Does McDonald’s Take EBT? The Payment Methods

Does McDonald's Take EBT

EBT is the initial for Electronic Benefits Transfer. It allows anyone under the Supplementary Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to pay for food. 

Anytime a participant buys at a retail store that accepts SNAP, they debit the bill from their benefit. The EBT is applicable in all USA states and has been the sole issuance method for SNAP since June 2004. 

SNAP offers several benefits to individuals and families with low incomes. Most SNAP beneficiaries cannot use their EBT cards in fast food joints. 

Only a few who qualify for the Restaurant Meal Program (RPM) have the privilege of using their EBT on fast foods. There are certain restaurants in the different states that accept EBT

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McDonald’s is a popular fast-food restaurant. Their foods are unique, and everyone craves for them once in a while. 

Sadly the MacDonald dollar menu can be quite much if you support your family and are on a tight budget. Therefore, you are probably wondering whether it’s possible to use EBT and the McDonald’s  

Does McDonald’s Take EBT

No, McDonald’s does not regard EBT as a payment mode in-store or in-drive through. If you are lucky and get the TANF benefits, you can still purchase at McDonald’s. 

You can do this by withdrawing cash and then using it to make any purchase at McDonald’s. 

Certain states offer Restaurant Meals Program for the elderly, disabled, and homeless, such as Arizona, California, etc. McDonald’s does not accept EBT, but several restaurants do. 

What Is Restaurant Meals Program (RPM)? 

The RPM is a popular Nutrition Assistance (NA) program. Those who qualify for RPM can buy ready-to-eat meals from partnering restaurants. They need to have and use the EBT quest card

Do Fast Food Restaurants Accept EBT? 

The SNAP beneficiaries are mostly only able to buy cold and not prepared meals. Certain states like Arizona and California with restaurants that recognize SNAP and accept EBT. 

There are several pilot programs in states like Florida and Rhode Island. In others states, the big fast-food brands accept EBT. 

If you have an EBT card and want a restaurant, you can search for the restaurant that accepts the card. Many restaurants have a partnership with SNAP and accept EBT cards. 

The Payment Forms Accepted By McDonald’s 

McDonald’s is a popular fast food and thus has many payment options. 

The popular payment methods at McDonald’s are visa, cash; discover cards, American Express, etc. It also accepts mobile payments, such as the popular Google and Apple Pay.

What Is An EBT Card?

Those under the SNAP program usually receive money from the state agencies through the EBT or Electronic Benefits Transfer Cards. The card’s appearance and function are similar to debit cards. 

The only difference is EBT does not link to any bank account. The EBT card links with your SNAP benefits account. Each time you swipe at a restaurant or grocery, they deduct from your benefits. 

According to reports, approximately 13.9% of households can’t afford nutritious food or are food insecure. Therefore the federal government uses the SNAP program to manage the nation’s hunger. 

However, the states manage SNAP; this makes its administration better and reaches more needy people. 

Food Supplement Program 

Through this program, low-income households can access a more expansive food range with proper nutritional value. 

The families receive the benefits monthly through the EBT electronic card. The recipient can buy anything at the local grocery stores with the benefits. 

What Can You Purchase With The SNAP EBT Benefits? 

Even though McDonald’s doesn’t accept EBT, the card is still a gem. You can use it to purchase authorized food items from different grocery stores. They include things such as:

  • Fruit 
  • Grains 
  • Vegetables
  • Fish 
  • Poultry
  • Cereals 
  • Meat 
  • Dairy 

Things You Can’t Buy With The SNAP-Only EBT Card? 

The SNAP program is for all disadvantaged US households. SNAP restricts the purchase of particular products, and here is a list of some of the items. 

  • Tobacco
  • Medicine 
  • Alcohol 
  • Household items 
  • Vitamins 
  • Ready to eat foods such as fast foods 
  • Nonfood products 

Places You Can Use Your EBT Card 

You now know the products you can purchase using the EBT card; therefore, you need to know where to shop. 

Several major supermarkets and grocery stores accept EBT cards but not all. The organizations need to meet specific requirements by TANF and SNAP programs. 

If you aren’t sure whether the business accepts the EBT card, you need to ask the manager or an employee before you start shopping. 

