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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



These cards are ridiculous. Now I have to go in to the bank to get my cash. If I had received a check I could have just deposited it at the drive thru window. My mother received the card as well when she has been getting direct deposit for her tax refunds and for the last stimulus. This clearly costs the government more money then a paper check. These cards are not safer then a check. Not for our health or for protection against theft. Its also another stress for many people who are already suffering from depression and anxiety.

I think this is a very bad idea for elderly folks who are not savvy about these types of things - I'm middle-aged and I still have questions about why the envelope and contents are not much more clear that this is coming from the Department of Treasury. I can envision many of these being thrown out or placed in a drawer.

what a waste of my taxpayer money. this should have been direct deposited into a checking account, the same as a SS check!!!
money spent on the card, to the issuer, for the envelope, and the postage could have gone to the taxpayers and/or to help with costs of the covid 19 pandemic!!!!

I was nervous about activating but it was easy. I used our home phone and followed the instructions and we are activated. Just choose a pin number before calling ahead of calling. Good luck.

Is it safe to give your SSN over the phone? It doesn't seem like a good idea. Anyone could stick a card in the mailbox with any number and ask for a social security number.

I do not use credit or EBT cards and am upset that I received one instead of a check. Why no check? Are there people in the government making money from these cards? This needs to be investigated. I am not giving my information over the phone to a fly-by-night bank.
The card will be trashed and I will file for an EIP rebate with my income tax return.
Nice going, IRS.

I just read many of the comments and have to agree with most. I was concerned about a fraud or phishing thing going on but no, this is legit. With some hesitation, I went forth. The activation of the card and registering went pretty smooth. Took me about 5 minutes. I made sure to write down all information I gave them. You will, need to give them the last 6 of your SS. They actually already have the information so this is just verification (and on the downside another bit of you being tossed around space). After finishing up I logged on again and was able to easily get balance and information about the account and my other information. Fairly easy site to navigate. I’d prefer the check or DD to bank but it is what it is. Previous comments are valid concerns. January 13, 2021

EVERYONE who gets one of these cards - read the back, the list of fees charged and limits on transactions. I am not happy with this form of "payment" and would have preferred a check or direct deposit.

What if i lost my social security card how can i activate my eip card

To those whom received this card already I have a quick question.... Was part of your social disclosed anywhere on that paperwork that came with the card??

I just got one in the mail today, my SS number was NOT on the letter I got.

I received my card in the mail today. First name misspelt. I dutifully called the number to activate..entered the last 6 digits of SSN and the automatic response asserts those 6 digits are incorrect. There is no prompt to try and reach a human to sort out this snafu. Any pointers? Thanks, C

First activate card over phone (setup pin)
Then access the website.
Last time they posted directly to my bank account. I don't know why they did a meaningless process this time. It takes 2-3 days if you transfer the money to the bank account.

I used our card to pay off a credit card balance and put the rest of the $1200 in our checking account. So, do I keep the card in case there is another stimulus payment??

There is no option to ask questions of a customer service representative. Have had nothing but problems with the card, and still not been able to get a penny from it.

How do you get a check? Don't like card terms

I NEED TO PAY RENT. Why didn't I get a direct deposit like last time? Now I have to "register" with some bank I've never heard of to do a checking account transfer and wait another week OR I have to pay FEES to withdrawal money at an ATM. Super annoying.

I keep calling the 800-240-8100 from both my cell and home phone numbers. In both cases, the recording says they do not recognize my phone number. Then, it directs me to check the EIP website and hangs up on me. I have lived in my home for 29 years and am a senior citizen. I do not see a way to activate the card online. I do not see a way to be able to talk to a person since they won't take my calls. Now what?

If you have your phone number blocked for privacy reasons the EIP calls system may not recognize your phone number. You can disable the block yourself or ask your phone carrier how to do that, and call again.

I tried to activate my card, but it says my last 6 doesn't match their records. How can I fix this?

How can i track where my card is in the mail ? And how long does it take to get a card

Does not recognize our social security numbers.

I call the eip customer service number. 800.240.8100, and it tells me that it doesn't recognize my telephone number and hangs up on me. How can I activate this card?

If you have your phone number blocked for privacy reasons the EIP calls system may not recognize your phone number. You can disable the block yourself or ask your phone carrier how to do that, and call again. 

THIS worked for me. IF you have a "Caller ID blocking" etc., call your phone company. In my case, that was AT&T. They said to dial *82 (star 8-2), wait for a *second* dial tone...then dial the 1-800# on the card to activate it. It worked for the Southern California area. Good luck everyone.

IF you received the Debit Card for the Fed $600 Stimulus, (or whatever) and IF you have "Caller ID" blocking on your phone, it won't let you activate the card. THIS worked: Call your phone company, ask what to enter on your phone. In the case of AT&T in California, it's *82 (star 8 2) to get a *second* dial tone, then dial the 1-800# to activate your card. Good luck.

