Frequently Asked Questions


What are the benefits of having an Alterna® Prepaid Mastercard® 


The Alterna® Prepaid Mastercard® allows you to share money in real time with family and friends, including in Mexico, and other countries coming soon. With Alterna it's...


  • Simple to load and share money from card to card online, at any time without the need to go to an agent.
  • Safer than carrying cash since the funds on the card are held at First National Bank, Member FDIC, and protected by the Mastercard Zero liability. Conditions and exceptions apply – see Cardholder Agreement.
  • It’s easy to get. Just enroll online or through the AlternaCard Mobile App. Upon successful identification verification, the card will arrive at your home within 7-10 business days.
  • It provides you with a bilingual customer service, in English and Spanish.
  • You can make purchases online rather than using your credit cards or bank accounts.
  • You can use it at millions of locations worldwide, everywhere Debit Mastercard is accepted.
  • You can withdraw cash 24/7 at millions of ATM locations worldwide displaying the Mastercard, Maestro, Accel or MoneyPass logos.



Getting an Alterna® Prepaid Mastercard® 


How do I get a card?

Go to the link provided to you by one of our Trusted Partners or go to www.alternacard.com and click on “Order Card”. If you own a smartphone, you can download the AlternaCard App from the Apple App Store or from the Google Play Store, register and follow the instructions to enroll to receive a card.



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

No. A bank account is not required to have a card.



Can I order a card for someone else?

No. Every cardholder must order their own card.



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

No. You must enroll with your Social Security number or individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN) to get a card. If you attempt to order a card with your business tax ID # (i.e. EIN), your enrollment will be denied or you will be required to go through the manual verification process which may include, among other things, providing a copy of your personal identification documents.



Can I get a card for my business?

No. This is a consumer card and is not available for businesses.



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

Yes. We require you to 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 or you will be required to go through the manual verification process 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.



Toll-Free Customer Service Phone Number: 1-855-2-Alterna (1-855-225-8376)

International Customer Service Phone Number: 1-702-766-0432

Email: support@alternacard.com

Chat: Click the Chat option found at the bottom of our website

Mailing Address: Alterna Card, P.O. Box 81888, Las Vegas, NV 89180-1888



Can anyone get a Card?

The card is only available to residents of the United States (50 states and District of Columbia) who are at least 18 years old with a verifiable Social Security number or individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN) and home address.



Is there a mobile app for the Card?

Yes, you can download the AlternaCard Mobile App for Android from Google Play, and for iOS from the App Store.



Can my spouse get a separate card?

Yes. Your spouse can enroll for a separate card.



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 and District of Columbia).



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

No. Each cardholder must have a verifiable home address in the United States (50 states and District of Columbia).



How long does it take for the card to arrive?

Once your enrollment is complete, your new card should arrive within 10 business days.



Why am I being asked to upload documents for Information Verification?

IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT PROCEDURES FOR OPENING A CARD ACCOUNT: To help the federal government fight the funding of terrorism and money laundering activities, federal law requires all financial institutions and their third parties to obtain, verify, and record information that identifies each person who opens a Card Account. What this means for you: When you open a Card Account, we will ask for your name, address, date of birth, social security number or individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN) and other information that will allow us to identify you. We may also ask to see your driver’s license or other identifying documents.



What type of identifying documents do you require me to upload for Information Verification?

Typically, we will ask for the following documents, however based on the information requested, we reserve the right to request/require additional identifying information at our discretion.

  • Selfie Photograph: A selfie photograph is a photograph of your entire face taken while you are holding your valid, Government Issued Photo ID. A selfie photograph must be taken at arm’s length when requested and for the sole purpose of uploading. It is not a photograph taken for other purposes that you have stored on your computer.
  • Valid Government Issued Photo Identification, cannot be expired, cannot be voided.
    • Driver’s License (US or Foreign)
    • Passport (US or Foreign)
    • Government ID Card (US or Foreign)
    • Matricula Consular Card (Mexico)



Logging into My Account 


What is My Account?

My Account is the system used to provide all your account information. You can access My Account using the AlternaCard Mobile App or the website www.alternacard.com/Login.



Where do I login?

