How It Works

No Social Security Number is required for Non-U.S. Citizens. You will be required to present a government-issued photo ID from your country of origin. U.S. Citizens must provide a Social Security Number1.

The Alterna card allows the cardholders to transfer money instantly2 via card to card to Family and Friends in Mexico and Nicaragua3 and to share money with other Alterna cardholders. Transfer up to $1,000 a day to Mexico for a $6.00 Fee and to Nicaragua for a $5.00 Fee2, 4. Share up to $500 per transaction with other Alterna cardholders for a $1.75 fee.

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Get Started

Activate your Card

Once you receive your card in the mail, you must activate it before
you can use it. Activation is quick and easy:

  • Call 1-855- 2-ALTERNA (1-855- 225-8376) or
  • visit
  • You will be asked to choose a PIN
  • Create your online account for managing your money and you will have immediate access to account information required to begin direct deposit

Open an Alterna Card Account

If you are a Non- U.S. Citizen1, no Social Security Number is required. You can enroll by providing info on a Government-issued photo ID from your country or origin. Social Security Number is required for U.S. Citizens1.

You will be asked to set up your username and password for your Alterna Card online account at this time. Your card will arrive by mail within 10 business days. The personalized card must be activated, you must choose a PIN and load with funds before you can use it.

Load Money onto your Card

It is easy to load money:

  • Set up Direct Deposit of your paycheck or Government
    Benefits – No Fee. Learn more
  • Load cash by visiting Green Dot Reload@Cash Register™, or Western Union Reload® locations nationwide. (Fees will apply). Learn more
  • Load checks at WalMart, via ACH from a checking account or from another Alterna card account. Fees will apply. Learn more
  • At the time you enroll for your card, you can enroll Family and Friends for cards issued by banks in Mexico and Nicaragua as a way to share money.Learn more

1 Subject to ID Verification. Important information for opening a Card account. To help the federal government fight the funding of terrorism and money laundering activities, the USA Patriot Act requires all financial institutions and their third parties to obtain, verify and record information that identifies each person who opens a Card account. What that means for you when you open a Card account, is that we will ask for your name, address, date of birth and other information that will allow us to identify you. We may also ask to see your driver’s license or other identifying documents.
2 Receipt of funds is contingent upon connectivity and an approved Card issued by the recipient’s bank.
3 MetaBank is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse, the recipient’s bank or the card issued by the recipient’s bank.
4 The government of the local bank’s country may impose lower limits.
5 A Surcharge by ATM owner may apply.
6 Third-Party fees, standard text messaging fees and/or data rate fees may apply.


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1. Visa’s Zero Liability Policy covers U.S.-issued cards and does not apply to certain commercial card transactions, any transactions not processed by Visa, or to anonymous prepaid cards (until such time as the identity of the cardholder has been registered with us). You must notify your financial institution immediately of any unauthorized use. For specific restrictions, limitations and other details, please consult your issuer.
2. To minimize losses, Cardholder must notify Customer Service promptly of any loss of the card or compromise of the Card Account. Other terms apply. See the Terms and Conditions for details.

How to Apply for Referral Cards

How to Enroll for the Referral Cards

You must have an Alterna Card to enroll for your Referral Cards

  1. If you already have an Alterna Card CLICK HERE to login to your account online and follow the instructions on how to enroll for your Referral Card(s)
  2. If you do not already have an Alterna card CLICK HERE to enroll for your Alterna Card and you will then be prompted to enroll for your Referral Card(s)