How To Fix A Direct Express Card Not Working

At some point, you may experience that your Direct Express card stops working. Here are the main reasons why this happens and how to easily fix the problem.

You Haven’t Activated Your Direct Express Card 

You must activate your Direct Express card before you start using it, otherwise, your payments and withdrawals will be declined. 

How to fix the problem: 

As soon as you receive your Direct Express card in the mail, call the customer service number listed on the back of your card to activate it. Alternatively, you can activate your card on the Direct Express website.

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Your Direct Express Card Has Expired

All debit cards have expiry dates. If you are trying to make a payment or withdraw money with an expired card, your transaction won’t be accepted. 

How to fix the problem: 

Check your card’s expiry date written on the front of the card. If the card has expired, call the customer service and ask for a new one. Until you receive your new card, you won’t be able to make any payments. To avoid this problem, you should always keep track of your card expiry date and request a replacement in advance. 

You Don’t Have Sufficient Funds In Your Account

This is one of the most common reasons why Direct Express cards get declined. Since Direct Express MasterCard is a debit card, it’s not possible to overdraft the account. You can use the card only as long as you have funds to cover your payment.

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How to fix the problem: 

If you don’t have sufficient funds in the account, you will have to wait until your next payment is deposited to be able to use the money. In order to make sure that you always have available funds in your account, you can sign up for Direct Express low balance alerts.

You Reached Your Daily Withdrawal Limit

Most ATM owners impose daily withdrawal limits to protect their customers’ funds from fraudulent activities. Even though Direct Express doesn’t have any withdrawal limits, you can only take the maximum amount of money allowed by the ATM owner. This amount typically ranges from $200 to $1,000.

How to avoid the problem: 

Plan in advance if you would like to withdraw large sums of money at an ATM.

Direct Express MasterCard Is Not Accepted 

Not all ATMs and retailers accept all types of debit cards. You can use your Direct Express card to make payments or withdraw cash only in places that display the MasterCard logo. Likewise, you can pay bills with your Direct Express card only if the company you are paying accepts Debit MasterCard.

How to fix the problem: 

Look for an ATM with a MasterCard acceptance sign. You can use the Direct Express ATM locator available on the Direct Express website and mobile app to find in-network ATMs in your area. 


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

You Have Entered The Wrong PIN Code

A four-digit PIN serves as an extra security feature. If you don’t use your Direct Express card often, you may enter a wrong PIN code when making purchases or withdrawing money. When you enter the wrong PIN multiple times, Direct Express may get a fraud alert and block your card. 

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How to fix the problem: 

If you can’t remember your PIN, contact Direct Express customer service at the number listed on the back of your card and they will help you reset it. You can also login to your account on the Direct Express website or mobile app to get a new PIN.

Direct Express Suspects A Fraudulent Or Suspicious Transaction

Direct Express, like most financial institutions, reserves the right to decline any transaction if they notice anything suspicious. Sometimes this may simply mean that you spent more money than usual. 

How to fix the problem:

You will have to call Direct Express customer service and answer questions about activity on the card before they can unblock it. If you don’t contact them, your card may be canceled as a precaution. You will then have to call to get a replacement card. 

Your Direct Express Card Has Been Canceled

Due to the growing incidence of fraud, Direct Express sometimes cancels customer cards. They will usually mail you a new card, but while waiting for it to arrive, you won’t be able to withdraw any funds from your account. 

How to fix the problem:

Call Direct Express customer service number listed on the back of your card if you suspect they have canceled your card and ask for a replacement card. 

You Are Using Your Direct Express Card Abroad

You can use your MasterCard everywhere in the world, however, in some cases Direct Express may decide to flag your card and decline international transactions.

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How to fix the problem: 

Call the Direct Express customer service international number 1 (765) 778-6290 (collect) and ask them to unblock your card. To avoid this problem, it is advisable to inform Direct Express in advance that you will be using your card abroad. 

Technical Issues Are Preventing You To Use Your Direct Express Card

Banks and retailers sometimes have issues processing the transactions even if there is nothing wrong with your card. They can be experiencing slow internet connection, power failure, or transaction overload, for example. 

How to fix it:

You can try again later, use a different terminal, or simply wait until the systems get back up and running.

For other frequently asked questions about Direct Express, check out my write-up here.

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