Stimulus Payments Being Sent as Visa Debit Cards

by Crystal Knepler, CPA | May 25, 2020

The Internal Revenue Service has been distributing Economic Impact Payments to taxpayers across the nation since April. If you’re still waiting, you may be getting a Visa debit card instead of a check in the mail.

Over the past few months, nearly 140 million taxpayers have received stimulus payments totaling $239 billion as either a direct deposit into their bank account or a paper check in the mail, but the most recent payment method takes shape as a prepaid debit card.

In the latest round sent out on May 18, prepaid debit cards have been mailed to almost 4 million people, where in some cases, the IRS did not have bank account information on file, so they sent payment directly to the physical address on record. However, many taxpayers have mistaken the prepaid cards for junk mail and unknowingly discarded them. 

If you are still waiting for payment, be on the lookout for a white envelope with “Money Network Cardholder Services” written on the outside. The envelope does not have any federal markings or identifiers to notify recipients that it is their stimulus payment, so be sure to read through the information and do not unwittingly discard the contents as an unwanted credit card offer.

Inside the envelope will be a VISA-branded prepaid card issued by MetaBank. The prepaid card should also be accompanied by a letter explaining that it is the Economic Impact Payment Card.

These cards can be used as normal debit cards for in-store purchases, online transactions, and cash-back options. You must activate the card before using it by either calling 1-800-240-8100 or visiting

If you have yet to receive your stimulus payment and fear you may have discarded an envelope by mistake, Money Network has a 24-hour call center to check on the card or ask questions. You may reach them at 1-800-240-8100.

Most importantly, please remember that the IRS and Treasury department will never call, text, email, or ask you to click on a link to activate your card. 

As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at or (805) 963-7811.