Waiting for a stimulus check? It could be a prepaid card instead – here’s how to track it


MISSION, Kan. (WDAF) — Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced Tuesday that some 4 million of those people still waiting on a stimulus payment will receive it in the form of a prepaid debit card, not a paper check.

Mnuchin handed President Trump a sample card with Trump’s name on it during a Cabinet meeting, saying, “I want you to see what many Americans will now get so that we can get their money to them even quicker.” Mnuchin said that the government has already issued 140 million stimulus payments, most of them via direct deposit.

For those without direct deposit, the United States Postal Service has a way that people can find out remotely when the payment will be delivered. 

“Informed Delivery and tracking confirm are two of the best things we’ve come up with and we are excited about showcasing it for you,” said USPS Strategic Communications Specialist Mark Inglett. 

“Packages have the access and the capability to put tracking numbers on (them) … unfortunately, regular first class letters don’t have a tracking number on them, they have barcodes,” Inglett said.

The post office processes millions of pieces of regular mail and takes an image of the barcode on each. People who sign up for Informed Delivery will receive a digital image of what’s coming in the mail. One or two days before your stimulus check – or card – arrives, you will know it’s coming.

“It’s great!” Inglett said. “I have it myself and I get an email every morning so that I know it’s coming in the mail. I don’t want the bills but I want the checks and things like that so I get real excited about those.”

Go to the USPS Informed Delivery page to make sure you’re eligible for the service.

When people finally receive the envelope, they may find an Economic Impact Payment (EIP) Card instead of a check inside. The EIP Card is a Visa-branded card like those already used by the U.S. Treasury to provide Federal agencies with certain types of payments. 

“I don’t have much of an opinion on that ,” said Kansas City resident Carrie Olsen. “I think as long as it spendable then it’s fine.”

But other folks are more comfortable with the old way of business.

“A check is always better,” Cynthia McCoy said. “When you have a check it goes directly into your bank account, you know? When it’s on a card and you only spend so much on the card then you always have to go back to the card.”

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