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

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



eip-prepaid-debit-card-stimulus-check

Approximately 4 million people received their stimulus payment through a prepaid debit card called an EIP card, which looks like this.

Money Network / Screenshot by Jessica Dolcourt / CNET

After this CARES Act passed in March and the first round of Coronavirus Stimulus payments Many started rolling out in April skilled Americans were surprised to learn they would receive their money through an EIP (Economic Impact Payment) card rather than a direct deposit or check in the mail. EIP cards are debit cards that you can spend like cash or transfer to your bank. Around 4 million people received these cards as of May.

Now the Senate Republicans and House Democrats stay in a week deadlocked disagreement for details in the next Stimulus package. Despite bipartisan agreement on the need for one second stimulus testMany Americans wonder if and when a second check is coming – and if they received their first payment on an EIP card, if the second payment would be made the same way.

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

What is an EIP card?

An EIP card is a prepaid debit card that the finance department uses to distribute paper payments under the CARES act instead of an electronic transfer or check. The cards were made available to a few eligible US citizens for whom the government did not have banking information. Visa debit cards allow you to make purchases at no charge, withdraw cash from ATMs on the network, and transfer money to your personal bank account.

After the card arrives, visit the EIP card website to activate it and learn more about how to use it.

Who is eligible for stimulus payments through an EIP card?

Those eligible would receive the initial stimulus payment via an EIP card instead of a check if they filed their taxes but did not have bank account details available to the IRS and if the tax return was processed by the IRS service centers in Andover, Massachusetts or Austin, Texas, according to a Treasury Department press release. It is not clear what the significance of these special service centers is, but we have asked the Treasury Department for more information.

If a second stimulus bill is approved, you may receive your payment just as you did the first time. So if you received an EIP card, you will likely get another one. You may receive your check differently if you need to provide new banking information.

How would my EIP card arrive?

If you are eligible, your EIP card will reach the address given on your last tax return in an unmarked envelope from Money Network Cardholder Services. Since it wasn’t clearly labeled, some people reportedly threw the letter away without opening it during the first round of stimulus payments.

Payment cards are often sent in plain envelopes to deter fraud and thieves. It’s unclear whether the IRS would also send a second payment in an unlabelled envelope.

How soon could I get an EIP card if a second stimulus payment is approved?

If another coronavirus relief bill is handed over with a second stimulus payment, it can likely take longer to receive your EIP card than direct deposit. When the CARES law was passed in March, the first EIP cards did not run out until mid-May. However, it is possible that it could be faster this time because the infrastructure is already in place. We just don’t know yet.

Once a second stimulus check is approved, you can track your money (in whatever form) using the IRS ‘Track My Payment tool. (If you haven’t 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 not yet arrived.)

Could I avoid getting a second EIP card?

If you have a bank account, you can try signing up for a direct deposit with the IRS now through the Get My Payment portal. That way, your bank account details will be available when another stimulus package and check is handed over, so you can likely get these via direct deposit instead of an EIP card. Direct deposit may not be available to everyone, but through the portal I was able to enter my bank details and log in (I received my first check by email).


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

Once an invoice has been submitted, the amount of money you would receive on a second business stimulus payment (whether by direct deposit, mail check, or EIP card), your AGI or the adjusted gross income from your tax returns, along with your filing status (single versus Joint) and how many relatives you have. (Learn How to find your AGI for your taxes here.) The maximum amount a single taxpayer can receive is $ 1,200. Find out How do you calculate how much you can get with a second stimulus payment?.

Receiving your payment through an EIP card doesn’t change the calculation or the amount you might receive – just the form in which it will be received.

Will I be notified if I should get an EIP card?

For the first stimulus payments, the IRS would send a letter about your money to your last known address within 15 days of receiving the payment. The letter provided information on how you received the money (check or direct deposit or EIP card) and how to report if you have not received the payment. But watch out: there were many Stimulus check fraud Walk around. Before giving your information to anyone, visit IRS.gov to make sure your letter is legitimate.

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

Don’t worry: if you’ve lost or destroyed your EIP card, you can request a free replacement through MetaBank Customer Service. The replacement fee does not apply the first time.

You don’t need to know your card number to request a replacement. Just call 800-240-8100 and select the second option from the main menu as per the IRS website.

Find out if it’s you qualified for a second stimulus test and when you can expect a second stimulus check.


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