What Does The Stimulus Debit Card Look Like


More Debit Cards Coming

Your Money, Your Future: Stimulus debit cards may not look like you think

The second wave of stimulus or Economic Impact Payments, like the first round issued last year, are causing confusion for many recipients.

The amounts sometimes vary from what people expect, as does the use of debit cards to push out payments to 8 million recipients. For the majority of taxpayers, the IRS has cut paper checks or sent direct deposit automated payments.

The IRS has repeatedly noted that eligible individuals who don’t or didn’t receive payments can claim them upon filing their 2020 federal income-tax returns in coming weeks, including people who don’t normally file returns. Less clear is what happens when people think they received too much or got duplicate payments.

The situation “makes one wonder how frequently this has happened,” and how many people use the money only to have to repay it later with interest, the Ropers said.

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.

What Does The Economic Impact Payment Card Look Like

The Economic Impact Payment Card is a prepaid debit card that the US Treasury used as an alternative to direct deposits and paper checks to distribute some stimulus payments in the previous two rounds under the CARES Act and the covid-19 relief bill in December. The Treasurys financial agent, MetaBank, will mail out the EIP Cards to eligible recipients. Each mailing will include instructions on how to activate and use the card, or you can visit the EIP card websiteto activate it and learn more about how to use it if you receive one.

The EIP Card works just like any other Visa debit card, youll need to activate it when you receive it. Then you can use it to make purchases where Visa debit cards are accepted, get cash from in-network ATMs and transfer funds to your personal bank account without a fee.

Debit cards will have the Visa name on the front and MetaBank N.A., which issues the cards, on the back. The IRS does not determine who receives a prepaid debit card.

Recommended Reading: How Much 2021 Stimulus Check

The Easiest Ways To Use Your Stimulus Debit Card Without A Fee

If you have a personal bank account, your best bet is to transfer the entire debit card balance to your own account. You can make transfers from the card to your bank account at no charge, and the limit is a relatively high $2,500 per day. That means most people should be able to transfer their entire stimulus payment in one swoop, though for those with large families, it could take two or three transfers to get it all into your bank account.

To transfer money from your stimulus debit card to your bank account, go to the EIP Card website or use the Money Network mobile app, and select the option to Move Money Out. Youll need both the routing number and the account number from your bank account to make the transfer.

If you dont have a bank account, you can also make purchases with your card anywhere Visa debit cards are accepted without being charged a fee. This includes in stores, online or over the phone. And if youre physically in a store, you may also be able to get cash back when you make a purchase without incurring an extra charge.

Its also possible to write a check from the money on your stimulus debit card, but to do so, youll need to call customer service and ask for Money Network checks to be mailed to you. Theres no fee for these checks, but you need to call and get a transaction number every time you write a check, so its not the most convenient method.

Is It A Scam Or Isn’t It

Coronavirus and Finances: Your Questions Answered

Many consumers are skeptical of these cards that are popping up in the mail.

The Better Business Bureau has been receiving calls from consumers who are confused about the blue Visa card.

“Some seniors thought it was a scam and were going to throw it away,” said Laura Blankenship, director of marketing for the Better Business Bureau Serving Eastern Michigan & the Upper Peninsula.

She noted that the consumers who have called so far are describing legitimate EIP payment cards and the BBB has been telling them not to destroy those cards. Instead, they can get more information at EIPCard.com.

Make no mistake, scammers are targeting stimulus cash. But the scams often ask for money upfront such as to pay taxes on the stimulus or “pay the State Department for a certificate that proves the funds are not related to any terrorist activity.” Huge red flag: Anyone demanding money or credit card information so you can get stimulus money is a scammer.

Also the IRS isn’t sending out emails, texting or making phone calls about the latest round of stimulus payments.

Even so, the legitimate Visa card aspect of the stimulus rollout has had many people on edge. A similar scare took place back in the spring when I reported in May that some consumers were throwing away the first round of Visa debit cards that contained stimulus money on them because they looked like a scam. One woman even went so far as to shred the plastic card.

