Treasury makes key change to prepaid stimulus cards so Americans don’t toss them

In spring some recipients mistook payment for junk mail

The U.S. Treasury Department on Thursday announced it has begun issuing economic impact payments on prepaid debit cards, with one key change to ensure Americans can readily identify the mailing.

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This time, the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service will mail the checks in white envelopes that “prominently displays the U.S. Department of the Treasury seal,” the Treasury said in a press release.

That change comes after the first round of cards were sent in plain envelopes from "Money Network Cardholder Services," which some individuals mistook for junk mail.

The Visa name appears on the front of the card, and MetaBank – the Treasury Department’s financial agent – appears on the back.

About 8 million people are expected to receive their payments on a debit card – while others will get the cash via direct deposit or paper check.

Individuals who received a prepaid debit card last time could receive a paper check this time, Treasury said, and vice versa.

The government sought to remind recipients that the cards can be used to make purchases online or in stores, to get cash from in-network ATMs and to transfer funds to a personal bank account.

The IRS and Treasury Department began issuing direct deposits and sending out paper checks last week.

HOW TO CHECK THE STATUS OF YOUR $600 STIMULUS CHECK

Individuals earning up to $75,000, or $150,000 for married couples, are eligible for the second round of direct payments. Households are eligible for an additional $600 per qualifying child.

Beyond those income thresholds, the payments would begin to phase out at a rate of $5 per $100 of additional income.

Individuals earning more than $87,000 and married couples earning more than $174,000 are ineligible for payments.

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