Starting this month, the U.S. Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service began sending approximately 8 million second Economic Impact Payments (EIPs) by prepaid debit card, following millions of payments already made by direct deposit and the ongoing mailing of paper checks that are delivering the second round of Economic Impact Payments as rapidly as possible. If you don’t receive a direct deposit and Get My Payment on IRS.gov shows a date that your payment was mailed, watch your mail for either a paper check or debit card. The prepaid debit card, called the Economic Impact Payment card, is sponsored by the Bureau of the Fiscal Service and is issued by Treasury's financial agent, MetaBank®, N.A.
Taxpayers should note that the form of payment for the second mailed EIP may be different than the first mailed EIP. Some people who received a paper check last time might receive a prepaid debit card this time, and some people who received a prepaid debit card last time may receive a paper check this time. Other details to keep in mind include:
- The cards can be used online or in stores anywhere Visa is accepted. Recipients can also use the cards to get cash from ATMs or transfer funds to a bank account.
- To avoid scams, recipients should carefully check their mail and card. EIP cards are sent in a white envelope with the US Department of Treasury seal. The card has the Visa logo on the front of the card and issuing bank name, MetaBank, on the back.
- People can check the status of both their payments with the Get My Payment tool at IRS.gov.
- If qualifying people don’t receive a second stimulus payment – or it’s smaller than what they believe they’re entitled to – they can claim the proper amount when they file their 2020 tax return under the “Recovery Rebate Credit” section.
- If payments went to a bank account that is closed, the best route to recover the payment is to file a 2020 tax return electronically with direct deposit.
Additionally, there are no fees if use the cards to:
- Transfer the balance to a bank account.
- Make purchases anywhere visa debit cards are accepted.
- Write checks (though you’ll have to call customer service and ask for Money Network checks to be mailed to you for free and then call each time you write a check to get a transaction number).
- Withdraw money from an ATM within the AllPoint network.
Fees, however, could be applied to:
- Withdrawing money from an ATM outside of the AllPoint network.
- $2 fee per transaction from Metabank for every transaction after the first withdrawal (the bank will waive the out of network fee for the first withdrawal).
- Possible second fee from the ATM owner.
- Having a bank teller withdraw funds over-the-counter on your behalf.
- $5 fee for each withdrawal after the first transaction through a bank teller (the fee is waived for the first over the counter withdrawal).
Activating a Card:
Recipients have to call the customer service number and provide their name, address, the last 6 digits of their SSN, and the three digit security code on the back of the card. They’ll then be asked to create a four-digit PIN to verify future transactions.
Transferring Funds to a Bank Account:
To transfer money from the card to a bank account, recipients can select “Move Money Out” on the EIP Card website (eipcard.com) or the Money Network app and provide a routing and bank account number.
The IRS advises recipients to check for the Treasury seal on the envelop and the Metabank designation on the debit card to avoid scams. Please be sure to dial the correct customer service number and be wary of any calls, texts, or emails regarding the debit card. The IRS will never reach out to you unsolicited to “verify” your EIP or request personal or bank information.