Several large chains take EBT cards without any complications. Here is a list of some large grocery stores that accept the EBT card.  

  • City market 
  • Albertsons 
  • Costco 
  • Family foods 
  • County market 
  • BJ’s wholesale club


The fast-food brand is famous for its delicious hamburger. The restaurant chain ranks as the largest and highest in terms of revenue. 

It operates in 100 countries and has almost 38,000 fast food outlets. The number of outlets in the USA is over 14,000. They have a $1, $2, and $3 menu with soft beverages, milkshakes, salads, fruits, wraps, etc. 

It’s a very fantastic place to eat, plus if you are in the USA, it’s pretty easy to come across a McDonald’s outlet. The restaurant operates for 24 hours, and you can surely visit it anytime. 

Food You Can Buy At McDonald’s Using Food Stamps?

The types of food you can buy at McDonald’s depend on the state you live in. Firstly, the state should participate in RMP or the Restaurant Meal Program. 

The RMP program is usually for the homeless, disabled, and elderly who can’t cook. You also have to qualify for RMP according to your state’s requirements. It’s only this way that you’ll be able to purchase McDonald’s using the food stamps. 

When it comes to McDonald’s, the states that participate in RMP are Arizona and California. If you live in any of the select locations in any of the above states, you can buy food at RMP-approved McDonald’s. 

You need to walk in and order anything on the menu. Ensure the SNAP has enough balance. If you don’t meet the requirements and do not qualify for the RMP in your states, you can still access the SNAP-approved McDonald’s nearby. 

However, your purchase items will only be limited to cold food items, which you can carry and then prepare at home. 

The SNAP-eligible Cold Foods You Can Purchase At McDonald’s 

There are several items that you can buy at McDonald’s, and it includes: 

  • Fruit and vegetable 
  • Cereals and bread 
  • Chips and snack crackers 
  • Cold Salads 
  • Cold Sandwiches 
  • Dairy products such as cheese, milk, yogurt
  • Soft and Energy drinks 
  • Beverages such as Red Bull, Pepsi, and Sprite
  • Filtered water 
  • Protein shake

However, if you live in a state that doesn’t take RMP or SNAP, you can’t purchase at McDonald’s. 

The other way around it is to receive other types of government aid such as TANF – Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. 

If you are in any aid, you can withdraw the cash benefits you get at any quest ATM. Find an ATM that can dispense $10 and then use it to buy ready-to-eat food at McDonald’s. 

It’s also possible to get cashback on the TANF benefit. You can get it from Safeway, CVS, and other stores. 

You can also use other payment methods for foods SNAP can’t buy. You can then buy the staple foods from the SNAP-approved retailers and make them from home. 

The Foods You Can’t Buy At McDonald’s 

The SNAP funds are lifesaving but have limitations. You can’t buy non-essential luxuries using them. The restrictions are not only on McDonald’s outlets, but other significant outlets too, such as pizza places that take the EBT card. 

There are certain items that you can’t purchase from McDonald’s, and it doesn’t matter whether you are a beneficiary of the restaurant meals or not. 

You cannot buy McDonald’s and other prominent wholesale stores like Sam’s Club, Costco, etc. Here is a list of the items. 

  • Pet food 
  • Home cleaning supplies 
  • Medicine 
  • Vitamins 
  • Alcoholic beverages such as spirits, beer, wine
  • Cigarettes and other tobacco products
  • Feminine products 

Also, note that it’s impossible to redeem the SNAP benefits on travel services, i.e., hotel booking or vacations. Plus other nonfood items such as paying bail, tickets, tattoos, etc. 

Is EBT Applicable on Door Dash Fast Food Delivery?

The EBT is not usable in the Door Dash fast food delivery. People wonder why it’s impossible since Door Dash does deliveries for widespread fast food deliveries such as McDonald’s. 

Door Dash doesn’t accept EBT payment since it only deals with ready-to-eat and hot foods. Such foods aren’t eligible for EBT payment in several states. 


There are thousands of McDonald’s locations across the United States of America. However, the McDonald’s that take the EBT cards are very few. 

You need to know that you can only use your food stamp to purchase McDonald’s if you live in Arizona or California. 

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