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Home / Tips and Tricks / What is an EIP card and can you get one instead of a stimulus check?

What is an EIP card and can you get one instead of a stimulus check?



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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

When the first round of coronavirus incentive payments began to roll out below CARES Act last spring, many qualified Americans found out that they would get their allocated money through a financial result or EIP card instead of through direct deposit or a check in the mail. EIP cards are debit cards that you can spend as cash or transfer to your bank. About 4 million people received these cards starting in May.

Now the House and Senate are preparing to return from recess this month continue the negotiations over the details in the next economic stimulus package. Despite a two-party agreement on the need for one second stimulus control, many Americans still wonder if and when another payment will come – and if they received their first payment via an EIP card, if the next one would come in the same way.

Here is everything you need to know about EIP cards and whether you can get a second incentive payment in this form in the coming months.

What is an EIP card?

An EIP card is a prepaid debit card used by the Ministry of Finance to distribute incentive payments under the CARES Act, instead of an 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. 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.

When the card arrived, you would go to the EIP card website to activate it and learn more about how to use it.

Who is entitled to incentive payments via an EIP card?

Those eligible were given the first incentive payment via an EIP card instead of a 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 the significance of these service centers is, but we have reached out to the Treasury for more information.

If a second incentive 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 my EIP card arrive?

If you are eligible, your EIP card will arrive at the address listed on 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 away 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 transferred, it may 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 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 stimulus check has been approved, you will be able to track your money (in any form) using the Track My Payment tool from the IRS. (If you still have not received an initial stimulus check, you can also track the status of your stimulus check, learn how to report your missing check to the IRS, and find possible reasons why your stimulus check has still not arrived.)

Can I avoid getting a second EIP card?

If you have a bank account, you can try to register for direct deposit with the tax authority now via the portal Get my payment. That way, if another stimulus package and check is sent, your bank account information will be available so you can probably get it with 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).






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How much stimulus money can I get on an EIP card?

Once a bill has passed, the amount of money depends on a second incentive payment (whether it comes via direct deposit, postal check or EIP card) depending 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. (Learn how to find your AGI on your taxes here.) The maximum amount that an individual taxpayer can receive is $ 1,200. Find out how to calculate how much you can get on a second incentive payment here.

Receiving your payment via an EIP card does not change the calculation or the amount you can receive – just the form it comes in.

Will I be notified if I receive 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 about 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 scams walk around. Visit IRS.gov before giving anyone your information to make sure your letter is legitimate.

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

Do not worry: If you have lost or damaged your EIP card, you can request a free replacement via MetaBank customer service. The compensation fee is 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 stimulus check.


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