Credit Card Industry

Here’s how credit card companies are helping customers impacted by coronavirus

Written by Guest Post

Restaurants, bars, stores, schools, and theme parks across the country shut down this week amidst an outbreak of the coronavirus, known by the scientific name COVID-19. With so many places closing their doors, the economic impact of this global pandemic is likely to be massive.

If your small business is shut down, if you’re temporarily or permanently out of a job because your workplace is affected; or if you’re forced to pay for emergency childcare due to the closure of your child’s school, the turmoil may cause financial problems that hit home for you.

Fortunately, most companies are trying to work with customers to help them cope in these trying times — and that includes major credit card issuers. If you’re worried you won’t be able to make your payments, here’s what credit card companies are doing to provide short-term relief.

Chase Bank coronavirus customer assistance

Help for individuals

Chase is urging customers facing difficulty making payments to reach out to a customer service representative to find solutions. While the specific type of help available will be determined on a case-by-case base, in the past, Chase has responded to crises by taking these steps for customers:

  • Waiving or refunded fees
  • Changing payment due dates
  • Offering larger lines of credits

If you need to cancel travel, Chase recommends contacting your airline or hotel first. However, the card issuer has also indicated they’ll offer assistance if you paid with a Chase credit card, debit card, or credit card points and had to cancel a trip. Call the number on the back of your credit card for assistance. Be prepared to wait on hold longer than usual, and have your credit card information at the ready.

Help for businesses

Chase is also providing assistance to businesses affected by the coronavirus. The card issuer is offering webinars to help companies with crisis response, and it’s providing additional resources to help businesses stay connected as well.

Specific solutions for struggling businesses will also be offered on a case-by-case basis but could include fee waivers and extending lines of credit. If you need assistance, contact Chase at the following numbers:

  • Credit card: Call the number on the back of your card
  • Card processing: 888-886-8869
  • Platinum service line: 877-425-8100
  • Online help: 1-877-242-7372 option 3

American Express coronavirus customer assistance

Help for individuals

American Express is also providing help to customers affected by the coronavirus. This could include referral to Amex’s Financial Hardship Program, which provides the following types of assistance to customers:

  • Reduced monthly payments
  • A temporary reduction in interest rates
  • Relief from late payment fees
  • Waiving interest charges
  • Prevention from your account being labeled as past due
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If you are struggling financially, call the number on the back of your Amex card for assistance.

Help for businesses

Business cardholders will also be offered support on a case-by-case basis. If you need assistance, please call the number on the back of your credit card. Expect long wait times, as Amex is experiencing a surge in customer service requests.

Citibank coronavirus customer assistance

Help for individuals

Citibank is also providing assistance to both its banking and credit card customers during this difficult time. This could include the following types of help:

  • Monthly fee waivers
  • No penalties for early CD withdrawal
  • Credit line increases
  • Collection forbearance programs

If you’re experiencing financial hardship due to the coronavirus, call the number on the back of your credit card to learn about your options. When you call, be prepared for longer than usual wait times and have your credit card info handy.

Help for businesses

Citibank is also providing the following types of assistance to small businesses that use its banking or credit card services. Call the number on the back of your credit card to speak with a Citibank customer service representative. Again, this assistance is provided on a case-by-case basis:

  • Fee waivers
  • After-hours access to bankers for customers seeking support
  • Credit line increases
  • Collection forbearance programs

Capital One coronavirus customer assistance

Help for individuals

Capital One is urging customers experiencing financial hardship due to the coronavirus to contact their card issuer to find solutions. Options that may be available include the following:

  • Reduction in minimum payments
  • Reduced or waived late fees
  • Deferred payments

To reach Capital One customer service, call:

  • 1-800-CAPITAL (1-800-227-4825)
  • 1-804-934-2001 (if you’re located outside the U.S.)

Help for businesses

Business customers can also contact Capital One to discuss personalized options, which could include the same types of relief available to individual consumers. If you’re a business card holder who needs assistance from Capital One, call 1-800-867-0904. Be prepared for longer than usual wait times.

Bank of America coronavirus customer assistance

Help for individuals

Bank of America is providing solutions and support for customers facing financial hardship due to the coronavirus. Clients experiencing income loss are urged to contact customer service directly at 1-800-732-9194 to develop a personalized solution. This could include:

  • Fee waivers
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Help for businesses

For business customers, Bank of America Global Banking and Markets is offering its perspective to help companies understand how the coronavirus could impact their operations. The bank is also working with business customers impacted by the coronavirus. Personalized solutions may be available, and could include waivers of certain fees.

If you need assistance, call Bank of America’s small business customer service line at 1-800-892-3219. Expect longer than usual wait times.

More options for small business

Small companies are especially likely to face financial hardship due to the coronavirus pandemic and resulting community restrictions. The good news is, there are options available to help your company stay afloat and meet its immediate cash flow needs.

Small businesses affected by COVID-19 may be eligible for low-interest disaster loans through the Small Business Administration. These will provide up to $2 million in funding at a rate of 3.75% for small businesses with no available credit or 2.75% for nonprofits.

Some states have also announced they’ll be providing both loans and grants to affected companies. If your business has been affected, check with your state’s Chamber of Commerce to find out about eligibility requirements.

As qualifying for these loans and grants may take time, businesses might benefit from a credit card offering a 0% introductory APR in the interim. The Chase Ink Business Unlimited and the Chase Ink Business Cash are excellent options if you need help managing costs right now. The Ink Business Unlimited has a $0 annual fee and offers a 0% introductory APR for 12 months. The Chase Ink Business Cash offers similar benefits, including a $0 and a 0% introductory APR on purchases for 12 months. 

Bottom line

The coronavirus situation is evolving rapidly, with new recommendations coming daily and sometimes hourly from the Centers for Disease Control and state and federal authorities. Credit card issuers may put new measures into place at any time to protect customers and help them through this difficult time. If you are worried about paying your bills or keeping your small business afloat, check with your card issuer to find out the latest options available to you.

This article originally appeared on FinanceBuzz.com and was syndicated by MediaFeed.org.




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