More:Tricks scammers use around stimulus checks, taxes

Read Also: Was There Any Stimulus Checks In 2021

What Will My Eip Card Look Like When It Arrives In The Mail

If you’re eligible for a third stimulus check and get that payment via EIP card, it’ll arrive at the address listed on your last tax return, in a white envelope marked with the US Department of the Treasury seal. The card will have the Visa name on the front and the issuing bank, MetaBank N.A., on the back. There will be information included with the EIP Card that explains it’s your economic impact payment. There’s also a return address from “Economic Impact Payment Card.”

Note that if you moved, you’ll need to inform the IRS and USPS of your new address. The card expires after three years.

During the first round of stimulus payments, because the envelope containing the first payment’s EIP card wasn’t clearly marked some people reportedly threw the letter away without opening it.

Your EIP card could contain far more money this time around.

What’s An Eip Card Can I Transfer The Money To My Bank Account

An economic impact payment card is a prepaid debit card that the US Treasury has used to distribute stimulus payments, in addition to paper checks and direct deposit. The cards were provided to some eligible US residents the government didn’t have banking information for, but it isn’t clear why you might get an EIP card instead of a check or vice versa.

These Visa debit cards can be used to make purchases, get cash from in-network ATMs and transfer funds to your personal bank account without a fee. If you’re sent one, after the card arrives, head to the EIP card website to activate it and learn more about how to use it.

Read Also: I Still Haven’t Received My Stimulus

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Will The Irs Let Me Know That My Eip Card Is On The Way To My House

What to know about stimulus payments being delivered as prepaid debit cards

With the first two stimulus payments, the IRS sent a letter about your money to your last known address within 15 days after the payment was made. This notice included information on how you got the money , and how to report it if you didn’t receive the payment. The IRS will do the same for the third round of payments. But watch out: There have been a lot of stimulus check scams going around. Visit IRS.gov before giving anyone your information to make sure your letter is legitimate.

Also Check: Irs.gov Stimulus Check Deceased Person

Why Are Some Stimulus Checks Being Sent As Debit Cards

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.

Things To Know About Stimulus Debit Cards

Around 4 million Americans will be sent their stimulus payments via prepaid debit card.


The IRS has sent out more than 140 million economic impact payments guaranteed by the CARES Act. Better known as stimulus checks, the paymentsworth up to $1,200 per individualare meant to tide Americans over as the devastating consequences of the coronavirus pandemic continue to rip through the economy. But not everyone who qualifies has received money.

To date, the federal government has issued payments via direct deposit, Direct Express card or physical check. This week, the Treasury and the IRS began sending out nearly 4 million payments using a new method: A new prepaid debit card.

The prepaid debit cards, issued by MetaBank and on the Visa network, are called Economic Impact Payment Cards. If youre still awaiting your economic impact payment, you could potentially receive one of these cards in the mail. Here are five things you need to know.

Read Also: Amount Of Third Stimulus Check

I Was Supposed To Get An Eip Card For The First Or Second Stimulus Check But I Never Got It What Can I Do

If your first or second stimulus check never arrived, you’ll have to claim it as a Recovery Rebate Credit when you file your 2020 tax return, now through the May 17 deadline. You’ll have to file your taxes to claim any missing stimulus money, even if you’re part of the group of nonfilers who typically don’t have to do so. In some cases — like if you received a confirmation letter from the IRS that it sent your money, but your EIP card never arrived — you may have to report the missing funds or any errors to the IRS.

The Card Will Come In A Marked Envelope

Irs Stimulus Debit Card Envelope Look Like 2021

The debit cards loaded with stimulus payments will be delivered in white envelopes that prominently display the U.S. Treasury Department seal, according to a statement from the department.

Like the first round, the payments will be sent on a Visa debit card and will also have the issuing bank name, MetaBank N.A. on the back of the card. Mailed with each card will be instructions on secure activation and use, according to the Treasury.

Recommended Reading: When Was 3rd Stimulus Check Mailed

What You Can Do With An Eip Card

They function like any other prepaid debit card. So as long as the retailer accepts Visa, you can spend your EIP Card there. Recipients can also use their EIP Card to get cash by using an ATM or put the funds into a bank account for free. The money does not expire.

In order to activate your stimulus check debit card, you’ll need to sign off on the cardholder agreement and fee schedule, set up a four-digit PIN, and sign the back.

