Cardholder Frequently Asked Questions
General New York Child Support Prepaid Debit Card Program Information
The New York Child Support Prepaid Debit Card is an alternative to checks or direct deposit for receiving payments conveniently. You do not need to have a bank account to get the New York Child Support Prepaid Debit Card.
Once you receive and activate your card and funds are deposited into your account, you'll have access to your funds 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to make purchases everywhere Mastercard® debit cards are accepted, and cash access via personal identification number (PIN)-based point-of-sale terminals and ATMs.
Here's how the cards will work:
- Once you select to receive your payments on the New York Child Support Prepaid Debit Card, Bank of America will create an account in your name.
- Whenever a payment is issued to you, the funds will be sent by Electronic Funds Transfer to your New York Child Support Prepaid Debit Card. For any questions regarding your child support payments, please contact the New York State Child Support Helpline at (888) 208-4485, TTY (866) 875-9975.
- You can then use the New York Child Support Prepaid Debit Card to make purchases or withdrawals until the funds are spent.
- You can't make any additional deposits to the account. Only New York OTDA can fund the card.
- This is not a credit card and attempting to use your card for purchases that exceed your balance may result in the transaction being declined.
Debit Card Benefits
Convenience and flexibility
This debit card is a helpful option for custodial parents that don't have bank accounts. The cards are cost-efficient, secure, easy-to-use, and provide many options for making withdrawals and purchases.
Benefits of the card include:
- No more check-cashing fees
- Use everywhere Mastercard debit cards are accepted – in-stores, online or by phone
- Get access to cash at point of sale* terminals, ATMs and at Mastercard banks and credit unions
- Use your cards to pay bills in person or online
- Improves control over money – use only what you need, when you need it
- Account information and customer service – available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
Recipients can choose to transfer some or all of their funds from their New York Child Support Prepaid Debit Card to their own bank account. In addition, recipients can take the debit card to any Mastercard bank nationwide to make a cash withdrawal.
*Point of sale: a retail merchant that accepts debit cards.
How to Activate Your Debit Card
Activation of the card is simple and secure.
- You'll receive your New York Child Support Prepaid Debit Card in the mail along with instructions on how to activate and use it. Once you receive the card, you can activate online at www.bankofamerica.com/nycsdebitcard or by calling (844) 323-7637 toll-free, TTY (866) 656-5913.
For security reasons you'll need:
- the 16-digit number that appears on the face of the card
- the 3-digit card security number that appears on the back of the card
- the last four digits of your social security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN).
- During the activation process, you'll be asked to create a personal identification number (PIN). The PIN can be used to make ATM withdrawals and PIN purchases
- Once the card is activated, you'll be given the account balance and may begin using the card immediately.
How to Use Your Debit Card
You can use your card everywhere Mastercard debit cards are accepted.
To conduct purchases with a signature:
- Present or swipe your card.
- Choose "credit." (Please note that your New York Child Support Prepaid Debit Card is not a credit card, and you will be able to use only the funds that are in your account.)
- Sign merchant copy of your receipt.
- Take your card and receipt.
To conduct purchases with a PIN, including cash-back transactions:
- Swipe your card.
- Choose "debit" and enter your PIN. Note: many grocery stores, convenience stores, and U.S. post offices offer cash back without a fee.
- If you want cash back, select the amount and it will be added to your purchase if your balance is sufficient.
- Take your card, cash (if applicable) and receipt.
Gas stations – If you are paying at the pump at a gas station, there may be a “hold” of up to $100 placed on your account, which is to make sure you have enough money to pay the bill; consider instead paying inside, saying how much you want to purchase, and signing the receipt, so that no “hold” will be placed on your card.
Restaurants – Restaurants may verify you have enough in your account for the bill. Make sure you have enough funds to cover any added tip.
Hotels – The hotel may hold the amount of your estimated bill, plus incidental expenses, making that amount unavailable for other purchases. When you check out, the hold may take a few days to be removed.
Auto rentals – You may be able to use your card for final payment for a rental car, but a credit card may be necessary to reserve a rental car.
Returns – Store return policies vary. You may receive a credit to your account or a store credit. A credit to your account may take a week to process before funds are available for use.
You can use your card to pay bills online, in-person, or over the phone. By using the New York Child Support Prepaid Debit Card to pay bills online or over the phone, you may avoid costly fees charged by check cashers and others.
Know your balance
Merchants are generally not able to determine the balance on your card, so you should always verify the balance before using your New York Child Support Prepaid Debit Card. Attempting to use your card for purchases that exceed your balance may result in the card being declined.If you want to use your card for purchases that exceed your balance, you must tell the cashier or merchant the amount you want to pay on the New York Child Support Prepaid Debit Card, and then FIRST pay the remainder through other means, such as with cash check, or debit/credit card.
Cardholders can check the balance on their cards and review all their account transaction activity 24 hours a day online at www.bankofamerica.com/nycsdebitcard or by calling (844) 323-7637, TTY (866) 656-5913.
- There is no fee for online and telephone balance inquiries.
