Don’t Throw Away Your Coronavirus Stimulus Payment!

About 4 million people are getting stimulus payments on prepaid debit cards, and some have mistakenly thrown them in the trash.

If you receive a plain, white envelope that looks like junk mail or a scam, don’t throw it into the trash too quickly; it might contain over $1,000.

The Internal Revenue Service is sending coronavirus stimulus payments to around 4 million taxpayers on prepaid debit cards. These cards will come in a plain envelope from “Money Network Cardholder Services.” The Visa name will appear on the front of the card and the name of the issuing bank, MetaBank®, N.A., will be on the back. Information included with the card will explain that it is your Economic Impact Payment Card.

There have been reports across the country of people assuming the card was a pre-approved credit card, a scam, or just your average junk mail. Some people have even thrown away the cards and then realized the mistake after the fact.

Marketwatch reported that there is a $7.50 replacement charge if the card is lost.

The determination of which taxpayers received payments on one of these debit cards was made by the Bureau of the Fiscal Service, a part of the Treasury Department that works with the IRS to handle distribution of the payments.

The IRS says that anybody who receives a payment on one of these cards can do the following without any fees:

  • Make purchases online and at any retail location where Visa is accepted
  • Get cash from in-network ATMs
  • Transfer funds to their personal bank account
  • Check their card balance online, by mobile app or by phone

The cards also provide the same consumer protections available to traditional bank account owners, including protection against fraud, loss and other errors.

Anybody who might want to get his or her stimulus payment on a prepaid debit card specifically will be disappointed to know that this is not an option. According to the IRS, individuals cannot specifically request the payment on a debit card.

About the Author

Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of He has over 20 years of combined experience in media and government services, having worked at two government contracting firms and an online news and web development company prior to his current role at FedSmith.