Be Careful Of Scammers

Naturally, wherever there is money involved, there are usually scammers trying to take it from you. To avoid losing your stimulus payment remember:

  • The EIP card will come with instructions telling you how to activate it. You can visit the EIP card website as well for instructions.
  • Be very careful that you call the correct phone number. Dont search the Internet for the number. Scammers sometimes set up fake customer service numbers to deceive people and take their personal information.
  • Never give your personal identification number , EIP debit card number or Social Security number to anyone who calls or texts you.
  • Check your mail carefully to avoid tossing your EIP card out with your junk mail.

If youve destroyed or thrown out your EIP card, it is important that you call the toll-free customer service line at 800-240-8100 to ask for a replacement. Youll need to select the option lost or stolen.

You can find additional information at the official EIP Card website.

The govt will not call/text/email/DM you to ask for your Social Security, bank account, or credit card number. Anyone who does is a scammer: #stimuluschecks#EIP

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How To Use A Debit Card At An Atm Or Retailer Store With Security

  • Card safety instructions are included in the document to proceed.
  • Keep the card in a safe place.
  • Dont throw a card or dont give your card to anyone
  • Dont leak card details like PIN, and SSN.
  • Verify the balance after the activation process is finished.
  • Check your card with all having codes because sometimes a fraud card is received so that they can trace their information to steal your money.

Is There Anything I Can Do If I Lose My Eip Card Or It Gets Destroyed

Treasury department sends out stimulus payments on debit cards

If you’ve lost or destroyed your EIP card, you can request a free replacement through MetaBank Customer Service. The replacement fee will be waived the first time.

You don’t need to know your card number to request a replacement. Just call 800-240-8100, and choose the second option from the main menu, according to the IRS website.

Read Also: Stimulus Checks Status Phone Number

There Are Still Some Costs With The Card

There are some some costs associated with using the debit card, which are laid out in the fee schedule.

The first withdrawal fee from an out-of-network ATM is waived but all others are subject to a charge. There are also fees associated with making a balance inquiry at an ATM and making a bank teller over-the-counter cash withdrawal more than once.

Fees also apply if you’re using the card outside the U.S. Unlike the previous cards, there is no charge to reissue a card that has been lost or stolen.

To avoid any fees, make sure you know what ATMs are in-network, so you can withdraw money without a charge. And, if you need to check your balance, you can do so for free through the online portal at eipcard.com or by calling customer service.

Avoid Stimulus Debit Card Fees And Keep More Money For Yourself

Fortunately, the stimulus EIP Cards arent terrible when it comes to fees, but there are still a few youll need to dodge. Remember that in all cases, before you use your stimulus debit card for the very first time, youll need to activate it and set up a 4-digit PIN by calling customer service at 240-8100 and verifying your identity.

Finally, never give your PIN to anyone, even if someone calls claiming to be from a bank or government agency. Your PIN should always remain a secret that only you know. But if you keep your PIN safe and make sure youre only using your stimulus payment debit card in a fee-free way, you can keep every dollar of your stimulus money for yourself.

Read Also: Set Up Direct Deposit For Stimulus Check

Does It Cost Money To Use An Eip Card

You can see a long, detailed list of EIP Card fees here, but the general summary is that it should cost $0 to withdraw funds from an in-network ATM in the U.S. It’s $2 to withdraw funds from an out-of-network ATM, though this fee is waived the first time you do it. It costs 25 cents to check your balance on an ATM .

It’s normally $5 to withdraw from your EIP Card using a bank teller over the counter, though this is also waived for your first time. If you have questions, you can call 1-800-240-8100 or see an FAQ here.

What Is A Eip Debit Card

What Does The Stimulus Card Envelope Look Like / Irs Adds Info To Covid ...

The Economic Impact Payment Card is a prepaid debit card that the US Treasury used as an alternative to direct deposits and paper checks to distribute some stimulus payments in the previous two rounds under the CARES Act and the covid-19 relief bill in December. The Treasurys financial agent, MetaBank, will mail out the EIP Cards to eligible recipients. Each mailing will include instructions on how to activate and use the card, or you can visit the EIP card websiteto activate it and learn more about how to use it if you receive one.

The EIP Card works just like any other Visa debit card, youll need to activate it when you receive it. Then you can use it to make purchases where Visa debit cards are accepted, get cash from in-network ATMs and transfer funds to your personal bank account without a fee.

The IRS provided an example of what the EIP Cards look like.

Read Also: Earned Income Tax Credit Stimulus

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