Direct Express

Direct Express

 1.7/5 (595 ratings)
  • 5 stars
  • 4 stars
  • 3 stars
  • 2 stars
  • 1 stars
Find a Prepaid Cards partner

See suggested offers from our Partners

Great Prepaid Debit Cards We Recommend

Learn more

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
  • 2 stars
  • 1 stars

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

How do I know I can trust these reviews about Direct Express?
  • 4,189,804 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.

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...

Read full review
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...

Read full review

See suggested offers from our Partners

Great Prepaid Debit Cards We Recommend

Learn more

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

Recent
  • Recent
  • Oldest
  • Most helpful
Any
  • Any
  • Rated with 5 stars
  • Rated with 4 stars
  • Rated with 3 stars
  • Rated with 2 stars
  • Rated with 1 star

A link has directed you to this review. Its location on this page may change next time you visit.

How do I know I can trust these reviews about Direct Express?
  • 4,189,804 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: Jan. 20, 2023

Whatever you do do not use Direct Express to receive your SS RETIREMENT money on. This place will take out fees give no service and will never take care of a problem and it will take you two months to transfer your account to a bank direct deposit. DO NOT USE THIS CARD OR COMPANY!

7 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Jan. 18, 2023

They didn’t want to release my son money after my husband pass away. They have a million issue to keep the money for them. I can’t flake to them, only social security people can’t. Only request one payment at the time. So much trauma. I had this service. They are horrible people.

3 people found this review helpful

Not sure how to choose?

Get buying tips about Prepaid Cards delivered to your inbox.

    By entering your email, you agree to sign up for consumer news, tips and giveaways from ConsumerAffairs. Unsubscribe at any time.

    Thank you, you have successfully subscribed to our newsletter! Enjoy reading our tips and recommendations.

    Rated with 1 star
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: Jan. 6, 2023

    I've been with this card company for 3 years. It is the worst card to ever had. There's always problems and there's been theft on my card. Identity theft of my card. They didn't investigation and they said that there wasn't enough evidence even though it happened in another state. It's crazy. So I got screwed out of money and right now SSA send my benefits my kid's benefits to their to their card and they keep telling me that it's been transferred over. SSA transferred it or whatever. I call this to say and SSA says, "That's crazy. We don't do that." Here. The money was sent. I don't want to put a tracker on it. I'll try to explain that to the lady. She didn't want to hear it. She says it has to do this. To say in other words just shutting me up and trying to give me out of the way. She had nothing else to say so basically I'm screwed over a thousand dollars. I don't know what else to do.

    I called them or called the card company several times. Six to be exact. And they keep on sending me to a number that nobody answers and right now it's like I'm getting screwed out of my money that I'm supposed to be paying my rent with and they don't they don't want to give it to me for some reason and that's not just one check. It's two checks so $2,000 I don't have access to. I'm telling you this card is the worst card in the world. Please do not get this card. Direct express is the worst. The customer service sucks. They tell you the same thing even though you told them that the company had hung up on you several times. Six to be exact. They turn around and they do the exact same thing to s** people up and sending them to this number that nobody answers and screwing you out of your money. Please do not get this card. It is the worst card ever.

    9 people found this review helpful
    Rated with 1 star
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: Jan. 4, 2023

    When you have an issue and trust me you will have issues, you will spend hours if not days trying to get an actual person on the phone. You will have enter and listen to the same information over and over each time just to have the recording hang up on you. One time I actually got through to a real person around 3:30-4:00am. The woman that answered must have been having a way worse time than I was somehow because it was like she was going out of her way to give me an attitude even though I was trying to be polite as I know these people usually aren't the ones that are at fault and are (supposed to be) there to help.

    I just stated the problem I was having, which was my card being declined even though there was funds on the account and I just used it without issue shortly before the repeated declines. She told me that she fixed the problem and that I would be able to use my card in 2 hours. Here I am 17 hours later with my card still not working and 100s of attempted calls resulting in being hung up on by the recording. I sure wish I could just access my money and handle my responsibilities but I'm being held hostage by Direct Express yet again. If you have any other options, do yourself a favor and go with anyone other than Direct Express. The 5 star reviews given to this trash company have to be fake. The nightmares you read about on here are real. If you're stuck using Direct Express than good luck and God bless you, you're gonna need it.

    7 people found this review helpful
    Rated with 1 star
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: Dec. 15, 2022

    I get my ssi on this card. December 1, 2022 I order one robot from this website Nuebey or something like that. Upon getting my receipt in email they had illegally doubled my order. I contacted customer support and never got an answer. Went to the BBB to look them up and found out it was a scam company. Reported it to Direct Express with all proof and they decided to just close the case never even looking into the details.

    Do not use direct express if you have any other choice. Any issue at all they lock your card. And it’s takes weeks for them to unlock it. They side with business most the time so even if you have all the proof in the world you won’t get your money back. Social Security does not recommend using direct express and there have been many class action lawsuits since the start of of 2020. I contacted social security and asked who I should go with and they AVID. I am now with avid and happier than ever. Do not use direct express unless you like losing access to your money.

