FAQ's


Getting a Card 


How do I get a Choosing Independence Card?


 Click here to order your card.


Can I order a card for someone else?


 No, you may not order a card for someone else. Each person must order their own card. If you ordered a card for someone else, both your account and the other person’s account will be closed.


Can I use my business tax ID # (i.e. EIN) to get a card?


 No, you must use your social security number or ITIN to get a card. If you try to order a card with your business tax ID # (i.e. EIN), your enrollment will be denied and you will be required to go through manual verification which will include, among other things, providing a copy of your social security card.


Do I have to provide my actual home address to get a card?


 Yes, we require that you provide your actual home address to get a card. If you try to order a card with a PO Box, private mailbox, or your business address, your enrollment will be denied and you will be required to go through manual verification which will include, among other things, providing proof of your home address.


What if I am unable to receive mail at home?


 Contact Customer Service so that we can make other arrangements to get your card to you. You will be required to go through manual verification which will include, among other things, providing proof of your home address.


Can anyone get a Choosing Independence Card?


 The Choosing Independence Card is only available to residents of the United States who are at least 18 years old with a verifiable social security number or ITIN and home address.


Is there a mobile app for the Choosing Independence Card?


 The Choosing Independence Card Mobile App is released for Android here, and iOS here.


Can my friend who lives internationally use my address to order their card?


 No, each cardholder must have a verifiable home address in the United States (50 states).


I don't have a residential home address; can I use the address where I'm currently staying at?


 No, each cardholder must have a verifiable home address in the United States (50 states).


I travel and am on the road, can you send my card to a hotel?


 No, we can only send the card to your home address.


How long does it take for the card to arrive?


 Once your card order is completed, your new card should arrive within 10 business days.




Fees & Limits 


What fees do you charge?


 You can see all of our fees here.


How much does it cost to get a card?


 You can find initial card fees here.


How do I pay the Monthly Service Charge Fee?


 The Monthly Service Charge Fee will be deducted from your card balance.


How can I get the Monthly Service Charge waived?


 Please refer to Fees.


How much money can I load onto my card?


 Please refer to card limits.


When referring to limits, the term “month” means “previous 30 days”. For example, if you load $5,000 on March 31, that will count towards your “monthly” limit until April 30 (i.e. thirty days later).


Also, when you load with cash, the retailer where you load will typically impose their own per transaction limit.


How much cash can I load per transaction?


 Please refer to card limits.


Many retailers limit the amount that can be loaded in a single transaction to $500.


How much can I spend (i.e. purchases)?


 Please refer to card limits.


How much cash can I withdrawal from my card?


 Please refer to card limits.


How much money can I transfer to another cardholder (i.e. share funds)?


 Please refer to card limits.


How much money can I receive from another cardholder (i.e. share funds)?


 Please refer to card limits.




Customer Service 


What are the customer service hours?


 Our call center is open and available 24/7/365. Emails are generally responded to within 2 hours and a chat option can be found at the bottom of our website.


Do I receive a monthly statement?


 Yes, you can view and download your monthly statement by logging into our online banking platform, and selecting the "Statements" link in the left-hand menu.


Is there a fee to contact customer service?


 No, there is not a fee to Contact Customer Service. We are very proud that we have never charged a fee to contact customer service. You can see our full fee schedule here.


How long will I have access to my previous statements?


 You will have access to your previous statements for at least three years.




Loading Funds 


How do I load funds?


 You can find how to load funds here.


Where can I go to load cash?


 You can find how to load cash here.


How do I know that my money is safe?


 Your money is completely safe because it is held by Metropolitan Commercial Bank, an FDIC insured account.


How can I link my checking or savings account?


 There are two ways to link your checking or savings account.


