How do I avoid fees on my Social Security debit card?
The days of paper social security checks are over. All Social Security beneficiaries are now required to receive payments …
The days of paper social security checks are over. All Social Security beneficiaries are now required to receive payments electronically. Most people choose to ZUS payments directly deposited into an account at a bank or cash desk. Retirees who do not have bank accounts or prefer not to use them may have top-up payments with a prepaid card Express Debit Mastercard.
However, as with any financial product, there is some fine print and the potential for extra cost. Here’s how to avoid fees on your Social Security debit card:
– Avoid making more than one withdrawal per deposit at Direct Express ATMs.
– Locate ATMs on the web.
– Use your card to shop.
– Recover cash for purchases.
– Access to cash via a cashier at a bank or cash desk.
– Do not use the card in international travel.
– Do not sign up for paper statements.
– Don’t lose your card.
– Sign up for direct deposit.
Direct Express debit card provides a variety of free services to make Social Security beneficiaries. There are no sign-up, monthly or debit fees to plague users of many other prepaid cards, and no credit check is required to sign up. Here’s how to use your Social Security debit card for free:
Avoid making multiple withdrawals for a single deposit at Direct Express ATMs
Debit card users can withdraw cash once a month from ATMs of the Direct Express network once per account deposit. Extra cash withdrawals at network ATMs cost 85 cents each.
“Get the cash you need for a month with one ATM withdrawal,” says Bill Hardekopf, general manager of the LowCards.com credit card comparison website. “If you need extra cash, go to a bank or credit union instead of using an ATM.”
You can use your free withdrawal in the same month as your deposit or in the following month. For example, if receive the ZUS allowance 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 SMS to keep track of when payments arrive.
Locate ATMs on the web
If you use a non-network ATM, you will be charged additional fees. The ATM locator feature on USDirectExpress.com can help you find a 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 does not involve large fees,” said Lauren Saunders, associate director of the National Consumer Law Center. “The main problem is withdrawing cash, and you can do it for free once a month at a network ATM or at any time at a bank counter, or with cash at a supermarket or many big chains such as Target and Walmart.”
Use your card for purchases
As ATM withdrawals are limited, it is often more convenient to shop with your Direct Express debit card instead of cash.
“This card can be used to make purchases anywhere a Mastercard debit card is accepted, which is almost anywhere, so use the card to make purchases instead of using cash,” says Hardekopf.
You can set up free low balance alerts when your account balance drops below a certain level. If you don’t have enough funds in your account to complete the purchase, you can use your card for part of the purchase and pay the rest in cash or another payment method.
Thomas Santaniello, Legislative and Public Affairs Officer at the Treasury Office, says: “If you make a mistake, your transaction will be rejected due to insufficient funds. You will not be charged a fee.
Get cashback for purchases
When you use your Direct Express debit card at retail outlets, you can request a cashback on your purchase. “The smart thing to do with the card is to use it to make purchases, use it to pay bills, and if you need a cashback you can do so at the point of sale,” says Santaniello. “If you do, the card is practically free to use.”
Access to cash via Cashier at bank or cash desk
While many ATM withdrawals incur fees, you can access your cash loaded onto your card at your bank’s or credit union’s counter for free.
Do not use the card when traveling internationally
If you are planning going abroad in retirement, you can leave your Social Security debit card at home. Comerica charges $ 3 and 3% of the withdrawal amount for ATM use outside the US, in addition to any non-network ATM surcharge. For overdraft purchases in other countries, a 3% fee will be charged.
Do not register for a paper-based statement
Paper message mailed to you costs 75 cents a month. This fee is easily avoided by accessing your account information online. You can also check your balance and transaction history for free using the DX Direct Express mobile app.
Don’t lose your card
Be careful with your debit card. With one free replacement each year, it will cost $ 4 for each new card. There is also an additional fee of $ 13.50 if you need to deliver a new card overnight.
Sign up for a direct deposit
Transferring funds from a Direct Express debit card to a personal US bank account costs $ 1.50 each time. You can avoid this fee by signing up to have yours ZUS payments directly deposited to your bank account instead of your debit card. Using your own bank account, you can receive unlimited and free online ATM withdrawals from a financial institution near your home and charge interest on your Social Security dollars until you spend it. Prepaid debit card balances bear no interest.
“If you have a bank account, it’s usually better and more convenient to have a direct Social Security deposit there,” says Saunders. “It’s easy to change.”
More from US News
How do I avoid fees on my Social Security debit card? originally appeared on usnews.com
Update 10/08/20: This story was previously published and has been updated with new information.