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ARCO gas stations are found in many states, including California, Arizona, Washington, and Mexico. ARCO gas stations are owned by BP America and are located inside ampm stores. These gas stations are open 24 hours a day and sell coffee, soda, bread, sandwiches, and other hot foods.
ARCO gas stations are among the most reasonably priced gas stations in the nation. ARCO accepts credit cards for paying for gas at participating stations. There is a processing fee of 35 cents for debit cards. ARCO fuel stations accept credit cards, debit cards, and prepaid gas cards as payment options.
Those with EBT cards who frequent ARCO gas stations may be wondering, does ARCO accept Food Stamps or SNAP benefits?
What are SNAP and EBT?
(Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) helps low-income Americans afford food by giving them cash benefits from the government. About 9.5 million families and children use food stamps to buy food that is nutritious. Food stamps are another term for the SNAP benefits that people receive through their Electronic Benefit Trader (EBT) card.
Food stamps are part of the government-run Food Stamp program, which is the largest nutrition assistance program in the nation. SNAP helps low-income people and families buy food by using their EBT card. EBT cards are like a debit card – the government adds money to them monthly to allow you to buy food and drink at authorized SNAP stores.
If you qualify for SNAP benefits, you must live in the state where you receive them and meet a variety of financial requirements, depending on the size of your family.
SNAP helps low-income families buy food and other groceries at EBT-authorized gas stations, grocery stores, farmers markets, and convenience stores.
Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards let you shop at many different stores, including Circle K and Sheetz. If you live near an ARCO gas station, you may be able to buy a variety of SNAP-approved items at that location.
EBT cardholders can use their cards to pay for the following items in an ampm store:
- Fruits and veggies, like apples and pears, and all other fruits and veggies that are approved by SNAP.
- Fish, meat, and chicken are all good choices.
- Dairy products like cheeses, yogurts, and other dairy products that help your family live longer.
- Food items such as cereals, crackers, and cookies.
- Juice and other non-alcoholic beverages
- Seeds, nuts, and plants that can produce food.
Some locations allow you to purchase food that is already cooked, like deli meats and sausages through the Restaurant Meal Program (RMP).
Arizona, certain California counties, Michigan, Rhode Island, and certain Illinois counties are participating in the RMP.
New York is working hard to be accepted into the program. Stay tuned if you live in one of these states and are a SNAP recipient.
What Can’t EBT Buy at Arco?
You cannot use your EBT card to buy any of the following items at gas stations, convenience stores, or grocery stores: Pet food, gas, alcohol, cigarettes, lottery tickets, toiletries, vitamins, medicine, and hot food.
What Other Payment Options Does Arco Accept?
Arco also accepts credit cards, though there’s a 35-cent processing fee for all charges on debit cards. The station also offers a prepaid PumpPASS gas card as another payment option.
Do All Arcos Accept EBT?
No, not all Arcos take EBT, for these reasons:
Legal issues: gas stations are not always considered food retailers under the law. In that case, they cannot accept EBT payments for food.
Cost of compliance with EBT program: Arco has to pay a fee to its payment processors to accept EBT payments. The fee can be quite expensive, especially for smaller stores. So, if the cost is prohibitive for these Arco locations, they may not accept EBT payments.
Type of store: Arcos has a number of store varieties that include gas stations, convenience stores, and food markets. Some types of Arcos stores will accept EBT, while others will not. Food markets, for example, usually accept EBT payments.
Location: Arcos stores located in low-income neighborhoods are more apt to accept EBT payments.
What Other Stores Accept EBT?
If you don’t live near an Arcos, you may still be in luck. There are other stores that accept EBT payments. Here’s a quick list of other retailers that also accept EBT:
- Circle K
- Fred Meyer
Do I Need Cash to Use My EBT Card at Arcos?
No, all you need is your EBT card at Arcos. However, you may need to pay a few cents for using your EBT card. The fee is generally about $1.
What Happens If I Buy Ineligible Items with my EBT Card at Arco?
If you buy ineligible items with your EBT card, your transaction will not go through. It will be declined. It’s not allowed to use EBT to purchase ineligible items.
All in all, using your EBT card in Arco gas stations is possible. You still need to keep in mind the list of eligible an non-eligible items so you don’t go overdrive when shopping for products.