How to Use Your EDD Debit Card to Piss off Bank of America

Updated on May 24, 2016


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.


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.

Questions & Answers


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      • profile image


        14 months ago

        A teller refused to help me in a branch! I was told I have to use the ATM

      • profile image


        2 years ago

        To the Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman Sachs. CBS anchor woman Cindy Hsu recently got involved in dangerous coraption business with crazy CBS anchor Otis Livingston to steal money from Goldman Sachs company employees bank accounts never trust Cindy Hsu and Otis Livingston they belong in prison!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • profile image


        2 years ago

        whats funny is that i had disability in 2011 for brain surgery, so without knowing they (edd) sent me a new card in 2014 to an old address and with me filing a claim now (COMPLETE DIFF. ADDRESS) due to hip replacement "you'd think they would realize that i have a new address on file". So here i am for weeks waiting on this visa card that i thought i would receive, but no not until i called to place it as stolen or lost, was i told "oh you were sent one back in 2012 at such and such address..but its funny because my claim does not have that address and what really got me is that i would not have been notified and they would be gaining from my money while bills are piling up and I'm completely in the dark, now the real doozie is i can now wait almost 2 weeks to receive the new updated card or pay them $10 to receive through express mail and of course no worries because they can deduct it from my check. I would think that this is their mistake and i shouldn't have had to pay since they didn't even check to see that my addresses were completely different however since they automatically send out a new card to those who ever had priors claims "every 3 yrs. you get a card no matter if you need it or not.. Ridiculous "i tell you"..

      • melbel profile image


        2 years ago from Midwest, USA

        Wow, that's really crappy! Good thing I don't have a Bank of America EDD card! That would be awful!

      • profile image


        3 years ago

        Here is the issue I have

        Since my back disability pay is a little over 9k for almost 8 weeks they paid in three payments two at 3k+ each and one at 2k+.

        Now only one transaction hit my checking account the rest are sitting on a card I can no longer find

        The reason only one hit was they have a max of 5k per week that can be transferred

        I now have to wait for a new card (2 weeks since I have a po box)

        Then I need to call to have one transferred every other week as it can't come the same week as my next payment

        So all said and done they will be using my money for over a month before I can get it all

        Went to a branch and they said they are not linked to edd accounts and can only deal with them over the phone

        B of A sucks!!!!

      • profile image

        Boycotting BofA 

        3 years ago

        I am not an Occupy Wall Street type. Though many of the large corporations in this country are run by corrupt individuals that take advantage of the political climate in the country to cut benefits and pay, legally discriminate, move jobs abroad etc....

        It is the this type of scheming executive in a large corporation that will point out to their employees how all inclusive they are in advancement and in hiring ..but yet they discriminate towards older tenured employees and other would be employees based on age, race etc... They will reduce your pension (in front of your eyes) and tell you to your face they have not.

        OK, OK ..Don't want to get carried away. My point here is although I do not support the way Occupy Wall Street goes about its business; I agree that there are big companies that need to be taught a lesson by the American people, and Bank of America is one of those companies. This thread is about how not to use the California EDD Visa debit card issued by Bank of America.

        The following is about transferring funds from the B of A debit card account as explained on the EDD site:

        •What is a direct deposit transfer?

        A direct deposit transfer is done electronically and transfers the money available on your EDD Debit CardSM account to your personal checking or savings account. Most can be done fairly quickly. After you receive and activate your card, contact Bank of America either online or by phone, 1-866-692-9374 (voice), or TTY 1-866-656-5913, to set up your direct deposit transfer.

        Important Information about direct deposit transfers:

        •Direct deposit transfers cannot be performed until you receive and activate the EDD Debit CardSM.

        •You do not need a checking or savings account with Bank of America to set up a direct deposit transfer to your own bank account with another banking institution.

        •Direct deposit transfers can be set up as a one-time transfer or as an automatic recurring transfer.

        •A valid e-mail account is required.

        •Delays may occur until the next business day if you bank at a smaller institution or if the transfer happens over a weekend when banks are closed.

        •This option can be set up by contacting Bank of America either online or by phone, 1-866-692-9374 (voice) or 1-866-656-5913 (TTY). Do not contact the EDD to set up a direct deposit transfer.

