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Does McDonalds Take Apple Pay? (Discussed In Detail)

Despite your mixed feelings towards McDonald’s and its consistently broken ice cream machine, you will always find yourself drifting there for a Big Mac. Yet, the situation might be heartbreaking if you do not have your card or any cash on you. Fortunately, McDonalds has got your back. So, Does McDonalds Take Apple Pay?

McDonald’s accepts payments through Apple Pay, alongside some other cashless methods. This option is available in the store, app, and drive-thru at McDonald’s.

If you are new to the concept, it is understandable if you have questions, as long as you are certain that McDonald’s does take Apple Pay. To guide you through the entire process, I have included all the relevant details about Apple Pay and McDonald’s in this article.

How To Use Apple Pay At McDonald's?

Before I dive into the details of the procedure, I think it might be better if you have a general grasp of how Apple Pay works. Apple Pay can be your digital wallet where you can store all your cards and credit information while having the utmost security and privacy.

Already incorporated into your iPhone, the system is similar to that of a debit card. The system supports technology that enables virtual payment so that you do not become too reliant on your wallets and purses.

After entering all your card information into your Apple Pay account, you have to link to an approved credit card terminal. This will be done through wireless communication. All you have to do is hold your iPhone close to the terminal.

 After your iPhone has finished transmitting your card information to the terminal, the terminal will contact whatever financial institution you associate with and look into the availability of your funds. If your funds are verifiable, your financial institution will take the required cash and transfer it to the merchant’s account, in this case, McDonald’s.

Apple Pay Payment Procedure At McDonald’s

McDonald’s was one of the earliest stores to incorporate Apple Pay into their business. They started back in 2014. They accept Apple Pay in all their store locations. So, below I have explained how you can use Apple Pay at McDonald’s.

Apple Pay through iPhone

Firstly, you have to have Apple Pay set up on your Apple Watch or iPhone. To do so, go to the "Settings" option on your iPhone. Click on "Apple Wallet and Pay". You will come across an option named "Select card", press it, and then hit the "Continue" button. Then you will have to choose a payment method as per your preference.

You can manually type in your debit or credit card details to add them to the shopping cart. Or you can hold your iPhone over the cards until it finishes collecting the information into its system.

Then you will have to complete the Terms and Conditions section. You might also come across some additional verification steps relating to your credit card. Now, your card is in your Apple Wallet and you are good to go.

Apple Pay through Apple Watch

If you want to set up Apple Pay on your Apple Watch, use your connected iPhone. On your phone, first open the Apple Watch app. Just like with your phone, click on "Apple Wallet and Pay" and select "Add card." You will come across a set of instructions that you must complete to add your credit card to Apple Pay on your Apple Watch.

Payment inside McDonald’s store with your iPhone

Unlock your iPhone and hold it over the sale terminal’s contactless point. This is the credit card payment terminal that I mentioned before. Keep holding your phone until you hear a chime. This means the machine has finished reading your card information.

You will see a green colored checkmark on the terminal. This can be accompanied by the word “Done” flashing across your iPhone. This implies that your payment has been made.

Payment inside McDonald’s store with your Apple Watch

Unlock your Apple Watch and hold it over the credit card payment terminal. The rest of the process is the same as that of an iPhone.

Payment inside McDonald’s drive-thru

At the drive-thru, inform the cashier that you wish to pay with Apple Pay and they will pass you the card reader. Hold your iPhone/Apple Watch over the card reader until you hear the chime, signaling the end of your payment process.

Payment inside McDonald’s kiosk

With a self-serving kiosk, the procedure is the same. You hold your device over the terminal and wait for it to finish reading your card information.

Payment with McDonald’s mobile app

If you want the online service, you can simply go to the McDonald’s app. Even there, the Apple Pay option is there.

Firstly, open the app and input your sign-in information. Select the location of your local McDonald’s. Pick whatever food you would like to have and add it all to your cart. After you have finished, review your shopping cart and proceed towards payment.

Select a delivery or pickup option as per your preference. Input the information they ask for. For the payment methods, simply click on Apple Pay and that will be all!

Gift Cards

You might be wondering if you are allowed to add McDonald’s gift cards to Apple Pay. The answer to that is, unfortunately, no. The option is not even available on the McDonald’s app. Due to certain restrictions, you can only do so directly at the store or in the drive-thru.

Other Stores

In case you are curious as to which other food stores also accept the Apple Pay option, I have provided a list of the most popular food outlets below. These might serve as good substitutes.

  • Burger King
  • Wendy’s
  • KFC
  • Subway
  • Taco Bell
  • Baskin Robbins

What To Do When McDonald's Apple Pay Does Not Work?

Technological glitches are no longer a surprise to anyone. Yet, they can be annoying all the same. For your Apple Pay at McDonald’s, figuring out where the problem is might be tricky. The problem might be with the McDonald’s system, your phone, your bank, or even with the Apple system. Still, here are a few basic solutions that mostly work.

