The U.S. government is sending millions of people their economic stimulus payment by prepaid debit card instead of paper check, and those cards may be easy to miss in your mail.
“Not a lot of people are expecting to get a prepaid debit card for their economic impact payment,” said Amy Nofziger, with AARP’s Fraud Watch Network. “If you file your taxes and get a paper check in the mail, your stimulus will come as a prepaid Visa card. Start looking in your mailbox for it. It will come in a white envelope and it’s very plain, so you may mistake it for junk mail, but open it up.”
The return address on the envelope is from Money Network Cardholder Services. The cards are blue with stars on them, and have the Visa name on the front.
“I have heard from a few people who have thrown them away, and if by chance you have, visit IRS.gov and look for the economic impact link,” Nofziger said. "There is an 800 number for you to call to request a replacement card."
There is no charge to get your card re-issued the first time. Once it’s registered, you can make purchases online and at any retail locations where Visa is accepted, get cash from in-network ATMs and transfer funds to your personal bank account, but read the fine print.
“There are some fees included in ATM transactions and some limits on how much you can take off your card each day,” Nofziger added.
You can get more information about the cards at eipcard.com. And remember, the IRS will not call you directly, asking for your debit card information.