Can I Add Money To My Direct Express Card?

The Direct Express card is a solution that the U.S. Treasury Department set up as an alternative to paper checks for federal benefits recipients. Your federal paying agency automatically deposits money to your Direct Express card account on the payment day each month. 

This is the only money that is available to you for spending with the Direct Express card. You are not allowed to deposit any other funds or cash to your Direct Express account.

The only funds that can be deposited onto your Direct Express account other than federal benefits are refunds for purchases you made with the card.

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Why Can’t I Add Money To My Direct Express Card?

The government has restricted the type of transactions that are accepted with your Direct Express card. Unlike a regular checking or savings account, the Direct Express card is set up to only accept funds paid by the federal government. That’s why you are not allowed to add any money to your Direct Express card.

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How Can I Pay For Something With A Direct Express Card If I Can’t Add Money To It?

If you have available funds, you can use your Direct Express card to make payments just like you would with any other debit card. 

You can use your Direct Express card to make a payment also when the remaining balance on the card is less than the purchase price. Simply let the cashier know that your Direct Express card will be used only for a certain amount. You can then pay the rest of the balance with cash, check, or another card.


  • Discover more on how to Access Direct Express Cardless Benefit.
  • Learn more on what to do when your Direct Express Card is Lost.
  • Get all the facts here about your Direct Express Routing Number.

What If I Have Money Coming From A Non-federal Benefits Source?

If you have money coming from a non-federal benefits source and would like to deposit it into an account, you will have to open another account. This money can’t be deposited on your Direct Express card.

Can I Transfer Money From My Direct Express Card To Another Card Or Account?

It is not possible to transfer money from your Direct Express card to another card. 

However, you can transfer money from your Direct Express account to a personal U.S. checking or savings bank account. There is a $1.50 fee for each transfer. This fee is deducted from your Direct Express card account. Fund transfers typically take about 2-3 business days to arrive. 

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To make a transfer, call the Direct Express customer service department number on the back of your card or visit the Direct Express website.

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