Emerald Card Direct Deposit, Cash & Check Reload, etc Times

MyBlock app from H&R Block on a phone

Short Answer — The Emerald Card from H&R Block loads direct deposit funds around 4 a.m. CST on the date set by the payer. Tax refunds and other government payments are loaded as soon as H&R Block receives them from the IRS — any time of day. Cash reloads and money transfers are usually available right away and check-to-card funds may be available within minutes (for a fee) or within a few days (for free).

What Time Does Emerald Card Load Funds?

The Emerald Card is a prepaid debit card with a Mastercard logo from H&R Block. You can opt to have your tax refund loaded onto this card, and you can continue using it throughout the year with direct deposits, cash reloads, check reloads, and/or transfers from a checking account.

The government may also issue other payments, such as economic stimulus checks, to your Emerald Card if you received your last tax refund on the card.

The times that funds are available for use on the card vary by the type of deposit. To find out about Emerald Card deposit times, we spoke with multiple H&R Block Emerald Card customer service representatives reached by calling (866) 353-1266.

Deposit times are as follows:

  • Direct deposit: Direct deposits from an employer or government agency are available around 4 a.m. CST on the date set by the payer, but times can vary.
  • Cash reloads: Cash or check card reloads are usually made available immediately but carry a fee that varies by reload location; fees can be up to $4.95 a reload.[1]
  • Check reloads: Checks can be loaded onto your Emerald Card through the MyBlock mobile app for Android or iOS. Checks are usually approved and available within minutes, but can take up to an hour,[2] for a minimum fee of $2 and a maximum fee of 4% of the check amount. Alternately, if you can allow a few days for approval, there is no fee.[1]
  • Money transfer: Your first money transfer from a checking account to your Emerald Card can take up to five business days due to processing. Once the funds are confirmed, they are typically made available immediately. After your first money transfer, funds are typically made available immediately.
  • Tax refunds and other government payments: The amount of time it takes for a tax return to be accepted by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and for the refund to be processed varies greatly.[3] Other government payments also vary depending on several factors; stimulus payments, for example, typically disperse over several weeks or months (rather than to all qualifying citizens at once). As soon as the government makes the funds available to H&R Block, it will load the money onto your Emerald Card. H&R Block can load funds at any time of day with no limits or restrictions.


  • Jack Hurley

    Is there still charge in any month without spending?

    • First Quarter Finance logo
      First Quarter Finance | Lindsey Desmet

      Hello, Jack! There is no monthly fee, but the Emerald Card does charge an inactivity fee of about $5 if you go 60 days without making any transactions.

  • Kayla reynolds

    My direct deposit information was wrong. I had to send in a direct deposit change form. How long will it take to get my refund on my Emerald Card?

    • First Quarter Finance logo
      First Quarter Finance | Lindsey Desmet

      Hello, Kayla! This will depend on how long it takes to process the change form. In general, processing this type of change and reissuing a payment can take one to two weeks, but it varies on a case-by-case basis. As noted in our research, the Emerald Card will deposit your funds as soon as it receives the refund from the payor. Best of luck!

  • Kelly lawson

    When they load your Emerald Card with your first tax refund, do they load both state and federal at the same time?

    • First Quarter Finance logo
      First Quarter Finance | Lindsey Desmet

      Hello, Kelly! States process their tax returns separately from your federal tax return, so your refunds usually will not arrive at the same time.

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