        •If immediate access to your funds is critical, you may choose to only have a portion of your benefits transferred to your personal bank account and keep the remainder on your card so those funds are immediately available.

        •You may begin, modify, or stop your direct deposit transfer at any time.

        •Direct deposit transfers may also be referred to as a funds transfer.


        This is how to do it ONCE YOU OBTAIN the debit card. Which is my problem. That's another story and the reason I ran into this article today.

        Long story short. B of A expected me to keep an ATM card from a claim last year. After fracturing ribs this year and filing a new claim EDD sent letters stating they deposited funds into B of A. I've been waiting for a card. Finally after a few weeks I call them. They expected me to keep the used up card from the old disability claim. Then told me it would be $10 to have them expedite shipping to get the card in a couple of days or I can wait 14 days to have it processed and mailed through the post office. That was a couple of days ago. I decided I'd call them back today and asked them to wire the funds to my credit union. They would not but told me they would send the cash to me via Western Union for a $15 fee. I told them I'd wait.

        I have enough to get by until the card arrives using rainy day funds ..but it is the fact that Bank of America is making this so difficult to get my disability payments that has me up in arms.

        I am canceling my B of A MasterCard and will not do business with Bank of America again.

      • profile image


        3 years ago

        Hmmm, I am not sure about other banks, but I never have to go into a BOA location to obtain my disability payments. Neither do I ever use my BOA EDD Debit Card to make any purchases or attempt to transfer funds online or by phone. I take my own personal debit card to my own personal bank, along with EDD card and formal ID. The bank transfers my money either into my personal account or cash on spot. I usually get cash and deposit it into ATM so funds are available immediately in my account. I never have any issues. I also am not charged any fees by doing this. I collect my full payment amount.

      • profile image


        3 years ago

        I am expecting my last Disability Deposit...

        Since I filed my last form on-line I have been checking back every day.

        Now it says "Access Denied-You Do Not Have Permission of Access This Server" WTH?

        So I backed out and tried again and again. same message.

        FINALLY, after about the tenth try, I got back in and was able to log-in!

        WHEW, BUT where are my funds?

        CA has not processed it! Usually I mail it but given the holidays, I filed on-line, BUT NOOOOOOOO it was not processed after ten days...

        If I mail it in, it is processed in about three days.

        I guess they can hide the fact that they are not working or processing on-line. This is why they get things mailed in that should have been processed in a timely manner on-line. I still have time before the deadline so I am mailing in the form anyway. ;)

        Thank you all for posting, this has been most valuable.

      • profile image


        3 years ago

        What if you already bank with BofA what could be recommended for that? Could I or should I transfer funds into my account?

      • profile image


        3 years ago

        Thanks for the info! I've been drawing out the money and depositing it into my CU account, but I was pretty irritated to have to make that extra step instead of just depositing checks like before. I would like to share this article on Facebook, but I don't see a link to do that. Any suggestions?

      • profile image

        Jo Mills 

        3 years ago

        They HATE when I go in and get cash off the card ... they told me yesterday that they do not service these cards and I must call the customer service number, I grabbed my card back and said, no thank you, I want you the cash, and need it this instant. He did it, but hated it ... I'm going back there to the same branch, until I'm employed ... B of A took money from me for YEARS ... thousands in fees and mistakes ... to thank you ... I'll use the card to get my cash, but not a second longer than I have to ... I want nothing to do with B of A ... including using it's funky agreement with EDD.

      • profile image


        6 years ago

        i just wanted to add that now you cannot use your card for online purchases as it is now considered a prepaid loadable piece of shit. Am definalty going to a credit union cuz this messed up my christmas as far as ordering online. AGAIN YOU CAN NOT USE THIS CARD FOR ONLINE PURCHASES IF YOU ARE MAKING "PAYMENTS" IF YOU PAY IN FULL ORDER ALL DAY LONG, BUT TRY TO USE IT FOR VALUE PAY, AND IT'S a NO..BUT THEY WILL accept PAYPAL? WTH? I AM SO DONE WITH BOA, ESPECIALLY AFTER LAST YEAR ON 12/07 THEY SOLD OUT THEIR PROPERTY PRESERVATION DEPT TO SAFEGUARD AND WENT TO TEXAS AND LAID EVERYONE OFF RIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS. I REALLY HATE THESE PEOPLE.

