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Watch your mail in case your second stimulus payment may come as a debit card

The U.S. Department of the Treasury and the IRS are working to get the second round of stimulus payments to people.

Direct deposits into bank account started on Dec. 29, and some checks have been mailed.

And, like last time, some people will get their payment in the mail on a VISA debit card. If you haven’t received your second stimulus payment yet, watch your mail carefully. Some taxpayers expecting stimulus checks for the first round of payments unwittingly threw them in the garbage, because the money arrived in a plain white envelope.

Don’t be surprised if the way you get this second payment is different than the first time, said Cristina Miranda, consumer education specialist for the Federal Trade Commission’s Division of Consumer and Business Education.

The payment VISA debit card will come in an envelope that looks like this:

Envelope-That Stimulus Payment Is Mailed In_final

The debit cards are managed by Money Network Financial and issued by Treasury’s financial agent, MetaBank, and will look like this:

Card_art_front for stimulus payment

Card_art_back for Stimulus Payment

If you get one of the cards in the mail, here’s what to do:

  • Activate the payment VISA debit card right away by calling 800-240-8100. To activate your card, you’ll have to give the last six digits of your Social Security number. After activation, you can use it anywhere that accepts VISA debit cards, including online or in a store, or at an ATM to get cash. You also can transfer the money from the card to your bank account without fees. The payment debit cards will expire in three years. If that happens, call customer service to ask for the funds to be sent to you as a check.
  • Call if you have questions about the payment card. Call the 24-hour call center at 800-240-8100. You can also visit for information on using the card, such as where to log in to see your card balance, or where to find an in-network ATM to get money out of the card for no charge.
  • Visit the IRS website for general questions. The IRS has an FAQs page in English, or in Spanish.

And, like for the first round of stimulus payments, watch out for scammers. They’re already at work trying to get your money and/or personal information.

The government will never call, text, email, or ask you to click on a link to activate your stimulus payment card or get your money, Miranda said. If anyone does, it’s a scam. Don’t give anyone your personal or financial information, such as your Social Security or bank account numbers. And never pay anyone to get your stimulus payment funds.

Report any scam to the FTC at


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We almost through our first debit card out, but for some reason I opened it before tossing. That was dumb luck!


That's why I wrote the article. I open every letter that I get. I've had some good surprises; a few checks that I would have thrown away.

Carol Cassara

I think it's a good alert. Not sure it's something people would realize.


I still haven't gotten the stimulus from the spring, but we got this one right away.

Laurie Stone

Good reminder, Rita! I'm embarrassed to recite the bills and checks I've thrown away, too quick on the "tossing away" trigger finger.

Rebecca Forstadt Olkowski

I'm direct deposit all the way and got the 600 and the first one just days after they passed it.

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