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

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



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About four 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 sent out in April, about four million qualifying Americans received an EIP (Economic Impact Payment) card instead of a check or direct deposit. EIP cards are prepaid debit cards with balances that you can either transfer to your bank account or use for all types of debit transactions.

About one second stimulus control materialized as part of a economic stimulus package or executive order, the Internal Revenue Service could use the same EIP card system used in the first round of payments.

Read on for everything you need to know about EIP cards, including how to calculate if you can get one this year and check it out CNET’s stimulus check calculator to estimate how much money you can get. This story is updated frequently.

What is an EIP card?

An EIP card is a prepaid debit card used by the Treasury Department to distribute 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.

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 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 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 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 relay billing with a second stimulus payment is passed, 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 can track your money (in any form) using Track my payment tools from the IRS. If you still have not received a first stimulus check, you can too track the status of your stimulus control, learn how to report your missing check to the IRS and find possible reasons why your stimulus control 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 IRS now via the Get My Payment portal. That way, if another incentive package is passed and another payment is issued, the IRS will have your bank account information on hand so you can likely 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).






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

Once a bill has passed, the amount 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 filing status (simple versus joint) and how many people you has. (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 anything about 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 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 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 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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