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Frequently Asked Questions Retirement

How much does a benefit recipient have to pay for the Direct Express® card?

Most services are free. There is no cost to sign up for the card and there are no monthly fees or overdraft fees. While there are fees for a limited number of optional transactions, it is possible to use the card for free.


Free services include:

  • Purchases at retail locations. 
  • Cash back with purchases.
  • Optional notification by phone, email or text message of deposits.
  • Optional low balance alert when account balance falls below a certain level.
  • Access to the website 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • Unlimited balance inquiries at ATMs, by phone or online.
  • Access to the toll-free customer service number 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • Cash withdrawals through bank or credit union tellers.
  • One free replacement card per year.
  • One free ATM cash withdrawal for each deposit posted to the card account each month, provided that one of the approximately 50,000 surcharge-free network ATMs is used.


Optional services available for a fee include

  • More than one ATM withdrawal per deposit ($0.90 per withdrawal).
  • ATM owner fees called "surcharge fees" may apply if one of the approximately 50,000 surcharge-free network ATMs is not used.
  • Mailing a monthly paper statement ($0.75 per month).
  • Transfer of money from the card account to a personal United States bank account ($1.50).
  • Card replacement after one free replacement card per year ($4.00 per card). If you request expedited delivery, there is an additional charge of $13.50. There is no additional charge for standard delivery.
  • Purchases at merchant locations or ATM cash withdrawals outside of the United States.

Visit for more information on fees and the surcharge-free network.

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