How to Create Direct Express Account Online

The Direct Express Card online account is an online service provided by Direct Express Debit card that allows you to review your account history, check your current balance, get information about customer service to order a replacement card or file a dispute and many more. In this post, we will walk you through the step by step process to create Direct Express account online.

In this post, we will cover:

  • What is the Direct Express Card?
  • What You Can do with Direct Express Account
  • How to Create Direct Express Account Online
  • What to do after you Create your Account
  • Direct Express Card FAQs

"How to Create Direct Express Account Online"

What is the Direct Express Card?

The Direct Express card is a debit card you can use to access federal benefits. The card is issued by Comerica Bank on behalf of the United States Treasury Department.

The card is recommended by the Treasury Department as a safe, convenient alternative to paper checks.

When you sign up to receive your federal benefits on the Direct Express card, you will receive your payment every month, on your payment date without having to worry about cashing your check or having it lost or stolen.

Anyone receiving federal benefit payments, such as Social Security, SSDI, SSI, or Veterans assistance, can enroll.

You can use your Direct Express card to withdraw cash from Automated Teller Machines (ATMs), make purchases at stores that accept Debit MasterCard, and get cash back when you make those purchases

In addition, you can use the card to pay bills online.

The video below offers a great summary of all the amazing features that come with your Direct Express card account.

What You Can do with Direct Express Online Account

To get the best out of your Direct Express card, it’s important to sign up for an online account. Here is what you can do with your Direct Express online account:

  • Check your card balance
  • View your transaction history
  • Select or change your PIN Number
  • Ask questions about card use
  • Dispute a transaction
  • Report lost or stolen cards
  • Set up optional services

How to Create Direct Express Account Online

To create your Direct Express account online, follow the step by step process below.

Step 1 – Visit Direct Express Website

The first step to creating a Direct Express online account is to visit the Direct Express website. Click here to be taken there.

Once on the site, you need to select your appropriate card number to be taken to the correct login page.

Step 2 – Select your Card Number

If your Card Number starts with 5332 48 or 5115 63, check the appropriate circle as shown below and follow the instructions.

Note that we have provided login instructions below for both. Scroll down to see the instructions for your specific card number.

"Create Direct Express Account Online"

If your Card Number starts with 5332 48, you will be taken to a page that looks like the one below.

Next, click on “Create New User” as shown in the image below.

"Create Direct Express Account Online 2"

You will then be taken to a page like the one shown in the image below, where you will be asked to enter the following information to create your account:

  • Direct Express Card Number
  • 3 Digit Security Code
  • Social Security Number (No Dashes)
  • Zip Code
  • Email Address
  • Create a User ID
  • Create Password
  • Confirm Password

"Create Direct Express Account Online 3"

Once you finish entering the requested information, including the security code, click the “Submit” link and follow the instructions provided to complete creating your Direct Express card online account.

If your Card Number starts with 5115 63, check the appropriate box and follow the instructions below to create your online account.

"Creating Direct Express Account Online"

If your Card Number starts with 5115 63, you will be taken to a page that looks like the one below.

Next, locate the section on the page titled “Activate/Register Card” as shown below.

Enter your Direct Express card number in the space provided, then click “Activate/Register” and follow the instructions to complete your card registration process.

"How to Create a Direct Express card account"

What to do after you Create your Account

Once you have successfully created your Direct Express account, you can now login to check your card balance, view your transaction history, get information on how to get a replacement card, and more.

For detailed instructions on how to login to your new Direct Express online account, see our How to login to Direct Express account post.

Direct Express Card FAQs

Here are the most frequently asked Direct Express card questions:

What Fees come with the Direct Express Card?

The Direct Express card is one of the best prepaid debit cards out there for one simple reason – most services are free.

Below is a list of the services that are FREE for Direct Express debit cardholders.

