How Credit Card Issuers are responding to COVID-19

Written by Dennis

While the world struggles to deal with the impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak, government agencies across the U.S. have taken extreme measures to curtail the spread of the virus. Also, several businesses, financial institutions and government bodies are stepping up to offer some relief for those concerned about their financial stability.

Citizens face all sorts of health and financial problems during the rising threat of coronavirus, like what happens to their credit card payments. During this unprecedented crisis, credit card companies are stepping in to provide clients with resources. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread, we have also seen people and companies come together to support each other in ways that we have never seen before. This includes credit card issuers, some of which are waiving fees and partnering with those impacted by COVID-19 to ensure this pandemic does not entirely ruin their finances.

The most significant thing to note is that any conversation with a credit card issuer will go smoother if you make contact before you miss a payment. If you are encountering tough financial decisions because of COVID-19, take a look at our compiled list of major credit card companies and the help they are currently offering:

American Express

American Express encourages clients who are encountering financial distress due to COVID-19 to reach out to discuss their options through telephone or online chat on the company’s website. Amex will work with each client individually. Possible remedies include waiving fees, lowering your monthly payments, temporarily lowing your interest rate, or securing your account from going past due.

American Express can also provide other solutions if you reach out to them and illustrate how COVID-19 has directly impacted your financial situation or has brought hardship to your business. Solutions include waiving interest fees or minimum payments for some time. You can call the number on the back of your card, but you might find it quicker to reach a representative through online chat.

In addition, American Express will extend the sign-up bonus window for specific cards. Because to the effect of COVID-19, for qualified Card accounts accepted from December 1, 2019, to May 31, 2020, for which are qualified for a welcome bonus, the period for making valid transactions to receive your welcome offer will be extended for an extra three months. Eligible cards are issued by the American Express National Bank, such as U.S. consumer and business cards.

Bank of America

According to a press release posted on March 19, Bank of America will not report negative information to the credit bureaus as long as your account is up to date. The bank also aims to address the financial burden of COVID-19 on a case-by-case basis, allowing its clients to reach out to customer support or visit its website and mobile app for help. If you are struggling to keep up with monthly bills, you may defer payments or have late fees refunded.

Barclays

Barclays encourages its customers to reach out if they are facing hardship to keep up with their credit card payments. According to Barclays, it has a “range of measures available” to help clients such as skipping your monthly credit card bill, offering late fee waivers and requesting a temporary credit limit increase.

Capital One

Capital One encourages its customers to contact them directly. Possible solutions include reducing minimum payments and waiving fees. Call the number at the back of your card to get any financial help. Also, Capital One has a webpage and an FAQ page for clients affected by the pandemic.

Chase

Similar to many of its rivals, Chase encourages those impacted by COVID-19 to contact directly and discuss their options. Use the phone number listed on the back of your card or your monthly credit card statement. Additionally, Chase encourages cardholders to use the mobile application or website.

Citibank

According to Citibank’s coronavirus website, eligible credit card clients can apply for collection forbearance programs and credit line increase if they are not able to keep up with monthly payments for an extended period of time.

Moreover, you can request to miss at least two monthly payments. Luckily, the total amount due and late fees will be waived, and your credit score will not be adversely affected unless your account has been overdue prior to making the request. During this time, Citibank has dedicated customer support agents available 24/7.

Discover

Discover has a FAQ page set up for COVID-19 related questions and implies that there might be hardship assistance. Discover said that eligible customers might obtain support pertaining to the timing of payments, fees and late payments.

Goldman Sachs (Apple Card)

Goldman Sachs sent an email to its Apple card customers announcing that those impacted by COVID-19 can enrol in the Customer Assistance Program. Therefore, you will be able to miss April credit card payment without accruing extra interest or paying penalties. To take advantage of this deal, you need to enrol in the program online.

HSBC

HSBC has a website that encourages affected customers to get in touch. Financial assistance involves freezing your account status for sixty days (your account will not be reported as delinquent), postponing or lowering payments, and waiving cash advance, overdraft protection, inadequate funds, and late fees. However, you will incur interest. 

Navy Federal Credit Union

Navy Federal Credit union has a page with information on solutions for clients affected by COVID-19. Possible remedies are loan extensions, emergency loans, deferred payments, refunds on late fees and credit limit increase. Cardholders are encouraged to contact customer support or use the mobile app for relief options.

PNC Bank

If you are encountering financial distress now, PNC says on its COVID-19 website that there are solutions. Such as defer payments for 3 months with no late fees. The bank will offer options depending on your current situation and the products you have. But first, you have to reach out. During this time, PNC bank has a dedicated customer service representatives available 24/7.

Synchrony

You may not know the name of Synchrony Bank, but if you have a credit card store, there is a fair chance that Synchrony issued it. The coronavirus help page of the company has issued a statement: “If you are affected and not able to find what you need through our digital channels, please contact us to discuss how we can assist.” Use the phone number listed on the back of your card. Expect hold times longer than usual.

U.S. Bank

U.S. Bank is helping those who are struggling financially by waiving credit card fees and working to strengthen its deferral payment services. Also, it provides credit limit increases to interested parties. You should get in touch with U.S. Bank directly to see what solutions are available for you.

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