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Direct Express

Direct Express

 2.7/5 (164 ratings)
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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.

Overall Satisfaction Rating

  • 5 stars
  • 4 stars
  • 3 stars
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Pros

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

Cons

  • 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

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Rated with 5 stars
Verified

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
Verified

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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How do I know I can trust these reviews about Direct Express?
How do I know I can trust these reviews about Direct Express?
  • 3,525,288 reviews on ConsumerAffairs are verified.
  • We require contact information to ensure our reviewers are real.
  • We use intelligent software that helps us maintain the integrity of reviews.
  • Our moderators read all reviews to verify quality and helpfulness.

For more information about reviews on ConsumerAffairs.com please visit our FAQ.

Page 1 Reviews 0 - 10
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Dec. 30, 2021

It took me four times for Direct Express to send my card overnight. They claim my address does not exist. They can not speak English. They are rude, dumb as rocks. I hate them people and so dumb they should not be in business.

Be the first one to find this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Dec. 1, 2021

I want to let people know to begin with Do Not Trust these people with your benefits because it is impossible to get money back if it gets stolen or removed without your consent. They are rude about it. As soon as you call to tell them the only option you always get is get a new card and that's as far as it goes because even if you have them check it they will come up with some excuse that covers their ** so we lose whatever it is. You can bet on that. I would think for disabled and elderly people they would be more helpful and protective of their accounts but that is not the case with this company. So soon as I finish this I am going to have my soc sec changed to my Netspend card. I have never had these problems with them. They make sure if your money gets taken that you get it back. So good luck to all that have this. I am honestly hoping you guys find you an alternative so you don't get screwed like I have. Have a great day. Dianne **

9 people found this review helpful

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    Rated with 1 star
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    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: Nov. 20, 2021

    It seems if you use this card for online purchases and you need to return items for a refund you are out of luck. It is only the SSA who is authorized to put funds on your card, a vendors refund where you used the card to initially purchase notwithstanding. This ends up sucking because your card will hang up somehow and if you try to remedy this the entire amount of funds on your card can disappear. If you pay with DE and vendor must issue refunds in the same manner you initially paid with.

    There's a lot of cardholders call in their cards as lost or stolen when they try to get out of a recurrent charge or a 3 day introductory charge that rolled over into some exorbitantly charged adult websites and date sites mostly. You can get out of these charges for a little while this way but soon enough you will find the entire amount of funds on your card disappear because you ran out on a network of high risk processors and didn't properly end your contract with them. This card features a courtesy roll over to new card numbers for expired cards, lost or stolen cards so you wont have to go through updating vendors with your new card numbers. This is largely for the vendors benefit not yours however.

    It's easy to predict and guess what someone's new card number is if you know a little bit about how card numbers are generated. That hasn't changed since the 1980s and shady vendors are onto it. It's really risky using a debit card and most users of the DE card will at some point see the entire amount of funds on their card disappear usually when its freshly loaded. Its next to impossible to talk to live customer service and if you happen to get lucky enough to talk to someone they will hang up on you because they give themselves 45 days to resolve complaints. I switched to bank deposits which seem safer and less hassle to receive SSD benefits.

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    Rated with 1 star
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: Nov. 11, 2021

    I always paid my bills on time especially Con Edison. Strange thing Direct Express has no record in 2021 me paying my utility bill. When I look at my utility acct# under payment received money was taken off the card (Direct Express). I only used my Direct Express card no one else helps me pay my bills. Con Edison claims I owe them $$ for each month but under my payment history it says payment was received from 2019 to now. I'm being deceived by both one claiming I owe the other has no record.

    5 people found this review helpful
    Rated with 1 star
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: Nov. 11, 2021

    My account was wiped clean on Oct 1st, at 6:40 in the a.m. When I called to make a complaint about the issue, it felt like I was talking to emotionless robots. No one seemed to care that the money was taken, they seemed to care more about the evaluation at the end of the call. I was told the investigation would take 45 days. So not only did my son have to go without for a full 30 days, with 4 days left, I called to check on the outcome and was told I still had to wait another 45 days!!!!

    An investigation taking this long, sounds like no one's on the job. I Hate companies like this, where the cust. service rep actually thinks they have power and authority over the customer. Definitely will be going another route with my son's funds. Direct Express is a sour ** co.!!! If I had it my way they wouldn't get any stars at all.