Standard Free Services
Service Fee
Purchases at U.S. merchant locations Free
Cash-back with purchase Free
Automatic deposit notification* Free
Automatic low balance notification* Free
Web account access Free
ATM balance inquiry Free
ATM denial Free
Customer Service calls Free
Cash from bank tellers Free
Card replacement – One per year Free
Mobile Application – manage your Direct Express account;
convenient, secure (for Android and Apple devices)
Free
ATM cash withdrawal in the U.S. including the District of
Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands
(surcharge by ATM owner may apply)
One(1) free withdrawal with each deposit to your Card Account

Direct Express services that come with fees

Here are the list of Direct Express services that come with fees:

The ONLY Fees You Can Be Charged
Optional Service Service Fee
ATM cash withdrawal in U.S. including the District Columbia,
Guam, Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands (after free
transactions are used and surcharge bu ATM owner may apply)
$0.85 each withdrawal (after free transactions are used)
$0.85 each withdrawal (after free transactions are used)
Direct Express Cash Access 85 cents per transaction
Monthly paper statement mailed to you $0.75 each month
Direct Express Cardless Benefit Access $8.50 to $12.00 per transaction
Funds transfer to a personal U.S. bank account $1.50 each time
Card replacement $4.00 after one (1) free each year
Expedited delivery of replacement card $13.50 each time
ATM cash withdrawal outside of the U.S. – Surcharge by ATM owner may apply $3.00 plus 3% of amount withdrawn
Purchase at merchant locations outside of the U.S. 3% of purchase amount

How is the Direct Express debit card different from a credit card?

Unlike a credit card where you have access to your entire credit limit for purchases, you can only use your Direct Express debit card if you have money in your account.

The full amount of your purchase is debited from your card account at the time of the purchase or very soon thereafter. The Direct Express® card does not provide a line of credit. With a credit card, you use a card to borrow money to make purchases and pay back the credit card company in part or in full every month.

What’s the Easiest Way to Check my Card Balance?

The easiest way to check the balance on your Direct Express card is to log in online and review your account information. Click here to log in to your account.

If you need help logging in, see our login help here.

You can also view your card balance on the Direct Express Mobile app. Click here for details on how to download the app on your phone.

In addition, you can also check your card balance at no cost by calling the Direct Express card toll-free Customer Service Department number.

They are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The number to call is 1 (888) 741-1115.

Finally, you can check your card balance at any ATM that displays the MasterCard acceptance mark, at no cost.

How do I avoid Direct Express transaction fees?

It is understandable that most cardholders are worried about Direct Express card fees.

That’s because a majority of cardholders are on a fixed income and do not want their money eaten up in fees.

Here are the steps you can take to avoid Direct Express fees:

First, always try and use your card at surcharge-free network ATM to make your one free withdrawal.

For subsequent withdrawals, use a Direct Express card surcharge-free network ATM to reduce the amount of fees that you pay.

Second, use your Direct Express card at stores and retail locations to pay for purchases instead of getting cash at an ATM.

Make a purchase using your PIN, especially grocery stores.

You can also get cashback for free at grocery stores, Pharmacies and convenience stores.

When you get cash at the ATM after your one free withdrawal, you will be charged a fee.

Third, you can get cash from a teller free of charge at any bank or credit union that displays the MasterCard acceptance mark.

Finally, use your Direct Express card to buy money orders at the U.S. Post Office and other locations that accept Debit MasterCard.

Can I Overdraw my Direct Express Account?

If you have a traditional bank account and are used to debit card overdraft, you may be wondering if that applies to the Direct Express Card Account.

Unlike a checking account, the Direct Express prepaid card cannot be overdrawn in most cases.

If the card has insufficient funds, the payment will normally be denied.

However, it is possible to overdraw your account if you use your card to pay for gas at the pump.

That is why when buying gas with your Direct Express card, it is advisable to go inside the gas station to pay with the attendant.

There are no overdraft fees with the Direct Express Debit Card.

Also, you will NOT be charged insufficient funds or declined transaction fees.

In order to avoid the frustration or perhaps embarrassment of a declined transaction, you should sign up for alerts about low balances.

This is especially important if you plan to use the card to make automatic online payments, such as for regular utility bills.

How to Create Direct Express Account Online Summary

We hope this post on How to Create Direct Express Card Account Online was helpful.

However, if you have further questions about Direct Express Debit MasterCard, please let us know in the comments section below.

Be sure to check out our other articles on Direct Express, including How to talk to a live person at customer service, How to avoid Direct Express Card ATM Fees and 37 States That Don’t Tax Social Security Benefits