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What to know about the Economic Impact Payment debit cards

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If you’re still waiting for your Economic Impact Payments, you might be getting a debit card instead of a check in the mail. This, of course, is the money that’s meant to give relief due to the Coronavirus pandemic. You may have already gotten your payment by direct deposit or by check. But if you’re still waiting, watch your mailbox for either a check or a VISA debit card. And know that the government will never, ever call, text, email, or ask you to click on a link they sent to activate your card or get your money.


Here’s what to know if your payment comes in the form of a debit card.

  • Look for the prepaid card (and its envelope) in the mail. The envelope will be from “Money Network Cardholder Service.” Inside will be a VISA-branded prepaid card issued by MetaBank. This card will give you access to your economic impact payment.
  • Activate the card immediately. The mailer will give you instructions on how to activate the card, but here’s the deal: You can activate your card by calling 1-800-240-8100 or visiting and clicking on the EIP card link. To activate your card, though, you’ll have to give them your Social Security number. Once you activate your card, you can get cash or use it anywhere that accepts VISA debit cards. There are no fees associated with transferring the money from the card to your personal bank account. Keep in mind that EIP cards will expire after three years. When that happens, the bank will send any money left on the card to you.
  • Questions about the card? Money Network has a 24-hour call center: 1-800-240-8100. You can call to check your card balance or just ask questions. There’s also more information and a quick video from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to answer questions you might have.

Most important, remember: unless you’ve asked for assistance, no one will ever call you about the EIP card. And no one will text, email, or ask you to click on a link they sent to activate this card or to get your money. If someone does, stop. It’s a scammer. Don’t give them your Social Security or debit card number, or any other information. Then report it to the FTC at



seriously who thought this was a good idea? a) they didn't tell anyone b) they messed up the names on the cards if you are married and do not share a last name c.) even if you do get it registered, you can't transfer the money out

just get "invalid account status" error

total incompetence by the government. Check would have been easier, cheaper, and less paper and trash for the environment. I will be bringing this up with my congress persons.

I got a card which I was so close to discarding as junk as my last name was changed to my husband’s, which I have never filed with or used in any way. Talk about sexist! I am fuming and no way to ask for a replacement card, the phone number is junk. If I don’t activate I assume I can take the credit at year end? I have no way to find out how much is on the card without activating it which I refuse to do. It’s not in my name!

The names on the card actually don't matter when you enter your information. You only need the last 6 digits of SSN. I also got the "invalid account status" error and realized I went straight to the website without activating the card via phone first. Once the card was activated, transferring funds to checking account was easy.

I received a debit card instead of a check. I prefer a check that I can place in my savings account. I don't want to spend it. I want to save it. How can I receive a check in place of the debit card? Further more, it the paperwork accompanying the card does not specify the amount of the stimulus.

Well we got one this week. It was very leery and thought it was fake
I activated it and made a PIN number. Brought it to m bank. They said they’ve never seen this before and I’m not sure about it but said they can’t do anything with it it looks like it’s only to be used as an ATM. I tried to use it as an ATM to do it withdrawal. Each time I tried it said invalid transaction. I went home very frustrated. I went on the website that listed. I’m very leery I’ll have you know as entering my bank account I don’t want her to have the funds transferred made me think this was a real scam. I transferred some of the money as it wouldn’t allow me to transfer it all. Well here we are four days later and NOTHING
I’ll check my bank account every morning and nothings been transferred into it and it doesn’t show any pending deposits. When I did the online transfer it showed it could take up to 24 hours. It’s been four days

I’m still waiting too!! No deposit

It happened to me as well. Until now i could not even call the 1-800 number . It always says my number is not recognized. I have my ATM card 2 weeks with me now but i could not withdraw it. I also tried transferring it to my debit card and it says invalid. Now i don't know what to do. I need help please.

I want to know who is profiting from this EIP Card. How do we find out if the Treasury Secretary is benefiting from this card? I want a check not a card. This is outrageous.

