Does Subway Take EBT?

Subway does NOT currently accept EBT as a form of payment. The main reason behind this exclusion is that SNAP aims to provide access to nutritious and staple foods for those in need. Fast food restaurants, including Subway, may not always meet the nutritional requirements set by the program. Therefore, SNAP benefits are restricted to be used primarily at establishments where individuals can buy unprepared food items to prepare their own meals at home.

It’s essential to note that different states may have unique rules and programs that allow certain restaurants to accept EBT, but on a general level, Subway does not currently participate in the SNAP program. If you are a SNAP recipient, it is important to check with your state’s SNAP office or website to understand which establishments are EBT-approved.

SNAP-eligible retailers

When it comes to using Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards, also known as SNAP or food stamps, individuals and families rely on a wide range of retailers to accept their benefits. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) ensures that low-income individuals and families can access affordable and nutritious food options. It is important to understand which retailers accept EBT cards, including the popular fast-food chain Subway.

SNAP-eligible retailers are authorized by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to accept EBT cards. These retailers play a crucial role in providing access to essential food items for SNAP recipients. While most SNAP-eligible retailers are grocery stores and supermarkets, some convenience stores, farmers markets, and even certain restaurants participate in the program.

It is worth noting that not all Subway locations accept EBT cards. The acceptability of EBT varies by state and store. To determine if a particular Subway location accepts EBT, individuals can follow these steps:

  1. Contact the specific Subway location: SNAP-eligible retailers, including Subway, have the authority to decide whether they will accept EBT cards. Therefore, it is recommended to call and inquire about their acceptance policy for EBT. The phone number can usually be found online or through a directory.
  2. Use the official SNAP retailer locator: The USDA provides an online tool called the SNAP Retailer Locator, which helps individuals find nearby SNAP-eligible retailers. By simply entering their location or ZIP code, individuals can identify the nearby Subway locations that accept EBT, if any. This tool is accessible on the official USDA website or through state-specific SNAP websites.

While availability may vary, the following table provides an overview of the different types of SNAP-eligible retailers:

Retailer TypeExamples
Grocery stores and supermarketsWalmart, Kroger, Safeway
Convenience stores7-Eleven, Circle K, BP
Farmers marketsLocal farmers markets participating in SNAP
RestaurantsSubway, McDonald’s (limited pilot program)

It is important to note that while some restaurants, like Subway, may participate in SNAP under certain circumstances, the program has specific rules regarding the types of prepared meals that can be purchased. Typically, SNAP benefits can only be used to purchase ingredients or ready-to-eat meals meant for home consumption. These rules aim to prioritize access to nutritious food options and discourage excessive spending on restaurant meals.

In summary, while Subway can be an option for individuals utilizing the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), it is essential to verify EBT acceptance with specific locations. Individuals can contact the restaurant directly or utilize the USDA’s SNAP Retailer Locator for comprehensive information regarding SNAP-eligible retailers, including Subway locations that accept EBT.

Qualifying food items under SNAP

When it comes to using your Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card at Subway, it is essential to understand which food items qualify under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). SNAP benefits are designed to help low-income individuals and families have access to nutritious food, so there are some restrictions on what can be purchased using your EBT card. Below, I will provide an in-depth explanation of the qualifying food items under SNAP.

1. Eligible food items:

  • Fruits and vegetables: Any fresh, canned, or frozen fruits and vegetables are considered eligible under SNAP. This includes whole fruits and vegetables, as well as cut and packaged produce.
  • Meat, poultry, and fish: SNAP benefits can be used to purchase all types of meat, such as beef, pork, lamb, chicken, turkey, and fish. This also includes deli meats and poultry products like bacon and sausage.
  • Dairy products: Milk, cheese, yogurt, butter, and other dairy products are eligible for purchase using SNAP benefits.
  • Bread and cereal: Whole grain and enriched bread, cereals, rice, pasta, and other grain products are considered eligible under SNAP.
  • Snack items: Some snack items like nuts, seeds, cookies, and crackers are eligible if they are part of a larger meal or diet plan.
  • Non-alcoholic beverages: SNAP benefits can be used to purchase non-alcoholic beverages, including bottled water, fruit juices, soda, coffee, and tea.

