Direct Express

Direct Express

 1.0/5 (32 reviews)
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Overall Rating1.0 out of 5
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About Direct Express

Direct Express is a prepaid card that gives you access to your federal benefits regardless of whether you have a bank account. If you receive federal benefits and want a secure way to store and use your funds, Direct Express’ easy-to-use debit card gives you simple access and is accepted at many locations.

Pros & Cons


  • All funds are FDIC-insured
  • No bank account necessary
  • Works where Mastercard is accepted


  • No lines of credit or loans available

Bottom Line

Direct Express gives federal benefits recipients an easy way to access funds without needing a bank account. The majority of federal funds are eligible for use with Direct Express, and its application process is simple and free.

Top Direct Express Reviews

Rated with 5 stars

I actually feel safe with this card because it is an extension of the disability/social security dept and the app they have is so useful and convenient way to get your balance and...

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Rated with 5 stars

I love this card. I don't have very many issues and if I do customer service takes care of it. Seeing all these bad reviews I felt I should share my experience. My card was cloned...

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What is Direct Express?

Direct Express gives consumers access to their federal funds through its convenient and secure debit card. You could be eligible for Direct Express’ card if you receive funding from one of the following government agencies:

  • Coast Guard
  • Defense Finance and Accounting Service
  • Department of Labor
  • Office of Personnel Management
  • Railroad Retirement Board
  • Social Security Administration
  • Department of the Treasury
  • Veterans Affairs
  • Veterans Health Administration

You can use your Direct Express card just like a debit card at ATMs and stores that accept Mastercard. To sign up for Direct Express’ debit card, call the company's enrollment center or visit your local federal paying agency. Direct Express doesn’t require a credit check or minimum balance to sign up.

Direct Express rates and fees

Most of Direct Express’ services are free, but there are some fees associated with certain services, including:

  • Direct Express Cash Access: 85 cents per transaction
  • Funds transfer: $1.50 per transfer
  • Card replacement: $4
  • Foreign purchase fees: 3% of the purchase price

You can cancel your Direct Express account at any time at no cost by calling the company's customer service office.

Direct Express FAQ

What bank does Direct Express use?

Direct Express uses Comerica. The Treasury Department announced a five-year agreement with Comerica as its financial agent in January 2020.

How long does it take to get a Direct Express card in the mail?

Applicants receive their Direct Express cards within seven to 14 days after approval. Once you receive your card, your federal payments automatically deposit to it.

Can I put money on my Direct Express card?

No, you can’t put money on your Direct Express card. The only funds you can access or have on your Direct Express card are those from the government.

How do I contact Direct Express customer service?

You can contact Direct Express’ customer service representatives by calling its customer service hotline.

Is Direct Express worth it?

Direct Express’ basic services are free, and its card doesn’t require a credit check or minimum balance. If you receive federal benefits from Social Security, the Department of Veterans Affairs or another government agency, the Direct Express card makes it easier for you to access and easily use your funds.

Direct Express Reviews

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Page 1 Reviews 0 - 10
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: May 9, 2023

I paid $13.00 to have a replacement card expedited to my brother, who is disabled and relies on his monthly social security benefits amount. Direct Express refuses to release the hold on my brother's social security benefit amount, saying they couldn't verify him. It's been over a month now, and I've visited the local social security office as well as called Direct Express. Social Security tells us that we must appeal to Direct Express to unlock the funds.

After being on the phone for hours and hours, we gave up and my brother opened a bank account with a local bank. The bank told us that Direct Express hasn't transferred my brother's funds to his new account, even after my brother was vetted by his new bank! I don't know what to do. The Direct Express customer service people are rude and hung up on me in mid-sentence! I will warn as many prospective customers who have a Social Security Benefits amount not to get a Direct Express Debit Card. Ever!

Be the first one to find this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: April 18, 2023

A fraudulent case was opened by myself, a senior citizen. Almost $200.00 was paid by Direct Express to a scam. I submitted a claim to get my money back. They denied my claim and said if I wanted proof of their action I could request it. I have requested the info over and over to no avail. I am no longer going to use them for my Social Security deposit. I will never use them again.

