Direct Express Card Guide

If you have a Direct Express Card (Social Security Debit Card) and have questions about your card, you’ve come to the right place.

In this detailed guide, we will tell you everything you need to know about your Direct Express card, including lost card replacement, how to log in online to check your balance, how to speak to a live person at customer service, and much more.

"Direct Express Card"

This post will cover:

  • What is the Direct Express Card?
  • Benefits of Direct Express Card
  • How do I apply for a Direct Express Card?
  • Direct Express Login
  • How Do I check my Direct Express Card Balance?
  • Direct Express Card Phone Number
  • How to Download the Direct Express Card Mobile App
  • Direct Express lost card replacement

What is the Direct Express Card?

"Direct Express Debit 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 Social Security debit 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.

Benefits of Direct Express Card

If you are thinking of receiving your federal benefits payment via the direct express debit card, there are several benefits to doing so.

Here are the key benefits why we think the direct express debit MasterCard is a great alternative to traditional bank account:

Safe to Use

With the Direct Express card, there is no need to carry large amounts of cash and no risk of lost or stolen checks.

Easy to Use

When you sign up for the card, your federal benefits payment will automatically be deposited to your card account on payment day each month.

You no longer have to wait for a check to arrive in the mail.

Convenient

With your Social Security debit card, you can make purchases anywhere Debit MasterCards are accepted.

You can also get cashback at retail locations, banks and credit unions, and ATMs throughout the world.

Most services are free

One of the best features we like about the Direct Express card is that most of the services the card offers are free when compared to other prepaid cards.

Here is a table that shows you all the free services:

How do I apply for a Direct Express Card?

When you sign up to receive your federal benefits via the Direct Express card, your money will be automatically deposited to your Direct Express card account on your payment date.

The sign-up process for the Direct Express card is very simple. If you are currently receiving one of the federal benefits listed below, you can apply to receive your benefits via the Direct Express card. Here is how to sign up.

Option 1 – Apply via Phone

The first option to applying for the Direct Express card is to call the enrollment center toll-free at 1 (800) 333-1795.
A representative will walk you through how to sign up. You can call the enrollment center between the hours of 7:00 AM CST to 7:00 PM CST Monday through Friday.

Option 2 – Apply Online

You can also sign up for the Direct Express card online. Click here for detailed instructions on how to do so.

The following federal benefits can be received electronically via the Direct Express debit Mastercard:

  • U.S. Coast Guard
  • The DFAS Annuitant Pay
  • DFAS Retired Military Pay
  • DFAS Former Spouse Pay
  • Black Lung
  • Federal Employee Workers Comp
  • Long Shore and Harbor Workers Comp
  • Energy
  • Civil Service Retirement/Annuity
  • Civil Service Survivor/Annuity
  • Railroad Retirement Annuity
  • Railroad Retirement Unemployment/Sickness
  • Social Security Retirement
  • Supplemental Security Income
  • DC Pension
  • The Veterans Compensation and Pension
  • Veterans Education MGIB
  • The Veterans Education/Selected Reserve
  • Veterans Vocational Rehab and Employee
  • The Chapter 33 – VA EDU Post 911 – Post 911 GI Bill
  • Chapter 35 – VA DEP EDU ASST – Dependents Education Assistance Program
  • Chapter 1607 – VA EDUCTN REAP – Reserve Education Assistance
  • Veterans Health Administration
  • Compensated Work Therapy
  • Veterans Medical Research

How long Does it take to get Direct Card in the Mail?

Once you sign up for the Direct Express card, your benefits eligibility will be verified with the federal agency responsible for your benefits payments, such as the Social Security Administration for Social Security and Disability benefits.
Once your benefit information is successfully verified, it takes about 7-10 days for the Direct Express card to be mailed to you.

Direct Express Login

If you are trying to log in to your Direct Express account, here’s a step by step process on how to do so.

Once you are logged in, you can check your card balance, view pending deposits or transactions, or file get information to file a complaint.

