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As workplaces temporarily shut down and thousands of Americans are quarantined because of the coronavirus pandemic, some major credit card issuers have begun offering relief to their customers.
“This is a rapidly evolving situation and we want our customers to know we are here to provide assistance should they need it,” Anand Selva, chief executive officer of Citi’s consumer bank, said in a statement.
At the same time, scammers are now trying to take advantage of coronavirus concerns by sending out fake emails about the virus that are designed to steal consumers’ personal and financial information, or to infect their computers with malware.
What to do if you’re struggling to pay your credit card bills
While some credit card issuers are still determining the measures they will take to aid credit card users, many companies are urging consumers to contact them to discuss the financial hardships they face because of the coronavirus.
Customers who are having difficulties paying their bills due to this pandemic can contact American Express by calling the number on the back of their card or by online chat or the Amex app to discuss their situation.
Solutions are tailored to an individual’s situation. These might include offering flexibility in paying bills or directing them to American Express’s financial hardship program. Under the financial hardship program, consumers might be able to have reduced monthly payments, get temporary relief from late payment fees, get a temporary reduction in interest rates or prevent their accounts from going past due.
Bank of America
A customer who has trouble paying their credit card bill can submit a credit card payment deferral on the company’s website. It also has a Client Assistance Program in place to provide assistance to consumers and small business clients.
Barclays urges credit card account holders to call for assistance if they have problems paying their bills because of COVID-19. Barclaycard’s number for general inquiries in the U.S. is (866) 928-8598.
Each customer’s situation is different, the bank encourages customers to call it directly. To contact Capital One customer service about an existing account, call (800) 227-4825. Options might include reduced minimum payments or fee waivers.
Chase encouraged its customers to call the number on the back of their cards if they’re affected by COVID-19 and need help with their accounts.
The bank said it is offering a range of assistance to impacted credit card customers, including offering increases in credit lines and forbearance from collections. Cardholders can call the number on the back of their cards to find out about assistance programs.
For those with bank accounts, Citi is offering waivers on monthly service fees and penalty waivers for early withdrawals from CDs. Customers can contact the bank for assistance with their individual or small business needs.
Discover will be extending relief to qualified customers who are experiencing financial difficulty caused by the spread of COVID-19. Discover customers may receive assistance that can include support related to payment timing, fees and late payments.
“We encourage them to contact us by calling, and are directing them to www.Discover.com/coronavirus for phone numbers for each product line and other FAQs,” Discover said in a statement. “We also can provide relief through our mobile text app, which connects a customer directly with an agent.”
Apple Card customers were sent an email offering enrollment an assistance program that will allow affected cardholders to skip their March card payments without incurring interest charges. If you have questions, contact an Apple Card specialist at (877) 255-5923 or via chat in the Wallet app.
Synchrony is extending relief to customers experiencing financial hardship. According to the company’s website.
The bank is offering fee waivers, payment deferrals and other options on a case-by-case basis.