How to Cash in Your Artist in Residence Stipend Card

Introduction: How to Cash in Your Artist in Residence Stipend Card

Now that you are a full time Artist in Residence at Pier 9, you'll be getting a stipend - congratulations!

The stipend is provided in the form of a pre-loaded credit card. You could just use the card at any business that accepts credit cards. But if you are like me, I need to pay for things like my rent, health insurance, utilities, phone bill, etc..... most of which come out of my bank account. So I prefer to withdrawal all the funds from the credit card and deposit the cash into my personal bank account. This Instructable will walk you through this seemingly simply yet overly complicated process of turning your stipend card into cold, hard cash.

I'd like to add that most artist residencies are; A: not this awesome; and B: don't provide a stipend.... so consider yourself lucky and don't take it for granted!

Step 1: What's in the Envelope...

Around the 15th of each month, Vanessa will walk around handing out envelopes to full time Artists in Residence. The envelope has a bunch of stuff in it, as shown in the photo.


- The CREDIT CARD (with activation sicker)

- Secured envelope with PIN #

- The 5 digit ZIP-CODE on the envelope is important too.


- Agreement pamphlets (these will not help you get the cash.)

Step 2: Activate Your Card by Phone

The credit card from the envelope has a sticker with a phone number - call this to activate the card. As shown in the photo, John did this on the lobby floor of the Bank. If you are prepared, you can take care of this before even going to the bank - it's a little bit easier that way.

Have the following information ready:


- PIN #

- SOCIAL SECURITY # ("00" followed by the two digit number after "ARTIST IN RESIDENCE__" on the card).

Step 3: Find a US Bank ATM

The closest US Bank to the Pier is located on Market a block up from the Embarcadero BART station - the address is 101 California Street at Market (see map). The hours are 9am - 5pm and the one time I tried to go to the ATM earlier, the cash withdrawal option was not available.

Whichever US Bank location you choose, you cannot withdrawal the money from a teller - you have to use the ATM.

Step 4: Open and Enter PIN #

Put the card into the ATM.

Inside the envelope that Vanessa gave you, there is another security envelope with perforated sides that need to be torn off to open it. This is where the cards PIN is located, which you need at the ATM. Tear off the sides and enter your PIN when prompted.

Step 5: Withdrawal $$$

Follow the ATM prompts and answer in the following order:





** The ATM will NOT let you take the full $1500 in one transaction. Split it up into two smaller transactions. John was able to withdrawal $1000, then in a separate transaction, he withdrew the remaining $500.

NOTE: the ATM only dispenses $20, so the "Other Amount" you type in must be divisible by 20, otherwise you will get an error.

ALSO VERY IMPORTANT: If you don't withdrawal the full amount right now, the account will be charged a 3% cash advance fee.

Step 6: Take Your Money Out of the ATM

If you've followed the previous steps correctly, you should have $1500 big ones in your hand - congratulations!

I highly suggest you put the bills in an envelop discretely. John made a different choice, flashed the dough for the camera, and proceeded to walk away from the ATM with a large wad of cash in his hand for all to see. This is a bit risky as there are many seedy characters downtown that might try to steal your stipend from you.

Step 7: Optional Final Step : Deposit the Funds Into Your Bank Account

Unless you pay your rent / phone bill / other life expenses in cash, it might be a good idea to immediately put the stipend funds into your bank account. Its also not smart to walk around with large amounts of cash on you (as mentioned in the previous step). John and I both bank at Wells Fargo, which is conveniently located one block down Market Street from the US Bank ATM. There is a Citibank across the street as well. In fact, there are lots of different banks located in the financial district of San Francisco, so it should be easy to find a branch of your bank within walking distance.

NOTE: You are not allowed to take photos while making a transaction at a bank. If you have to, act fast and play dumb.

Be the First to Share


    • Puzzles Speed Challenge

      Puzzles Speed Challenge
    • Secret Compartment Challenge

      Secret Compartment Challenge
    • Lighting Challenge

      Lighting Challenge

    7 Discussions


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Gosh, the stipend process is much more organised that it was back in my day...


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    You said it man - back then I paid you in chickens!


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    I'm blaming Noah for that, he had to count them to pay me!


    6 years ago on Introduction

    If you bank with Ally, Charles Schwab, or any other bank without any or many locations I would suggest a slightly different approach. According to the cashier's at the US Bank branches in the financial district it is impossible to get a cashier's check if you don't have a US Bank account (they also are unwilling to open an account for you so that you can deposit your card and get a cashier's check). Despite claiming to be a 'service bank' they were not very helpful in my quest. I got in a regrettably heated argument about it with them and it didn't end well.

    There is a US Bank branch on Stockton near Columbus in North Beach WILL give you a cashier's check though. The employee's don't speak perfect english but they are extremely friendly and eager to help you out. A cashier's check costs $7 but it works just like a regular check and you can get it made out to yourself for easy deposit. I recommend the short walk or bike ride up the hill to the Stockton. There are good mangos at the market about a block south that you can totally afford even if you didn't just get your stipend.

    Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 10.43.17 AM.png