Link from the Account Login section of the website (loads take 6+ business days): You can link your checking account by logging into your account, then clicking on Move Money in the Main Menu. From there, click on Load and select ACH Transfer (load from bank account). Once there, select your bank from the list below and follow the instructions to transfer funds to your Choosing Independence Prepaid Visa. This will link your checking or savings account to your Choosing Independence Card. Then you can set up one time or recurring transfers from the same section of the Account Login website.


Link from your other banks website (loads take 2-3 business days): Some banks will let you load funds from their website. To do this, first get the Routing and Direct Deposit Account # from our Account Login section of the website (click on Move Money then Direct Deposit). Next, you want to link your Choosing Independence Card account as an “External Account”.


Some banks charge a fee for this service. Please check with your bank to see if they will charge you a fee.


Warning: Do not try to load your Choosing Independence Card using a Bill Pay service as we do not accept loads this way. Also, we do not accept Loads by Checks, Money Orders, or Cashier’s Checks.


Can I load my card using bill pay?


 No, we do not accept loads from bill pay services.


How does direct deposit work?


 You can setup direct deposit by logging into your account, then clicking on Move Money in the Main Menu. From there, click on Direct Deposit and you can download a form to give to your employer. The page and form will both have your routing number and account number that you need for direct deposit. Please note that once you provide your account information to set up direct deposit to load onto your Choosing Independence Card, it may take 2-3 cycles before this information is updated. If you have any questions about the status, please contact your employer as Customer Service will not have any information about this.


How do I setup loading my federal benefits?


 You can setup automatic loading of your federal benefits by logging into your account, then click on Move Money in the Main Menu. From there, click on Federal Benefits and you will see instructions on how to fill out the proper form. The page will have your routing number and account number which you will need to setup the automatic loading of your federal benefits. Please note that once you provide your account information to set up federal benefits to load onto your Choosing Independence Card, it may take 2-3 cycles before this information is updated. If you have any questions about the status, please contact the load source as Customer Service will not have any information about this.


How long does it take to load funds from a linked bank account using the Account Login website?


 It takes 6+ business days (which does not include Saturdays, Sundays, or Federal holidays).


How long does it take to load funds from a linked bank account using my other bank’s website?


 It typically takes 2-3 business days (which does not include Saturdays, Sundays, or Federal holidays). You should check with your other bank to verify how long it will take.


Can I link my business bank account?


 No, your linked bank account must be a personal account and you must be the account holder.


Can I load funds from my PayPal account?


 You can use the Routing and Direct Deposit Account Numbers that we provide to link your card as a bank account to PayPal. Just make sure that you only load funds this way. We do not allow you to complete purchase transactions using these numbers.


Can I load funds from a debit or credit card?


 The only time we allow loading of funds from a debit or credit card is during enrollment.


Can I call customer service to load or transfer funds for me?


 No


Can I load funds with a bank teller?


 No


How long will it take for my money to become available after it is loaded?


 This depends on the method that you use to load your card.


Cash Loads are typically available instantly. Keep your receipt until you verify that the cash was loaded on your card properly.


Direct Deposit is generally available on your payday.


Federal Benefits are typically available on the day designated by the federal agency that sent the payment.


Loads from a linked checking or savings account are generally available in 6+ business days if you started the transfer from our Account Login section of the website, or 2-3 business days if you started the transfer from your other bank’s website.


If you have any questions on funds availability, please Contact Customer Service.




Using your Choosing Independence Card 


How does the Choosing Independence Card work?


 Your Choosing Independence Card is a convenient way to manage your money. It’s much safer than using cash because it is FDIC insured. The Choosing Independence Card is not a credit card, which means you can spend only the money you have loaded onto it. You will not incur late payment penalties or high-interest fees with the Choosing Independence Card.


How do I activate my Choosing Independence Card?


 Activation is easy! Once you receive your card in the mail, just login to activate, or call the number on the back of your Choosing Independence Card to activate your card.


What if my card is lost or stolen?


 Contact Customer Service immediately. We will cancel the lost or stolen card and issue you a new card right away.


