Coronavirus stimulus: IRS sending reminders to activate EIP debit card

The IRS started sending out stimulus payments in the form of a prepaid debit card in May. However, several incidences have been reported where people mistook the envelope in which the card arrived, as junk mail or a scam, and threw it away or destroyed it. To address such issues, the IRS has come up with clarifications. Now it is even sending reminders to the people who have yet to activate their coronavirus stimulus EIP debit card.

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Coronavirus stimulus EIP debit card reminder

The stimulus prepaid debit, or economic impact payment (EIP) card arrived in plain white envelopes. There is no mention of either the IRS or Treasury Department on the envelope. Thus, many assumed the envelope to be junk mail or a scam and paid no attention to it. Some even trashed or destroyed the card they received.

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Now, to educate the cardholders, the agency is sending out reminders to the cardholders who have yet to activate their coronavirus stimulus EIP debit card. The reminder details the process to activate it.

As per the reminder letter, the cardholders need to call 1-800-240-8100 to activate the coronavirus stimulus debit card. There is no need for a bank account to activate the card. Once you call the given number, you will be asked your name, address, and Social Security number. After you provide the information, you need to create a four-digit PIN number.

Those with a debit card missing, damaged, or have thrown away or destroyed it, need to call the same number (as above) to report it as lost or stolen. Such users will be able to apply for a replacement card, the reminder says.

“Did you throw away the card by mistake, or don’t recall getting one? No worries. Your letter from Treasury will tell you how to request a replacement card, which will include calling a 24-hour customer service line at 1.800.240.8100. It’s free to replace your card,” the reminder letter says.

The first replacement card is free, but you would have to pay $7 for a second replacement card.

How to identify the envelope carrying EIP card?

The letter also instructs users on what to look for in the mail, if they have yet to receive the card. On the envelope, the words "Economic Impact Payment" will be printed on it. Inside the envelope, there will be a letter and a card attached to it.

Image Source: consumer.ftc.gov (screenshot)

The debit card will carry the recipient's name on the front. On the back, there will be a Money Network trademark, as well as, the MetaBank logo.

The letter also informs how the cardholders can use the EIP card. As per the IRS, the cardholder can use it to withdraw cash and at any store that accepts VISA debit cards. The cardholders can also transfer the money from their EIP debit card to their bank account.