Direct deposit is the "fastest, safest way to receive your tax refund," According to the IRS. There are several advantages to direct deposit of a tax refund:
- You can get your refund much faster, typically in about 8 to 10 days;
- More secure than getting a check in the mail (thousands of refund checks are returned to the IRS each year);
- For those without bank accounts, direct deposit avoids expensive check cashing fees; and
- You can get access to your refund faster than waiting for a check to clear.
Many have refunds direct deposited to a checking account or savings account. For those without a bank account, however, a prepaid debit card is a good alternative. While most prepaid cards offer direct deposit of government checks, some make it easier to set up than others.
In addition, some prepaid cards offer bonuses when you deposit your tax refund on the card. With that in mind, the list below favors those prepaid cards that provide excellent instructions on how to set up the direct deposit of the refund and that offer tax refund bonuses.
- Rushcard: The Rushcard prepaid Visa makes the top of our list for one reason--it is offering a cash bonus of up to $30 when you have your tax refund direct deposited onto the card. The details: When you apply for a Prepaid Visa RushCard and direct deposit a total of $3,000 or more of your tax refund, you'll get $30. When you direct deposit between $2,000 and $2,999, you'll get $20. And even if your refund isn't that big, having it direct deposited on the card is easy. The folks at Rushcard have provided some really helpful information on tax refunds. For example, it points out that if you file a joint return, the prepaid card should be in the name of the first person on the return.
If you do use a prepaid card to get your refund, there is a free tool to track the status of the direct deposit. Offered by the IRS, it's called "Where's My Refund."