Did you receive a letter and debit card labeled from “Economic Impact Payment”? Don’t toss them. If you do, you’ll be throwing away money. At least $600 depending on your situation.

Millions of second-round stimulus payments are being sent by the Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service as prepaid debit cards. However, many people say the letters and cards look like a scam.

Here’s how the Economic Impact Payment (EIP) card is supposed to work.

The EIP card arrives in the mail in a white envelope displaying the U.S. Department of the Treasury seal and the note “Not a bill or an advertisement. Important information about your Economic Impact Payment.” Along with the card are instructions on how to activate and use it.

The money on the prepaid debit cards issued by Treasury’s financial agent, MetaBank, can be transferred your bank account or you can get cash at an ATM. (Fees may be charged for using an ATM.) The cards can also be used to make purchases online or at retailers that accept Visa debit cards.

The IRS says the EIP card is secure and can be replaced if needed.


The amount on the card will vary depending on your household. Individuals can expect $600. If married filing jointly for 2020, expect $1,200 plus $600 for each qualifying child you had in 2020.

There are income caps on who is eligible. The IRS says your adjusted gross income cannot exceed $150,000 if married and filing a joint return, or if filing as a qualifying widow or widower; $112,500 if filing as head of household; or $75,000 for eligible individuals using any other filing status.

Not everyone is getting a card. Some people had their stimulus money directly deposited into their bank account or received a paper check. The IRS says it does not determine who gets a paper check or a debit card, so you might get either one.

If you’re still waiting for a stimulus payment, go to Get My Payment on the IRS.Gov site. The Get My Payment online tool can tell you if a payment was sent and how (direct deposit or mail).

If you don’t receive a stimulus payment, you can claim it as a credit on the 2020 tax return.

If you mistakenly threw out an EIP card, call customer service at 800-240-8100 and select “Lost/Stolen.” More information about the card is available at https://www.eipcard.com/faq.