- Sign up for balance alerts (mobile text message and e-mail) by logging in to your account online.
ATM balance inquiries:
- No fee for balance inquiries made at a Bank of America in-network ATM.
- For inquiries made at ATMs other than Bank of America in-network ATMs, the owner of the ATM may charge a fee. Bank of America won't charge a fee.
Recipients must have activated the card and created a PIN in order to make ATM withdrawals. The maximum amount that may be withdrawn at an ATM in one transaction or over a period of time (e.g., daily) may be limited, either by us or by the ATM operator.
- There are thousands of Bank of America ATMs providing access to cash withdrawals nationwide.
- ATM locators are available for Bank of America ATMs. A link to the Bank of America ATM locator is available on the left hand side of the Home Page of this website www.bankofamerica.com/nycsdebitcard.
ATM Safety Tips
- Be aware of your surroundings at ATMs. If you notice anyone or anything suspicious or unsafe when you approach an ATM, use another ATM or return later.
- At enclosed ATMs, close the door completely. Don't open the door while you are making your transaction.
- When you use a drive-up ATM, be sure passenger windows are closed and doors are locked.
- If you must use an ATM at night, consider taking someone with you.
- Always protect your card by keeping it in a safe place. If your card is lost or stolen, contact us immediately.
- Be discrete when entering your PIN at the keypad. After completing your transaction, carefully put away your card, cash and receipt before leaving the ATM area.
- Never give your PIN to anyone and never write it anywhere, especially on your card.
- Never give information about your card or PIN over the telephone. If someone is asking for this information, refuse and immediately contact us.
- Call 911 if you need emergency assistance. Immediately contact your local police if you experience or suspect a crime related to your account. If you have a concern about security at a Bank of America ATM, please call us at (800) 222-7511.
Recipients who choose to withdraw cash at a bank teller will be able to do so without paying any additional fees by visiting any participating bank or credit union subject to certain restrictions set by us or the institution, including on the amount and frequency of transaction. There is no fee for teller cash withdrawals.
In order to transfer funds from your card account to a traditional checking or savings account owned by you at any U.S. financial institution, you may perform an Online Funds Transfer via the Customer Service website at www.bankofamerica.com/nycsdebitcard. To begin this process, you will simply sign on to the website and select the "Transfer Funds" option from the Account Summary page.
- You will need to register a "transfer-to" account (i.e., the account to which you are transferring funds) prior to performing your first transfer.
- Once your "transfer to" account is authenticated (this can take up to 5 business days), your transfer will be made.
- Once your transfer is made, it can take up to 2 business days to receive your funds in your account, and the transfer cannot be canceled once entered. If your account is a Bank of America account the funds could be available the next business day, if not sooner. Once funds are transferred to the selected checking or savings account, you will not be able to have the funds returned to you if the routing number or account number you provided for the checking or savings account is not correct.
- There are limits on how much you can transfer. The limits may change, and limits in effect can be viewed online or you can ask about limits by calling the New York Child Support Debit Card Customer Service Center, unless we have security reasons not to disclose such limits.
Address changes may be done online through the Profile page once you are signed on to this website. You can also contact the New York Child Support Prepaid Debit Card Customer Service Center at (844) 323-7637, TTY (866) 656-5913.
If you received a card directly from the New York OTDA that did not have your name on it, you may be eligible to receive a personalized upgrade card in the mail after a pre-determined number of deposits or calendar days. If you receive a personalized upgrade card in the mail, please activate the card immediately. You will have 30 days from the date of issuance to activate your new card. Once activated, your current balance will transfer to the new card and your old card will become inactive.
Lost or Stolen Debit Cards
If your card is lost or stolen, the Bank of America "Zero Liability" Policy protects you against fraudulent transactions (subject to certain conditions). You need only contact the New York Child Support Prepaid Debit Card Customer Service Center at (844) 323-7637, TTY (866) 656-5913 to report your card lost or stolen and to request a replacement card.
- If you have already used some of the funds in the account, the bank will issue the replacement card in the amount of the remaining balance.
If the post office is unable to deliver a New York Child Support Prepaid Debit Card, it will be returned to the bank. Contact the New York Child Support Prepaid Debit Card Customer Service Center at (844) 323-7637, TTY (866) 656-5913 to update your address information and request a new card be mailed to you.
One month prior to the expiration date listed on the front of your Debit Card, you will receive a new card with a new expiration date. Please be sure to activate your new card and destroy your expired card. Your balances and payments will be accessible on your new card after activation.
Automated Teller Machine
ATMs owned and/or affiliated with Bank of America where cash withdrawals and balance inquiries are available for no fee.
Individual Taxpayer Identification Number. A federally-assigned identification number for individuals who don’t have, and aren’t eligible for, social security numbers.
Personal Identification Number, which is used to authorize an ATM transaction and debit card credit purchase; and to access account information.
Point of sale (a retail merchant that accepts debit cards).
This prepaid debit card is issued by Bank of America, N.A., pursuant to a license from Mastercard International Incorporated. Mastercard is a registered trade mark of Mastercard International Incorporated