Getting Cash at ATMs

Direct Express® cardholders should follow these steps to get cash from an ATM:

  • Ensure they understand how to withdraw cash from an ATM without incurring any fees.
    • For each federal government deposit the cardholder receives, cardholders can make one ATM withdrawal from in-network ATMs for free.
    • Additional ATM withdrawals carry a $0.85 fee.
    • Owners of out-of-network ATMS may impose an additional fee of their own.
  • Ensure they are aware of any daily or other withdrawal limits imposed by the ATM owner
  • Ensure they have a PIN to use at ATMs with their card (if not cardholders should request one from Direct Express® customer service)
  • Many ATMs are different, so cardholders should follow the instructions on the screen.
  • When asked what account they want to withdraw money from, select “checking” (not “savings”)
  • Enter the amount of cash desired (up to the amount of the ATM’s withdrawal limits or card account balance, whichever is less).
  • Take their cash and receipt and ensure the transaction has ended before leaving the ATM.

Getting Cash at Checkout

Direct Express® cardholders can save themselves ATM fees by requesting cash back at checkout when making in-person purchases using Direct Express®. The cash will be added to the purchase price.

  • Cardholders should ask in advance how much cash back they can get when they pay at the store and if there are fees.
  • Cardholders should tell the clerk how much cash they want and present their card for payment, using the chip or swiping, as appropriate.
  • Once the transaction has been processed, cardholders might have to sign or enter a PIN when requested, to complete the transaction. Some transactions may not require either.

Note: Some merchants can give CASH BACK WITHOUT A PURCHASE – a small fee may apply but it is often lower than traditional ATM fees.


  • Cardholders can check card balances online through the DX℠ Mobile App, customer service via phone or at an ATM, before using their card.
  • Cardholders should keep receipts after purchases to verify that the correct amount was deducted from their Direct Express® balance.
  • Cardholders should be aware that a temporary hold may be placed on the card for some types of reservations, like a hotel reservation, or when paying at some gas pumps, temporarily reducing the amount available to spend on their card.
  • Cardholders should call the number located on the back of the card to report a lost or stolen card immediately to avoid any fraudulent purchases.
  • Direct Express® cards are designed so that they can be used without incurring any fees at all. Nevertheless, cardholders should be aware of any fees associated with certain uses of their card to keep costs down. This information is available at and through the PayPerks® program.
  • PayPerks® for Direct Express® (accessible either directly inside the DX℠ Mobile App or at is available for all cardholders to get a full understanding of the possibilities of Direct Express®, including how to use the card safely and efficiently.


There are some simple things cardholders can do to ensure their money and identity are protected.

  • Monitor their balance frequently.
  • Keep the 16-digit card number (but NEVER the PIN or other details) and the customer service phone number, located on the back of their card, in a safe place at home.
  • Never leave cards or PINs in sight. Choose a PIN that isn’t obvious to others and never write it on or near a card.
  • Never lend their cards to or share their PINs with anyone.
  • Make sure no one is watching when entering a PIN at an ATM, and only discard ATM and card purchase receipts in a secure place.
  • Keep an eye on their card during transactions and get it back as quickly as possible.
  • Use improved technologies like chip or mobile phone applications to avoid putting physical cards in the possession of someone else.
  • When online, be cautious about emails and questionable websites asking for disclosure of sensitive financial information. Never click on links from suspicious emails.
  • Make use of general computer protections, firewalls, and software that guard against viruses.
  • Turn off computers when not in use to reduce risk of hacking and intrusion.
  • Direct Express® customer service, banks, and legitimate businesses will never email customers asking for passwords or similar sensitive information.
  • Don’t conduct transactions over public WIFI or open Internet connections not protected by a password.
  • If someone the cardholder does not know phones saying they need personal or account information, hang up and call the phone number on the back of the card.


Cardholders wanting to know more about how best to use their card in the pandemic, can visit the website and/or the PayPerks® for Direct Express® program. Cardholders can also call the 24/7 Direct Express® customer service helpline, via the number on the back of the Direct Express® card.

Click here for Part 1.