Credit card issuers offering financial assistance due to coronavirus - Business Insider - Business Insider

Credit card issuers offering financial assistance due to coronavirus - Business Insider - Business Insider


Credit card issuers offering financial assistance due to coronavirus - Business Insider - Business Insider

Posted: 10 Apr 2020 09:52 AM PDT

Not only has COVID-19 led to a dramatic dip in the stock market, but the coronavirus pandemic has also resulted in both temporary and permanent layoffs. According to a survey by WalletHub, 67 million Americans anticipate difficulties paying their credit card bills because of the coronavirus.

Fortunately, most major credit card issuers are responding by offering assistance to their customers. Goldman Sachs, which issues the Apple Card, is allowing customers to skip their March payments (and, now, their April payments) without accruing any interest fees. American Express and Capital One are following suit with similar programs for eligible cardholders. 

Here's a roundup of how other major US credit card issuers are offering assistance to their customers. If you're not in a position to pay off your credit card balances and you don't see any options for your issuer listed here, you should call the number on the back of your card and explain your situation. Your bank may be willing to come up with a solution such as a payment plan tailored to your specific situation.

American Express

As reported by Richard Kerr of The Points Guy, Amex will waive interest charges and late fees and offer lower interest rates on a case-by-case basis for those who request assistance. According to The New York Times, American Express will also allow cardholders to skip payments without accruing interest.

Don't just skip a payment and expect to see your interest fees waived; if you have a consumer or business Amex card and you're not in a position to pay your statement balance, call the number on the back of your card or log into your account and start a chat. Be prepared to explain how COVID-19 has impacted your financial situation, and note that if Amex account services does offer any financial relief, your accounts will be frozen until they're paid off, and you won't be able to access your Membership Rewards points balance until your accounts are paid off. 

Additionally, if you booked a trip through Amex Travel and need to change or cancel your reservation, Amex will honor the travel provider's policies. It's also waiving the Amex Travel fee for making flight modifications through April 30, 2020.

See the Amex COVID-19 information page for more info.

Bank of America

Bank of America has a coronavirus help page, which it recently updated to add details about the assistance it's offering to cardholders. If you're not able to make your Bank of America credit card payment on time, you can submit a payment deferral request online. If you have any questions about what other options might be available, call the number on the back of your card.

Barclays

According to The Wirecutter, Barclays has a variety of options available to cardholders facing financial difficulties, including skipping payments, waiving late fees, and increasing credit lines. On its coronavirus help page, Barclays also says it's allowing cardholders to dispute transactions through their account online. 

Capital One

Capital One encourages cardholders facing financial difficulties to contact the issuer. The New York Times reports that Capital One is offering cardholders the ability to skip payments without interest, but again, contact the issuer to discuss your options before assuming you're eligible for this.

Chase

Chase recently released more details on how it's helping credit card customers financially impacted by COVID-19. The issuer also launched an online form where you can enroll to delay three monthly payments on your personal and business card accounts. If you need additional financial assistance, you should send a secure message through your Chase card account to see what options are available to you.

If you booked travel through Chase's Ultimate Rewards portal and your trip is more than seven days out, you can request to cancel your booking and get a refund via an online form. (For trips seven or less days out, Chase recommends contacting its customer support team via the number on the back of your card).

Citi

Citi launched an online form where credit card customers can request assistance for their accounts. You can request waived late fees and waived minimum payments for two consecutive billing periods.

Additionally, according to Citi's coronavirus resources page, cardholders can contact the issuer to discuss credit line increases and collection forbearance programs, which could allow you more time to pay off your bill. Call the number on the back of your Citi card for more information.

Discover

Discover hasn't published any specific assistance program details, but it told USA TODAY that it will offer qualified cardholders support "related to payment timing, fees and late payments." On its website it says customers who have been impacted by COVID-19 should contact the issuer via phone, the mobile app, or online.

Synchrony Bank

According to USA TODAY, Synchrony Bank — which issues several popular store credit cards — is encouraging customers who need assistance to reach out online to discuss options including waiving certain fees and increasing credit lines.

U.S. Bank 

In a statement to USA TODAY, U.S. Bank said it's "reactively waving credit card fees" and "working to enhance skip-a-pay and payment deferral programs to meet U.S. Bank cardholders' needs during this pandemic." It also continues to offer its usual financial hardship assistance including increased credit limits and waived fees. 

Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo announced that it's offering fee waivers, payment deferrals, and "other expanded assistance" for credit card customers who contact the company.

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