Stimulus Check: Where and How Can I Use My EIP Debit Card?

The IRS and Treasury are sending out around four million prepaid debit cards containing people's Economic Impact Payment (EIP)—otherwise known as the stimulus check—to those that have not yet received their federal aid.

The Treasury is mailing an EIP Card to individuals who qualify for a stimulus check but who do not have their payment information on file at the IRS, and whose tax return was processed by either the Andover or Austin IRS Service Center. Cards are preloaded with stimulus funds.

They can be used anywhere that accepts Visa debit cards, be it in-store, online, or over the phone. Moreover, you can pay bills with the EIP Card, get cashback with purchases when using the PIN, and withdraw money from ATMs that carry the AllPoint brand.

"To purchase gas using your EIP Card, you should give your Card to the attendant to pre-pay for gas in order to avoid a pre-authorization," advises EIPcard.com.

"As with most debit cards, if you pay at the pump, merchants will pre-authorize your purchase, which temporarily puts a hold on your Card balance that could be greater than the transaction amount.

"Once processed, the money will be released, and your balance will be adjusted. Pre-authorized funds may take up to 7 business days to be released back to your Card account balance."

There is an ATM locator tool on the EIP Card website. Users can input a zip code, address, or general location to see the nearest ATM facilities available to them. You can also check your balance online at the website or by phone.

So far, more than 140 million Americans have had their stimulus check either as a direct deposit or a paper check in the mail if the IRS did not hold their recent payment information. Under the CARES Act, qualifying adults can get up to $1,200 and children up to $500 each.

"Treasury and the IRS have been working with unprecedented speed to issue Economic Impact Payments to American families," said Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin in a statement.

"Prepaid debit cards are secure, easy to use, and allow us to deliver Americans their money quickly. Recipients can immediately activate and use the cards safely."

EIP cards can be activated by calling 1-800-240-8100 (or, for people who use a TTY, 1-800-241-9100). To activate the card, users will need to provide their name, address, and social security number, and then create a 4-digit PIN.

To check the status of your stimulus check, you can use the Get My Payment tool on the IRS website.

stimulus check debit card EIP card
U.S. President Donald Trump's name appears on the coronavirus economic assistance checks that were sent to citizens across the country April 29, 2020 in Washington, DC. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images