Direct Express Card Login Guide

To login to the Direct Express online portal, follow the instructions below.

Step 1 – Visit Direct Express Website

The first step to logging into your 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.

"Direct Express Card Login Guide"

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

Step 3 – Enter your Login Information

Once there, enter your User ID in the space provided, and hit the “Submit” button as shown in the image below.

"Direct Express Card Login Guide 1"

The next step is to enter your password on the next page, provided you entered the correct User ID.

If you do not remember your User ID, click on the “Forgot User Id” link as shown below.

"Direct Express Card Login Guide 2"

 

For Direct Express Card Numbers that start with 5115 63, check the appropriate box below.

"How to login to Direct Express card account"

You will be taken to a login page that looks like the one below. Once there, enter your User ID and Password in the appropriate space.

Next, enter the Visual Verification code that appears on your screen.

You must enter the correct Visual Verification code in order to proceed.

Next, click on “Login”.

That will take you to your Direct Express account page.

"How to login to Direct Express card account 1"

Once you are logged into your account, you will be able to, manage your profile, set up alerts and notifications, and activate your card, among the other online account functions listed above.

"How to login to Direct Express card account 2"

However, If you do not remember your password, click on the “Forgot Your Password” link as shown below.

You will be taken to a page like the one below where you will have to enter your User ID and the Visual Verification code shown on your screen to retrieve your password.

"Direct Express forgot User ID"

However, If you do not remember your User ID, click on the “Forgot Your User ID” link as shown below.

You will then be asked to enter your Direct Express card number and the Visual Verification code shown on your screen to retrieve your User ID.

"Direct Express forgot password"How Do I check my Direct Express Card Balance?

If you are trying to check the balance on your Direct Express Debit MasterCard, we can help.

Option 1: Log Into Your Account

The first option to checking the balance on your Direct Express card is to log into your account.

Click here to be taken there. Once there, select the starting number of your Direct Express card to be taken to the appropriate login page as shown below.

Next, follow the instructions to enter your User ID and password

If you need help logging in, see our detailed post on Direct Express Login.

If you do not have an online account, click here for help in creating one.

"Direct express balance"

Option 2: Via Direct Express App

The second option to checking the balance on your Direct Express card is to download the Direct Express mobile App.

There are two versions of the Direct Express mobile application and which app you download depends on the starting numbers of your debit card.

Direct Express Mobile app for cards starting with 511563:

If your card number starts with 511563, download the apps below:

You can download here at the Apple Appstore for Apple devices or on Android’s Google Play store for Andriod devices.

Direct Express Mobile app for cards starting with 533248:

If your card number starts with 533248, download the apps below:

You can download here at the Apple Appstore for Apple devices or on Android’s Google Play store for Andriod devices.

Here is the list of functions you can perform with the Direct Express app:

  • Check your card balance
  • Review transaction history
  • Get direct deposit notifications
  • Locate Direct Express ATMs (including FREE ATMs)

Option 3: Check Balance at ATM

The third option is to check your Direct Express card balance is to use an ATM that accepts MasterCard Debit cards.

For the Direct Express ATM locator, click here.

If you need help finding a free Direct Express ATM, see our article on How to avoid ATM fees on Your Direct Express Card.

Option 4: Call Direct Express Customer Service

The fourth option to checking the balance on your card is to call their customer service number.

Customer Service can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The phone number Direct Express Customer Service is listed on the back of your card.

You can also call 888-741-1115 to reach customer service.

For Hearing-impaired, call 1-866-569-0447.

For international callers, dial 1-765-778-6290 – (Collect).

Direct Express Card Phone Number

If you need to speak to Direct Express, we have provided their phone number below.

You can call customer service for the following issues:

  • Reporting lost or stolen cards
  • Balance inquiries
  • PIN changes
  • Transaction history requests
  • Registering a complaint about a card issue
  • Questions about card usage
  • Questions about international card usage

However, please be aware that Direct Express cardholders have complained about how long it takes to contact Direct Express over the phone and speak to a live person.

