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Why Are Some Stimulus Checks Being Sent As Debit Cards

How do I check my balance on my Visa Metabank debit card?

The simple answer is because it’s fast. The IRS says it’s sending out prepaid debit cards “to speed delivery of the payments to reach as many people as soon as possible.” These cards are sponsored by the Bureau of the Fiscal Service.

People in all 50 states as well as Washington, D.C., are getting EIP Cards, especially those who live in the western U.S. The IRS says it doesn’t determine who gets a debit card and who gets a check, and there’s no guarantee as to which you receive even if the first stimulus from last year came as a paper check.

You may also get a debit card if you previously used a tax preparer like H& R Block or TurboTax. The IRS may have tried to send your stimulus payment via direct deposit to a temporary bank account used for your tax refund transfer, gotten rejected, and defaulted to sending you a check or card.

So if you haven’t gotten your second stimulus check through direct deposit yet, keep an eye on the mailbox.

Do I Have To Activate My Eip Card

Yes. Before using your card, you have to call 1240-8100 to activate it. Youll be asked to enter your card number, last six digits of your Social Security number and the three-digit security code on the back of your card.

Youll also be asked to set a four-digit PIN, which youll use for any ATM transactions, automated assistance and to hear your balance.

Is It A New Card Or One Loaded Into An Existing One

Your stimulus check is deposited immediately into your NetSpend card, but you can obtain a stimulus check via mail if you dont have a NetSpend card.

Anyone who gets tax returns by mail should also get the stimulus paper check by mail, while millions of individuals received debit cards filled with stimulus checks in 2020.

The debit cards come in a white envelope with instructions on activating and withdrawing the cash.

You may also get a paper check and prepaid Visa cards.

Not everyone is getting the same stimulus money, so check your bank account and mailbox for the money.

Each card comes with instructions on how to use it safely.

The IRS and Treasury recommended eligible persons who dont have direct deposits to keep an eye out for new cards.

The Bureau of Fiscal Service sponsors and MetaBank issues the economic impact payment card.

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Will It Arrive By Mail As A New Card Or Be Loaded Into An Existing One

If you have an existing NetSpend card, they deposit your stimulus check directly into it. Alternatively, you can get a stimulus check in the mail if you dont have a NetSpend card.

Anyone who receives tax refunds by mail should expect to receive the stimulus paper check via the same means. During the 2020 stimulus payment, millions of people received debit cards loaded with their stimulus checks. The debit cards come in a white envelope with the US Department of the Treasury seal instructions on how to activate the card the draw cash.

You can also receive a paper check and prepaid Visa debit cards in the mail. Not everyone is receiving their stimulus money in the 11 same way. Therefore, check your bank account and your mailbox to see how the money might show up. Each mailing includes instructions on how to activate and use the card securely.

The IRS and a treasury urged eligible people who dont have a direct deposit to watch their mail carefully as they would receive stimulus checks by mail as a new card.

The prepaid card called the economic impact payment card is sponsored by the Bureau of the Fiscal Service and issued by MetaBank.

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How Can I Get Money Off My Netspend Card

Metabank Tax Refund Advance Status

There are a few ways to get money off your Netspend card. One way is to withdraw your money at an ATM or spend all the money on your Card Account. You can also request the funds be sent to you via check . There is a $5.95 fee for receiving a check. To do this, call us at 1-866-387-7363, or log in to the Online Account Center to close your account.

Also Check: Is There Another Round Of Stimulus Checks Coming Out

If You Qualify For An Economic Impact Payment The Government Might Mail You Your Money On A Prepaid Visa Debit Card Issued By Meta Bank

Starting the week of May 18th, approximately 4 million eligible recipients of Economic Impact Payments will receive an EIP Card in the mail. The EIP Card is a Treasury-sponsored, VISA-branded, prepaid debit card that provides a safe, convenient and secure way for EIP recipients to access their Economic Impact Payments without having to go to a bank or credit union to cash a check.

Message From Netspend All

MetaBank provides financial services catered to the needs of our customers. We serve consumers that are often overlooked by traditional banks. We believe that everyone deserves to have access to the kind of financial products that most people take for granted. We are a leader in providing lower-income individuals access to financial products and services.

Netspend All-Access Account by MetaBank means No Credit Check, No Minimum Balance Required, No Activation Fee

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Will I Receive An Eip Card

If youre eligible for an Economic Impact Payment and didnt receive it via direct deposit or paper check, you could be among the approximately four million Americans getting a card.

