Are you planning to get a meal at McDonald’s, but only have a $50 or $100 bill available?
Or, perhaps you’re simply looking for a convenient way to break a $100 bill, and want to know if McDonald’s will do it for you.
In this article, I’ll be covering McDonald’s policies for $50 and $100 bills – including when they will break them, and when they won’t. I’ll also cover whether they cover them in the drive-thru and at self-pay kiosks, as well as what to do if you only have large bills available. That way, you can ensure you’re still able to order your meal without any issues.
Let’s get started!
Does McDonald’s Accept $100 Bills?
Unfortunately, whether or not McDonald’s will accept a $100 bill will depend on the individual location. However, I am happy to report that most McDonald’s locations are happy to accept $100 bills, with some exceptions.
During my research, I discovered that acceptance of $100 bills is more common with McDonald’s locations that receive a large amount of customers. This may include McDonald’s locations in larger cities, as well as those currently in peak shopping hours.
Although it can be frustrating for cashiers (especially since they may need a manager to approve the bill), most McDonald’s restaurants do not have a policy against paying with a $100 bill.
That being said, McDonald’s does not keep all of the money they receive each day at the register. Not only would the money unable to physically fit, but it would also make them a target for robbery and theft.
Therefore, your McDonald’s location will only be able to offer change for $100 if they actually have enough small bills available. This is more common when plenty of customers are spending money with them.
Does McDonald’s Accept $50 Bills?
Thankfully, McDonald’s almost always accepts $50 bills – at leas tin the United States, unless they have a sign noting otherwise. However, according to McDonald’s employees I spoke to in the U.K, it is more common for £50 notes to be denied there.
With fast food prices rising across the country, it is not uncommon for orders to reach $20 or $30, even when ordering for just a couple of people. Therefore, it’s become more common for people to pay with $50 bills than it has in the past, due to increased order prices.
Since far less change is required for a $50 bill than a $100 bill, they are usually accepted at most McDonald’s locations.
Again however, your chances are improved if your location is busy, or your order amount is already close to $50. If you’re ordering a single McDouble, they may be unwilling to break a $50 for such a low order amount.
Does McDonald’s Accept $50 / $100 Bills In The Drive-Thru?
Now that we’ve covered ordering inside the McDonald’s restaurant itself, what about when trying to pay through the drive-thru?
In this case, the same policies apply.
Note that if a McDonald’s location doesn’t accept bills larger than $20, they will usually have a sticker stating so on the window.
This will allow you to find smaller bills (if you have them) or use an alternate payment method before trying to pay with a $50 or $100 bill.
So, pay attention to any signs or stickers that may be posted on the window when ordering through the drive-thru. You can also ask the employee beforehand, while you’re actually placing your order if their specific location accepts $50 or $100 bills.
What About McDonald’s Kiosks?
Yes! Generally, you will never have a problem with a self-serve kiosk accepting $100 or $50 bills.
However, not all McDonald’s kiosks accept cash at all. So, you will only be able to use your large bill if the machine itself takes cash.
That being said, a large percentage of customers still prefer to pay with cash, so more and more kiosks are rolling out that accept cash as a payment option.
When Does McDonald’s NOT Accept $50 / $100 Bills?
Generally, there are only three situations where a McDonald’s location won’t accept $50 or $100 bills.
The first is if that specific location has a policy against it. Remember that McDonald’s is a franchise, and the locations are owned by individuals. It’s entirely possible that $100 bills are always accepted (when possible) at some locations, and never accepted at other locations.
Next, if the register physically does not have enough change to break your $100 or $50 bill, then they will be unable to accept it.
Finally, if they suspect that the bill may be counterfeit, they may either need a manager to come and check the bill, or refuse it entirely.
Thankfully, there are usually other options available.
I Only Have A $100 Bill! What Should I Do?
If you only have a $100 bill to use, what should you do?
First things first, you’re more likely to have a $100 bill accepted if you are ordering an amount that’s closer to $100. So, if you’re ordering for a large group of people, you likely won’t have a problem.
However, it may also be a good idea to try to break the bill up somewhere else first.
Banks are always willing to provide you smaller bill denominations, while most grocery stores also accept $100 bills without any issues.
So, consider stopping by and breaking your $100 bill somewhere else, or calling your local McDonald’s location in advance to see if it will be accepted. You can find the phone number of your local McDonald’s location using their store locator here.
Finally, you may consider using an alternative payment method as well. A full list will be provided below.
What Other Payment Methods Does McDonald’s Accept?
Currently, McDonald’s accepts the following payment methods in addition to cash:
- American Express
- Discover Card
- Apple Pay
- Google Pay
- PayPal (mobile orders only)
- Venmo (mobile orders only)
Can McDonald’s Legally Deny My $100 Bill?
Unfortunately, the answer is yes.
Many people don’t know this, but there is no law against accepting certain bill denominations for private businesses.
Technically, businesses are not even required to accept cash at all, according to the Federal Reserve Board.
So, please don’t cause trouble for employees if they won’t accept your $100 bill – they aren’t required to!
Most McDonald’s locations will have no problem accepting a $50 or $100 bill, provided that they have enough cash in the register to cover it.
However, some McDonald’s locations will refuse to accept bills over $20. If this is the case, there will usually be a sign posted in the lobby, or a sticker posted on the drive-through window.
If you’re curious, call your local McDonald’s in advance to inquire.
I hope that you’ve found this article helpful. If you have any other questions about McDonald’s, ask them below and I’ll be happy to help.
Wishing you the best,
– James McAllister