The best payment option for receiving federal benefits is one that is safe, secure, convenient and affordable. Direct Express is the US treasury and the National Consumer Law Center recommended option for receiving federal benefits payments such as social security, Supplemental Security Income, disability benefits, and Veterans benefits among others. We did research to find out if it is a reliable, safe, and secure payment option.

Direct Express Q&A

Number of Reviews - 851

Rating* - 1.6⭐⭐

Claimed Losses - $1.9M

Issues Resolved - 6

In this article, we analyze Direct Express reviews across the various review platforms including PissedConsumer,,, and to find out if the debit cardholders are satisfied with it. We also answer the top consumer Direct Express FAQs.

  1. Is Direct Express legit?
  2. What is their cancelation policy?
  3. What is their card replacement policy?
  4. Is there any refund policy?
  5. How do I check my balance?
  6. Can I get a payday loan with my DE card?
  7. Does Direct Express have a routing number?
  8. Can I overdraft my card?

1.  Is Direct Express Legit?

According to the Direct Express FAQs, the company offers federal benefit recipients a prepaid debit card as an option for receiving their payments electronically. The aim of the company is to offer their debit cardholders convenience and security in processing their federal benefits as it removes the hassle of cashing the checks or the risk of losing them.

Another convenience offered by the debit card is that you can use it to shop and in some cases, get a cash-back on your purchase. To sign up for the Direct Express debit card, you don’t need to have a bank account, and there is no minimum balance requirement.

Direct Express reviews across various platforms indicate that different cardholders had different experiences with the debit card company. For instance, on, Direct Express’ rating is 1.6 and most reviews are 1 star. However, on Wallethub, it has a 3-star rating and most reviewers rated the company as excellent. 

There are several Direct Express complaints on PissedConsumer in regards to:

Poor customer service

A number of reviewers expressed their dissatisfaction with the Direct Express customer service citing issues such as rude and unhelpful representatives, and difficulty getting through the Direct Express phone numbers. For instance, in this review # 1654567, the debit cardholder reported not being able to get through the Direct Express phone numbers to have a bad charge removed.

I have been trying since 09/04/2019 to remove this bad charge to my card. I have been on for 4 separate occasions for over 1 and half each time.

I have tried every day to get through and could not. I got through but I have to be put to another dept , that takes more time…


Fraud is the top Direct Express complaint on Reddit, PissedConsumer, and WalletHub.  The company fraud complaints include unauthorized charges, unauthorized card suspension, and identity theft. For example, in this Direct Express review #1649967, the customer complains that he was defrauded of $122.97 and could not get through to the Direct Express customer service team to sort the issue out or get a refund.

...Cant not be trusted as we found out they are in on the scams as they got a share of the money they stoled from me nothing but thieves liars that likes picking on us disable ones.So you have Direct Express trash them cause they will steal every cent you have...

On July 17, 2015, the Office of the Inspector General issued a fraud advisory to warn the public about the phishing scam. According to the advisory, some cardholders reported receiving a phone call with a prerecorded message that informed them that their Direct Express debit card had been deactivated.  The cardholder was asked to press 1 and then enter their social security number so as to resolve the issue.

In the advisory, the inspector general advises that cardholders should not provide their social security numbers, bank information or any other personal information unless one was extremely sure of the identity of the caller. Otherwise, giving out such information could lead to identity theft or social security benefit theft. The inspector general further advised that in case one received a call, email or text from someone claiming to be with a government agency, they should call the agency to verify.

On the security tips page, cardholders are advised to call the customer service through the Direct Express phone number located at the back of the debit card immediately they suspect to be victims of identity theft or any unauthorized transaction to minimize loss of funds on their account.

2. What Is the Direct Express Cancelation Policy?

As evidenced in the Direct Express reviews on, a number of cardholders would like to cancel their debit card account following frustration with the poor customer service, fraud, and difficulty resolving issues. The FAQs page indicates that you can close your account at any time at no cost by calling the toll free number at the back of your card.

Direct Express cancelation policy

It is best to withdraw any remaining money from your card before calling to close your account. You can withdraw your debit card balance by withdrawing from an ATM machine, visiting a bank or credit union that accepts MasterCard and withdrawing at the teller, or obtaining cashback at a retail shop. Withdrawal charges may apply.

3. What Is the Direct Express Card Replacement Policy?

The Direct Express FAQs state that if you lose your debit card or it is stolen, you should contact the customer service via the toll-free number provided at the back of your card. Once the Direct Express lost card replacement is processed, the new card is sent to you via standard email within 7-10 days.

Direct Express replacement policy

You are entitled to one free replacement for a Direct Express lost card each year. After that, you are charged $4.00 per replacement. Expedited delivery of your replacement card is charged $13.50.

4.  What Is the Direct Express Refund Policy? does not provide a refund policy for unauthorized charges or cases of fraud. However, if you made a purchase via your Direct Express debit card but you were dissatisfied with the products or services, you can return the products and seek a refund. The refundable amount will be deposited to your Direct Express debit card. Note that eligibility for a refund is determined by the return policy of the seller.

5.  How Do I Check My Direct Express Balance?

According to their FAQs, you can check your balance via ATM (those with a MasterCard mark) free of charge. Your account information can be viewed on or via the Direct Express Mobile App. You can also call the customer department number (1(888)741-1115) to obtain your balance information.

how to check direct express balance

Alternatively, you can request to get an automatic low balance notification and an automatic deposit notification once you receive your debit card. As soon as you set up the low balance alert, you’ll be notified either via phone, email or text when your account balance goes below the chosen amount. You can also sign up for monthly statements that give you a detailed outline of your deposits and withdrawals throughout a given month.

6. Can I Get a Payday Loan with My Direct Express Card?

According to the Debit Express FAQs, you cannot get a loan or a cash advance with your DE card.

7.  Does Direct Express Have a Routing Number?

According to, the company does not provide a routing number. As such, the card cannot be used to receive other payments apart from the federal benefits payments. The card can be used to make online payments if the selling company processes payments like a credit card payment, but it cannot be used in cases where the company is asking for a routing number.

8.  Can I Overdraft My Direct Express Card?

According to the National Consumer Law Center, the DE card cannot be overdrawn. In the case that you do not have enough money in your card to make a payment, the transaction will be declined.

Can I Overdraft My Direct Express Card

For more information about

  • Contact the Direct Express customer service,
  • Read through the Direct Express FAQs,
  • Check the Direct Express reviews on and other review websites.

Freelance Writer

By Winnie
Health and Beauty Expert

Winnie is a freelance writer and B2C content expert who specializes in health and beauty, cafes and restaurants, fitness products buyer guides and researches. She has been working with international clients since 2012.

*The company ratings on the PissedConsumer website are calculated using a mathematical algorithm that evaluates the information in the company’s profile. The algorithm parameters are: users’ rating, the number of resolved issues, the number of company responses and more. The PissedConsumer algorithm is also subject to change in the future.

  • direct express cancelation
  • direct express card
  • direct express complaint
  • direct express contact
  • direct express customer service
  • direct express debit card
  • direct express faq
  • direct express lost card
  • direct express phone number
  • direct express rating
  • direct express refund policy
  • direct express replacement
  • direct express review
  • direct express routing number
  • direct express toll free

Legal disclaimers:

1. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide any legal, medical, accounting, investment or any other professional advice as individual cases may vary and should be discussed with a corresponding expert and/or an attorney.

2. All or some image copyright belongs to the original owner(s). No copyright infringement intended.