Does Subway Take EBT?

One of the most successful fast-food restaurant chains in the past 4 years, Subway has grown to become world-famous for its inexpensive sandwiches.

In most locations across the US, Subway does not accept EBT cards as payment for its meals. This is not true for all locations, but the answer lies in where you live in the US and the program in which you are a participant.

Does Subway Take EBT?

As part of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), EBT cards are not allowed for purchases at restaurants that serve hot, prepared meals. And while some Subway sandwiches are served cold, they are still prepared which means they do not qualify under SNAP guidelines for using an EBT card.

This is because the EBT is a continuation of the food stamp program which was initiated decades ago to help the poor, disabled, and elderly purchase nutritious meals.

Fast food and restaurants, in general, are excluded from SNAP because they create prepared meals that may not be as nutritious. However, like any program, there are two prominent exceptions depending on where you live.

Check to see if these restaurants accept EBT:

How Does EBT for Subway Work?

In the states of California and Arizona, they offer the Restaurant Meals Program (RMP) in which funds are placed on the EBT cards for use in designated restaurants such as Subway. This means that if you live in California or Arizona and are part of the RMP, you can purchase your meals at Subway.

However, you must purchase your meals in the store itself as EBT cards are not accepted for online purchases either from the website or the Subway app.

Another exception applies to those who are under the TENF program. This is a program that allocates cash from the federal government and distributes it through the EBT much like SNAP. The difference is that you can download the cash from the TENF program through your EBT at a local ATM or participating location. This means that you can use the cash to then pay for your sandwich purchased at Subway.

Will Subway Ever Accept EBT in the Future?

The short answer is probably no. Unless your state implements an RMP or there are changes at the federal level, there is no indication that fast food restaurants that serve hot, prepared meals will ever qualify under SNAP. That is not to say it is impossible, but rather that it is more of a remote possibility.

Can I use My EBT at Subway?

If you live in California or Arizona and are part of the RMP, then you most likely can use your EBT card at participating Subway locations. If you live outside of California and Arizona or you are not signed up under the RMP, then you can not use your EBT at Subway.

Keep in mind that Subway like most fast-food restaurant chains is individually owned via the franchise system. This means that the owner of the store has a say in whether EBT cards are accepted or not. So, be sure to check online or at the store itself before you make an order.  

Brian A.

Brian has always loved the dining experience, a talent he inherited from his family, who already succeeded in the restaurant business. Throughout his years of managing various cultural restaurants, Brian has extensive knowledge in restaurant industry.

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