Debit and credit cards are often referred to as “cashless banking”. Reason being that they allow an individual to carry out transactions and make payments without actually having to carry the money with them. However, now there exists a possibility of accessing cash (a limited amount), without even needing to carry the card itself. This benefit is available to Direct Express Cardholders and is referred to as Direct Express Emergency Cash. It provides the users a buffer for emergency cases.
What is a Direct Express Card?
The Direct Express Card is just like any other debit card. It is prepaid and can be used to make and receive payments electronically. What makes this card different from the rest is that it is issued to those who are eligible for receiving benefits from the federal government. Beneficiaries who sign up for receiving their payment via this card, have it transferred to them every month without going through the hassle of collecting and en-cashing a check.
Unlike other debit cards, maintaining a bank account is not necessary to acquire a Direct Express Card. Naturally, there is no question or investigation about the applicant’s credit history.
How does Direct Express Emergency Cash work?
The payment is transferred directly to the beneficiary’s card and cash may be withdrawn via ATMs, as and when needed. The Direct Express Card can also be used to make electronic payments and collect any refunds at the point of purchase. Because of the convenience and safety, the United States Treasury Department promotes the use of this product amongst those who are already too naïve to take another financial blow in the form of lost or damaged checks.
Additional benefits associated with the use of this card are that once received, the money is available for instant use, unlike checks which may require 1-2 days in the clearing process. Also, it is accessible 24/7 and can be used to make online payments for bills and purchases.
In case you are wondering about the financial institution which issues this card on behalf of the government, let us tell you that it is none other than the Comerica Bank.
Understanding the Direct Express Emergency Cash
Oftentimes there are instances when we forget to carry our card with us and end up being in dire need of money. Direct Express Emergency Cash is a solution for situations just like these.
It gives users of the Direct Express Card access to a limited amount of cash (not more than $1000), without having the card on them at the very moment. This is just like a withdrawal and the amount utilized is deducted from the cardholder’s balance.
There are multiple scenarios during which this facility might be extremely useful. Examples include misplacing the card and being unable to locate it when cash is needed, or forgetting to carry it along while traveling to a foreign location.
Also, if the owner has lost the card or has doubts that it has been stolen, s/he would still be able to meet urgent needs even if they get their card blocked. This is an edge that the Express Card has over regular banking debit cards which, if blocked, require the holder to visit the branch in person every time they need to withdraw cash.
Similarly, during the period which it usually takes for a new card to be issued and mailed to the customer (following the expiry of the existing one), the Direct Express Emergency Cash service may prove to be extremely beneficial.
Thus, this feature greatly enhances the card’s practicality. It is also referred to as Direct Express Cardless Benefit Access.
The question which arises next is how and where to get the cash we have been talking about in the last few paragraphs. This amount can be received from any MoneyGram point, even the ones inside hypermarkets such as Walmart.
The process is simple and does not require any unnecessary steps. The fee for availing emergency cash is divided according to the range within which one withdraws the money. If the amount is $500 or less, the fee charged would be $8.50. If it is an amount greater than $500 but within the range of $1000, the charges would be $12. The fee is pretty reasonable and does not put an excessive burden on those who are already surviving on government funds in the form of federal benefit.
Benefits of the Direct Express Emergency Cash
- With fixed charges, the emergency cash feature is much more reliable and affordable than loan services that may have high-interest rates and hidden charges.
- The cash is available within a few hours of making an application and there are no lengthy steps or pending approvals as with most other services.
- Making an application for emergency cash is a very convenient process and can be completed online from the premises of your home.
Other Features of the Direct Express Card
Now that we have discussed the Emergency Cash features in detail, we must also slightly touch upon other attributes of the Express Card. You might be pleased to know that it is possible to transfer funds from your card to any of your bank accounts within the United States. However, making such a shift would mean incurring a fee of $1.50 per transfer.
The request for moving resources from your card to your account can easily be made by calling customer services on the toll-free number (mentioned at the back of your card).
Having discussed the benefits of the Direct Express Card and its unique Emergency Cash Service, some of you might be pondering whether a loan can be taken based on owning this card. The answer is yes!
Since the amount one is entitled to receive under the federal benefit being granted is deposited into the account every month, it is possible to acquire payday loans based on Direct Express Cards. The interest rate may vary according to different lenders. However, the significance and credibility that Express Card holds in the financial market are worthy of notice.
Thus, we conclude that the practicality and usefulness of Direct Express Card and Direct Express Emergency Cash cannot be denied. They provide a realistic solution to unpredictable life events. Hence, beneficiaries of government funds must consider using this safe mode of handling finances without falling for other unregulated options that might be scams.