How do you check your Emerald card balance?

The Emerald Card is a prepaid debit card that is offered by H&R Block. It allows you to receive your tax refund faster by having it directly deposited onto the card. The Emerald Card can be used anywhere Visa debit cards are accepted. It offers a convenient way to access your funds without having to open a bank account.

One of the key features of the Emerald Card is the ability to check your account balance. Knowing how much money you have available on the card at any given time is important for budgeting and avoiding overdrafts or declined transactions. In this article, we’ll explain the different ways you can check your Emerald Card balance.

Check Balance Online

The easiest way to check your Emerald Card balance is online through the account website. To log in and access your account:

1. Go to

2. Click on “Log In”

3. Enter your User ID and Password

4. Click on “Log In”

Once you are logged in, your current balance will be displayed at the top of the page. This balance reflects all transactions that have posted to your account. You can also view details of recent transactions, statements, and other account activity. Checking your balance online is the fastest way to get an up-to-date view of your available funds 24/7.

Check Balance By Phone

You can also check your balance by calling the automated customer service line at 1-866-353-1266. This toll-free number is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

To check your balance by phone:

1. Call 1-866-353-1266

2. Follow the prompts to enter your 16-digit card number

3. Follow the prompts to enter the last 4 digits of your Social Security Number

4. The automated system will speak or display your current balance

Checking your balance by phone is convenient when you need your balance but don’t have internet access. Wait times are usually minimal since you can utilize the automated system rather than speaking with a customer service representative.

Check Balance at ATM

You can check your Emerald Card balance at any ATM that accepts Visa. To check your balance at an ATM:

1. Insert your Emerald Card into the ATM

2. Enter your 4-digit PIN

3. Select “Balance Inquiry” from the menu

4. Your available balance will display on the screen

Using an ATM to check your balance allows you to quickly view your most up-to-date balance before withdrawing cash. This can help prevent declined transactions from insufficient funds. Keep in mind that some ATMs charge a fee for balance inquiries, so check the on-screen prompts before completing the transaction.

Check Balance via Mobile App

The Emerald Card offers a mobile app that allows you to manage your account on the go directly from your smartphone or tablet. The app is free to download for iPhone and Android devices.

To check your balance via the mobile app:

1. Download the Emerald Card Mobile Banking app

2. Log in using your online banking credentials

3. Your balance will display on the app homepage

You can also view recent transaction history, find ATMs, make mobile check deposits, and receive account alerts through the app. Having access to your balance and account management tools on your mobile device makes it easy to stay on top of your finances from anywhere.

Check Balance at Purchase

You can view your approximate available balance when making a purchase with your Emerald Card. At checkout, select “Debit” and enter your PIN. The transaction will be authorized based on your current balance, and the amount remaining will display on the card reader.

This can provide an indication of your balance prior to completing a transaction. However, keep in mind that your balance may not reflect recent transactions that have yet to post to your account. The balance shown during a purchase may not be exact, but gives you a general idea of your available funds.

Receive Balance Alerts

For ongoing updates on your balance, you can sign up for customizable account alerts through your online or mobile account. Options include:

– Low Balance Alert – Receive a notification when your balance drops below a threshold set by you.

– Daily/Weekly Balance Alert – Get a daily or weekly email with your current balance.

– Real-Time Transaction Alerts – Get instant notifications whenever your account balance changes.

Setting up alerts is a useful tool to monitor your account activity and avoid overdrafts. You can select the type of alerts and threshold amounts that best fit your needs.

Check Balance on Statement

Your Emerald Card statement provides a detailed record of all account activity over your statement period. Statements are generated monthly and can be accessed online or through the mobile app.

Your statement will include:

– Statement period – Shows the date range covered

– Opening/closing balance – Your balance at the start and end of the period

– Transaction history – Lists all transactions that posted during the period

– Fees – Any applicable fees assessed during the period

– Deposits/credits – Funds added to your account

– Purchases/debits – Transactions made using your card

Reviewing your full statement allows you to reconcile your balance and account activity. You can also use your statements to detect any unauthorized transactions or fraudulent activity.

Check Current Balance vs Available Balance

When checking your Emerald Card balance, it is important to understand the difference between your current balance and available balance:

Current Balance – This reflects all posted transactions on your account. It does not account for pending transactions.

Available Balance – This is the amount you have available to spend or withdraw. It factors in pending transactions that have been authorized but not yet posted.

Your current balance may appear higher than your available balance because it does not include pending transactions that have placed a temporary hold on those funds. Knowing both balances allows you to determine how much money you actually have accessible in your account to make purchases or withdrawals.