      • profile image


        7 years ago

        I'm going to have to agree. BofA sucks monkey balls. I'm currently on disability and having foreclosure. They decided to add$ 1500.00 to my financials for a modification. When I asked them to change it, they refused even though this is what they will base my loan payments on. They can have my house. Its not worth the stress. They are not helping fine owners to keep their homes, they wouldn't even help with the principal on the loan. This is the Obama plan?

      • profile image


        7 years ago

        I'm a Californian, unemployed since Jan 2010, and I both am a BofA customer and UIB card holder.

        I have never, since receiving my UIB card, been charged for using it under these so called "transaction fees" of $0.21-.44 you guys speak of, except at gas stations when I didn't have cash on me (now I always carry cash).

        I've had a few mysterious $3~ fees from BofA from time-to-time on my "campus edge checking account", but they've always waived my overdraft fees, so I'm not complaining.

        So long as my account is free at BofA, I'm actually a satisfied customer. Don't know what all the anti BofA flaming is for. Wells Fargo charged me $7,000 in overdraft fees back in '09!

      • Deni Edwards profile imageAUTHOR

        Jenifer L 

        7 years ago from california

        It's not just the state of California--many states have enlisted the big banks for the distribution of money for people collecting unemployment (

      • profile image


        7 years ago

        Why on earth is the state of California making people use B of A to get their money? We should be mad at the state of Califofnia!

      • profile image

        Norcall fairy 

        8 years ago

        Thanks for the info. I couldn't figure out how to log on and transfer my money out. And b of a customer service was of no help! Btw, if you want to make a difference take your money to a credit union!

      • profile image


        8 years ago

        B of A is owned the Catholic church which also ownes GM. The Vatican is one of the most richest and powerful institution on the planet. B of A along with Citi Bank and other big banks illegally evicted American famalies from their homes and then pled a deal with the Federal Government (along with Citi bank and other big banks)to pay $25 billion for causing a $750 billion housing problem. And the kicker is that evicted families will only get $1,500.00 for being illegally evicted. Money is not bad. It is man's heart that has an evil nature. When it comes to making money over putting people first, money will more than likely win. A millionaire is never happy with his money; he always wants to make more and more is never enough.

      • profile image

        Tiffani V. 

        8 years ago

        Deni, THANK YOU so much for the information. The company I was working for recently went out of business. Therefore, I found it necessary to apply for unemployment. Much to my surprise, instead of a check I received a notice stating that I would be receiving a Visa Debit Card from Bank of America (an institution I've always loathed) in 5 days. I was stunned and livid!! I searched online to see if anyone else was as steamed as I was and could see how wrong this is. Which is how I came across your article and helpful tips. I did exactly as you said, called to activate, went into a BofA branch and withdrew the full amount. Yes, I was asked if I considered opening an account with them and said "No, I don't want to do ANY business with Bank of America. And all of this pisses me off." (I wanted to tell her I'd rather eat my own vomit than have an account with BofA). I just went to their website and linked to MY account with Wells Fargo. Again, thank you! :)

      • Deni Edwards profile imageAUTHOR

        Jenifer L 

        8 years ago from california

        Why am I not surprised?!

      • profile image


        8 years ago

        You can't withdraw more than $1000 per day from a BofA teller nor a BofA ATM or any other ATM. THey are liars because on their faq page

        They state there are no limits yet there are $1000 daily limits.

      • profile image


        8 years ago

        Good luck getting the money from BofA-holes. I had a few thousand bucks on the card because my claim was being processed for a few weeks and the money added up. So I go into my local BofA-holes to take out my money off the card. They say nope you can only take out $1000 a day unless of course you have a BofA-hole account. So I would have to go there multiple times to get my money. I called the number on the account and they said that yes as long as I saw a teller I should be able to get ALL my money but no they said they just implemented this policy a month ago at this stupid bank. I called another local BofA-holes and they said they didn't even have that much in their bank at the time! So I'm going to have to get a babysitter and trek far into the city to get my money from a bigger BofA-holes. This is the most ridiculous thing I have ever encountered and this is MY MONEY!

