The Covid Economy

Millions of stimulus debit cards will be mailed out starting this week

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, DC, on December 2, 2020.
GREG NASH | AFP | Getty Images

The Treasury Department announced Thursday that approximately 8 million second stimulus payments will be mailed out starting this week in the form of prepaid debit cards.

The debit cards, called Economic Impact Payment (EIP) cards, are issued by MetaBank, N.A., and will arrive in a white envelope that "prominently displays the U.S. Department of the Treasury seal."

The cards themselves will have "Visa" on the front and MetaBank on the back. The envelope will also include instructions for activating the cards. Many people reportedly threw the cards away during the first round of stimulus checks because they were not expecting them.

The second round of prepaid economic impact payment cards started going out to recipients in January.
Photo illustration /

Millions of paper checks are also being delivered, and the IRS is still depositing payments via direct deposit. The agency has until Jan. 15 to deliver all of the payments; after that, eligible taxpayers who have not received their payment will need to claim it on their 2020 tax returns.

Cards sent out the first time will not be "reloaded." Taxpayers will either receive a new card, a paper check or direct deposit.

The Treasury also noted that some people who received a paper check last time may get a debit card for their second payment, and vice versa. It did not provide a reason for this change.

You can find out more information on the EIP Card website.

Check out: 'It's extremely frustrating:' IRS unresponsive as Americans seek answers on stimulus payments

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