This is a review of the Direct Express Debit MasterCard. It is part of our Prepaid Card Review series where we provide insight and useful tips regarding prepaid debit cards we find interesting. The Direct Express card is unique – because it is specifically designed to be used by those receiving federal government benefits like Social Security and Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits. The Treasury Department recently gave a directive that required all government benefits to be paid electronically. This was done to eliminate the expense of mailing out checks to millions of recipients each month. See the video below for the announcement:
As a result, recipients of government benefits now have two options in getting their benefits:
1. You can choose to get your Social Security or VA benefits deposited into your checking or savings account with a bank or credit union (to find a credit union, checkout the federal credit union directory). To sign up for Direct Deposit, click here. You will need a few documents as outlined in the image below:
2. Your other option is to sign up for a Direct Express Debit MasterCard account, which acts like a bank account. Your federal benefit will be deposited into your Direct Express account on the due date and you will be able to access your money to make purchases anywhere debit MasterCard are accepted, get cash at ATMs or get cash back when you make debit purchases at grocery and pharmacies and other retail outlets. To sign up for Direct Express, click here. You will need the documents as outlined in the image below:
If you already have a Direct Express Debit Card, you can learn about how to register your card and Direct Express Login.
Regardless of the option you chose, you are required to receive your federal benefits electronically, so take action soon before the government makes the choice for you (by signing you up for the Direct Express Card).