Does McDonald’s Take EBT?

If you are an EBT cardholder or want to apply for one, you might be looking for some fast food choices and wondering if Mcdonald’s takes EBT? It’s a fair question that we are going to address in the article.

Almost everyone craves fast food once in a while. However, even a dollar menu can feel like a lot especially when you’re short on money and have a whole family to support.

Unfortunately, Mcdonald’s doesn’t accept EBT as a form of payment either in the drive-thru or in stores at most locations.

Before we address the question: does McDonald’s accept EBT, we will tell you what EBT is and how it works.

So, let’s dive in and see what kind of purchases you can make with an EBT card.

What is EBT?

Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) is the new and improved system that has replaced food stamp coupons with a card. It looks like a debit card with a magnetic chip.

Once a recipient applies for a benefit and gets accepted, an account is established in his name. A card, much like a bank card, is issued that can be used by a recipient while paying for his groceries.

However, there are some limitations set by the government on what you can and what you cannot buy with an EBT card.

Here are some things you can buy with your EBT card:

·         Fruits and vegetables

·         Grains

·         Bread and cereals

·         Fish, meat, and poultry

·         Dairy products

·         Seeds or food-producing plants

There are some things that you cannot buy using your EBT card. These limitations are imposed to ensure that families can access only healthy food. EBT cannot be used to buy things like-

·         Wine, beer, tobacco, or cigarettes

·         Vitamins and medicines

·         Pet food

·         Household things

·         Fast food

As you can see your EBT card works only on limited things. This is to encourage people to live healthy lifestyles and consume food that is more organic and can be prepared at home.

Does McDonalds Take EBT in 2021?

Unfortunately, Mcdonald’s doesn’t accept EBT as a form of payment either in the drive-thru or in stores at most locations.

However, you will be able to use your EBT card in McDonald’s of certain states that participate in Restaurant Meal Programs (RMP).

But RMP is only available to those who are elderly, homeless and need assistance while buying food.

Currently, you can only take full advantage of the Restaurant Meal Program in California and Arizona.

Can I Use TANF Benefits to Buy Food From McDonalds?

TNAF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) can be your option if you want to purchase food from McDonald’s. TANF gives cash benefits to the EBT holder every month.

The money could be withdrawn and can be used to pay bills, rent, and even purchase food from fast-food chains like McDonald’s and Starbucks.

What McDonald’s Accepts EBT?

Although there are more than 14,000 McDonalds in the US, many do not accept the EBT as a form of payment.

As mentioned above, California and Arizona are the only two states that support RMP and where you can use your EBT card to purchase food.

However, if your local McDonalds in California does not accept EBT, you can go for Carl Jr, Fatburger, and El Pollo Loco.

These are delicious alternatives to McDonald’s where you can use your EBT card.

How to Use an EBT Card at McDonalds?

If your nearby Mcdonald’s accepts EBT cards through RMP, you can purchase the hot meals with no stress. Here’s how it works:

1.       Find an EBT- RMP-participating Mcdonald’s near you.

2.       Purchase a meal at Mcdonald’s using your EBT card.

3.       Enter your 4-digit card pin to complete the payment.

4.       Get your receipt and check your remaining balance on your EBT card.

Who Qualifies for EBT?

Who qualifies for an EBT card varies a little by state but generally someone who is at or below 130 percent of the poverty line can sign up.

Your household and family monthly income is used to determine if you are eligible for an EBT card or not.

Your eligibility is cross-checked every year to determine if you still qualify for EBT or not.

Look for the qualification and requirements for your state since EBT programs differ in every state.

What Other Forms of Payment Does McDonalds Accept?

As you know now, most of the McDonalds in the U.S. don’t accept EBT cards unless their state has implemented the RMP.

It is good to carry another form of payment method before you make a trip to your nearby Mcdonald’s.

Most McDonalds accept American Express, MasterCard, and Discover Card. McDonald’s also accepts cash payment and cashless payment methods such as Apple Pay, Android Pay, and Google Pay.

Unfortunately, McDonald’s also doesn’t accept PayPal. However, PayPal Prepaid is accepted.

What Other Stores Accept EBT?

Only certain McDonalds in California and Arizona accept EBT.

Since EBT cards are intended to provide food and nutrition to the family, they can be used in grocery stores and retail stores like Walmart, Aldi, 7-eleven, Family Dollar, and Target.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, there’s no simple answer to this. To use your EBT card, you must live in a state that participates in RMP.

So far, California and Arizona are the only two states that participate in RMP. So, if you live there, you can go to RMP-approved McDonalds and purchase food using your EBT card.

If you live in a state that doesn’t participate in RMP, you will have to make use of other payment methods to purchase food at Mcdonald’s. In short, there are only a limited number of people who can take advantage of EBT cards at Mcdonald’s.

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About the author

I have always been a shopaholic. A lot of times my questions went unanswered when it came to retail questions, so I started Talk Radio News. - Caitlyn Johnson

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