2. Ineligible food items:

  • Prepared meals: SNAP benefits cannot be used to buy hot and prepared foods at Subway or any other store. This includes items like sandwiches, pizza slices, hot soups, and rotisserie chickens.
  • Alcoholic beverages: SNAP benefits cannot be used to purchase alcoholic beverages of any kind.
  • Tobacco: Any tobacco products, including cigarettes, cigars, vaping products, and chewing tobacco, are not eligible under SNAP.
  • Vitamins and supplements: SNAP benefits cannot be used to buy vitamins, supplements, or any over-the-counter medications.
  • Cleaning supplies: Household items like cleaning supplies, paper products, pet food, and personal care products cannot be purchased using SNAP benefits.

3. SNAP-authorized retailers:

It’s also important to note that not all Subway restaurants accept EBT cards. SNAP benefits can only be used at authorized retailers, and each Subway location must individually apply and be approved to participate in the SNAP program. To find out if your local Subway accepts EBT, it’s best to contact them directly or visit the official SNAP retailer locator website.

In summary, while Subway does accept EBT cards at some of its locations, there are restrictions on what can be purchased using SNAP benefits. Eligible food items include fruits, vegetables, meat, dairy products, bread, cereal, and non-alcoholic beverages. Ineligible items include prepared meals, alcoholic beverages, tobacco, vitamins, cleaning supplies, and personal care products. As always, it’s crucial to check with your local Subway to ensure they accept EBT before making a purchase.

Eligible Food ItemsIneligible Food Items
Fruits and vegetablesPrepared meals
Meat, poultry, and fishAlcoholic beverages
Dairy productsTobacco
Bread and cerealVitamins and supplements
Snack itemsCleaning supplies
Non-alcoholic beverages

How to Apply for EBT Benefits

Applying for EBT benefits, also known as SNAP benefits, can provide valuable assistance to individuals and families who may be struggling to afford nutritious food. Fortunately, the application process is relatively straightforward, and there are several ways you can apply. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to apply for EBT benefits:

  1. Gather required documentation: Before beginning the application process, make sure you have the necessary documentation ready. This typically includes proof of identity, residency, and income. Examples of documents you may need to provide include a valid ID, utility bills, pay stubs, and tax returns.
  2. Locate the nearest SNAP office: Use the USDA’s SNAP Office Locator tool to find the nearest office in your area. You can access this tool on the USDA’s official website or simply search for “SNAP Office Locator” in your preferred search engine.
  3. Complete the application: Once you have the required documentation and have located your nearest SNAP office, you can begin filling out the application. There are typically three ways to apply: in person, online, or by mail. Let’s explore each option in more detail:

When applying in person:

  • Visit the SNAP office during their regular operating hours.
  • Inform the staff that you want to apply for EBT benefits.
  • Ask for an application form, and they will provide it to you.
  • Fill out the application form, providing accurate and complete information.
  • Submit the application form to the staff, who will guide you through the next steps.

When applying online:

  • Visit your state’s official SNAP website.
  • Locate the online application option and click on it.
  • Provide the necessary information as prompted, following the on-screen instructions carefully.
  • Attach any required documentation as digital files, making sure they meet the stated file format and size requirements.
  • Submit the online application, and you should receive a confirmation message.

When applying by mail:

  • Contact your local SNAP office to request an application form via mail.
  • Provide accurate and complete information on the application form.
  • Ensure you enclose copies of all the required documentation with your application.
  • Double-check that you have included all the necessary elements before sealing and sending the application.
  • Once your application is received, the SNAP office will review it and contact you if any additional information is needed.

