Does Taco Bell take food stamps? It’s a commonly asked question by SNAP recipients. They’re usually the elderly, the homeless, and people with disabilities who either can’t cook or don’t have the means to carry and prepare meals at home.
While cooking is a routine chore in many households, it comes as an unwelcome addition to the life’s struggles of a disadvantaged person. That’s why finding a nearby Taco Bell location that accepts EBT is a blessing.
General SNAP rules restrict the use of EBT cards for restaurant meals. The rule of thumb is that you can only use your SNAP card to buy staple food items that you can carry and prepare at home. You can’t purchase hot, ready-to-eat food at the point of sale; that’s what fast-food restaurants like Taco Bell sell.
That creates a problem for the disadvantaged SNAP recipient who can’t cook at home. They need food to survive! Luckily, SNAP has a good faith extension called the Restaurant Meals Program (RMP) that allows the elderly, homeless and disabled recipients to purchase prepared food to eat on site. Thus, fast-food joints like Taco Bell qualify under the SNAP’s RMP program to take EBT and serve hot food to qualifying recipients.
So does Taco Bell take EBT?
Short Answer: Only a few Taco Bell locations accept EBT in select counties in Arizona and California. Like Florida, you may also find a few Taco Bell restaurants that take EBT in the other states that offer a limited version of the Restaurant Meals Program (RMP).
At the minimum, you can only use your EBT card at Taco Bell if you live in a state that has a restaurant meals program and you qualify for it per your state requirements. So far, only six states, including Arizona, California, Rhode Island, Maryland, Illinois, Florida, and Michigan, participate in the Restaurant Meals Program. Therefore, you won’t be able to use your SNAP EBT card at Taco Bell unless you live in one of these states.
Most Taco Bell locations that take EBT are concentrated in California and Arizona because they are the two states with the most elaborate programs.
You’ll also find that most other restaurants in California and Arizona that accept EBT include Wendy’s, KFC, Domino’s, Burger King, Subway, Jack In The Box, and McDonald’s.
Even in states with a Restaurant Meals Program, you’ll still find some Taco Bell locations that don’t take SNAP food stamps. It’s because each restaurant location must apply and get approved to process food stamps before they can start accepting EBT payments. It’s also upon SNAP agencies in each state to decide whether or not to approve each location.
That said, you may be lucky to find some Taco Bell fast food restaurants that take EBT in other states. In that case, you’ll only be able to buy cold snack foods and soft drinks that you can eat on the go at the store manager’s discretion.
Why Does Taco Bell Only Accept EBT in Some States?
Taco Bell is a fast-food Mexican restaurant chain based in California. It has over 7,000 restaurants that service over 2 billion customers each year. Its fast-food stores are known for their inventive Mexican-inspired food items like tacos, nachos, burritos, quesadillas, novelty and specialty items, and various “value menu” items.
That makes Taco Bell locations great places to eat as cheap meals. After all, you can’t save $10,000 in a year or build a six-figure or seven-figure nest egg on an empty stomach or by buying overpriced meals.
The reason why Taco Bell only accepts EBT in some states comes down to how the Restaurant Meals Program is administered. Although SNAP created the RMP program to allow the elderly, homeless, and disabled recipients to buy hot, prepared food at restaurants, every state doesn’t need to partake in the program.
Federal laws leave it up to each state to decide whether to extend SNAP benefits through the RMP. As such, most states don’t participate in the program. As a result, Taco Bell meals in all the states that don’t have RMPs are ineligible for SNAP purchases.
Only the six states mentioned above have RMPs. So, at least Taco Bell foods in those states qualify for RMP purchase. But before restaurants can start to accept EBT payments, they must apply and get approved by local SNAP state offices.
So far, only a few Taco Bell restaurants are authorized to take food stamps in Arizona and California.
That’s why you’ll only find a few Taco Bell locations that accept EBT in select counties.
What Taco Bell’s Take EBT Near Me?
Nearby Taco Bell restaurants that take EBT depend on whether your state offers a restaurant meals program. If your local state agency doesn’t have an RMP, you may still locate a Taco Bell that accepts food stamps funds for cold food items from the menu, like a salad, bowl, bakery goods, filtered water, or soda. However, most fast food places that take EBT SNAP are in a few states with the Restaurant Meals Program.
You’ll find fast food Mexican restaurants that take EBT if you reside in Arizona or California. You must qualify for RMP to buy hot or prepared food.
Taco Bell Fast Food Restaurants that Accept EBT near me in Arizona
Arizona has a Restaurant Meals Program, and Taco Bell is one of the Mexican places allowed to accept EBT at many places throughout the state. In total, there are over a dozen Taco Bell restaurants that take EBT in Arizona.
Here’s a list of 14 Taco Bell fast food restaurants that accept EBT near me in Arizona:
See the restaurants participating in Arizona, including the contact information and addresses for each place.
Taco Bell Restaurants That Take EBT near me in California
California has several Taco Bell fast food locations that are in the Restaurant Meals Program.
Here’s a list of counties in California that are in the CalFresh RMP:
- Sacramento County
- San Francisco County
Find a Taco Bell location that takes EBT in several California counties by visiting the California EBT SNAP cardholder portal. Input your nearby county and type “Taco Bell” in the “retailer/bank name” field.
