How to Use Your EDD Debit Card to Piss off Bank of America
THE RICH ARE GETTING RICHER AND THE POOR ARE GETTING POORER
Americans across the country are fed up with billion-dollar corporations accepting bailouts while flying on their corporate jets to attend meetings in order to determine how many workers to terminate and how many jobs to ship overseas.
Corporate execs are writing themselves end-of-year bonuses that 99% of Americans will never earn in their lifetime.
Americans are tired of billion-dollar corporations and the wealthiest 1% of Americans paying less of a percentage in taxes than a family of four trying to survive on $50,000 a year.
While corporations are earning record profits quarter after quarter since the stock market crash, these same corporations continue to lay off workers, cut hours, cut benefits, and decrease wages, all the while accepting subsidies from the very workers that they have laid off.
If you don’t believe that the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer, would it change your mind if you knew that Bank of America makes $408,000 whenever unemployed California residents swipe their debit cards? What if I told you that BofA makes a boat-load more from California residents who are sick or who have sick family members?
Introducing the California EDD Debit Card--courtesy of Bank of America
Since July of 2011, Californians who receive unemployment, state disability or paid family leave MUST use Bank of America’s Visa debit card to receive their payments. Beneficiaries have no choice but to accept this form of payment regardless of whether or not a beneficiary has their own financial institution where they have a checking or savings account.
While Americans across the country are occupying Wall Street, unemployed Californians - many who have lost their homes from shoddy, unethical mortgages written by BofA – are making BofA wealthier every time they swipe their EDD debit cards.
Commonly referred to as a convenience fee, a swipe fee or an interchange fee, all credit card companies are allowed to charge merchants a fee for accepting electronic payments, and these fees are often passed onto the consumer. Swipe fees currently run between 21 and 24 cents (down from 44 cents) per transaction. These fees total about $20 billion dollars a year for big banks. Additionally, banks are allowed to charge merchants .05 percent of a total transaction as a fraud loss recovery charge.
And while Bank of America did not pay California for the contract or vice versa, Bank of America makes $408,000 in convenience fees if every Californian on unemployment swipes their debit card just once or pays one bill via the internet with their EDD Visa debit card. Two swipes and BofA makes $816,000 in convenience fees; three swipes and BofA makes over $1.2 million dollars in convenience fees. How convenient.
These figures do not include fraud loss recovery charges or Californians who are on state disability and paid family leave. It only includes the 1.7 million Californians who are, conveniently, unemployed.
Nice one, BofA.
If you happen to be a Californian receiving unemployment benefits, disability or paid family leave, you must refrain from using the EDD debit card, whether by swipe or bill paying via the internet.
How to Use Your EDD Debit Card To Pi** off Bank of America:
Obviously, you shouldn’t use your debit card to swipe or to pay bills. If you have a bank, there is no reason why you should be using BofA’s debit card since they are capitalizing on people who are down on their luck—people like you. Don’t forget that BofA was a recipient of TARP (the bank bailout) and thanked you by raising your interest rate on your credit card.
There are two choices to activate your EDD debit card, either by phone or via internet. Use the phone. If you activate the EDD debit card via the internet, there is a long list of personal information gathering in order to attempt to gain you as a customer.
Call BofA’s customer service number to activate the EDD debit card: 1-866-692-9374. Assign yourself a pin number.
Walk yourself into any BofA branch and request the money (you will need to know the exact amount on the card since BofA doesn’t have this information). I recommend that you ask for 20s in lieu of hundreds, because if you are handed a counterfeit $100 dollar bill, BofA will not reimburse you for your loss.
Make sure to give a firm, unpleasant “no” when the BofA teller asks you if you would like to open up a checking or savings account. If you are tempted, keep in mind that due to the recent cap in convenience fees from 44 to 24 cents, BofA plans to recoup its losses by charging their customers a $5 monthly service charge fee for those who use their debit cards.
Take your money to your financial institution and deposit it.
If you need your money immediately, do not link your checking account to the debit card and transfer funds immediately, as this process takes two to three days. Your money will sit in BofA’s money vaults and the Fed will pay interest to BofA on your money. BofA will also be able to loan out a percentage of your money charging high interest rates and loan origination fees and, perhaps, write another shoddy mortgage loan.
After you have taken out your money and deposited it at your financial institution, visit BofA’s website and link your checking account to the debit card. Neither BofA nor the EDD informs you that your EDD Visa debit card account number is your card number and your password is the last 6 digits of the card number. BofA wants to make it very inconvenient for you to link your bank account to the debit card. The longer your money sits in BofA’s money vaults, the more interest BofA receives from the Fed. How convenient.
Access your account and input your financial institution information. You can choose to set up automatic transfers, which still takes up to 2-3 days so, if possible, try to drive to a BofA branch and take out the cash immediately.
If you decide not to do any of the above and, instead, use your EDD Visa debit card, understand that your EDD Visa debit card is treated differently than other debit cards. Merchants can place holds on your account. Gas stations are able to hold up to $75.00 on your debit card (in addition to charging you more per gallon for using a debit card). The below is from BofA’s website:
Are there any transactions that I can make with my card that will cause a “hold” on my funds?
Since your EDD Debit Card functions just like a debit card, there are certain types of common transactions where sometimes a “hold” of an estimated amount of final payment will be placed on your account to make sure you have enough money to pay the bill. For example, at gas stations if you are paying at the pump it may cause a hold of up to $75; consider instead paying inside with the cashier and signing the receipt where no “hold” will be placed on your card. In addition, hotels, auto rental, and restaurant merchants may hold the amount of your estimated bill until final settlement of the transaction, making these funds unavailable for other purchases. These holds may take a week to remove, so keep that in mind when making these special types of transactions. Remember to always check your available balance before making a transaction.
If you do not have a bank account, you either need to get one (not at Bank of America) or refrain from using your debit card as much as possible. For all purchases that you are able to pay via cash (grocery shopping, gas, etc.), stop at a BofA ATM machine (if you use another bank’s machine you will be charged $1.00 after two withdrawals), withdrawal the money, and use cash instead of the EDD debit card.
THIS IS WHAT OCCUPY WALL STREET IS ALL ABOUT
When big banks are allowed to profit from people who are sick, from people who are taking care of sick family members, and/or from people who are unemployed—largely due to the big bank’s unethical behavior—something is very wrong with our country.
What’s worse is that 99% of Americans are having a hard time changing this because 1% has all the money and the power.