How is the amount determined? I received a random amount that doesn’t match anything I have read that my family is eligible for. Also, using this at an ATM I received a fee, if this is a stimulus payment-why should I pay any fee to access the money?

You can check your balance, get cash, and transfer money to your personal account with no feesRead this article from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to learn how.

I do not accept their terms of service . How do I refuse this card and get a paper check from the U.S. Treasury. There does not appear to be any way to speak to a human being about this.

I mistakenly shredded the Visa card, thinking it was another card company trying to have us open another card. What can I do to get my payment?

The information at says: Call Customer Service at 1.800.240.8100 (TTY: 1.800.241.9100) and select the “Lost/Stolen” option. Your card will be deactivated to prevent anyone from using it and a new replacement card will be ordered. Your first reissued card will be free. A  $7.50 fee will be applied for each additional reissued card. Please refer to the material in your Welcome Packet or see your Cardholder Agreement online at for more information.

Good look neither of those numbers work it’s ridiculous!!

I did the same thing and have not been able to talk to any one!

I forgot my pin number and can't use my card because of that. I need to talk to a real person so I can change my pin number!

I was charged 2.00 at my atm

Do you guys do refils

You can't add money to the EIP card. This article from the CFPB has information about using the card.

If you filled out to get it direct deposit and didn’t receive because a error. Will you automatically get the prepaid debit card.

It looks like I have to give my social security number to some non-government entity I've never heard of to use this card. Security risk? You bet.

I can't use this card at a legitimate bank without incurring a fee.

I have to go to a cigarette store or a 7-11 and use one of those sketchy ATM machines?

Who thought this was a good idea?

Why didn't you just mail a check?

The Economic Impact Payments come from the Treasury Department.

There are several ways to get cash without paying a fee or going to a bank. 

This article from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau explains much more.

I threw out the card, thinking it was an unsolicited credit card. They didn't give any heads up that they were sending them out. they just show up with no explanation. I called the EIP Customer Service Number but they won't help you if you don't know the number on the card. How can you know the number if you don't have the card? How hard would it be for them to use your name and SS to order a new card? Catch 22! I'm out $1,200 if I can't resolve this issue.

Thank you so very much for looking after us... With our Love,
Magdalen S. Garcia Perez Rivera etc.

I was to receive direct deposit for my stimulus check. It did not arrive. I periodically receive debit cards in the mail and I toss them; which I did with the most recent one I received in the mail. Then I heard there would be a debit card instead of the stimulus check in the mail. I have attempted to contact IRS via telephone and been on the IRS but I have not been able to get anyone or information. Any suggestions?

I contacted the Money Network 24-hour call center: 1-800-240-8100. They said they had mail out my card; however, I have not received it. Then they had security questions for me to answer that had nothing to do with the people in my family, life or anything related to me. They said my answers did not match their answers from IRS. I am frustrated and would like to know what to do to get my first stimulus check or card. Please advise...

My card beginning balance is $1,179.05. $20.95 short of $1,200.00 claiming to come. Is that a fee from the card company? I have no child support or other reasons for a decrease in the expected amount.

Card received today. I had not heard of this method of payment, and am NOT HAPPY with it. I resent having to "activate" my card thru a "bank" I've never heard of, and to supply my SSN. That would not be necessary with a paper check. Somebody (probably MoneyNetwork and MetaBank) is making money off this! Would love to follow the trail thru the Fed bureaucracy to learn how this came about!

This was my reaction as well--not only is this more inconvenient than just getting a check, but I resent being forced into a business relationship with a business I didn't choose. They now have all of my information, and if I want to transfer the money to my own bank, I have to give them my banking information as well. Not cool. Add to that the several fees that MetaBank charges - for ATM balance inquiries, lost cards, and ATM withdrawals after the first withdrawal (which is limited in amount--you can't just withdraw the full value of the card) - and I'm wondering why anyone thought this was a good idea!

There are several ways to get cash without paying a fee or going to a bank. 