    6 people found this review helpful
    Rated with 2 stars
    Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
    Original review: Nov. 6, 2021

    They didn't help. I'm disability. I just need my replacement dept card so please send me one. That all I'm asking. Please just send me one. I need to pay my rent and bills. I have children to feed so please, please

    11 people found this review helpful
    Rated with 1 star
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: Nov. 1, 2021

    I just tried to make a purchase from Walmart online, and they locked my card for placing too many orders with them. I then tried to order from Amazon.com, and the same thing happened! If you do business with a vendor that charges your card when the item ships, it's easy to go over the number of transactions allowed per merchant. Of course, they still hold on to your money, even if you have no way to spend it.

    7 people found this review helpful
    Rated with 1 star
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: Oct. 27, 2021

    My 4 year old and I got sick with Covid on Friday 10/1. We have no family to help. I tried to use my card that night online to order us food and it was declined. I called customer service and got a message due to high call volume they couldn't take my call. I tried all night long. Nothing. Saturday 10/2 I again tried all day long to get help. My card would not work anywhere I tried. I finally got through to someone in the dispute office on Sunday 10/3. They said I had to be transferred. I sat on hold 6 more hours and nobody ever picked up. The dispute department refused to help me saying they couldn't.

    Monday 10/4 at 12 pm, I've been transferred and sitting on hold for 2 hours. I finally got someone in the dispute department. They transferred me to a supervisor who was extremely rude. She said Direct Express blocks cards from being able to be used online due to fraud. They could temporarily allow me to use my card online but it would only be for 3 days, and take 24 hours for the request to be put through. I told her they have put me in an emergency situation, and how important it was for me to be able to use my card now, and I can't go to the atm and go to the store to get supplies. She said "nobody is asking you to go to the atm" and she hung up on me.

    I am now sitting on hold to try to get back through to someone to help me. I am out of toilet paper, water, food, cat food, and cannot get medicine for my 4 year old or I. My husband is in critical care in the hospital. I explained this to her also and she just hung up on me. This is unbelievable. I don't know what needs to happen, but you better believe I will be looking into how to file a formal complaint against this company, and changing my direct deposit information today.

    Update 10/6 at 1 pm. Finally spoke to someone helpful who said my card was locked due to fraud and she would help unlock it and put in the white lust request which will take another 24-48 hours to be able to get food online. She unlocked my card after verifying declined transactions and put in the request. 7 pm: Card has been locked again for fraud when I tried to take money out of the atm. I give up. 10/27 Card keeps being locked for fraud. They make me verify all the same information over to unlock it. It’s a joke at this point.

    11 people found this review helpful
    Rated with 1 star
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: Oct. 27, 2021

    A company took 98.54 off my card ..Direct Express would not stop the company from taking my money from my card after several calls explaining I did not authorize the payment..so if you use this card you better know you aren't protected from companies taking your money...

    11 people found this review helpful
    Rated with 1 star
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: Oct. 18, 2021

    Jan 2021 I used my Direct Express Card at a gas station in Victorville Ca. Upon finishing I checked the balance in my account finding there was $583.00 withdrawn from Mission Viejo Ca. on from what it looked like that same day and Mission Viejo is almost 100 miles away with 5:00 pm bumper to bumper traffic almost the whole way which I did not do. I immediately contacted Direct Express and canceled my card and file a grievance. Within 10 days they were suppose to replace my $583.00 by federal guidelines and did not. I spent hours waiting to speak with someone and all they did was not answer the phone or give me another phone number which did nothing but probably start me all over again. It is by no means an exaggeration the hours and days getting the run around by these people at Direct Express.

    I finally got fed up and found the mother company "Comerica" and called them back fast and once again started getting the run around by them too (what a surprise). Now being on a supplemental check of $1043.00 a month and gas being $4.50 a gal these fools stealing that $583.00 hurt me bad. Here it is now mid October and all but given up ever seeing that money. They broke their own guidelines, federal guidelines and have been investigated in 2018 by the federal government and found guilty of the same practices and still banking doing the same thing. I just don't get it. I know for fact I'm not the only one these "THIEVES" have stolen from, but if I can warn someone and save them the time and headaches I've endured, it won't be for nothing.

    6 people found this review helpful
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    Direct Express Company Information

    Company Name:
    Direct Express
    Website:
    www.usdirectexpress.com