You can log into your account using the AlternaCard Mobile App or the website www.alternacard.com/Login. IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT PROCEDURES FOR OPENING A CARD ACCOUNT: To help the federal government fight the funding of terrorism and money laundering activities, federal law requires all financial institutions and their third parties to obtain, verify, and record information that identifies each person who opens a Card Account. What this means for you: When you open a Card Account, we will ask for your name, address, date of birth, , social security number or individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN) and other information that will allow us to identify you. We may also ask to see your driver’s license or other identifying documents.



What if I forgot my username?

You can click on the “Forgot Username” link on My Account to retrieve your username.

Note: Our customer service agents do not have access to your password, this is the only way to reset it.



What if I forgot my password?

You can click on the “Forgot Password” link on My Account to retrieve your password.

Note: Our customer service 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 My Account. You can also call the number on the back of your card.



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

Only cardholders can log into My Account. Once you complete your card enrollment you will be able to create your Username and Password. If you close your account, you will still have access to login to view your card activity for at least 90 days and statements will be available for two years.





Using Your Card  


How do I activate my card?

Once you receive your card in the mail, you can activate your card by logging into My Account or calling the number on the back of your Card. You can access My Account using the AlternaCard Mobile App or the website www.alternacard.com/Login.



How can I check my balance online?

You can check your balance on My Account. Your available balance will be on the first screen you see after you log in. You can access My Account using the AlternaCard Mobile App or the website www.alternacard.com/Login.



What if my card is lost or stolen?

Contact Customer Service immediately. Customer Service will change the status of your card as lost or stolen and send a replacement card to the address on file. Please check your transaction history right away and let us know if you notice any unauthorized activity or if you feel your account has been compromised. You can access your Transaction History by logging into My Account using the AlternaCard Mobile App or the website www.alternacard.com/Login.



Can I add/remove a Voluntary Freeze on my card?

Yes, if you want to temporarily prevent future purchases with your card without reporting it as lost or stolen, you may add a “Voluntary” Freeze. To add or remove a Voluntary Freeze, log into My Account using the AlternaCard Mobile App or the website www.alternacard.com/Login.



Where can I use my card?

The card can be used everywhere Debit Mastercard is accepted.



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

No. Currently, we do not allow the Routing and Account Numbers to be used to pay bills. These numbers are provided so that you can load funds to your card. A bill payment service is coming soon.



What happens if my balance is negative?

We do not charge a fee if your account goes negative. We do ask that you load your card right away if your account is negative. Your card account may be closed anytime your account goes negative. For more information, please review your Cardholder Agreement.



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

No. If you attempt to make a purchase but don’t have enough funds available, the transaction will be declined, but you will not be charged a fee. You can see all our fees here.



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

Funds from a return will be made available on your card once we receive them from the merchant. 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, please contact the merchant. Our Customer Service Team does not see these transactions until the credit is received.



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

Yes. You will need your PIN to withdraw funds at an ATM. You can withdraw cash from your card at any ATM showing the Mastercard, Maestro, Accel, or MoneyPass logos.



When you use your card to withdraw money from an ATM, please follow the prompts on the ATM screen.

  • Swipe or insert your card
  • When prompted enter your PIN
  • Select "Withdrawal"
  • If asked for an account type, choose "Checking"


Do I have to use a PIN to make a purchase?

No. You only need your PIN to withdraw funds at an ATM. You will set up your PIN when you activate your card. You can change it at any time by logging into My Account, clicking on Manage Account and then clicking on PIN 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 your PIN at any time by logging into My Account, clicking on Manage Account and then clicking on PIN Change. Do not share your PIN with anyone and do not write your PIN number on your card.



Does it cost money to withdraw money from an ATM?

Yes, there is a fee when you use an ATM. An ATM operator network may also charge you a fee, even if you do not complete a transaction. This fee can be avoided by requesting cash back when making a purchase at a retail location at no charge, by selecting “debit” and entering your PIN.



You can see all our fees here.



Can I check my balance at any ATM?

Yes, you can check your balance at any ATM.



There is a fee when you use an ATM. An ATM network operator may also charge you a fee, even if you do not complete a transaction. You can avoid this fee by checking your balance via the AlternaCard Mobile App or online by logging in at www.alternacard.com/Login or by using the automated telephone system at 1-855-2-ALTERNA (1-855-225-8376), prior to completing the ATM withdrawal request.



