Stimulus money may come in debit card

Don’t throw away any envelopes from Money Network Cardholder Services, it just may be your stimulus payment.

Your stimulus money may arrive in the mail as a debit card. - Brian Dowd

Be careful throwing away mail you think may be junk, because it could be your stimulus payment.

While many Americans received their stimulus payments via direct deposit into their bank account, and some received a paper check, around 4 million Americans will be getting a plastic debit card in a plain white envelope from Money Network Cardholder Services, which people should be careful not to throw away.

Some stimulus payments may be sent on an Economic Impact Payment Card, according to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) website. The card is sponsored by the U.S. Treasury Department Bureau of the Fiscal Service, which is managed by Money Network Financial, LLC. The cards are issued by the Treasury’s financial agent, MetaBank N.A.

“For those who don’t receive their Economic Impact Payment by direct deposit, they will receive their payment by paper check, and, in a few cases, by debit card. The determination of which taxpayers receive a debit card will be made by the Bureau of the Fiscal Service (BFS), another part of the Treasury Department that works with the IRS to handle distribution of the payments,” the IRS website reads.

Oak Bluffs resident Robert Gatchell was one of the 4 million to receive the debit card, and said he almost tossed it. 

“I opened up this one piece of junk mail because I could feel something inside, and it turned out to be the debit card,” Gatchell said. “Not until you get inside it and see the paperwork do you see the Department of Treasury symbol at the bottom of the page. Nothing on the outside of the envelope says, ‘Hi, this is from the IRS,’ or anything like that.”

Once Gatchell got his card, he wanted to transfer his funds to his bank account. Not wanting to pay the withdrawal fee at ATMs, Gatchell called the phone number on the back of the card and chose to send the card funds to his bank account. He said all you need is your bank account number, your bank’s routing number, and about 10 minutes to complete the transaction.

There’s no need to worry if you may have thrown out your debit card. Cards can be replaced through a request to MetaBank customer service. A standard fee of $7.50 will be waived for the first reissuance of the debit card. To request a replacement, call 800-240-8100 and click option 2 from the main menu.

The stimulus payments are part of the $2 trillion CARES Act, which sent out payments to many Americans. How much money people receive is based on adjusted gross income.

Americans who make under $75,000 a year will receive a $1,200 check or direct deposit.

Payments are lowered $5 for every additional $100 in income over $75,000 for singles, $112,500 for heads of household, and $150,000 for married couples filing jointly, according to Arcudi. A single adult earning $85,000 would get $700. People with qualifying children will receive an extra $500 per child, according to the IRS.