Coronavirus (COVID-19) is impacting our everyday lives, from our jobs and our incomes to our social lives and spending habits. Credit card issuers have taken note, especially with regards to the former, and are offering temporary assistance to customers financially affected by COVID-19.
At this point, almost all credit cards have issued official policies for helping customers negatively impacted by COVID-19. In the most general sense, most cards are removing minimum payment requirements and waiving associated late fees for a period of time, currently between two and three months. While this may seem generous, consumers should note that they will continue to pay interest on the balance during this time—meaning, policies resemble forbearance plans versus a more ideal deferment.
Card issuers have also made it pretty simple to submit hardship requests at the click of a button. However, we recommend calling your credit card or chatting with a representative online to discuss other options that may be superior to standard interest-accruing options.
Here, a summary of what our core cards are doing to help customers during the COVD-19 crisis and how to request help, if needed.
American Express Gold Card and The Platinum Card® from American Express and COVD-19
American Express has a dedicated financial hardship website for card members. In actuality, it’s just a landing page for logging-in to your card accounts along with a brief outline of the types of requests you can make via online chat or by calling the number on the back of your credit card. American Express states that for those negatively impacted by the outbreak, options may include lowering monthly payments, providing relief from late payment fees, and temporarily lowering interest rates. Instead of singular forbearance plans, it appears that American Express is trying to tailor options to customers specific needs and circumstances.
Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card and Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and COVD-19
For all of its credit cards, including its premium products, Chase is removing minimum payment requirements and waiving associated late fees, upon request. In addition, the issuer will not be “reporting payment deferrals such as late payments to credit bureaus for up-to-date clients.” To delay payments, customers can call the number on the back of their credit card or enroll online for the fastest service. Payments can be delayed for a maximum of 3 months and assistance can be requested only one time per account. In addition, Chase notes to its customers, “we encourage you to keep paying if you can because we continue to charge you interest according to the terms of your accounts. Choosing this relief program won’t stop any automatic payments you have in place.”
Citi Prestige® Card and COVD-19
Citi is offering assistance for those impacted by COVID-19, upon request. This assistance comes in the form of waivers of the minimum payment due requirement and late fees for two statement cycles. Cardholders can request COVID-19 assistance digitally and should receive a response within 7-10 business days. Note that not all cardholders are eligible and that those approved will still be responsible for interest accrued during the two statement cycles.
Mastercard® Black Card™, Mastercard® Gold Card™, and Mastercard® Titanium Card™ and COVD-19
Credit cards issued by Barclaycard US, including the trio of Luxury cards, can request “Payment Relief” through their online account. With this relief, “You will be able to skip the minimum payment due on your next two statements with no additional fees. You will not need to make a payment for your current statement or your next statement, however interest will continue to accrue on your account over the next two months.” It should be noted repeat payments should be cancelled in advance. In order to apply for Payment Relief, log on to your account, go to contact us and click on the Payment Relief tab and then click SUBMIT. You will then get a confirmation of your approved relief from Barclaycard US.
U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite® Card and COVD-19
At press time, U.S. Bank is not providing credit card-specific relief options for its cardmembers.