You can see all our fees here.



Can I use my Card to make online purchases?

Yes. The card may be used everywhere Debit Mastercard is accepted, including online.



Can I use my Card to make online purchases without exposing my plastic card number?

Yes. The Alterna Card offers a virtual card. A virtual card is a separate card number that you can use while shopping online. This card number is designed to protect your plastic card number from falling into the wrong hands. Both the plastic and the virtual card pull from the same card balance.



Can I link my card to my mobile wallet?

Yes. The Alterna Card allows users to upload their prepaid card into an Apple Pay, Samsung Pay or Google Pay wallet. To link your card, download and open the Wallet App - Google, Apple, or Samsung Pay, tap the "Add" Button and follow the steps to add your Alterna Card as a new card.



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

Yes. If you do not have enough value loaded on your card you can instruct the merchant to charge a part of the purchase to the card and pay the remaining amount with cash or another card. These are called “split transactions”. Some merchants do not allow cardholders to conduct split transactions. Some merchants will only allow you to do a split transaction if you pay the remaining amount in cash. If you fail to inform the merchant that you would like to complete a split transaction before swiping your card, your card is likely to be declined.



What happens if I need to return an item I purchased using my 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 is taking too long, please contact the merchant. Our Customer Service Team does not see these transactions until the credit is received.



Can I use the card outside of the United States?

Yes. The card may be used everywhere Debit Mastercard is accepted.



How do I know my money is safe?

The funds in your card account will be FDIC-insured once your identity has been verified during the enrollment process. Your funds will be held at or transferred to First National Bank, an FDIC-insured institution. Once there, your funds are insured up to $250,000 by the FDIC in the event First National Bank fails, if specific deposit insurance requirements are met and your card is registered. See fdic.gov/deposit/deposits/prepaid.html for details.





Fees & Limits 


What fees do you charge?

You can see all our fees here.



Is there a cost to getting a card?

No - There is no purchase fee or activation fee to obtain a card. Other fees may apply when using the card, you can see all our fees here.



Is there a Monthly Fee and when does it start?

Yes, the first Monthly Fee will be applied to your card account on the first of every month beginning the month after you are approved for a card. We will waive this fee if you make at least one electronic direct deposit load during the previous calendar month.



How do I pay the Monthly Fee?

The Monthly Fee will be deducted from your card balance.



Can I lower the Monthly Fee?

Yes, we will waive this fee if you make at least one electronic direct deposit load during the previous calendar month.



How much money can I have on my card at one time?

The maximum balance of your card may not exceed $10,000.00 USD at any time. Please refer to the card limits located in the Cardholder Agreement which outline the frequency and limitations of loads in a single day or additional time period, i.e., monthly.



How much money can I load onto my card?

Please refer to the card limits located in the Cardholder Agreement which outline the frequency and limitations of loads in a single day or additional time period, i.e., monthly.

Please note retailers may have additional limits on the minimum amount or maximum amount you may load to your card.



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

Please refer to the card limits located in the Cardholder Agreement which outline the frequency and limitations of the total amount of purchases and cash withdrawals in a single day.

Please note: retailers or ATM merchants may impose their own limit of the amount of funds unloaded in a single transaction or day.



How much cash can I withdraw from my card?

Please refer to the card limits located in the Cardholder Agreement which outline the frequency and limitations of the total amount of purchases and cash withdrawals in a single day.

Please note: retailers or ATM merchants may impose their own limit of the amount of funds unloaded in a single transaction or day.



How much money can I transfer to my bank?

Please refer to the card limits located in the Cardholder Agreement which outline the frequency and limitations of transfers.



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

Please refer to the card limits located in the Cardholder Agreement which outline the frequency and limitations of transfers.



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

Please refer to the card limits located in the Cardholder Agreement which outline the frequency and limitations of transfers.





Loading Funds 


How do I load funds?

