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You may be getting your stimulus check on a prepaid debit card

·2 min read
You may be getting your stimulus check on a prepaid debit card
You may be getting your stimulus check on a prepaid debit card

Starting this week, around 4 million Americans who haven’t received their coronavirus stimulus checks will get their relief payments in the form of prepaid Visa debit cards.

The cards will be mailed to taxpayers who have so far missed out on their money because they do not receive their tax refunds by direct deposit and their most recent tax returns were processed at the IRS centers in Austin, Texas, or Andover, Massachusetts.

The government has been giving Americans up to $1,200 each to help ease the economic pain from COVID-19. Recipients of the prepaid debit cards can withdraw cash from Money Network ATMs, transfer the funds into their bank accounts, or make purchases anywhere Visa is accepted — and all without fees.

“Prepaid debit cards are secure, easy to use, and allow us to deliver Americans their money quickly,” says Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, in a statement. “Recipients can immediately activate and use the cards safely.”

The convenience of debit cards

Unlike paper checks, debit cards allow Americans to access their payments right away without having to deposit the money into an account first. And using a debit card won’t affect your credit score, which can sometimes happen with credit cards.

Debit cards are America’s favorite way to pay for things, used for 28% of all payments, according to a Federal Reserve study released in December. Credit cards are used 23% of the time.

If you receive one of the IRS stimulus payment cards and enjoy using it, you may decide to keep another debit card or two handy, besides your regular bank card. Debit cards are evolving and are no longer the plain-vanilla payment cards you're used to.

Some free debit accounts even offer perks similar to credit cards, such as cash-back rewards, without any risk to your credit rating.

By putting stimulus payments on debit cards, the government is providing Americans with quick and convenient financial relief when they need it most.

When you’ll get your prepaid debit card

If you’re one of the millions of Americans who qualify for the prepaid Visa debit card, it should arrive by mail in the next few weeks in an unmarked envelope from Money Network Cardholder Services.

Once you’ve activated your card you can check your balance online, or by phone at 800-240-8100.

Only one prepaid debit card will be provided per family, so if you and your spouse file your taxes jointly, both your relief payments will be on the same card.