Credit Karma Tax announced on Thursday (Jan. 4) the launch of Earlybird Advance, an online refund advance service.
In a press release, the company said the service will enable U.S. citizens who file their tax returns through Credit Karma Tax to get a $500 to $1,000 advance on their tax refund with no fees or interest. The clients can get access to the funds as quickly as 24 hours after the IRS accepts the tax return.
“Because filing taxes with Credit Karma Tax is completely free, not only can Americans keep their entire refund, Earlybird Advance can also help them get some money sooner,” said general manager Jagjit Chawla. “It’s our way of helping people who can’t wait weeks for their refund.”
According to Credit Karma Tax, it can take three to four weeks to get a tax refund from the IRS, while Americans who take the Earned Income Tax Credit or the Additional Child Tax Credit won’t get their refunds until Feb. 27.
The company said the advance funds will be provided to customers via a new American Express Serve Prepaid Card. The Serve Card has no monthly fee, does not require a credit check and includes free withdrawals at over 24,000 ATMs nationwide. Additional perks include free early direct deposit and free online bill pay.
“For millions of people, a tax refund can help smooth out finances and alleviate financial stress,” said Stefan Happ, executive vice president of global prepaid and alternative payments for American Express. “We’re excited to team up with Credit Karma Tax as the exclusive prepaid debit card option for refund disbursements and help filers get some of their refund dollars even faster with the Earlybird Advance.”
Earlybird Advance is a no-fee, no-interest loan from MetaBank, the federally chartered savings bank of Meta Financial Group, Inc. In the middle of January, customers will be able to apply online to see if they qualify for the advance.