Therefore, when you call the number below, you need to be patient as you may be on hold for a while.

You can call customer service at the following numbers:

  • Customer Service: 1-888-741-1115
  • Hearing-impaired: 1-866-569-0447
  • International: 1-765-778-6290 (Collect)

How to Talk to a Live Person at Direct Express

To speak to a live person at Direct Express customer service, there are a few steps you have to follow. We will walk you through the process of getting in touch with a live customer service representative below.

Step 1

Call Direct Express Customer Service toll-free at 1-888-741-1115 (available 24/7)

Step 2

For English, (press 1), for Spanish (Press 2), for all other languages (press 3)

Step 3

If you have your Direct Express card with you, then enter your 16-digit debit card number.

Step 4

After entering your card number, a Direct Express customer service agent will answer your call shortly.

You may be put on a brief hold if all agents are currently assisting other customers when you call.

If you do not have your card with you, then (Press 2) to access your account using your Social Security number.

If you do not have your card number or Social Security number, here is what you need to do to talk to a live person:

Wait while the auto-attendant goes through the messages below a few times, then you will be transferred automatically to a customer service representative:

  • We are sorry, we did not receive your selection – Please try again, your 16 digit card number is in front of your card, To re-enter your card number, press 1
  • To access your card account information using your Social Security number, press 2
  • To find out the status of your previously ordered card. press 3
  • If your card has been lost, stolen or damaged, press 4

After the system goes through the above message three or four times, you will be transferred automatically to a customer service representative.

Other callers have reported longer hold times. If you do not have time to wait on hold, you may have to try calling at different times of the day to see if you are able to talk to a representative sooner.

Direct Express Card Mobile App

The Direct Express mobile app is easy to download and offers a convenient way to free yourself from long telephone wait times accessing your balance, transactions, and pending deposits.

There are two versions of the Direct Express mobile application and which app you download depends on the starting numbers of your debit card.

To download the appropriate mobile application for your card, follow the instructions below.

Direct Express Mobile app for cards starting with 511563:

If your Direct Express debit card starts with 511563, download the apps below:

You can download here at the Apple Appstore for Apple devices or on Android’s Google Play store for Andriod devices.

Direct Express Mobile app for cards starting with 533248:

If your Direct Express debit card starts with 511563, download the apps below:

You can download here at the Apple Appstore for Apple devices or on Android’s Google Play store for Andriod devices.

After you have successfully downloaded the Direct Express app, you will be required to register your account and choose a PIN code for security purposes.

What can I do with the Direct Express mobile app?

With the Direct Express mobile application, you can perform the following functions right on your phone:
– Check your card balance
– Review recent transactions
– Set up low balance alerts
– Set up deposit alerts
– Find in-network ATMs (FREE ATMs)
– Locate free-cash back retailers

How do I replace my lost Direct Express card?

As soon as you find out that your card is lost or stolen, immediately call the Customer Service Department, at 1 (888) 741-1115 (toll-free).

If you are calling from outside the U.S, call 1-765-778-6290 (Collect). A customer service representative will assist you and a new card will be sent to you.

It is important that you call right away because if someone is illegally using your card, calling right away protects you from losing funds deducted from your card by an unauthorized user.

There is no fee charged for the first card replacement within a year.

However, once you use your free card replacement for the year, you will be charged $4 for any additional card replacement request.

How long will it take to receive a replacement card?

Your replacement card will arrive by standard mail within 7 to 10 days.

However, if you want the card sooner, you can pay a fee for expedited shipping.

If you have waited for 7 to 10 days after calling customer service and have not yet received your new card, call customer service and let them know.

The card may be lost in the mail and may have to be re-issued.

Direct Express Card Summary

We hope this post about the Social Security debit Card was helpful to you. If you have questions about your card, 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 ATM Fees37 States That Don’t Tax Social Security Benefits, and Is there Amazon Prime Discount for Seniors or AARP?