The information that came with the card and this article from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau explain how. 

You did not respond to the primary complaint. We are being forced into a business relationship. Their use of my information is permanent and nonrevocable. I must agree to give up my constitutional right to a jury. It is not acceptable behavior for a government in a free society.

The Economic Impact Payment Cardholder Agreement, Updated January 4, 2021, Paragraph 2. About Your Card says, in relevant part: 

"If you do not agree to your funds being held by us at MetaBank, N.A. or placed by MetaBank, N.A. as custodian at a specific MetaBank Program Bank, please ... contact Customer Service above to cancel the Card and request your funds in the form of a paper check."

There is no customer service. Have you actually attempted a call to this line? It's all one frustrating run-around with absolutely no resolution to any kind of inquiry. The card agreement states to follow instructions on card web site which refer one to call customer service.
If you forget your PIN, there is no way to reset. The ''Customer Service'' is a looped recording which hangs up on you after the only 2 options are relayed. There is no live customer service representative with whom to speak.
It is frustrating all the more every time the same blanket response is regurgitated from you to the many end users with whom I share all issues. Instead of just sending out a verbatim response, maybe try using the system for yourself to experience the largely numerous flaws with this supposed support.

Agreed. It's ridiculous that they couldn't just send a check. I just talked to my sister and she's unhappy about this too.

Agree completely!

There is no instruction on how to cancel an Economic Impact Debit Card my father received and has been dead for over a month. When I call the number on the card, they just want to activate it and I don't want to do that obviously. I'm assuming I just won't activate the card. Please confirm.

I received and activated my EIP debit card but the balance on the card is less that $2.00 and has been for over a week. When will it be funded???? I have heard this from others; some have waited for weeks. HELP

Money Network has a 24-hour call center: 1-800-240-8100. You can call to check your card balance or just ask questions.

How do we speak to a human being? no options for a human on the menu..

There is no way to speak to a real person. WHY??? When I type in the required info to see about a lost or stolen card, the automated response says there is no record. How do I fix this or get in contact with a REAL person?

I am having the same issue. I received the card in the mail. Threw it out thinking it was a scam. Received another letter in the mail with the number to call for lost or thrown out card. Now every time i punch my SS and Zip Code, it says there is no record.
Did you ever figure this out ? If anyone could help that would be great

I need to report my Lost card and I am unable to report it as I do not have the number on the card. And NOT ONE HUMAN is available to speak with. The phone hangs up.

I received a card in the mail today (and it totally does look like junk mail!). Tried to call customer service because the card has my name wrong (gave me my husband's last name; you'd think Treasury could get this right--they have access to all the offical information), but there doesn't seem to be an option for actually speaking to a customer service representative.

This is a way to keep people from receiving their coronavirus payment. It is easy to overlook this card as junk mail. It looks like a scam. There are no instructions on how to transfer it to a bank account. There are withdrawal charges. Why not put the money directly into one's checking account as IRS does for tax payments?

There should be information in the envelope with your card. They explain how to get money, and if there are fees for different activities.

This article from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau explains more.

We received an EIP Card. It had our names totally wrong and I cut up the card. How can I get a refund in my correct name?

Thanks for the info provided.

I find this a dangerous way to give the money to the people who need it. It comes in a white envelope from a company nobody heard of, and looks like one of those pre-approved credit card scams. If I had not seen a warning on the TV the day mine came, it would have gone in the trash. The only indication that it may have been from the government, was a faint watermark on the letter.
I can only assume that they were counting on people throwing it out with the trash, thereby saving the government money.

I lost my stimulis eip card what can I do

First.. I never requested a EIPcard. Second in order to pay off my credit card that I was using to purchase goods through of of this I need to first deposit the stimulus into my bank account then pay my credit card with that. This has been a huge mess with my bank and a long story. Long story short.. the money that was on the EIPcard is now lost in transaction and the mo way never got deposited into my bank account. What’s wrong with sending a check?


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