I am reaching out to share tips on the California Middle Class Tax Refund debit card. About half of eligible taxpayers received the refund via direct deposit, while the other half have either recently received or will soon receive their refunds on a prepaid debit card that will be mailed to your residence.

As a quick reminder, the California Middle Class Tax Refund is a one-time payment of $200 – $1,050 to help California families respond to higher costs caused by inflation. General information about the refund can be found here: https://www.ftb.ca.gov/about-ftb/newsroom/middle-class-tax-refund/index.html.

For those of you who have received or expect to receive your refund on a debit card, please check out the following tips that will help you use your card and avoid unnecessary fees.

  • Activate your card. Once you receive your card, you need to activate the card before attempting to use it at a retail store or making a withdrawal at a bank, credit union, or ATM. You can activate your card by calling 1-800-240-0223 or by going to mctrpayment.com and setting up a PIN. If two names are shown on the card, the cardholder shown first must activate the card.
  • Avoid fees! If you use your card in the following ways, you can avoid transaction fees and make the most of your refund.
    • Transfer your funds from the debit card to your checking account. See details about how to make a no-fee transfer to your bank account under the “Can I transfer the funds from my MCTR Card to my bank account?” FAQ on this website: https://mctrpayment.com/faq. Transfers are limited to $600 per transaction, but you can make two separate transfers if you prefer to move the entire balance to your own bank account.
    • Use an ATM that offers no-fee withdraws. Locate these ATMs using this online tool: https://mctrpayment.com/locator.
    • Shop or dine anywhere Visa debit cards are accepted, including in-store, online, or over the phone. Many of our local small businesses would love to see you!
    • Get cash back at the register, if offered by the merchant. Many grocery stores and drugstores offer cash back options with no fees.
  • Learn more. The terms and fees of your debit card can be found here: https://mctrpayment.com. Review the list of fees if you have questions about whether a particular transaction will come with an additional charge. The Franchise Tax Board also encourages you to call this number should you need additional help: 1-800-852-5711.


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