6 Tips to Avoid EIP Card Fees
Authored By: Montana Legal Services Association (MLSA)
The government is sending some people Economic Impact Payment Cards if they qualified for a stimulus payment and the IRS couldn’t direct deposit the payment. Some people are confused by the card and may have thrown it out thinking it is a scam. Others are upset at fees they have incurred. The Economic Impact Card will come in a plain envelope from Money Network Cardholder Services, PO Box 247022, Omaha, NE 68124. The card will come with instructions for activation, fees, and a note from the U.S. Treasury.
The card looks like this:
The National Consumer Law Center (NCLC) put together these 6 tips to avoid fees.
Use the card anywhere Visa is accepted, including online, on the phone, and at stores.
Use a surcharge-free ATM in the Allpoint network, including at Target, Walgreens, CVS, Kroger, Safeway, Winn Dixie and Circle K. Find an ATM near you by downloading the Money Network Mobile App or using the online ATM locator. At other ATMs, the ATM will charge a fee plus the card charges $2 after the first withdrawal.
Transfer the funds to your bank, prepaid or mobile payment account through the app or online. You may need to contact the provider of your other account to obtain the routing and account number. You can transfer up to $2,500 per day.
Go to the teller window at almost any bank or credit union. The first withdrawal, which can be up to $2,500, is free. Additional teller withdrawals cost $5.
Ask for cash back from a supermarket or big box store.
Call 800-240-8100 to request a free Money Network Check, which you can make out to anyone (i.e., a landlord, yourself). But you’ll have to wait for it in the mail, and you must log into your account to get a number to activate the check, so the other options may be easier.
What to do if you threw out the card:
Call 800-240-8100. The first replacement card is now free (you can ask for a refund if you were charged) but expedited processing costs $17.
Keep the card even after it is empty:
You may be able to use it to quickly receive additional payments if Congress passes another stimulus bill.
Acknowledgment: This article was adapted from the National Consumer Law Center (NCLC)'s "THE EIP STIMULUS PAYMENT PREPAID CARD: NOT A SCAM; HOW TO AVOID FEES." The nonprofit National Consumer Law Center® (NCLC®) works for economic justice for low-income and other disadvantaged people in the U.S. through policy analysis and advocacy, publications, litigation, and training. NCLC.ORG © 2020 National Consumer Law Center.