EIP cards

Some stimulus payments sent out as part of the COVID-Related Tax Relief Act of 2020 may be received through the mail as prepaid debit cards, according to the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

As the federal government works to issue more than 159 million stimulus payments to U.S. residents as part of the COVID-Related Tax Relief Act of 2020, some may receive their payment in the form of a prepaid debit card.

A press release from the U.S. Department of the Treasury said approximately eight million economic impact payment cards, or EIP cards, have been sent out.

“EIP cards are safe, convenient, and secure,” according to the press release. “Cardholders can make purchases online or in stores anywhere Visa debit cards are accepted, get cash from domestic in-network ATMs, transfer funds to a personal bank account, and obtain a replacement EIP card if needed without incurring any fees.”

While most transactions with EIP cards do no require a fee, there are some instances where a fee is applied, such as bank teller over-the-counter cash withdrawals and ATM out-of-network withdrawals. For more information about EIP cards, a map of in-network ATMs and a complete list of transaction fees, visit eipcard.com.

Hutchinson police are aware of EIP cards and have received questions from residents about whether they are legitimate or part of a scam. Police Chief Tom Gifferson confirmed that stimulus payments are being made via EIP cards. He also reminded people of what red flags to be aware, such as solicitations via phone, text message or email, and requests for personal information such as Social Security numbers.

“Whether that’s a phone call, an email, a text message, there are so many ways to communicate now,” Gifferson said. “If they are soliciting that information from you, then I would be wary of that.”