Does ARCO Accept Food Stamps SNAP EBT Benefits?

This information is current as of May 5, 2022.

ARCO gas stations are popular in Northern California, Arizona, Oregon, Washington, and Mexico. Owned by BP America, ARCO is usually attached to an ampm convenience store. These c-stores are open 24 hours a day and are known for their coffee, sodas, bakery items, fresh sandwiches, and hot prepared foods. Locate an ampm or ARCO here.


If you’re an EBT cardholder and have an ARCO near you, you may be asking, “Does ARCO accept Food Stamps or SNAP benefits?” Unfortunately, you may not be able to buy gas with your EBT card. However, there is a list of foods you can purchase within the ampm store. This article will focus on what you can and cannot purchase using your SNAP EBT card and more.

What Is SNAP or EBT?

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) helps millions of Americans buy groceries for their families.  

About 9.5 million families and children throughout the U.S. use food stamps to buy healthy food. Food stamps are another term for the Electronic Benefit Trader (EBT) card benefits recipients receive with SNAP.

This government-run program is the largest federal nutrition assistance initiative in the nation. SNAP helps eligible low-income individuals and families get help purchasing nutritious food using an EBT card. This EBT card is like a debit card – reloaded monthly and ready to buy food and beverage items at authorized SNAP stores every month.

To qualify for SNAP benefits, you must live in the state in which you apply and meet a variety of household bank balance limits according to the size of your family. Find out if you and your family are eligible for food stamps and how to apply here.

What Can You Buy With SNAP EBT Cards at ARCO or ampm?

Food stamps help families buy healthy food, snacks, and beverages at most EBT-authorized grocery stores, gas stations, convenience stores, and farmers’ markets.

Your Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card lets you shop at dozens of different convenience stores like Circle K and Sheetz. If you have an ampm near an ARCO fuel station in your area, you may want to take advantage of purchasing a variety of SNAP-approved items.

Foods You Can Buy With SNAP EBT

You can use your EBT card to purchase the following items throughout the ampm store.

  • Fruits and veggies
  • Fish, meat, and chicken
  • Dairy products (yogurts, milk, cheeses, etc.)
  • Bread
  • Cereals, crackers, and some cookies
  • Snacks
  • Juices and other non-alcoholic beverages
  • Seeds, nuts, and plants to produce food

Depending on where you live, some locations may allow you to purchase hot prepared foods.

As of February 2022, the states that actively participate in the Restaurant Meal Program (RMP) are:

  • Arizona
  • Certain California counties
  • Maryland
  • Michigan
  • Rhode Island
  • Virginia
  • Illinois counties such as Dewitt, Franklin, and Cook County – zip code areas include 60619, 60620, 60628, and 60617

New York is working to gain acceptance into the program. So, stay tuned if you live in those states and are a SNAP recipient.

Items You Cannot Buy at ARCO or ampm With Your EBT 

You cannot use your EBT card to purchase the following items at convenience stores, gas stations, or grocery stores:

  • Gas
  • Alcohol
  • Cigarettes
  • Lottery Tickets
  • Pet Food
  • Toiletries
  • Vitamins
  • Medicine
  • Hot Food
  • Prepared Food

ARCO Gas Station Payment Options

ARCO is one of the most reasonably priced gas stations. According to the ARCO website, the station accepts credit cards for fuel at participating locations. There is a 35-cent processing fee charge for debit cards. The gas station also offers prepaid PumpPASS gas cards as a payment option.  

You May Qualify for Free Gas Cards

Free Gas USA, Inc. is a national nonprofit that offers free gasoline to folks who qualify. Free Gas was founded in 2008 and partners with churches, private, public, and philanthropic organizations to help those in need with free fuel. 

Nonprofits such as Catholic Charities, Salvation Army, and Saint Vincent de Paul can provide gas grants or vouchers if you cannot afford gas. Check out this blog to learn more.

Cash-back apps may also offer free gas cards in exchange for points, or you could use the cash-back to go toward purchasing gas cards. Additionally, many gas stations provide a discount if you can sign up for a gas card. For example, 7-11 offers a savings of up to 7 cents per gallon on gasoline at 7-Eleven, Stripes, and APlus gas stations when using the store card. 

Lifeline Free Monthly Wireless Service

If you qualify for government benefit programs like SNAP, you also qualify for Lifeline service or the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). Both Lifeline and ACP are government-run programs that help low-income consumers receive free or deeply discounted communication services.

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Access to the internet is essential for families. Now you can get an 8” tablet for just $10.01 when you qualify and sign up for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP).

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