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EIP card: What it is and why you can get one if another incentive payment is approved


The IRS has three ways to distribute incentive money to you.

Angela Lang / CNET

When CARES Act passed in March, about 4 million qualifying Americans got theirs first stimulus control in the form of an EIP (Economic Impact Payment) card instead of a physical check or direct deposit. If there is a second stimulus check, it is likely that the IRS will make several million payments in the same way.

But how do you know if you are getting an EIP card, and is there anything you can do to get yours? coronavirus relief payment in another way?

We cover what an EIP card is and how to find out if you can get one from the IRS this year. To estimate how much money you can get, take a look our stimulus control calculator. Here’s everything that happens negotiations for one the bill which may include one second stimulus control, what we know about potential changes in qualifications and what payment priority can be for people who receive EIP cards. We update this story frequently.

Read: 9 million people did not get their stimulus checks, but still could. Here’s how

What exactly is an EIP card?


About 4 million people received their incentive payment via a prepaid debit card called an EIP card, which looks like this.

Money network; screenshot by Jessica Dolcourt / CNET

An EIP card is a prepaid debit card used by the Treasury Department to distribute certain incentive payments during CARES Act, instead of electronic money transfer or paper checks. The cards were delivered to certain eligible U.S. residents for whom the government did not have bank information.

These Visa debit cards can be used to make purchases, receive cash from ATMs on the network and transfer money to your personal bank account free of charge.

If you are sent one, after the card arrives, you would go to the EIP card website to activate it and learn more about how to use it.

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Who received or will receive incentive payments via EIP card?

Those eligible were given the first incentive payment by EIP card instead of by check if they filed their taxes but the IRS did not have their bank account information available and if the tax return was processed by the IRS service center in any of Andover, Massachusetts, or Austin, Texas. according to a press release from Treasury. It is not clear what significance these specific service centers have, but we have asked the Treasury for more information.

If a second stimulus bill is approved, you can get your payment the same way you did the first time – so if you got an EIP card, you’ll probably get another one. It may be that if you have new banking information to provide, you can get your check in another way.

How would an EIP card come about?

If you are eligible, your EIP card will arrive at the address listed in your most recent tax return in an unmarked envelope from “Money Network Cardholder Services.” Because it was not clearly marked, some people threw the letter reportedly without opening it during the first round of incentive payments.

Debit cards are often sent in regular envelopes to discourage fraud and thieves. It is unclear whether the IRS would also send a second payment in an unmarked envelope.

How quickly can I get an EIP card if a second incentive payment is approved?

If another coronavirus helpline with a second stimulus payment is passed, it can probably take longer to get your EIP card than through direct deposit. When the CARES law was adopted in March, the first EIP cards did not start to expire until mid-May. But it is possible that it will go faster this time, as the infrastructure is already in place. We just do not know yet.

Once a second incentive payment has been approved, you can track your money (in any form) with the same IRS tools you can use to track the status of your incentive payment. If you’re still waiting for the first check, here it is how to report your missing payment to the IRS and find possible reasons why your incentive payment has still not arrived.

Can I avoid getting an EIP card if I want a direct deposit instead?

If you have a bank account, you can try to register for direct deposit with the tax authorities now via the portal Get My Payment. That way, if another stimulus package is passed and another payment is issued, the IRS will have your bank account information at hand. This makes it more likely that you will receive the payment by direct deposit instead of an EIP card. Direct deposit may not be available to everyone, but the portal allowed me to enter my bank details and register (I received my first check by mail).

How much stimulus money comes on the card?

Once a bill has passed, you will receive the money in a second incentive payment (whether it comes via direct deposit, postal check or EIP card) depends on your AGI or adjusted gross income, from your tax records, along with your application status (single versus joint) and how many people you have. The maximum amount that an individual taxpayer can receive is $ 1200.

Find out how to calculate how much you can get on a second incentive payment here. You can also find out which is counted as dependent on your taxes and what it means for an incentive paymentand how old an addict must be to get their own stimulus control.

Receiving your payment via an EIP card does not change the calculation or the amount you can receive – only the payment format.

Will the tax authorities tell me if I should get an EIP card?

With the first incentive payments, the IRS sent a letter about your money to your last known address within 15 days of making the payment. The letter contained information on how you received the money (check or direct deposit or EIP card) and how to report if you did not receive the payment. But beware: it has been a lot stimulus control fraud walk around. Visit IRS.gov before giving someone your information to make sure your letter is legitimate.

What can I do if my EIP card is lost or destroyed?

Do not worry. If you have lost or destroyed your EIP card, you can request a free replacement via MetaBank customer service. The compensation fee will be removed for the first time.

You do not need to know your card number to request an exchange. Just call 800-240-8100 and choose the second option from the main menu, according to the IRS website.

For more, find out if you are qualified for a second stimulus check and when you can expect a second incentive payment.

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