I received an EIP card in the mail, but can't activate it because the card issuer doesn't recognize my phone number. Instead, it directs me to call from another phone. I don't have another phone! Getting though to customer service with the number provided on the card and website is also proving to be impossible. How do I get around this idiocy and activate this card?

Thanks for plunging me into a nightmare. I am unable to activate my card because MetaBank doesn't recognize my phone number and asks me to call back with another phone. I don't have another phone! Adding insult to injury, the customer services numbers provided don't allow you to talk to a customer representative. Instead, it just articulates an unhelpful message and hangs up. All the contact numbers provided are like this and you are not allowed to activate the card by creating an online account Is there anyway around this?

If you have your phone number blocked for privacy reasons the EIP calls system may not recognize your phone number. You can disable the block yourself or ask your phone carrier how to do that, and call again. 

My card was stolen in the mail. I get informed delivery from USPS of the mail I have coming for the day. We left a note for the mailman the next day that we never got it then filed a missing mail claim with them after the required 7 days. I have called Money Network to report the stolen card and you can not reach a live customer service person to talk to. I went through the phone system prompts to report it stolen a week ago. Still nothing and no one I can talk to follow up. Very frustrating.


How do we exchange the Economic Impact debit card from Metabank for direct deposit like SS or a paper check?

I filed my taxes and was advised I would get EIP apart of my refund. Now I got a card in the mail for it. What do I do????

How can a person talk to customer service live without a card or account number? Please help?

If you don't have a card or an account, you can get information about the cards at 

I received a EIP card and called the required phone number of 1-800-240-8100 to activate my card and set my PIN. The prompt asks for my card number which I enter. Then it asks for my PIN which I am trying to set. I then get a message saying they can't help me as I don't have a PIN! I have tried several times and can't get a live person to help. I even tried other numbers for the MoneyNetwork but no help and no live person. How are you suppose to set a PIN? All of the materials I received say to call the 1-800-240-8100 number to activate and set a PIN but their prompts are oxymoronic. A useless card.

I used my card to purchase things at Target. I returned a couple things and the money was never put back on my card. I was also supposed get a refund back from Holiday Inn. I can’t find a number to talk to an actual person so I can find out what’s going and what I have to do to get my money. Any help would be appreciated!

The EIP card should be able to accept refunds.There might be a processing delay between the time a refund is authorized and the time is posted to the account. You could contact the businesses to be sure the refunds were processed to your account. 

The 1.800.240.8100 number is a joke! One cannot Ask Questions about the EIP stimulus card/mailer without first giving up the last 6 digits of one's SSN. Further, there is no option to get to a human being first, without divulging Personal Identification Information.

You can get information online at

This is impossible to activate.

I got my stimulus card, tried to activate it, asked for my card # then asked for me to make a pin # then disconnected before I made a pin, now every time I try to log in they ask for my pin, I DO NOT HAVE A PIN !!!!!! You CANNOT talk to anyone so please help me, I have never experienced such a Mickey Mouse way of doing things, me and my wife are at the point of wondering if it’s worth the $1200 PLEASE someone help us

So disappointing about this eip card. I just found out today that sent me an eip card (to our old address) when I had direct deposit with our first stimulus money. What upsets me is when I called 1800-240-8100 to update my address so we can get that eip card, there is no way to talk to a live person... this is a mess. Talking about days to get your info and help from irs.

Received a card. Set it up with password. Now it says it is not my password and I am unable after trying to call and go online to speak to anyone regarding how to reset pin. I never used it. So it should have a balance on it. So frustrated, just sent off a letter who knows what the response will be or if it will ever come.

So will future stimulus payments be direct deposited on to these debit cards?

March 2021 Still waiting for the second card to come after receiving a letter last week of February 2021 stating it was put on a card.

When I tried to transfer to my US based bank checking account I see the following. What is TOTAL COST: $1,200.00. Please help. Thanks.
Fee: $0.00
Transfer Amount: $1,200.00
TOTAL COST: $1,200.00

I received a letter asking me to activate my EIP card, I never received it or discarded it as a junk mailer, not sure which. I can't get a real person on the phone, and it wants 6 digits of my social security number, which I refuse to give out. What happened to checks and direct deposits?

I received the card after receiving a letter that said I would receive a direct deposit for $600. I looked up the card and it appeared legitimate. However, when I activated it and check my balance I was told that it was only $4.20. Not sure if there was an error on the card or if the Department of Treasury sent the incorrect information in my letter or maybe it's straight up fraud. The first call I made had me on hold to talk to a live person. They picked up and promptly hung up. After that I couldn't even find the prompt to get to a live person again. Will be mailing the card back to wherever it came from. Not worth the effort. Thanks, but no thanks

I just registered with the and activated my EIP debit card. For those who are having trouble transferring their total amount to your personal bank account (like I had) on the EIP Card site, just reduce total amount by $100, for example, and the transfer will happen. I immediately did a second transfer of $100 and it also went through. It will supposedly take about 2-3 business days to transfer and hope this helps those of you who are experiencing trouble transferring funds on the EIP Card site.


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