Head up Americans, you might want to double-check your mail before you throw it away. Instead of direct deposit or a paper check, four million people will find their stimulus payment arrives in the form of a prepaid debit card. Yes, say goodbye to direct deposit and hello to credit cards.
The IRS had set a deadline of May 13th to enter direct deposit information in case you hadn’t already received your stimulus payment. Those who didn’t set up their direct deposit will find their stimulus payment arrive in the front of a prepaid debit card from MetaBank.The IRS stated the Visa logo will appear on the front of the card and the back of the card has MetaBank printed on it. It also includes information explaining that the card is an Economic Impact Payment Card with specific instructions on how to activate it.
Unlike checks, the card will not come from the Treasury Department instead they will come in a plain envelope directly from MetaBank itself. This way, you can use a card to withdraw cash or use it as a debit card to pay rent or make purchases. According to the Internal Revenue Service, you’re also able to shop online.
That being said, there is a catch. Just like a traditional debit card which is linked to your checking account, this one may have several fees associated with it depending on how exactly you use it. Out of network ATMs carry a $2 fee each time other than the first time you use one. Basically, the fee is on top of whatever the out-of-network ATM charges you itself. Fortunately for us, the cards carry a list of free in-network ATMs on it, you can also find a list on the website. So, think of this as an easy way to avoid this unnecessary fee.
There is also a $5 fee for taking the visa debit card to the bank and withdrawing money more than one time. To avoid this, you can withdraw your entire balance at one time if need be, or transfer funds into your own bank account, which is free. Experts do you recommend having the app accessible on your phone, or visit the website if you have any questions.
These tools will not only break down those pesky fees for you but will also allow you to check your card balance so you know how much stimulus money you have left in your card. And in case you were worried about security measures, once you call the toll-free number to activate your card, experts will then ask you for personal information you will only know. Once the card is activated, your privacy is protected. For those wondering if the government can track what you buy, the answer is, luckily no.
If you lose your card, no worries, you can always call the customer service line at 1-800-240-8100. The stimulus payment checks come after the federal government began sending one direct payment of $1200 for adults who are making up to $75,000 a year as part of the $2.2 billion CARES Act which was approved by Congress to offer financial help during the coronavirus pandemic. The IRS stated it has issued more than 140 million Economic Impact Payments which are worth more than $239 billion.