As the cardholder, you can aid us in the protection of your account. Never tell anyone your password or PIN number. Do not write your PIN number on your card. Check the Choosing Independence Card Account Login page often, and sign up for alerts so you can monitor the activity on your card. Please contact us immediately if you feel your account has been compromised in any way.


How much does it cost?


 You can see our full fee schedule here.


Where can I use my Choosing Independence Card?


 You can use your Choosing Independence Card at millions of locations worldwide, everywhere Debit Visa is accepted.


Can I use the Routing and Direct Deposit Account Numbers to pay bills or make purchases?


 No, we do not allow the Routing and Direct Deposit Account Numbers to be used to pay bills. These numbers are provided so that you can load funds onto your card.


What happens if my balance is negative?


 We do not charge any fees if your account goes negative. We do ask that you load your card right away if your account is negative. Your card account is in jeopardy of being closed anytime your account goes into the negative.


If I don't have enough funds available for a purchase, will you charge me any fees?


 No, we do not charge any fees when you attempt to make a purchase, whether or not that purchase is successful.


If I make a return, how long before the funds are available onto my card?


 The availability of funds from a return depends primarily on the merchant and how quickly they process your refund. It typically takes 1-4 business days for a refund to show up on your card, but it may take longer. If you feel that your refund is taking too long to show up on your card, then please contact the merchant.


Do I need to have a bank account to get a card?


 No, a bank account is not required to have a Choosing Independence Card.


How do I add money onto my card?


 After you activate your Choosing Independence Card, the best way to add money onto your card is to set up direct deposit of your paycheck. Take the direct deposit information (which you can find on the Account Login section of our website) to your employer to have your paycheck automatically put on your card each payday. You can also add money to your card by linking a checking or savings account. You can do this by logging into the Account Login section of our website and go the Move Money section. You can also load with cash at retail locations that are part of the Visa ReadyLink Network.


What is Visa ReadyLink?


 Visa ReadyLink Network, in partnership with Visa, is a service that lets consumers quickly and securely add funds to Visa Reloadable Prepaid Cards at participating retail locations.


How does Visa ReadyLink work?


 Simply visit a participating retailer with the cash you want to load onto your card. At those locations, your card is swiped and the load amount is entered at the register. You will be provided a receipt that states the amount added, your load fee, and, at some participating merchants, your updated card balance. Your cash load will be instantly available. Make sure that you keep your receipt until you verify the funds were properly loaded on your card.


How do I find a Visa ReadyLink participating retail location?


 Visit the Visa website: https://usa.visa.com/pay-with-visa/cards/services-locator.html


I see that I need to set a PIN (Personal Identification Number) to use my Choosing Independence Card. Do I have to use a PIN to make a purchase?


 You actually only need a PIN to use an ATM. You will set up your PIN when you activate your card. You can change it at any time by logging into the Account Login section of our website, clicking on Account Maintenance and then clicking on PIN Setup/Change. Do not share your PIN with anyone and do not write your PIN number on your card.


What if I forget my PIN?


 You can change it at any time by logging into the Account login section of our website, clicking on Account Maintenance and then clicking on PIN Setup/Change. Do not share your PIN with anyone and do not write your PIN number on your card.


Do I need my PIN to withdraw funds at an ATM?


 Yes, you will need your PIN to withdraw funds at an ATM. When you use your Choosing Independence Card to withdraw money from an ATM, you will insert your card, enter your PIN and select "Withdrawal." You will then be asked if you are withdrawing the money from "Checking", "Savings" or "Credit." You should choose "Checking." You can withdraw cash from your card at any ATM showing the MasterCard, Maestro®, or Star® Acceptance Marks.


How much can I withdraw at an ATM?


 You can see all card limits here.


Does it cost money to withdraw money from an ATM?


 To learn more about our fees, please see the Choosing Independence Card Cardholder Terms and Conditions.


Can I check my balance at any ATM?


