You may have heard about the possibility of receiving your Economic Impact Payment, or stimulus check, through a prepaid debit card. We’ll answer six common questions regarding these cards.
- Is it a scam? No, the government is in fact sending prepaid debits cards to those who qualified for the stimulus payment, namely households where the IRS wasn’t able to provide a direct deposit payment. The card will come in a plain envelope from “Money Network Cardholder Services”, including the card and instructions for activation, along with a description of what fees may apply. With that said, scams have been prevalent throughout this pandemic, so if you receive mail claiming to be a stimulus payment that doesn’t fit this description, be wary of whether or not it’s a scam.
- Where will my Economic Impact Payment Card be sent? Your card will be mailed to the most recent mailing address on file with the IRS. This will generally be the address on your 2019 tax return, if filed, otherwise it will likely be from your 2018 tax return. If the address on your most recent tax return is incorrect, here’s a link below regarding changing your address on file with the IRS.
- Where can I use my card? The Economic Impact Payment Cards are VISA prepaid debit cards, so they can be used with vendors that accepts VISA debit cards, whether in-person or online.
- What if I have bills that I can’t pay with a debit card? You have the option to request a Money Network Check by contacting customer service at 1-800-240-8100. Money Network will then send a check to fill out. Once filled out, you can call customer service again to active the check, and they will deduct that amount from your card balance. For more information on this, check out Money Network’s FAQ site, and be sure to read the instructions in your packet.
- Are there fees? Potentially. While there are no fees to activate the card, use the card with a vendor that accepts VISA debit cards, access customer service, or request a Money Network Check, you may encounter fees elsewhere. If you use your card to withdraw funds from an out-of-network ATM more than once, you will pay a $2.00 fee. Keep in mind, “out-of-network” is in reference to the card’s network, not the network of your own financial institution. To find an in-network ATM, you can use the locater on the Money Network Mobile App or visit com. Additionally, fees may apply when withdrawing cash over-the-counter with your bank teller more than once, fees for using the card outside of the U.S., and fees for reissuing lost or stolen cards, with the fee waived for the first reissuance. For more information on the potential fees, please check out the fee schedule for the card.
- Where can I get information? Money Network and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau both have great FAQs. If you need more information on the stimulus payments, check out our post on the topic from a few weeks ago!