    6 people found this review helpful
    Rated with 1 star
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: Dec. 7, 2022

    12/6. I am Laura **, daughter and POA for my Father, Roy **. 11/1/22-did not receive renewal debit card. Began horrifying experience of the “no live human answering calls, for hours and days”. I have a record of the calls and some other emails as documentation. I’ll bullet point the issues as to give you the overall picture.

    -First call, over 4 hours to get a person…my father was on the phone and because he didn’t answer fast enough when asked for his address, the representative said…”sir if you don’t know your address, I can’t help you” and hung up.

    -At least 18 calls later, a woman says a replacement card will be mailed out and you should have it within 5-10 days, never received a card.

    -Over 26 calls later, a man says we can pay $13.50 for a card to be delivered in 2 days, never received a card.

    -Call 37, a male says “oh, I’m sorry, we entered your address incorrectly and sent the 2 day card to Minnesota instead of New Mexico.” “Now, you need to email a copy, front and back of his NM ID, to id@usdirectexpress.com., when you receive an email stating “it’s verifiable”, call back again. *remember, you can’t get a person on the phone immediately, as I did call back and was told I had to start over.

    -Call 42, was told I had to email his ID to id@congruent.com ***this wasn’t even a valid email, even though I repeated it phonetically several times as it didn’t make sense. Of course we never got a return email.

    -Call 50 something…was told to start over again using the first email…that was 12/4/22, they say they will respond in 3-5 business hours!!! It’s now 12/6/22.

    Direct Express has all the control, power and use of my Father’s benefits. They even suspended the online account I had set up. I do have a picture of it before they suspended it. They did take out the $4.00 fee that I was told we would not have to pay and the $13.50 for the 2 day for which a card was never received. They can access his funds, he cannot. They can at will just suspend his account without any notification; they can access his account, he cannot. They can make up and change the rules as they go, he cannot. He cannot pay his mortgage nor pick up his heart medication. We are helping him with this.

    Today I called and spoke to a man at US Treasury, his ID number is **. I was shocked when he stated “…we just contract with Direct Express, we don’t oversee them or assist in matters such as yours.” I told him, “so sorry to bother you, I thought that since Timothy Gribben, the Commissioner came up with this program, someone there would be able to help. In all these United States, is there not one ethical human being who can help us???

    I see this as elder abuse as Direct Express is withholding a benefit that is legally and rightfully his. What can you do to help us? *This has been sent to Social Security as well. I have pictures of his account before suspension and all the emails I’ve sent. I can send them to a representative that contacts me as I no longer want to send his personal information blindly.

    7 people found this review helpful
    Rated with 1 star
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: Dec. 5, 2022

    I believed getting this government card would be safer, easier. I wish I'd done more homework! They've lawsuits documented going back to 2020. One daily transaction and then the card is locked for days. They've got a very touchy fraud system that wont let you transfer more than 50 dollars or do more than one transaction per day or it automatically security freezes the card. After jumping numerous hoops which may take several days of calling, literally sitting on hold for an hour or more waiting for Tier 2 customer service, answering questions, returning codes, and even fax transferring documents you may get it unlocked... Usually after *another* three days.

    I will have to go with something else because my social security is endlessly being held hostage and I literally can't buy groceries or pay bills. I'm not one to sue but am letting Better Business Bureau know that Comerica is still not doing well in their contract with the government, including a wide variety of timelines and stories about "why my card wasn't working yet" from Tier 2 customer support. I encourage government benefit recipients to try and find another workaround if possible.

    5 people found this review helpful
    Rated with 1 star
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: Dec. 2, 2022

    ...from this horrific excuse for a debit card! If you don't mind holding on the phone for HOURS...if you don't mind bank transfers failing each and every time...if you don't mind having your benefits hijacked...then this is the card for you. However, if you like to be in control of your money...you're gonna be in for a big surprise with this one.

    I have tried to transfer funds to my checking account from the website and each transfer failed. You are charged $1.50 for each transaction, so I don't know why they say "basic" use is "free". There's no real purchase security. The card allowed multiple purchases from a website even though the website kept rejecting the purchases, so I had to have the card terminated. Yes, every time you have a transaction dispute, they will force you to close your card.

    If you want to change your deposit method, you'll be on hold forever with the other agency. Customer service is non-existent and you will be hung up on before you even get to a person. If you have a checking or savings account, do yourself a favor and don't even start with this card. Just know, you have been warned. You'll notice the overwhelming amount of reviews are negative...for a reason.

    7 people found this review helpful
    Rated with 1 star
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: Dec. 2, 2022

    I lost my wallet and my phone and called Direct deposit to cancel my card. He assured me that the card was no longer active and ordered me a new card. Well December 1st my funds were not on the new card and was on the card that was lost. Now my rent is behind and there is a late fee. This company is inconsiderate to the consumer. Now I'm facing eviction, I would not recommend this company to you. My payment is always received about 2:30 in the morning, it's just a hassle for the consumer.

    7 people found this review helpful
    Rated with 1 star
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: Nov. 17, 2022

    I have received a new card. I've called twice and asked how to setup a new account for the new card and was told that someone would contact me and so far I can't get any help. Wish Social Security would use someone else or go back to direct deposit.

    7 people found this review helpful
    Loading more reviews...

    Direct Express Company Information

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