Island
The only McDonald’s locations that take EBT cards are in California and Arizona. And, it’s only select locations in those states where you can use EBT as well.
Even in those two states where you can use your food stamps at McDonald’s, you’ll need to qualify for the RMP and not all EBT cardholders do. If you meet your state’s eligibility requirements for the RMP and live in California or Arizona, you may be able to use your EBT card at McDonald’s.
To break this down a little more, here’s how you can use food stamps at McDonald’s:
- Qualify for the RMP.
- Live in either California or Arizona and find a location that participates (more information on that below).
- Order in-store. Orders placed online or through a mobile app like DoorDash or UberEats aren’t eligible for EBT payments.
What McDonald’s Accept EBT Near Me?
Although there are more than 13,000 McDonald’s locations in the US, not many actually accept EBT cards.
Like I said earlier, locations in Arizona and California allow you to use food stamps.
If you live in one of those states, you should be able to use your benefits to pay for your order, but it must be in-store as I said earlier. And you’ll need to qualify for the RMP to purchase hot or prepared foods.
Let’s take a look at locations in those aforementioned states where you can use food stamps:
Does McDonald’s take EBT in California?
California is home to many McDonald’s fast-food restaurants that allow SNAP recipients to use their food stamps to pay.
Here’s a list of counties that participate in the state’s RMP, which is called the CalFresh RMP:
- Los Angeles
- San Diego
- Santa Cruz
- San Luis Obispo
- Santa Clara
- Santa Cruz
Now, to find specific McDonald’s locations that accept EBT in these California counties, make sure you visit the California EBT cardholder portal. Next, choose your county, and then enter the word “McDonald’s” into the “retailer/blank name” field.
Does McDonald’s take EBT in Arizona?
Yes, and Arizona is actually a state will a very elaborate RMP. So, you can find a lot of McDonald’s locations that accept EBT in Arizona with more than 80 locations accepting SNAP benefits.
Here’s a list of locations that accept EBT in Arizona:
- Bullhead City
- Cave Creek
- El Mirage
- Fort Mohave
- Lake Havasu
- Show Low
- Tuba City
- Window Rock
Take a look at the Arizona Restaurants/Retailers list to get specific McDonald’s addresses.
Where Can I Use My EBT Card?
For those who aren’t in California or Arizona and for anyone who doesn’t qualify for the RMP, you might be wondering where you can actually use your card.
The SNAP program is designed for cold foods that you prepare yourself.
Here’s what you can use your EBT to purchase:
- Fruits and vegetables
- Meat, poultry, and fish
- Dairy products
- Breads and cereals
- Other foods such as snack foods
- Non-alcoholic beverages
- Seeds and plants that produce food for the household to eat
Here’s what you can’t use your EBT to purchase:
- Beer, wine, liquor, cigarettes, or tobacco
- Vitamins, medicines, and supplements.
- Live animals (except shellfish, fish removed from water, and animals slaughtered prior to pick-up from the store).
- Foods that are hot when sold
- Non-food items, such as:
- Cleaning supplies
- Paper products
- Pet foods
- Hygiene items
Although there are thousands of McDonald’s locations, there aren’t that many places that take EBT cards. In fact, you’re only going to be able to use food stamps if you live in California or Arizona and actually qualify for RMP.
If you do live in one of those states, be sure to consult our list to find a nearby location.