Don’t ditch your government stimulus payment delivered by debit card

Tuesday, June 02, 2020

 

Versión en español aquí / Spanish version here

You may have received your economic stimulus money on a prepaid debit card.
Don't throw it away!

Nearly four million Americans were sent their U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) stimulus payment via prepaid debit card instead of paper check. You may be one of them if you qualify for an economic stimulus payment and didn't yet receive the funds as a direct deposit into your bank account. The cards are not a scam, but many people who were not expecting their government payment to arrive on a debit card mistakenly threw the cards away.

Economic impact payments (EIP) were authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security, or CARES, Act. The EIP debit cards, managed by Money Network Financial, are Visa-branded debit cards issued by the federal government and preloaded with your stimulus money. The card’s issuing bank, MetaBank, N.A., is printed on the back of the card. The EIP card is sent in a plain envelope from Money Network Cardholder Services (PO Box 247022, Omaha, NE 68124). Click here to see what the mailer looks like. Eligible recipients began receiving these cards in the mail the week of May 18.

Lost or stolen cards

If your EIP card was thrown away, stolen or destroyed, call 800-240-8100 (TTY: 800-241-9100) immediately and select the “lost/stolen” option (or report the card lost or stolen online). The card will be deactivated to prevent anyone from using it and a replacement card will be sent to you. Your first reissued card will be free. (A $7.50 fee applies for additional replacements.)  Regular shipping takes seven to 10 business days. (There’s a $17 expedite fee if you want the card more quickly).

If your identity has been stolen and you suspect the ID thief stole your stimulus payment, visit IdentityTheft.gov to file an ID theft affidavit with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the IRS at the same time. You can include a personal statement to tell the IRS how your identity was misused to claim your economic impact payment. More information can be found at the FTC.

Fees

There is no fee to withdraw cash from the EIP cards at in-network ATMs (including Allpoint ATMs at Costco, CVS, Chevron, Target, Walmart, Walgreens, etc.). Fees may apply if you use an out-of-network ATM:

  • A $2 fee will be applied after the first free withdrawal at out-of-network ATMs.
  • The first withdrawal (up to $2,500) at a teller window of a bank or credit union is free ($5 thereafter).
  • Checking your card’s balance is free online and at in-network ATMs, but will cost you 25 cents at an out-of-network ATM. Search here for in-network ATMs in your area.
  • You may transfer funds from the EIP card to a bank or prepaid account for free ($2,500 transfer limit per day).
  • You can request a check by calling the number on the back of the card. The Money Network check can be made payable to anyone (like a landlord) or can be cashed as you would any other.

Direct Express card

Most eligible Social Security, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Veterans and Railroad Retirement Board recipients will automatically receive payment deposited to their Direct Express card if it was not directly deposited into a bank account.

More information  

For more information on the EIP card, watch the CFPB’s video here.

You can also visit the EIP debit card website for a list of FAQs.

For more information on the economic stimulus, visit the IRS website.

 

 

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