How It Works

The Alterna Card works just like any bank-issued debit card, without ever having to worry about overdraft fees or the risk of going into debt. No Social Security Number is required for Non-U.S. Citizens*. All that Is required is a government-issued photo ID – from your country of origin. U.S. Citizens must provide a Social Security Number.

The Alterna card allows the cardholders to share money instantly via card to card to Family and Friends in Mexico and Nicaragua and to other Alterna cardholders. Share up to $850 in real time to Mexico for $6.00 and to Nicaragua for $5.00. Share money with other Alterna cardholders up to $500 for $1.99.

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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. Citizen, no Social Security Number is required – (Available March 2017). 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. Citizens.

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