4 people found this review helpful

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    Rated with 1 star
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: March 16, 2023

    I have had horrible experiences with this company and being on hold for hours and hours only to get disconnected or have no results from them. If there was any other option I would choose it. They are terrible!

    4 people found this review helpful
    Rated with 1 star
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: March 15, 2023

    Both my daughter & I receive our SSI benefits on the Direct Express debit card. On 3/1/23 the automated system says our funds were deposited on the card. They kept our payment plus saying we’re both overdrawn over $600 each. How is that even possible? Anyone that uses Direct Express knows you can’t even overdraw by a penny, the card will deny it. I have called daily since 3/1/23 to get this figured out to no avail. I have pushed multiple numbers trying to reach a human for 2 weeks!!! I get the same message that they’re experiencing high volume of calls and to try my call again later, click, with no option to leave a message. I highly recommend direct deposit into your bank or credit Union over the Direct Express card.

    10 people found this review helpful
    Rated with 1 star
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: March 6, 2023

    A senior citizen lost his Direct Express card and has been waiting for a replacement card for over a month. He submitted a copy of his state ID but no action was taken to resolve the issue, except a confirmation of receipt. Calling took over 30 minutes wait and neither the operator nor the shift supervisor were willing to help resolve the problem. In addition, the associates were rude and unprofessional. It is regrettable that our government trusts public benefit to be run by such an inefficient business like Direct Express.

    8 people found this review helpful
    Rated with 1 star
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: Feb. 28, 2023

    My brother is living in a homeless shelter in Chicago because Direct Express refuses to send him an ATM card so he can access his Social Security benefits. I have spent countless hours on hold waiting to speak to a Direct Express customer service representative. The ones I have spoken to have been exceedingly rude and uncaring about my brother's situation. And they have all hung up on me. I have never dealt with such inconsiderate people. My brother is a veteran and deserves better treatment from the government that he served.

    9 people found this review helpful
    Rated with 1 star
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    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: Feb. 26, 2023

    Direct Express has suspended my mom's account since July 2022. Her money still gets deposited into that account and the reason they did this is because she ordered a new card. They wanted her to identify her identity and she has and still nothing. They now tell her to contact social security but they say they can't do nothing. She is about to be evicted and must lose her mobile home because she can't pay her rent. These people are destroying a senior citizens life and this is huge. I guess it's time to contact an attorney.

    9 people found this review helpful
    Rated with 1 star
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: Feb. 24, 2023

    Have done all that has been asked by this company and they continue to keep freezing my mother's debit card so she isn't able to get her medications when it's mandatory for her to be taking medication. My mother is stage 3 diabetic. Every time the card gets unfreeze they freeze the card again a few hours later.

    9 people found this review helpful
    Rated with 1 star
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: Feb. 11, 2023

    Can't get through by phone. So I clicked on a link for Direct Express chat and I got someone that wants money to answer my question. Ordered a new card and they canceled my old card before I got the new one and the website won't show me the new card number only the last 4 digits. How is that helpful? Now I have to wait 10 days for the new one. There should have been some sort of warning. No one has any common sense anymore. Maybe someone should invent an app for that. The common sense app. Send me money if someone does. I finally got through to a person and they said "I cannot hear you. Please call back". That was after being on hold for 45 min. How does this company stay in business?

    10 people found this review helpful
    Rated with 1 star
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: Feb. 2, 2023

    I ordered 2 replacement cards. The first order the card was never sent out. The 2nd order I still haven't received it yet. It has been over a month and still no card. Rent, bills, groceries and etc is due and I am doomed. Nobody never answers the phone and the one time they do no help and no answers. The fact that the government is willing to deal with a third party such as these people with such a important situation is mind bottling. Disabled, retired, and veterans depend on these funds and can't access them or get any assistance. Shame on you people and shame on the government.

    Calling Comerica bank or SSA does not help because no one has answers but yet they are affiliated with these crappy so called third party business people is a disgrace. I'm ready to sue the city Direct Express as well as Comerica bank. I believe if us customers stand together with one huge lawsuit we will all be satisfied with the end result. One we need to get paid for our emotional damages and unnecessary hardships. If there is anyone In The NYC area interested in starting a suit together please contact me.

    13 people found this review helpful
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    Direct Express Company Information

    Company Name:
    Direct Express