Government launches prepaid debit card

tax refund debit cards used at ATMsIn the future, you may be getting your tax refunds on a debit card. Is this wise? Read on …

The US Treasury is launching a tax refund prepaid debit card pilot program. Specifically a MyAccountCard Visa Prepaid Debit Card. The Visa card is to be issued by Bonneville Bank, based in Utah, and the Treasury will work with prepaid card provider Green Dot Corp. during this pilot program.

This year, thousands of Americans will have the choice of getting their tax refunds direct deposited on a prepaid card instead of a paper check. The government is looking to cut costs and give people without bank accounts an easier way to get their money. Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Neal Wolin recently announced, “This pilot program will provide low- and moderate-income Americans with a low-cost option for faster delivery of their federal tax refund.”

The Treasury said it will issue several versions of the prepaid card that have different features. The prepaid card will be free for all customers, and the monthly service fee will range from being free to $4.95. All the debit cards will offer unlimited free ATM withdrawals at nearly 15,000 in-network ATMs. As to using out-of-network ATMs for withdrawal, there will be a $2.50 service fee and a 50-cent balance inquiry charge.

I’m not too sure I want my own refund ona debit card. I like depositing checks. And despite the fact that it will save the government some $40 million per year, I call that the cost of doing business and serving taxpaers such as the cost of keeping pennies in circulation.


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