It’s worth noting that the exact application process may vary slightly depending on your state’s specific procedures. Therefore, it’s always helpful to consult your state’s official SNAP website or contact the local SNAP office for any additional instructions or requirements.

Application Process Comparison:

Application MethodAdvantagesConsiderations
In Person
  • Immediate support from staff
  • Assistance in filling out the form
  • May require travel to the SNAP office
  • Availability of office hours
  • Convenience of applying from anywhere
  • No need for physical travel
  • Requires an internet connection
  • Computer literacy and access to a device
By Mail
  • No need for immediate visits
  • Can complete the form at your own pace
  • May take longer for processing and response
  • Ensure proper postage and mailing address

After submitting your application, it’s essential to be patient throughout the processing period. The SNAP office will review your application and determine your eligibility based on various factors such as income and household size. If you meet the criteria, you will receive an EBT card, which you can use to purchase eligible food items at authorized retailers, including some Subway locations that accept EBT. Keep in mind that specific store policies may vary, so it’s advisable to check with individual stores beforehand.

By following the application process outlined above, you’ll be on your way to obtaining the support you need through the EBT program. Remember, EBT benefits can make a significant difference in improving access to nutritious food, ensuring your well-being and that of your family.

Benefits and Limitations of Using EBT Cards for Food Purchases

Using Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards for food purchases under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) brings about several benefits for individuals and families in need. However, it is important to understand the limitations associated with using EBT cards as well. Let’s delve into the benefits and limitations of using EBT cards for food purchases.


  • Easy and Convenient: EBT cards provide a simple and convenient way to access and use SNAP benefits. Users can easily swipe their cards at authorized retailers, including grocery stores, supermarkets, and farmers markets.
  • Discreet: EBT cards offer more privacy compared to traditional paper food stamps. Users can discreetly pay for their groceries at the checkout counter without drawing unwanted attention.
  • Increased Access to Healthy Food: EBT cards enable low-income individuals and families to purchase a wide variety of nutritious food items, including fruits, vegetables, dairy, meat, and more. This supports their efforts to maintain a balanced and healthy diet.
  • No Cash Handling: EBT cards eliminate the need for cash handling while purchasing groceries, reducing the risk of loss or theft.
  • Online Shopping Capabilities: In certain states, select online retailers also accept EBT cards for online grocery purchases, providing individuals with limited mobility or transportation options the ability to access healthy food from the comfort of their homes.


  • Restrictions on Non-Food Purchases: EBT cards can only be used to purchase eligible food items. They cannot be used to buy non-food items such as household products, toiletries, or prepared meals.
  • No Hot Food or Prepared Meals: EBT cards cannot be used to purchase hot foods or meals from restaurants, including popular chains like Subway. These cards are exclusively for purchasing groceries and unprepared food to be cooked at home.
  • SNAP Eligibility Criteria: EBT cards can only be obtained by individuals and families who meet specific income and resource eligibility criteria established by the SNAP program. These criteria may vary by state.
  • Transaction Fees: While the use of EBT cards is generally free, some states may impose minimal fees for ATM withdrawals or balance inquiries made outside the designated network of ATMs.
  • Product Restrictions: Some products, such as alcoholic beverages and tobacco, are ineligible for purchase with EBT cards. Retailers actively enforce these restrictions to ensure compliance with SNAP regulations.

It is crucial for EBT card users to be aware of both the benefits and limitations associated with these cards. Understanding these factors helps individuals make informed food choices and avoid potential issues during the purchasing process.

Easy and ConvenientRestrictions on Non-Food Purchases
DiscreetNo Hot Food or Prepared Meals
Increased Access to Healthy FoodSNAP Eligibility Criteria
No Cash HandlingTransaction Fees
Online Shopping CapabilitiesProduct Restrictions

Common misconceptions about EBT and SNAP

When it comes to the Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) program and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), there are several common misconceptions that often lead to misunderstandings and false information. Let’s take a closer look at some of these misconceptions:

  1. Misconception: Only grocery stores accept EBT.

This is perhaps one of the most prevalent misconceptions surrounding EBT and SNAP benefits. While it is true that grocery stores are the primary place where individuals can use their EBT cards, there are some exceptions. In fact, a few other types of retailers, including some farmer’s markets and authorized merchants, also accept EBT.

