California residents who received a stimulus payment should expect to receive their debit card in the mail soon. The state will send out the cards by Monday, but they may look different from your usual checks.
The state is using a new system called direct deposit for people who received checks under the federal Stimulus Package passed by President Obama’s administration as part of its economic recovery plan for states like California. It allows recipients to have their payments automatically deposited into their bank accounts instead of having to go through bank branches or wait days before cashing them at an ATM machine (or worse yet—getting robbed). This means you won’t have to worry about losing track of those checks or having them stolen during transit!
Stimulus Check Money Still Helping The Households
The California DTA card is like a check, but it’s better.
“Gives them the benefits of having a check in their pocket that they can use instantly,” said California Franchise Tax Board spokesperson Dennis Brantner. “It also gives them immediate access to their money.”
The debit card allows you to withdraw cash from an ATM machine or make purchases at retailers like Walgreens and Target, which take debit cards as payment. You don’t need to worry about your banking information being compromised because there are no passwords required for the transaction–just swipe your card at the point-of-sale terminal and pay with cash instead of handing over credit or debit cards each time you want some dough (or groceries).
The debit cards for some Californians are part of an effort by Gov. Gavin Newsom to get these funds out to taxpayers more quickly than handing out checks.
The California Department of Finance says recipients will receive their payments in the mail next week, but those who don’t get their checks can apply online at www.rewardscardprograms.com or call 1-800-332-7331 (1-800-REC).
“It’s just like any other bank debit card, so you can take it to an ATM and withdraw cash from it,” Brantner explained. “It’s a good idea to call your bank first to make sure that the card is valid and has enough funds on it.”
You can also use the card at online retailers such as Amazon or eBay and make purchases with an electronic money transfer (EFT). EFTs are available through many banks in California, including Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Chase Bank.