The Direct Express Debit MasterCard is issued by the United States Treasury Department through it’s Financial Management Service (FMS) division. The card is used to pay Social Security and Supplemental Security Income, VA Compensation or Pension and RRB Annuity and OPM (Federal Retirement) benefits. Even though the card issued by the Federal Government, like any prepaid card, it comes with fees and charges. The good news is that most of everyday services and transactions used with the card come free. However, some transactions do carry fees. We have outlined the free transactions and those that are not free below:
As you can see, the top table provides a list of all the services you can use your Direct Express Debit Mastercard for and not be charged any fee. This includes purchases made at merchant locations, reviewing your account information online, checking your card balance at an ATM, customer service calls and getting cash at bank tellers. You also get a free replacement card once a year should you lose your card or if it is stolen.
But as mentioned, there are some services that come with a fee. For example, If you need your card replaced more than once a year, you will be charged for it. In addition, if you transfer money from your card account to a personal checking account, there is a fee for that. Also, if you make purchases outside the United States, there is a fee for that, which is typical of credit and debit card transactions made abroad. To avoid ATM charges, use the ATMs in network, which are shown at the bottom of the second image above.