How to Use an EBT Card at Taco Bell?
EBT is short for Electronic Benefits Transfer. It’s a particular type of debit card used by SNAP agencies to distribute food stamps and other forms of government aid like WIC and TANF to qualifying recipients.
Once you become a SNAP recipient, the agency opens an account under your name where your cash benefits are loaded every month. To make it easier for you to access and spend your SNAP funds hassle-free, you’re mailed an EBT card locked with a 4-digit PIN that’s secret to you.
To use your EBT card at Taco Bell, you’ll first need to find a Taco Bell restaurant that accepts food stamps. Then, you can look for window or door signs that show SNAP EBT customers are welcome or ask an employee whether that specific location takes SNAP.
Once you’re sure, go ahead and order your tacos. Then bring your EBT card to the register and let the cashier know that you’re paying with food stamps. Once your card is swiped, you’ll be prompted to enter your PIN. Then, simply enter your secret 4-digit PIN to complete the purchase.
Although you can use a regular debit card without a PIN, you must always PIN your EBT card to authorize transactions. It helps safeguard against PINless card fraud, where you or someone else may try to use a stolen debit card to your advantage.
Make it your habit to check your EBT balance before you go shopping. The easiest way is to visit nearby Quest ATMs that dispense $100, $5, $1, and $100, or contact your local SNAP agency.
You should also be ready with alternative payment methods like debit/credit card with a chip or cash to cover SNAP restricted purchases or if you run out of SNAP funds unexpectedly.
What are the Taco Bell Delivery Options?
If you don’t feel like getting dressed to drive to a Taco Bell restaurant, you can order tacos from the comfort of your house. Taco Bell partners with Grubhub to offer food delivery services to its customers.
You can use the Taco Bell mobile app or visit TacoBell.com to place your order. You can also order directly from your Grubhub app. Once you enter your address, you’ll see eligible delivery locations.
Unfortunately, Taco Bell doesn’t accept food stamps for delivery orders. Also, Grubhub, its delivery partner, doesn’t accept SNAP as a payment method. Therefore you won’t be able to use your EBT card to order those Mexican-inspired tacos, burritos, and nachos online.
Your best bet is to use an alternative payment method like money on Reliacard, cash on delivery, debit card, or a credit card to spare your EBT funds for other purchases.
Does Taco Bell Drive-Thru Take Apple Pay?
Yes, Taco Bell accepts Apple Pay at the drive-thru, inside the restaurant, and the Taco Bell mobile app. Taco Bell also accepts other contactless payment methods like Google Pay.
You can drive up and use any of these touch-free payment methods to pay and pick up your order without the need to give them your phone. You can also pay for your order with a debit card, credit card, Taco Bell gift card, or your Reliacard balance.
However, Taco Bell doesn’t accept personal checks and isn’t among the stores that accept Venmo or PayPal.
Can I Buy a Taco Bell Gift Card at Walgreens?
Yes, you can buy a Taco Bell gift card at Walgreens. Target, Walmart, Safeway, and CVS also sell Taco Bell gift cards when picking up a prescription or shopping for some of the cheapest foods to buy on a budget, like protein powder with EBT.
But if you want to buy Taco Bell gift cards at a discount, Raise is your best bet. The online marketplace buys unwanted gift cards from people and sells them at discounted prices.
Don’t be surprised to find Taco Bell gift cards selling 5% to 10% off the original price at Raise.com. Use our Raise link to get a Taco Bell gift card at $5 off.
Do you have some unwanted gift cards collecting dust at home? Check out our article on the best ways to sell gift cards for cash near me & online.
Related Read: 62 Best Online Coupon Sites for Taco Bell
Does Taco Bell Use Peanut Oil?
No, Taco Bell doesn’t use peanut oil, shellfish, fish, or tree nuts in regular menu items. Instead, its restaurants use soybean oil for cooking regular menu items.
However, some regular menu items may be contaminated with any of these oils during manufacturing. If you’re allergic to any of these, inform the Taco Bell employee so that they can take preventive steps when preparing your meal.
Taco Bell Accepts EBT Summary
With nearly 7,000 restaurants in the United States, Taco Bell is the best place to enjoy a Mexican-inspired meal late at night; some restaurants are open 24 hours. Unfortunately, only a few Taco Bell locations in Arizona and California accept EBT for in-store purchases.
Again, Taco Bell is a top go-to place for high school and college students. It’s also among the restaurants that hire 16-year olds and above. You can make money fast as a kid, especially if you spend a lot of money on fast food. You get free stuff without paying a penny!
Unfortunately, most states don’t participate in the RMP, and you won’t be able to use your EBT card at Taco Bell throughout the rest of the country.
If your local Taco Bell location doesn’t accept EBT, consider paying with an alternative payment method like Apple Pay, Google Pay, Taco Bell gift card, debit card, credit card, activated American Express gift card, or cash, to spare your SNAP funds for other purchases.
Follow the links above to find a local Taco Bell location that accepts EBT in your county.
Don’t forget to check your balance and carry an alternative card before you go.
Related Article: Where to Charge Your Phone for Free Without Electricity