 Yes, you can check your balance at an ATM. To locate a surcharge-free ATMs you may use the Visa Plus Alliance third-party website. While we do not charge a fee for checking your balance at an ATM, some ATMs may charge you a fee. You can also check your balance at no cost by logging into the Account Login section of our website to get your balance and view your transactions. You may be charged a fee by the financial institution that owns the ATM to check your balance.


Can I use my Choosing Independence Card to make online purchases?


 Yes, you can use your Choosing Independence Card anywhere Visa® debit cards are accepted, including online.


My available card balance will not cover my purchase amount. Can I still use my card?


 Yes, you can still use your Choosing Independence Card. Just tell the cashier in advance how much to deduct from your prepaid card and how much you will pay using an alternate payment method. Note that this process, known as a split transaction, may not be supported by all merchants.


What happens if I need to return an item I purchased using my Choosing Independence Card?


 When making a return, you may be asked to show the cashier the card used to make the purchase. The value of the returned merchandise will be credited back to your card. Please refer to the individual merchant’s return policy. It typically takes 1-4 business days for a refund to show up on your card, but it may take longer. If you feel that your refund it taking too long to show up on your card, then please contact the merchant.


What do I need to know about using my Choosing Independence Card to pay at the pump gasoline station or at a restaurant?


 Some merchants such as restaurants, hotels, rental car agencies and pay at the pump transactions at gasoline stations may obtain an authorization for a higher dollar amount until the final purchase amount is determined and then posted to your Card. Pay at the Pump transactions will often authorize for $100 and restaurant transactions will often authorize for the amount of your total food bill plus 20% to cover the gratuity. To avoid the higher authorization amount at gasoline stations, you may prepay for your purchase inside with the cashier. These authorizations are to ensure that you will have sufficient funds on your Choosing Independence Card to cover the final amount of the settled purchase. Once the transaction is settled, only the actual amount of the transaction will be deducted from your account and any amount in excess of this that was authorized will be released.


Can I use the Choosing Independence Card outside of the United States?


 Yes, the Choosing Independence Card can be used at merchants worldwide who accept Debit Visa, except in prohibited countries.


Can I get cash back when I make a purchase at a retailer using my Choosing Independence Card?


 Yes, you can get cash back at the point of sale as long as the merchant supports the cash back feature. This is similar to a withdrawal. We do not charge you a fee to get cash back this way. Check with the merchant to see if they charge a fee.


How is the Choosing Independence Card safer than carrying cash?


 Unlike cash, if your Choosing Independence Card is lost or stolen, you’re protected with the Visa's Zero Liability Policy. It is our guarantee that you won't be held responsible for unauthorized charges made with your account or account information. You're protected if your Visa credit or debit card is lost, stolen or fraudulently used, online or offline. Conditions and exceptions apply – see Cardholder Terms and Conditions. Your card will be replaced and the balance will be sent to the new card. The Replacement Card usually arrives in five to ten business days. Contact Customer Service for any issues related to your card including reporting a lost or stolen card.




Logging into My Account 


Where do I login?


 You can log into your account here. Bookmark the login page for your convenience.


What if I forgot my username?


 You can click on the “Forgot Username” link on the Account Login page to retrieve your username. Our customer happiness agents do not have access to your username, this is the only way to retrieve it.


What if I forgot my password?


 You can click on the “Forgot Password” link on the Account Login page to reset your password. Our customer happiness agents do not have access to your password, this is the only way to reset it.


What if my account is locked?


 You need to Contact Customer Service if your account is locked. The fastest way to do this is to start a chat from the login page.


What if I get a message that my account can’t be located?


 Only cardholders can log into the Account Login website. If you haven’t ordered your card or your card enrollment hasn’t been approved yet, then you won’t be able to login to your account. Once you close your account, you will have access to login to view your card activity for at least 90 days.


How can I check my balance online?


 You can check your balance by logging in to the Account Login website. Your available balance will be on the first screen you see after you log in.