For example, Subway, the popular fast-food chain known for its submarine sandwiches, has been authorized to accept EBT payments in certain states. It’s important to note, however, that not all Subway locations accept EBT, and the acceptance of EBT may vary by state and individual store policy. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to inquire directly with the specific Subway location you plan to visit.

  1. Misconception: EBT can be used for any food item.

While SNAP benefits are primarily intended to help low-income individuals and families access nutritious food, not all food items are eligible for purchase using EBT. There are specific guidelines and restrictions on what can be bought with EBT, aimed at promoting healthier choices.

SNAP benefits may be used to buy a variety of food items, including fruits, vegetables, dairy products, bread, and meats. However, the benefits cannot be used to purchase items such as hot prepared foods, alcoholic beverages, or non-food items like household supplies or personal care products. It’s always important to refer to the official SNAP guidelines or check with your local SNAP office for a comprehensive list of eligible and ineligible food items.

  1. Misconception: EBT and SNAP are permanent solutions.

It’s important to understand that EBT and SNAP benefits are designed to provide temporary assistance to individuals and families facing financial hardship. These programs offer support during times of need, but they are not intended to be permanent solutions for ongoing financial struggles.

The goal of SNAP is to help individuals and families get back on their feet, develop self-sufficiency, and improve their overall well-being. Recipients of SNAP benefits are encouraged to seek and maintain employment, participate in job training programs, and work towards attaining financial stability.

  1. Misconception: EBT is easily abused or used fraudulently.

While there may be isolated cases of misuse or fraud related to EBT and SNAP, it is essential to acknowledge that the vast majority of individuals utilizing these programs are genuinely in need of assistance. Strict safeguards and monitoring systems are in place to prevent abuse.

EBT cards, for example, require the entry of a personal identification number (PIN) to access benefits, adding an extra layer of security. Additionally, retailers authorized to accept EBT payments are subject to regular audits and inspections to ensure compliance with program rules.

Efforts are continuously made to improve the integrity of the system and reduce any potential fraudulent activities.

  1. Misconception: EBT recipients are lazy or take advantage of the system.

One of the most harmful misconceptions surrounding EBT and SNAP is the judgment and stigma associated with recipients. It is crucial to remember that people enrolled in these programs come from various backgrounds and circumstances.

Many recipients of EBT and SNAP are working individuals, families with children, elderly adults, or individuals with disabilities. These programs serve as a safety net to provide temporary assistance during difficult times and should not be seen as a reflection of personal character or work ethic.

Common MisconceptionsClarifications
Only grocery stores accept EBT.Other retailers like Subway may also accept EBT in certain states, although it can vary by location.
EBT can be used for any food item.Specific guidelines determine what can be purchased using EBT, focusing on healthier food choices.
EBT and SNAP are permanent solutions.These programs are intended to provide temporary assistance, aiming to help individuals regain stability and self-sufficiency.
EBT is easily abused or used fraudulently.Strict security measures, including PIN entry and retailer inspections, exist to prevent misuse or fraud.
EBT recipients are lazy or take advantage of the system.EBT and SNAP support individuals from various backgrounds and circumstances, most of whom genuinely need assistance.

Happy Eating Made Easy with Subway and EBT!

We hope this article has shed some light on whether Subway accepts EBT, bringing you one step closer to enjoying those delicious sandwiches. Remember, Subway is committed to providing affordable, nutritious meals for all, and that includes accepting EBT. So, the next time you’re looking for a quick and satisfying meal, don’t hesitate to swing by your nearest Subway location and enjoy their range of mouth-watering options. Thanks for reading, and be sure to visit us again for more helpful articles, because we’re here to make your life a little bit easier and tastier!