Credit Card Companies Offer Relief during Coronavirus Outbreak

Credit Card Companies Offer Relief during Coronavirus Outbreak

March 18, 2020         Written By Bill Hardekopf

President Trump has declared the COVID-19 outbreak as a national emergency, recommending that social gatherings of no more than 10 people. As a result of social distancing, many Americans could find themselves on a reduced schedule or even without work.

In response to these financial struggles, many credit card companies are now waiving fees and letting customers skip a monthly payment until the outbreak subsides. Here are the relief policies of some of the major credit card issuers during the COVID-19 crisis:

  • American Express: According to reports from The Points Guy, American Express will waive/refund interest fees, late fees and returned check fees for customers as long as they contact customer support. This includes online chat support and phone support.
  • Apple Card: Cardholders can skip their March payment without incurring interest for that billing cycle.
  • Bank of America: No specific relief program at this time, but they are offering phone/digital support. They will update their policies “as developments emerge.”
  • Barclays: Credit card customers may apply to temporarily increase their credit limit.
  • Capital One: Capital One is providing relief on a case-by-case basis, including deferred loan payments and financial assistance for minimum payments.
  • Chase: Chase is also reviewing accounts on a case-by-case basis. In the past, they’ve extended credit lines, waived fees and offered refunds for crisis relief, but they are not yet offering that relief at this time.
  • Citi: For an initial 30 days, effective March 9, Citi cardholders can request a credit line increase or temporarily postpone their payments.
  • Discover: In a statement to USA Today, Discover said they will offer support for payment due dates, late payments and fees for qualifying customers affected by the crisis. Discover does not have a coronavirus support page at this time.
  • Fifth Third Bank: The bank has not specified the type of relief credit card customers will receive, but there are hardship programs in place. Call 866-601-6391 and select option 3 for credit card assistance.
  • PNC Bank: The bank does not have designated relief efforts, but they are providing hardship assistance on a case-by-case basis.
  • Synchrony: Synchrony does not have a specific hardship program for Covid-19, but they will consider credit line increases and fee waivers for select customers. Synchrony is responsible for many retail credit cards, including Lowe’s, Amazon, PayPal, and others.
  • Truist (B&B and SunTrust Banks): Truist is temporarily waiving ATM surcharge fees and providing payment relief for credit card accounts. They’re also providing 5% cash back on consumer credit cards for grocery and pharmacy purchases, effective through April 15, 2020.
  • USAA: Customers may be eligible for special programs that have been developed for consumer loans and credit cards.
  • U.S. Bank: U.S. bank has reduced fees and interest on several loan products, but they do not have a specific relief program for their credit cards yet. Customers can call 888-287-7817 to request assistance.
  • Wells Fargo: Customers may call 1-800-219-9739 to discuss their hardships. Agents will evaluate the best course of relief for their circumstances.

If your credit card provider is not listed here, there may still be options available to you. Call the customer support number on the back of your card, and talk to the support center about coronavirus hardship programs. If no program is available, strive to pay at least the minimum payment on time each month until the hardship is over. Then you may revert back to larger monthly payments.

The information contained within this article was accurate as of March 18, 2020. For up-to-date information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website. Many of the offers on this article are from our affiliate partners, and LowCards.com may be compensated if you take action with any of our affiliate partners.

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About Bill Hardekopf

Bill Hardekopf is the CEO of LowCards.com and covers the credit card industry from all perspectives. Bill has been involved with personal finance for over 15 years. He is a frequent contributor to Forbes, The Street and The Christian Science Monitor.