Reddit Users’ Guide to Transferring Stimulus Money off Your EIP Card
Starting this week, four million Americans were mailed a stimulus pre-paid debit card instead of a paper check. Our guess is that a good number of recipients will think the suspicious "Money Network Cardholder Services" envelope is junk mail and throw it out, especially since some of the cards are printed with made-up names like in the case of Ryann (not Freedland) Leibenthal.
Thanks to a list of sneaky fees associated with your EIP card, that mistake could cost you $7.50 in replacement fees and another $17 in shipping fees. Be prepared to look very closely at all of your incoming mail and get ready to dig through the trash if necessary.
Thanks to the many folks on Reddit who already got their MetaBank-issued EIP card, we now have some useful tips on how to get the money off the card and into your bank account with minimal aggravation.
The most important tip in all of this is making sure you have activated the card over the phone. You will burn through a lot of time and vague error messages if you try to transfer your money online without following this step.
Next, write down your card’s starting balance and figure out how many transfers and what amounts you need to use to get the full amount into your bank. After many users reported error messages after trying to transfer their full amounts, they finally figured out that transferring smaller amounts worked. For example, use one transfer for $1,000 and one transfer for $200 to get your complete $1,200 into your account. The daily limit is allegedly $2,500 but users noted success when they transferred only $1,000 per day.
If you are completing the transfer online, do not use a comma when entering your transfer amount; enter "$1000" instead of "$1,000," and the transfer should go through.
If you want to complete the transfer over the phone using the number on the back of the card, you’ll still need to complete separate transactions that are each under $1,000. As noted, the EIP card website says there is a daily transfer limit of $2,500, but some users have reported not being able to do more than the $1,000 per day. This is why keeping an actual tally of your card balance will be important, especially if you have to make transfers over a number of days.
MetaBank transfers are processed at 3 p.m. Central time, which is 4 p.m. Eastern. So if you transfer your money before then, you can start the clock on your 2-3 business day countdown. However, users have reported waiting much longer to see the money get deposited into their accounts, likely because of site overload.
And just in case the rumors are true, you'll want to hold onto that card even if it has a zero balance. Allegedly, the IRS may reload the second wave of stimulus payments onto that same card if it is passed.
Find the full Reddit thread on transferring money here.