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Home / Tips and Tricks / Your incentive payment can be an EIP card instead of a direct deposit or check. This is why

Your incentive payment can be an EIP card instead of a direct deposit or check. This is why



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You can now do certain things to ensure that your potential third stimulus check comes in via direct deposit instead of an EIP card.

Angela Lang / CNET

The House of Representatives intends to vote on Friday $ 1.9 trillion stimulus package that includes one third stimulus check in front of up to $ 1,400 per eligible AmericanBut some people may be surprised to learn that their money may not come through direct deposit or as a sent paper check, and instead as a debit card for economic impact. This happened to millions of people in the first and second round of checks, and may also be the case for a third-party payment, assuming the bill becomes law – unless you take certain steps to increase your chances of getting your check via direct deposit instead.

The IRS sent incentive payments on EIP cards for a number of reasons, including to reach out to those who did not have bank details registered with the agency, and to speed up payment delivery (although we still don’t know exactly how). If a third-party payment is approved, the IRS will likely try send the money as soon as possible (here’s how you could possibly get your third check faster), so it can send more payments this way.

Here we have everything you need to know about getting stimulus checks in the form of an EIP card, including how to use one like this arrives in your mailbox, and how to get the IRS your bank information so you’re less likely to get one. You can also view our guides at how to claim any missing incentive money on your taxes, what you need to know stimulus controls and SSI and SSDI and how qualifications can change with a third stimulus check

What is an EIP card and what does it have to do with stimulus checks?

An economic impact payment card is a prepaid debit card that the U.S. Treasury used to distribute some incentive payments among the CARES Act and the Incentive account for December, as an alternative to dividing the money through direct deposit or a paper check. The maps have been issued to some Eligible US Residents the government had no bank details for it.

These Visa debit cards can be used to make purchases, pick up cash from networked ATMs and transfer money to your personal bank account at no cost. If you receive one, after receiving the card, go to the EIP card website to activate it and learn more about how to use it.


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My second incentive payment came in on an EIP card instead of a paper check or direct deposit. Why?

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About 8 million people get their incentive payment on a prepaid debit card, called an EIP card, which looks like this.

Money Network / Screenshot by Jessica Dolcourt / CNET

For the first round of payments, those who were eligible received the initial incentive payment by EIP card rather than by check whether they had filed their taxes, but the IRS did not have their bank account information to hand, and whether the tax return had been processed by IRS service centers in Andover, Massachusetts or Austin, Texas, according to a Treasury press release.

It is not clear what the meaning of those particular service centers is, and the Treasury did not respond to our request for more information.

For the second round of payments that began in late December, the IRS said they would send a paper check or debit card in the mail if they didn’t have bank details to hand. The IRS said some people who received a paper check last time could receive a debit card this time, and some people who received a debit card last time could receive a paper check, but they didn’t say why.

read more How soon could there be a third stimulus check?

Will my third incentive payment come on an EIP card?

Possibly. We won’t know anything definitive until Congress one last incentive bill and President Biden signs it into law. But it is likely that the IRS would follow a similar process to the first two checks, using EIP cards as a way to get money into people’s hands, even if their bank details are not on file.

A New Wrinkle This Time: If Congress follows the timeline it set to pass a new bill, the third round of checks could be sent during tax season, which would come with its own rules and pitfallsIt is likely that Congress will use the tax return most recently on file could be your return in 2019 or 2020, to determine your payment

To increase your chances of getting your third check in via direct deposit, we recommend you file your taxes as soon as possible, and set up a direct deposit with the IRS

If my third stimulus payment was on an EIP card, how would it be delivered?

If you qualify for a third stimulus check (assuming one is approved) and who receives payment via EIP card, it is likely to arrive the same way as the first two. For the first two inspection rounds, the IRS said your EIP card would arrive at the address listed on your latest tax return in a white envelope marked with the seal of the United States Treasury Department. The card has the name Visa on the front and the issuing bank, MetaBank, NA, on the back. Some literature identifies the card as the payment for the economic impact.

Because the envelope containing the first EIP card was not clearly marked, some people reportedly threw the letter away without opening it during the first round of incentive payments (if you think this has happened to you, we have tips on how to get your payment below).

Note that if you have moved, you must do this notify the IRS and USPS of your new address

Is there anything I can do to make sure that my third stimulus check comes in via direct deposit instead of via an EIP card?

If the IRS has your bank account information handy, you probably would receive the payment by direct deposit instead of on an EIP card. Since the first incentive checks were sent, more effort has been made to get people who don’t have a bank account to get one for this purpose. The best thing you can do right now to increase your chances of a potential third check coming in by direct deposit is to Submit your taxes for 2020 and sign up for direct deposit with the IRS as soon as possible.

How much incentive money can be loaded on an EIP card?

Receiving your stimulus payment via an EIP card wouldn’t change this the amount you would receive – it’s just a different format for the same payment.

The amount you would get in a potential third stimulus check would probably depend on your AGI, or adjusted gross income, of your tax returns, along with your tax return status (single versus joint) and how much dependent persons you have. In the last proposal, is the maximum amount each tax bearer can get $ 1,400However, the final amount for which you are eligible may be determined by the result of an attempt at it third check mark more “targeted”, which can make your family a lot more money or much less

You can also find out who counts as a dependent on your taxes, how old one must depend to receive a separate incentive payment and the stimulus check situation for older adults, people in the SSDI program US Citizens Abroad and people living in US territories

I should have gotten an EIP card for my second stimulus check, but it never arrived. What should I do?

If your second stimulus check (in any form) never arrived, claim it as a Refund Discount when you receive your Tax return 2020, now via the April 15 deadlineYou must file your taxes to claim any missing incentive money, even if you are part of the group of non-filers who usually do not have to do this. In some cases – for example if you a letter of confirmation from the IRS that it sent your money, but your EIP card never arrived – maybe you should report the missing funds or any errors to the IRS

Does the IRS let me know my EIP card is on its way?

With the first two incentive payments, the IRS sent a letter transfer your money to your last known address within 15 days after the payment has been made. This notice contained information on how you got the money (check or direct deposit or EIP card) and how to report it if you did not receive payment. The IRS will likely do the same for the third round of payments, if there is one. But beware: there have been many stimulus check scams go around. Before giving anyone your information, visit IRS.gov to make sure your letter is legitimate.

What happens if my EIP card is lost or destroyed?

If you have lost or destroyed your EIP card, you can request a free replacement through MetaBank customer service. The replacement cost will be waived the first time.

You don’t need to know your card number to request a replacement. Simply call 800-240-8100 and choose the second option from the main menu, according to the IRS website.

For more information, see if that would be you qualified for a third stimulus check and when a third check can be sent


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