The convenience of debit cards

Unlike paper checks, debit cards allow Americans to access their payments right away without having to deposit the money into an account first. And using a debit card won’t affect your credit score, which can sometimes happen with credit cards.

Debit cards are America’s favorite way to pay for things, used for 28% of all payments, according to a Federal Reserve study released in December. Credit cards are used 23% of the time.

If you receive one of the IRS stimulus payment cards and enjoy using it, you may decide to keep another debit card or two handy, besides your regular bank card. Debit cards are evolving and are no longer the plain-vanilla payment cards you're used to.

Some free debit accounts even offer perks similar to credit cards, such as cash-back rewards, without any risk to your credit rating.

By putting stimulus payments on debit cards, the government is providing Americans with quick and convenient financial relief when they need it most.

When you’ll get your prepaid debit card

If you’re one of the millions of Americans who qualify for the prepaid Visa debit card, it should arrive by mail in the next few weeks in an unmarked envelope from Money Network Cardholder Services.

Once you’ve activated your card you can check your balance online, or by phone at 800-240-8100.

Only one prepaid debit card will be provided per family, so if you and your spouse file your taxes jointly, both your relief payments will be on the same card.