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Direct Express logo

Direct Express® Debit MasterCard®

Click on the card to sign up for the Direct Express card (exit FMS Web site)


The Direct Express® Debit MasterCard® provides another option for federal beneficiaries who do not have a bank account, but who are looking for a no-cost or low-cost alternative to using check cashing facilities and carrying large amounts of cash.

To sign up for the Direct Express® Debit MasterCard®, call the enrollment center toll free at
1 (877) 212-9991 (TTY 1 (866) 569-0447), or visit
www.USDirectExpress.comExit FMS Web site.

Experience the safety and convenience of getting your monthly benefits on a prepaid debit card. Direct Express® Debit MasterCard® is designed for people who receive federal benefits such as Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). No bank account is required. With this card, you can make purchases, pay bills and get cash at thousands of locations nationwide. No more waiting for the mail, or worrying about lost or stolen checks. Your monthly benefits will be available on your payment day, on time, every time.

Unlike other prepaid debit cards, this card offers cardholders free access to their money. There is no sign-up fee, and no bank account or credit check is required to enroll. Cardholders can make purchases, pay bills and get cash at thousands of ATMs and retail locations.

If you received your Direct Express® card prior to April 2008, similar to the card image to the right, click here

Letter to Cardholders from JPMorganChasePDF file (87 kb)
image of Direct Express cards issued prior to April 2008

Advantages of the New Direct Express® Debit MasterCard®

About 4 million social security and SSI recipients do not have bank accounts, and have had to depend on paper checks for their monthly payments. The Direct Express® Debit MasterCard® offers a number of features that make it:

  • Safe. Paper checks can be vulnerable to financial crimes such as check fraud, or delivery delays due to weather. The Direct Express® card eliminates the risk of lost or stolen checks, and gives people access to their money without needing to carry large amounts of cash. Cards are FDIC-insured up to the maximum amount allowed by law, and offer a Personal Identification Number (PIN) for use at ATMs and retail locations. If a card is lost or stolen, it will be replaced.

  • No- or low-cost. Features built into the card are aimed at reducing or eliminating the cost of using the card. There is no cost to sign up for the card and no monthly fee. While there are fees for some optional transactions, it is possible to use the card for free.

    For example, cardholders can get free cash back with purchases at retail locations, or free cash withdrawals through bank or credit union tellers. Cardholders also receive one free ATM cash withdrawal in the United States for each deposit posted to an account (ATM owner surcharges may apply at ATMs outside the Direct Express network).

  • Convenient. Cardholders will be able to make purchases at no cost wherever Debit MasterCard® is accepted and use the card to pay bills and get cash at ATMs. Cardholders also get free balance information at ATMs, by phone or online; free optional notification of deposits to the debit card by phone, email or text message; free optional low balance alert when the account balance falls below a certain level, and round-the-clock access to the toll-free customer service number or Web site.

  • Easy. Unlike paper checks, which are vulnerable to risk of theft, loss or delivery delays, benefit payments for the card are automatically deposited onto card accounts each month, so cardholders don't have to wait for the mail to access their monthly payments.

Direct Express® and the Direct Express® logo are service marks of the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Financial Management Service.

The Direct Express® Debit MasterCard® is issued by Comerica Bank, pursuant to a license by MasterCard International Incorporated. MasterCard® and the MasterCard® Brand Mark are registered trademarks of MasterCard International Incorporated.

   Last Updated:  Tuesday June 17, 2008

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