  • First, check if your debit or credit card has enough cash or not. If not, your payment will not be processed.
  • You can confirm if the Apple system is down or not by checking here. This can cancel out one of the root causes.
  • This might be a textbook solution but simply restarting the phone does the trick in most cases. The same can apply to uninstalling your McDonald’s app.
  • Sign in to Apple Pay and try switching to a different card. 
  • You can check if your Apple Pay card is working or not by going to another store and seeing if your payment gets processed there or not. If it does, you can assume that the problem lies with McDonald’s.
  • If you have lots of cards added to your Apple Pay, try double-checking and see if you selected the right card for payment. 
  • As a last resort, you can even contact your bank. While they may not know exactly why your payment is not being accepted, they can offer some insight. If this is your first time using Apple Pay, you may come across additional authorization to access your card.

Is It Worth Using Apple Pay At McDonald's?

It can be justified if you are skeptical about using Apple Pay. Of course, credit cards and cash seem much more hassle-free. Yet, below are some reasons why using Apple Pay can be more beneficial than others.


After the chaos of the pandemic, everyone is extra vigilant about cleanliness. By using Apple Pay, you will not have to come into contact with machines or cash that may be contaminated by others. At the terminal, you only have to hold your phone close to it, which is not much of a risk.

Secure option

If you did not know before, the data of your credit card transferred from your iPhone to the credit card terminal is not the exact information of your credit card. It is merely an encoded version of it. There is also a separate code for each and every transaction. So, the precious details of your credit info will be kept private and secure.

Added convenience

Paying through Apple Pay is fast and efficient. Digging through your wallet to find cash or your credit card can be time-consuming. Yet, your phone is always inches away. So, not only are you making the process fast for yourself, but you are also saving the time of others stuck in a queue.

Protection Of Apple Pay

Just because Apple Pay provides the highest level of security does not mean that unfortunate incidents will not occur. You can prevent this by taking some of the precautions listed below.

Thorough protection of your phone

You must secure your phone with passcodes and similar authorization methods so that others do not have access to it. This can lead to them making their payments without your permission.

Give access to very few people

It would be ideal to give such information away to no one since it is highly sensitive information at the end of the day. But try to give access to very few people, and they must be people you trust with everything. You do not want to give them to the wrong person and have them hack you.

Does McDonald's Apple Pay Take Refunds?

Just like other types of payments, Apple Pay will not hold you back from getting a refund if something goes wrong with your order. However, you must have legitimate reasons for requesting a refund; otherwise, you will not be granted one.

First, you need to go to McDonald’s for authorization of the refund. You should know that, unlike cash payments, you may not be able to see the refunded amount in your account for some time. This is no cause for concern.

What Other Cashless Methods Does McDonald's Accept? 

McDonald’s did not want to be left behind and invested in mobile payments as soon as it could. Hence, below, I have included a few other cashless methods that McDonald’s accepts as payments.

Google Pay

McDonald’s accepts Google Pay at its drive-thru, store, and self-serving kiosks. Yet the McDonald’s app does not. The instructions on how to use it are given below.

Step 1: Open your Google Play app. Fill out all the information regarding your sign in/log in.

Step 2: You will find a “Payment method” afterward. Press it.

Step 3: Complete the instructions for the addition of the payment method.

Step 4: For contactless payment, tell the cashier at McDonald’s that you want to pay with Google pay and they will hand over the card reader. Your payment will be finished when you hear the chime.

Samsung Pay

Similar to Google Pay, McDonald’s accepts Samsung Pay only at the store and the drive-thru. The instructions on how to pay for it are given below.

Step 1: Open your Samsung Play app. Fill out all the information regarding your sign in/log in.

Step 2: Press the "Payment method" in the middle of the screen.

Step 3: Follow the instructions to add the payment method of Samsung Pay.

Step 4: Inform the cashier at McDonald’s that you want to pay with Samsung pay and they will hand over the card reader. Your payment will be completed as soon as you hear the chime.

There are numerous factors that contribute to a pleasant shopping experience at a food store. The ambiance, the food, and a simple transaction process are all important, although the latter one isn't given much importance. However, if you know how convenient technology can make things, you will understand what I'm talking about.

After reading this article, apart from knowing that McDonald’s does accept Apple Pay, you also got to know all about how to operate it. Thanks for stopping by! Happy eating!

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Author Ferdi
Written by Ferdi Vol
Ferdi Vol has been working for a grocery store for the last few years and he knows all the ins and outs of running a grocery store. He's also got great tips about what you need to know as a customer, from getting the most out of your money to knowing where everything is in the store! Ferdi loves sharing his passion with others via his blog on how to have an awesome shopping experience at your local grocery store.
About Ferdi Vol
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