How To Avoid Fees On Your Social Security Debit Card Social Security
Gone are the days of paper social security checks. All Social Security beneficiaries are now required to receive their payments electronically. Most people choose to have their Social security payments deposited directly into a bank or credit union account. Retirees who do not have a bank account or prefer not to use one can have their payments loaded to a prepaid account Direct express debit mastercard.
However, as with any financial product, there are fine print and the potential to generate additional costs. Here’s how to avoid charges on your Social Security debit card:
- Avoid making more than one withdrawal per deposit at Direct Express ATMs.
- Locate networked ATMs.
- Use the card to make your purchases.
- Get cash back with your purchases.
- Access cash through a bank or credit union teller.
- Do not use the card on international trips.
- Don’t sign up for paper statements.
- Don’t lose your card.
- Sign up for direct deposit.
The Direct Express debit card offers a variety of free services at Social Security beneficiaries. There are no registration fees, monthly fees, or overdraft fees, which plague users of many other prepaid cards, and no credit check is required to sign up. Here’s how to use the free Social Security debit card:
Avoid making multiple withdrawals per deposit at Direct Express ATMs
Debit card users can withdraw money for free from ATMs in the Direct Express network once per deposit into the account each month. Additional cash withdrawals at network ATMs are 85 cents each.
“Take the cash you need for the month with just one ATM withdrawal,” says Bill Hardekopf, CEO of credit card comparison site LowCards.com. “If you need the extra cash, go to a bank or credit union rather than using an ATM.”
You can make your free withdrawal the same month as the deposit or the following month. For example, if you receive social security payment on May 8, you are entitled to a free ATM withdrawal between May 8 and June 30. Cardholders can set up free deposit notifications by phone, email, or text to know when payments are coming.
Locate network ATMs
If you use an off-network ATM, you will be charged additional fees. ATM locator feature on USDirectExpress.com can help you find network ATM including Comerica Bank, Charter One, Privileged Status, Alliance One, PNC Bank, Mastercard ATM Alliance and MoneyPass.
“The Direct Express card is not a bad card and doesn’t have a lot of fees,” says Lauren Saunders, associate director of the National Consumer Law Center. “The main problem is withdrawing money, and you can do it free of charge once a month at an ATM in the network or anytime at a bank counter or using cash back in a supermarket or many big box chains like Target and Walmart. “
Use the card to shop
Since ATM withdrawals are limited, it is often more convenient to make purchases with the Direct Express debit card instead of using cash.
“This card can be used to make a purchase anywhere a Mastercard debit card is honored, which is pretty much anywhere, so use the card to make your purchases rather than using cash,” explains Hardekopf.
You can set up free low balance alerts when the account balance drops below a certain level. If you don’t have enough money in the account to complete your purchase, you can use the card for part of the purchase and pay the rest in cash or other payment method.
Thomas Santaniello, legislative and public affairs specialist at the Treasury’s Tax Services Office, says: “If you make a mistake, your transaction will be refused for insufficient funds. You will not be charged any fees.
Get cash back with your purchases
When you use your Direct Express debit card in stores, you can request cash back with your purchase. “The smart thing to do with the card is use it for shopping, use it to pay bills, and then if you need to collect the money, you can do it at the point of sale,” explains Santaniello. “If you do this, the card can be used at virtually no cost.”
Access cash through a Bank or cashier
Although many ATM withdrawals have fees, you can access the money loaded on your card at a bank or cashier for free.
Do not use the card on international trips
If you plan to travel abroad in retirement, you may want to leave your Social Security debit card at home. Comerica charges $ 3 and 3% of the amount withdrawn to use ATMs outside of the United States, in addition to a possible surcharge for using an off-grid ATM. For debit purchases in foreign countries, you will also be charged 3% of the price.
Don’t sign up for paper statements
A document declaration mailed costs 75 cents per month. These charges are easily avoided by accessing your account information online. You can also view your balance and transaction history for free using the DX Direct Express mobile app.
Don’t lose your card
Be sure to keep your debit card. After a free replacement every year, it will cost you $ 4 for each new card. There is also an additional charge of $ 13.50 if you need to have the new card delivered overnight.
Sign up for direct deposit
A transfer of funds from your Direct Express debit card to a personal bank account in the United States costs $ 1.50 each time. You can avoid these fees by signing up to have your Social security payments deposited directly to your bank account instead of being applied to the debit card. With your own bank account, you can get unlimited free withdrawals from networked ATMs at a financial institution near you and earn interest on your Social Security dollars until you spend them. Balances on a prepaid debit card earn no interest.
“If you have a bank account, it’s usually better and more convenient to deposit your Social Security directly into it,” says Saunders. “It’s easy to change. “