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.

See Full Features

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. To begin direct deposit, click here to access a Direct Deposit form which will provide you with the routing number and the instructions to obtain your account number are printed on the form. Once you filled it out, please give the form to your employer to begin receiving direct deposit into your Alterna Card account.

Open an Alterna Card Account

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

At the time of enrollment, you will be asked to set up your username and password for online access to your Alterna Card account. Your card will arrive by mail within 5 to 7 business days. Once you receive your card, you can go online to activate it and select your PIN. Now your card will be ready to be loaded 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 Fee7. Learn more
  • Load cash with Green Dot® Reload @ the Register™ at participating retail locations or at any participating Western Union® agent 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 refer Family and Friends for cards issued by banks in Mexico and Nicaragua3 as a way to share money.Learn more

1 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 this means for you: When you open a card account, 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 a copy of your driver’s license or other documents at any time. We may limit your ability to use your Card or certain Card features until we have been able to successfully verify your identity.
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 When you use an ATM, you may be charged an additional fee by the ATM operator or any Network used to complete the transaction (and you may be charged a fee for a balance inquiry even if you do not complete the transaction).
6 Third-Party fees, standard text messaging fees and/or data rate fees may apply.
7 While this feature is available at no cost to you, certain other transaction fees and costs, limitations, terms and conditions are associated with the use of this Card. For more details, see the Cardholder Agreement.


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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 Refer Family and Friends for the Referral Cards

You must have an Alterna Card to refer family and friends

  1. If you already have an Alterna Card CLICK HERE to login to your account online and follow the instructions on how to refer family and friends 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 refer family and friends for your Referral Card(s).