Chances are, you wont be alerted ahead of time that your payment is coming in the form of a prepaid card: The decision to mail them out wasnt widely known before the first batch was sent in May. Look out for a plain envelope from Money Network, a division of Fiserv, which is a global provider of financial services technology.

In addition to the card, there should also be a letter in the envelope. Look for the names MetaBank, the retail banking arm of the Treasury Department, and Money Network in the letter to ensure its a legit card.

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Why Are Tax Prep Companies Getting The Stimulus Payments Instead Of The Customers

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KENS in San Antonio reached out to Snapback Tax Services, which had this explanation for the confusion. A spokesperson said that when a client owes the firm a fee for filing their taxes, or if the client applies for an advance refund, a third-party bank like Metabank processes and issues the refund.

Snapback Tax Services shared an email with KENS 5 from EPS Financial, a division of Metabank, explaining the IRS erroneously sent the stimulus funds to Metabank accounts instead of sending directly to the client.

The email says, in part:

The IRS has stated that they will be sending EIP payments directly to the individual recipients. However, we have seen what appear to be EIP deposits sent from the IRS to us for around 15% of our total customer base. These payments should not have been deposited to our bank and we have set in place an automated process to return these payments quickly to allow the IRS to deliver them directly to individuals.

The email goes on to say that if a customer sees that their stimulus deposit was inadvertently sent to their temporary account with EPS, the money was sent back to the IRS.

The email then goes on to advise any client to contact the IRS.

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What Happens If Your Stimulus Check Clears A Closed Netspend Card

Even if you dont use your NetSpend card, the IRS may place the stimulus check on it. But that doesnt imply youll lose money.

If you closed your prior Netspend card, contact customer service.

In addition, the stimulus money is available to anyone who misplaced their NetSpend debit cards.

Many NetSpend prepaid debit card users have issues loading closed accounts.

In such a situation, you can either restart your account and request a new card or ask NetSpend to return your cash to the IRS for distribution.

NetSpend contacted clients to restart accounts and obtain a free replacement card.

However, you must update your account details and set up alerts to notify NetSpend when the deposit is made.

A customer service person can help you receive cash if you cannot access it from your income or government assistance.

You can prevent excessive call center wait times by contacting customer service online.

Why Did I Get A Netspend Card From Metabank

There are a few reasons why you might have received a Netspend card from MetaBank. One possibility is that the IRS has chosen Netspend as their official prepaid debit card provider for tax refunds in 2018. This means that if you are due a refund from the IRS, they will send your payment to MetaBank, which will then distribute it to you via your Netspend card.

Another reason you might have received a Netspend card from MetaBank is if you applied for one. Netspend is a leading issuer of prepaid debit cards in the United States, and many people choose to use them as a convenient way to store and spend their money. If you applied for a Netspend card, you likely chose it because of its many features and benefits, such as no monthly fees, no activation fees, and no minimum balance requirements.

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INDIANAPOLIS Last years first round of stimulus payments involved money directly deposited into bank accounts or actual checks sent to millions of people.

The current stimulus payments of up to $600 per person include another option, which is causing some confusion and questions from skeptical recipients.

James wrote to the 13News VERIFY Team to ask, Will the Tax Relief payment be in the form of a check or direct deposit? We received a Payment Card in the mail is this a scam? He included a photo of a blue debit card with white stars and an activation sticker that includes a toll free number and the seal of the U.S. Treasury Department.

The card James received does appear to be a legitimate stimulus payment. To answer his question, 13News consulted with the IRS and Metabank, which is the U.S. Treasury Departments financial agent.

The photo James sent matches the photo of a real stimulus debit card that the IRS started mailing to millions of people two weeks ago.

Earlier this month, the IRS and Treasury Department announced in addition to delivering more than 100 million stimulus payments by direct deposit, it is also sending 8 million Economic Impact Payments by prepaid debit card.

#IRS urges taxpayers who dont receive a direct deposit of their 2nd Economic Impact Payment to watch their mail for either a paper check or a prepaid debit card. #COVIDreliefIRS

Others Are Getting A Message Saying Their Payment Status Isn’t Available

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Others said the IRS stimulus tracker indicated their money was sent to the wrong bank account or the system cant determine their eligibility.

KHOU 11 News has asked the IRS what taxpayers should do.

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If youre getting the message saying Payment status not available, you should try again another day.

According to an IRS press release, Get My Payment is updated once daily, usually overnight. The IRS urges taxpayers to only use Get My Payment once a day given the large number of people receiving Economic Impact Payments.

