While over 140 million Americans have already received their stimulus money (most by direct deposit but many by checks now), 4 million Americans will be receiving those stimulus payments via prepaid debit card. These started going out this week and, unfortunately, many people have been throwing them away thinking they are junk mail! Here is what you should look for on the envelope to know if it is your stimulus debit card!
Your Stimulus Money May Come as a Prepaid Card in a Plain Envelope!
First, Who Gets The Prepaid Cards?
Most Americans will receive their stimulus payments either by direct deposit or checks (here is the schedule of checks as they are still going out). But, for a select 4 million people, those payments will be on these debit cards. Here is how you know if you can expect one of those.
The people that will receive the debit cards fit BOTH of the following parameters
People Who Did Not Have Bank Information on 2018 or 2019 Tax Return
If you had owed money or had not had your bank account information on your 2018 and 2019 tax return (maybe you did for 2019 but it has not been processed yet), the time to give the IRS your bank information for direct deposit payments through the Get My Payment tool has passed for early recipients.
Instead, the prepaid debit cards will go out to the address that the IRS has on file for these recipients.
People Who Had Their Returns Processed By the Andover or Austin Processing Centers
For people to receive these debit cards, they also needed to have had their returns processed by the IRS processing centers in Andover, MA or Austin, TX. Those processing centers cover taxpayers in several states including Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, as well as from foreign locations.
If you have had to send your returns to the processing centers in those locations and you do not have bank account information on file with the IRS, be looking for this prepaid debit card!
What Should You Be Looking For in Your Mail
Many people have either thrown these cards our or reported them as scams because people did not know what to look for. If you read this, you would know!
These debit cards will be mailed out by Metabank on behalf of the Treasury Department. It “will arrive in a plain envelope from “Money Network Cardholder Services”.” That is what you want to look for on your envelope!
“The Visa name will appear on the front of the Card; the back of the Card has the name of the issuing bank, MetaBank®, N.A. Information included with the Card will explain that the Card is your EIP Card.”
What Do I Need to Do with the Stimulus Debit Card?
Link: Stimulus Debit Card FAQ
When you receive it, there will be instructions with the debit card on how to activate it. Not only will you be able to activate it but you can also set up an account online so you can view your transactions and be able to check your balance quickly online for free.
What Does It Cost to Use the EIP Debit Card?
There are no fees to withdraw your cash from the card as long as the ATM is an in-network ATM. Out-of-network ATMs will charge a fee for the withdrawal.
To get your cash, simply enter your 4 digit pin and withdraw the money – that simple! Inside the packet you will receive, there will be information about daily limits and such so keep those limits in mind.
Here are the only other times you would have fees for using the card:
Definitely keep an eye out for scams as many people are using the stimulus money as a way to get your payment. While there will be scams, definitely check your mail and any plain envelope matching the description above! It could have your money in it! Check the EIP website to find out more.