Understand Holds on Balance

At times, a merchant may place a temporary authorization hold on your account for an amount higher than your actual transaction. This most commonly happens at places like gas stations, hotels, and rental car companies.

The hold will reduce your available balance until it clears, usually within a few days after the transaction posts. Be aware of these holds since the affected funds will be unavailable until released. Check your current pending transactions regularly to ensure you account for holds when determining your spendable balance.

Avoid Fees That Impact Balance

Certain actions can result in fees being deducted from your Emerald Card balance. Be aware of these potential fees to avoid surprises that negatively impact your balance:

– Inactivity fee – $5.95 per month if there is no activity for 12 months

– Cash reload fee – Up to $4.95 per load

– ATM withdrawal fee – $2.50 for withdrawals at out-of-network ATMs

– ATM balance inquiry fee – $1.00 at out-of-network ATMs

– Foreign transaction fee – 3% of transaction total

– Customer service call fee – $0.50 per call to customer service

Reducing fees is an easy way to preserve more of your account balance for spending or withdrawals. Avoid idle accounts, use in-network ATMs, minimize foreign transactions, and leverage free balance-checking options like online and mobile banking.

Keep a Balance Cushion

One of the keys to successfully managing your Emerald Card is to maintain a cushion in your balance at all times. This acts as a buffer to account for pending transactions and avoid overdrafts. A good rule of thumb is keeping a cushion equal to at least a week’s worth of expenses.

Checking your balance frequently can help you determine the ideal cushion for your spending patterns. A balance cushion is especially important with prepaid cards like the Emerald Card where overdrafts result in declined transactions. Check your balance before making large or repeated purchases to ensure your cushion remains intact.

Take Advantage of Deposit Notifications

Every time funds are deposited to your Emerald Card, you will receive an email or SMS text notification (if signed up for alerts). Use deposit notifications to your advantage to stay on top of incoming funds that impact your balance.

Actions that trigger deposit alerts include:

– Tax refunds deposited to your card

– Direct deposits of payroll, benefits, etc.

– Mobile check deposits made via the app

– Cash reloads made at approved retailers

– ACH transfers from external bank accounts

Review notifications promptly to confirm deposits and determine your new balance. Identifying deposits right away can prevent unnecessary balance checks and give you faster access to updated totals for spending.

Set Up Account Alerts

One of the best ways to monitor your Emerald Card balance is by setting up custom account alerts. You can select from a variety of alert options:

– Low balance – Receive notification when your balance drops below a threshold

– Daily/weekly balance – Get your balance emailed daily or weekly

– Deposit made – Get notified every time funds are added

– Card declined – Get notified anytime a transaction is declined

– Unusual activity – Receive alerts for suspicious transactions

– Significant withdrawals – Be notified when large debit transactions post

Alerts provide real-time updates on account activity that impacts your overall balance. Stay plugged in to your most current balance and transaction history by signing up for the alert options that matter most to you.

Check Balance Before Large Purchases

One key habit is to always check your Emerald Card balance before making a large debit purchase. Large transactions have the highest risk of being declined if your balance can’t cover the full amount.

It only takes a few seconds to check your current balance using the mobile app or an online account login before checkout. Knowing your exact balance will allow you to determine if you have enough funds available to complete the purchase. If your balance is insufficient, you can avoid the hassle of a declined transaction by exploring other payment options.

Track Recurring Payments

Automatic recurring payments for bills, subscriptions, etc. can significantly impact your balance. It helps to closely track any recurring payments debited from your Emerald Card and anticipate when they will clear.

Make a list of all your automatic payments along with the payment frequency and amount. Sync this list with your statement to match posted recurrences. Watch for changes that alter the debit amount or timing. Staying organized with recurring payments helps avoid surprise dips in your balance.

Use Cash Back Rewards

One unique feature of the Emerald Card is the ability to earn cash back rewards that are deposited right into your account balance. You can get:

– 5% cash back at gas stations (on first $300 monthly)

– 3% cash back at grocery stores (on first $750 monthly)

– 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases

Taking advantage of these rewards is a great way to add funds back into your Emerald Card each month. Be sure to monitor your balance for cash back deposits so you can put those funds to use. Consider using rewards for monthly bills or necessities to stretch your spending power.


Monitoring and managing your Emerald Card balance is simple when using all the tools available both online and through the mobile app. Checking your balance frequently lets you track funds coming in and going out, avoid declined transactions, and stay informed on account activity. Use a combination of automated alerts, balance cushioning, rewards redemptions, and other best practices to maximize access to your available funds. With the proper balance-checking habits, the Emerald Card provides a user-friendly prepaid option for managing your finances.

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