The IRS said COVID-19 has shut down live phone assistance lines.

Its unclear what people can do to fix incorrect payment information after deposits are sent.

Get My Payment cannot update bank account information after an Economic Impact Payment has been scheduled for delivery. To help protect against potential fraud, the tool also does not allow people to change bank account information already on file with the IRS, according to the IRS press release sent Wednesday.

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Where Are People Missing Out On Child Tax Credit

The vast majority of children were automatically enrolled in the enhanced Child Tax Credit advance payments scheme created by the American Rescue Plan. Paying the credit upfront and at regular intervals was an especially important part of the tax provision to help struggling households have more financial stability by receiving the tax credit.

This feature it was hoped would reduce childhood poverty, which it has with over 3 million children lifted out of poverty. However, different studies estimate that between 2.3 and 4 million children live in households that are at risk of missing out on the monthly payments because they arent required to file a tax return and may have difficulty accessing the online tools designed to make enrolling for the credit easy. The Tax Policy Center provides a handy interactive map to see where in the US families are most at risk.

Which Prepaid Cards Use Metabank

There are a few different prepaid cards that use MetaBank. The most notable ones are the Visa and MasterCard prepaid cards. These cards are popular because they offer a lot of convenience and flexibility. For example, both of these cards allow you to easily reload your funds and make purchases online or in stores. Plus, they come with a host of other features, such as fraud protection and purchase tracking.

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My Economic Impact Payment Card Was Lost Or Stolen What Should I Do

Based on information from MetaBank® , if you have misplaced your EIP Card, you can lock it by logging in online at If your Card is permanently lost, it is important that you call Customer Service at to report your lost or stolen Card immediately.

If your card is lost, call the Customer Service line at . Select the Lost/Stolen option.

Your EIP card will be deactivated to prevent anyone from using it and a new replacement Card will be ordered. Your first reissued Card will be free. A $7.50 fee will be applied for each additional reissued Card.

Review the materials included with your card or see the Cardholder Agreement online at for more information.

For Cards with more than one name, only the primary Cardholder must make the call. In a few instances, the first name of one payee is linked to the last name of a second payee on the Card. For mismatched names, the payee with the first name on the first line may should make the call.

Last Reviewed: April 2021

Please note: The terms “bank” and “banks” used in these answers generally refer to national banks, federal savings associations, and federal branches or agencies of foreign banking organizations that are regulated by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency . Find out if the OCC regulates your bank. Information provided on should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion of the OCC.

Why Am I Getting A Plastic Debit Card When I Got A Stimulus Check Last Time

Economic impact payment debit card: Don’t trash your stimulus money

But the Ford retiree was skeptical. He knows the scammers are out there with all kinds of tricks. Someone called him claiming to be from Amazon about two hours after he called Amazon once and, well, he thought it was Amazon, so he exchanged some personal information that he wishes he wouldn’t have handed over.

“After being had a couple of times, you get a little gun-shy,” Brazill said.

So he couldn’t understand why the Internal Revenue Service would supposedly send him his stimulus money on a Visa card when he received his first stimulus payment on a paper check last year.

“To me, it seemed like it could be a scam because I got an actual check the first time,” he said.

“I was nervous about it before I even called the number,” said Brazill, 63, who lives in Detroit.

He called, though, put in the 16-digit number on the front of the card. And then the recording asked for the last six digits of his Social Security number.

And that’s when he hung up.

Give out six digits of your Social Security number? What? The con artists only have to figure out three more, he thought, and they’re set to go.

Yet Brazill wasn’t on the verge of being scammed.

Beginning in the first week of January, the Treasury and the IRS started sending out about 8 million prepaid debit cards for people to access their Economic Impact Payments.

Confused? Well, you’re not alone.

Also Check: Who Do I Contact About My Stimulus Check

How To Add Cash To The Netspend Prepaid Card

There are three ways to add funds to your prepaid card:

  • Mobile check deposit. You can deposit paper checks using the Netspend mobile app and your smartphones camera. The Netspend mobile app is available for iOS and Android. This option is free unless you choose to expedite the check processing time.
  • Direct deposits. The card comes with an account and routing number similar to a traditional checking account, so you can receive direct deposits right to your card. Netspend cardholders also have fee-free access to direct deposits up to two days early.
  • Reload locations. You can load funds onto your card in person at certain locations. Netspend partners with gas stations, grocery stores and other retailers to offer more than 130,000 reload locations across the country. If you use this option, youll be charged a fee of up to $3.95 dependent on the reload operator.

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