Well at least i looked at the fine print before i'd walked downtown.
So, they sent me a new Total Access Check Card. And then they sent me another one. I figured this was just a glitch and put the second one aside (thank god i didn't just trash it). The first one worked fine after all. But then of course recently it started not so much working. Looking at the second envelope, there was a letter saying "We recently sent you a new [card]... We have become aware of an error on the magnetic stripe located on the back ... that may prevent you from making a purchase at some merchant locations. To ensure that your card works in all locations, we are replacing your new card with anther... [the old one] will be deactivated...."
[Edit: However, with the post office moving to the new student center my address has changed and the online thing won't let me change this info, so i'm heading downtown anyway.]