Millions of Americans have received economic impact payments, also known as stimulus checks, in their bank accounts via direct deposit. According to the Internal Revenue Service, nearly 4 million Americans are now receiving stimulus checks via prepaid debit card rather than a paper check.
What do you mean? Yes, you could get an unmarked envelope with a stimulus debit card instead of a paper check or direct deposit if you were expecting one.
In early 2020, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, Economic Security Act, or CARERS Act, approved economic impact payments, also known as stimulus checks.
Are you unsure how to handle these high-impact payment cards, avoid fees, and get your money? Here are some common questions and their answers:
- What is the economic impact of payment cards?
- Will I receive an EIP card?
- What does the EIP card look like?
- How do I use my economic impact payment card?
- What fees will I pay when using the EIP card?
- What if I accidentally throw away my EIP card?
- Will using the EIP card impact my credit score?
Read on for more information on receiving your stimulus check via debit card.
What Are Economic Impact Payment Cards?
EIP cards are government-issued Visa-branded debit cards that are pre-loaded with stimulus funds. Qualified recipients started receiving EIP cards in the mail beginning the week of May 18.
Will I Receive an EIP Card?
EIP cards will be distributed to almost 4 million Americans. If you apply for an economic benefit payment but haven’t yet received your stimulus payment as a direct deposit, you might be one of them.
“Taxpayers receive EIP Cards because they are registered for an EIP, but the IRS does not have their bank account details because their tax return was handled by either the Andover (Massachusetts) or Austin (Texas) IRS Service Center,” Sarah Shannonhouse, manager of tax practice and ethics at the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants, explained in an email.
Taxpayers with an adjusted gross income of less than $99,000 if single or $198,000 if married filing jointly is generally eligible for a stimulus search. Single filers earning less than $75,000 and married filers earning less than $150,000 qualify for $1,200. Taxpayers with children under the age of 17 will get an extra $500.
What Does the EIP Card Look Like?
Your prepaid debit card for economic impact payments looks and functions like a standard debit card. The words “Visa” and “debit” are printed on the front, and the issuing bank, MetaBank, N.A., is printed on the back.
Money Network Cardholder Services can mail the EIP card to you in a simple envelope. But double-check your mail to make sure you don’t throw it in the trash.
How Do I Use My Economic Impact Payment Card?
By visiting EIPCard.com or calling 1-800-240-8100, you can unlock your card. You’ll generate a four-digit identification number using your name, address, and Social Security number. Also, you must sign the back of your passport.
Recipients will swipe the EIP card in shops, online, or over the phone, just as they would a standard debit card.
You can get cash without paying a fee if you use your card to do so. What are some of the methods:
- Using an in-network ATM to withdraw some money.
- Using the cash-back feature at the cash register.
- Requesting a Money Network check and cashing it.
- Transferring money from your card to your bank account.
Visit EIPCard.com to find in-network ATM and check-cashing locations. There are also instructions for starting a cash transfer on that website.
Customers can also call customer service at 1-800-240-8100 to request a check.
You can also use your card to pay daily bills. “EIP Cards may be used to pay bills regularly. Payments may be refused or partially approved if there are insufficient funds to pay the entire account, “According to Shannonhouse.
What Fees Will I Pay When Using the EIP Card?
Depending on the type of transaction you make, your EIP card can charge you a fee. Be mindful of the expenses associated with the EIP Card:
|Out-of-network ATM withdrawal||$2 after the first withdrawal|
|International ATM withdrawal||$3|
|Bank teller cash withdrawal (domestic and international)||$5 after the first withdrawal|
|ATM balance inquiry (domestic and international)||25 cents|
|Lost or stolen card (waived for the first reissued card)||$7.50|
Bear in mind that your bank will enforce its fees, so keep track of them. Visit the EIP card website for more information on prices.
What if I Accidentally Throw Away My EIP Card?
Nobody would blame you if you discarded the plain envelope in which the card arrived by accident. Sign on to EIPCard.com and lock your account if your card is lost or stolen. Then call 1-800-240-8100 to order a new card from customer service. Reissues after the first will be paid $7.50, plus an extra $17 for priority delivery. It takes seven to ten business days for daily shipping to arrive. After the order is placed, priority shipping takes four to seven business days.
Can Use the EIP Card Impact My Credit Score?
The EIP card does not affect your credit score because it is not a credit card.
To stop fines, keep track of your EIP card and use it wisely if you’re one of the recipients. Often, be on the lookout for con artists. Scammers may attempt to steal your identity or money by impersonating the IRS through phone calls, emails, and text messages.