You may add funds to your card in the following methods:

  • Load cash at any Mastercard rePower location or Green Dot location. Locations may be found at rePower Locations or Green Dot Locations.
  • Set up Direct Deposit with your employer or benefit provider by providing your routing number and 14-digit account number.
  • Transfer money from your bank account to your card account by using your routing number and 14-digit account number.
  • Receive money from a contact (another Alterna® Prepaid Mastercard® cardholder).
  • Deposit a paper check using the Ingo® Money App.


The maximum balance or value of your card may not exceed $10,000.00 at any time. Please refer to the card limits located in the Cardholder Agreement which outline the frequency and limitations of loads in a single day or additional time period, i.e., monthly. Please note retailers may have additional limits on the minimum amount or maximum amount you may load to your card in a single transaction or day.



How can I link my checking or savings account?

To link your checking or savings account, first check to see if your other bank will allow you to load funds from their website, not all banks have this functionality. Some banks may charge a fee for this service. Please check with your bank to see if they will charge you a fee prior to completing the transaction. Loads take 2-3 business days.

If your bank allows you to load funds from their website you will need your Alterna® Prepaid Mastercard® routing number and 14-digit account number. To obtain this information, sign into your account via the My Account login page. Once signed in, click on “Direct Deposit” to view your Alterna® Prepaid Mastercard® routing number and 14-digit account number.

On your bank’s website provide your Alterna® Prepaid Mastercard® routing number and 14-digit account number. When prompted, identify your Alterna® Prepaid Mastercard® account as an “External Account”.

Warning: Do not use your 16-digit card number to set up a transfer. Do not try to load your Alterna® Prepaid Mastercard® using a Bill Pay service as we do not accept loads this way.



Can I load my card using bill pay?

No. We do not accept loads from bill pay services.



Where can I go to load cash?

Load cash at any Mastercard rePower location or Green Dot location. Locations may be found at rePower Locations or Green Dot Locations.



How do I enroll in direct deposit to get paid up to 2 days earlier?

You can set up direct deposit by providing your employer or benefits provider your Alterna® Prepaid Mastercard® routing number and 14-digit account number. To obtain this information, sign into your account via the My Account login page. Once signed in, click on “Direct Deposit” to view your Alterna® Prepaid Mastercard® routing number and 14-digit account number. You have the option to email or download the form to give to your employer or benefits provider.

Please note that once you provide your account information to your employer, it may take 2-3 payroll cycles before this information is updated. If you have any questions about the status, please contact your employer or benefits provider as Customer Service will not have any information about this.

Faster access to funds is based on a comparison of traditional banking policies and deposit of paper checks from employers and government agencies versus deposits made electronically. Direct deposit and earlier availability of funds are subject to payer’s support of the feature and timing of payer’s funding.

You can also receive direct deposits from family or friends following the same procedure, from a US based location or from other countries as long as received through a money remittances company licensed in the US (including PayPal or similar services), all loads must be in US dollars.



How do I set up loading my federal benefits?

You can set up automatic loading of your Federal Benefits by providing your benefits provider your Alterna® Prepaid Mastercard® routing number and 14-digit account number. To obtain this information, sign into your account via the My Account login page. Once signed in, click on “Move Money”. From there, click on “Federal Benefits”. This page will provide you instructions on how to fill out the form and includes your routing number and account number.

Please note that once you provide your account information to set up federal benefits to load, it may take 2-3 payment 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 do I deposit a paper check onto my Card?

Using the Ingo Money App is a great way to deposit funds from approved checks and get your money in minutes, 24/7/365, loaded to your card account without the need to go out or stand in a line. If your check is approved and your account is funded, the funds will be posted to your available balance. To make a deposit, Download the Ingo Money App here. Enroll with Ingo Money, add your Alterna Card as a "Linked Account”, follow the instructions to take a photo of your check and start the process.



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

It usually 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?

Yes, you can load funds from your PayPal account by using the Alterna® Prepaid Mastercard® routing number and 14-digit account number to link your card as a bank account to PayPal.

Please note: You are unable to complete PayPal purchase transactions using the routing and 14-digit account numbers.



Can I call Customer Service to load or transfer funds for me?

No. For security reasons, our Customer Service agents will not be able to assist with loading or transferring funds.



Can I load funds with a bank teller?

No. However, with the Alterna Card you can load cash to your card at any Mastercard rePower location or Green Dot location. Locations may be found at rePower Locations or Green Dot Locations.



