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How does the Direct Express ® card work? – U.S. Department of the Treasury (.gov)

May 25, 2024

Direct Express®
A program of the Bureau of the Fiscal Service
Tip: To get back to the Fiscal Service home page, click or tap the logo in the upper left corner.
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The Direct Express® Debit Mastercard® card is a way to get your federal benefits, even if you do not have a bank account. No need to cash a check or carry cash. No credit check to get the card. No need to keep a minimum balance on the card.
Federal benefit payments, such as Social Security, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Veterans, are required to receive your payment electronically. You must either have the money deposited directly to a bank or credit union account or get your money each month on a DirectExpress® prepaid debit card.
If you do not have a bank account, the FDIC website offers information to help you open an account online or at a local bank branch.
Each month, your money is automatically deposited to your Direct Express® card account on your payment date. You can go to any bank, credit union, or ATM that shows the Mastercard® logo, even if you do not have a bank account.
Contact our Enrollment Center between the hours of 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. ET, Monday thru Friday.
Call 800-333-1795 or enroll online at
No need to have a bank account or carry cash
You get your money on time, every month
No need to worry about checks
The Direct Express® card is very safe.
For most of the ways you will use the card, there are no fees.
You also get these services for free:
A few other services you may choose to use with your card do have small fees. For information about these other services and what they cost, visit Direct Express FAQs.
The Bureau of the Fiscal Service Financial Agent Selection Process (FASP) for the Direct Express Program closed on February 26, 2024, which was the deadline for all applications to be submitted.
For media inquiries, please contact the Bureau of the Fiscal Service, Legislative and Public Affairs Office at (202)504-3535 or

If you have questions or need assistance with your Direct Express® card, contact Direct Express® customer service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, by calling the number on the back of your card. Call 1-888-741-1115 if your card starts with 5332 or, call 886-606-3311 if your card starts with 5115.
For card account information, visit
Direct Express® and the Direct Express® logo are registered marks of the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Bureau of the Fiscal Service.
The Comerica Bank issues the DirectExpress® Debit Mastercard® under a license from Mastercard International Incorporated. Mastercard® and the Mastercard® Brand Mark are registered trademarks of Mastercard International Incorporated.
Last modified 02/28/24
Direct Express®
A program of the Bureau of the Fiscal Service


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