      • Deni Edwards profile imageAUTHOR

        Jenifer L 

        8 years ago from california

        Sorry, but you are incorrect. When my husband received his card, the account number and password was not on the card. Also, by viewing how people have found this article by searching for the information--this is not the case, either. Perhaps it's true today, but even up until 30 days ago, people are still trying to find this information.

        Thanks for your comment!

      • profile image


        8 years ago

        The sticker on the card which comes with the card informs all cardholders that the card number is the username and the password is the last six digits are the passwords. Stop making up lies to make yourself look good. Its ignorant pricks like you that make America worse its not the 1%. The 1% got there by hard work and determination which all of us can achieve.

      • profile image

        Marcy Fierro 

        8 years ago

        Thank you so Much for the info!!! Ive been looking for this forever!!! Money is in my Credit Union Acct and no longer B of A!!!!!

      • profile image


        8 years ago

        I'm. Going to get my edd card tomorrow. I was planning on withdrawing the money from bofA to my own bank and now I definitely will.

      • profile image


        8 years ago

        This is making me sick! I thank you for this very enlightening info! I will be only too glad to take my dough out of Bake of Ass-----. I never did like the taste of being fed pooh! I was not happy at all when I received my card. Bad enough I have to be on unemployment, but now I am helping to make the rich richer. BROTHER CAN YOU SPARE ME A JOB?

      • profile image


        8 years ago

        Not all corporations are evil, not all rich people are evil, but ALL megabanks ARE. "Too big to fail"? Know how we got out of the Great Depression? We let the banks fail. Lending money for a profit is a sin, Jesus turned over the tables in the temple because of this very reason. We need to dissolve megabanks. Small local banks and credit unions are not like this. And we certainly need to get rid of the Fed Res.

      • Deni Edwards profile imageAUTHOR

        Jenifer L 

        8 years ago from california

        I agree with you.

        I was a bank teller for a very short period of time when I was younger. We always had the pep talks...sell, sell, sell. We would be pulled aside on the days that welfare checks went out, making sure that we knew to really push checking accounts. I never was good at it, and my boss was always reminding me of that. It was just disgusting.

      • profile image


        8 years ago

        Bank of America is a criminal organization ran by con men. Everyone should take their money out of the place and leave it bankrupt. I have never had an account their but if I lived in California I would call my legislature and demand that the state remove any association with them. If it costs the taxpayers anything to have an account with them, without choice they should have every right to not keep their money there. This bank proves that they will subvert any regulation or loop hole in order to rob and profit from others. When they can not do it legally they craft plans that force the poor as usual to accept their costs. Go Wall Street Protesters of California and put them to shame.

      • Deni Edwards profile imageAUTHOR

        Jenifer L 

        8 years ago from california

        Oh, no...Chase. I had been putting off searching for banks that may have gained a contract similar to California's. I knew it would be bad news. We are all at the mercy of big banks...aargh!

      • MsDora profile image

        Dora Weithers 

        8 years ago from The Caribbean

        Good information and strategy to take control. You would think that our present economic situation would remind businesses and individuals alike to avoid greed and trickery. In MI Chase get the honors of serving the unemployed.

      • Deni Edwards profile imageAUTHOR

        Jenifer L 

        8 years ago from california

        Hillbilly Zen, it is completely outrageous--makes me feel, well, pukey! Pi** off, BofA!

        The bunco squad--

        Thank you. I'm hopeful that enough Californians find this hub, read it, understand it and get pi**ed. Enough is enough. If you can't be at an OWS demonstration, cut up your BofA card--inside the branch!

        Thanks to both of you for reading and leaving great comments.

      • the bunco squad profile image

        the bunco squad 

        8 years ago from Savannah GA

        Great hub, and a great way to keep Mr. Banker from stealing more money. As I watch the O.W. movement grow I am even prouder to be an American. For the longest time I thought that My life would pass before the people woke up to the bondage they had been sold in to.

      • Hillbilly Zen profile image

        Hillbilly Zen 

        8 years ago from Kentucky

        This is an outrage and as usual, Ms. Deni, you're right on target. It's this kind of insidious highway robbery that Americans need to be made aware of, and thank you for doing just that. Thumbs up and totally awesome!


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