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

This depends on the method used to load funds.



  • Cash loads are typically available in real time. Keep your receipt until you verify that the cash was properly loaded onto your card.
  • Direct Deposit from your employer or benefits provider is typically available on or before your designated payday. Get access to your money up to two days faster with Direct Deposit*
  • Federal Benefits are typically available on or before the day designated by the federal agency that sent the payment. Get access to your money up to two days faster with Direct Deposit*
  • Loads from a linked checking or savings account are available in 2-3 business days when initiated from your other bank’s website.
  • Money received from a contact (another cardholder) is available in real time.
  • Check deposit using the Ingo Money App. See the Ingo App for timing.

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

* Faster access to funds is based on a comparison of traditional banking policies and deposit of paper checks from employers and government agencies versus deposits made electronically. Direct deposit and earlier availability of funds are subject to payer’s support of the feature and timing of payer’s funding.





Sharing Money with another Alterna® Prepaid Mastercard® 


My Account is the system used to manage your account. You can access My Account using the AlternaCard Mobile App or clicking Login at the website www.alternacard.com.

  • Go to Share funds, enter the recipient contact name and phone number
  • Enter the amount to transfer
  • Click send and wait to receive a confirmation




Sharing Money with relatives or family in other countries *Coming Soon 


How is it possible to share from card to card?

It’s possible thanks to strategic alliances with banks abroad. You can share money with relatives and friends from your Alterna® Prepaid Mastercard®® to a Prepaid Card in Mexico.

In the future you will be able to share money with cards in other countries and to send money internationally to bank accounts or for cash pick up at participating locations.



How much money can I share and what is the cost?

You can share up to $500 per day and $2500 per month, for only $5 per transaction to Mexico.



What happens if my relatives do not have an account at their local bank?

This is a good opportunity for your relatives to join and begin developing their financial history with innovative banks. It’s very simple! You initiate this process when you request your Alterna® Prepaid Mastercard® online or later on, using your AlternaCard Mobile App or your online account at www.alternacard.com/Login and entering your relatives’ contact information. The local bank will contact them to open and activate their account.



What information is needed to refer a relative?

The following information from your relative is needed:

  • Full name
  • Date of Birth
  • Complete Address (Street number, city, state and zip code)
  • Cell Phone Number


The local bank may ask your relative:

  • Official Identification Number
  • Proof of Access


How do my relatives get the money I share with them?

The funds loaded to your relative's card can be received in any manner as allowed by the issuer of their prepaid card. Please have your relative contact the customer service number provided on their prepaid card.





Customer Service 


What are the customer service hours?

Cardholders can contact our Customer Service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the year. Contact options include phone, email, chat, or by mail.

Toll-Free Customer Service Phone Number: 1-855-2-ALTERNA (1-855-225-8376)

International Customer Service Phone Number: 1-702-766-0432

Email: support@alternacard.com

Chat: Click the Chat option found at the bottom of our website

Mailing Address: Alterna Card, P.O. Box 81888, Las Vegas, NV 89180-1888



Will I receive a monthly statement?

Yes. You can view and download your monthly statement by logging into your account via the AlternaCard Mobile App or at www.alternacard.com/Login 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



How long will I have access to my previous statements?

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





Network Benefits 


What is Mastercard Zero Liability?

Zero Liability means you may not be held responsible for unauthorized charges made with your card or account information. It is protection if your card is lost, stolen, or fraudulently used online or offline. Contact Customer Service immediately if you lose your card or notice unauthorized activity in your transaction history. Conditions and exceptions apply – see Cardholder Agreement.



What is Mastercard ID Theft Protection?

Mastercard ID Theft Protection (IDT) provides you with access to a number of Identity Theft resolution services, should you believe you are a victim of Identity Theft. This product offering will alert you about possible identity theft by monitoring the surface, dark and deep web, searching for compromised credentials and potentially damaging use of your registered personal information in order to detect fraud.



In order to receive the following services, you must enroll at https://mastercardus.idprotectiononline.com/, then simply contact 1-800-Mastercard if you believe you have been a victim of Identity Theft. Services Provided: Services provided are on a 24-hour basis, 365 days a year.