Um I worked in banking all though College part time for 7 years (day off for half saturday work to get all my homework done). Every Bank i worked at had free checking with 0 min balance.
Maybe it's a state thing, but NY i'm pretty sure every bank has to offer a free checking account, no min balance (maybe $100 to open but you can go to $0.01 without penalty/closing it).
Also, why do people still use banks, use a credit union. Better terms/fee's/interest rates/etc. Don't know why people are still using banks.
Next, most of those cards have free use. Free wherever mastercard/visa is. If you want the cash, you can go to banks that do credit card advances, and get the cash most times.
Someone posted about OK's tax refund from their website:
You can use the card anywhere MasterCard is accepted. At the gas station, grocery store, department store, on-line store and many more. You can also take the card and PIN number to any bank or credit union that accepts MasterCard and ask the teller for the full amount of the card balance in cash or deposit it into your checking or savings account. You can also withdraw funds from the card free of charge from any MoneyPass ATM location in Oklahoma.
I know in NY NY issues benefits for Workers Comp/Disability on Master Card state cards. They would come in and withdraw the full amount without fee's.