In response to the coronavirus, credit card issuers like Amex and Capital One are letting customers skip payments without interest and more

on the phone home office

Morsa Images/Getty Images

Call your credit card issuer and explain your situation if you don't think you're able to pay your bills.

Not only has COVID-19 led to a dramatic dip in the stock market, but the coronavirus pandemic has also resulted in both temporary and permanent layoffs. According to a survey by WalletHub, 67 million Americans anticipate difficulties paying their credit card bills because of the coronavirus.

Fortunately, most major credit card issuers are responding by offering assistance to their customers. Goldman Sachs, which issues the Apple Card, is allowing customers to skip their March payments without accruing any interest fees. Amex and Capital One are following suit with similar programs for eligible cardholders.

Here's a roundup of how other major US credit card issuers are offering assistance to their customers. If you're not in a position to pay off your credit card balances and you don't see any options for your issuer listed here, you should call the number on the back of your card and explain your situation. Your bank may be willing to come up with a solution such as a payment plan tailored to your specific situation.

American Express

As reported by Richard Kerr of The Points Guy, Amex will waive interest charges and late fees and offer lower interest rates on a case-by-case basis for those who request assistance. According to The New York Times, American Express will also allow cardholders to skip payments without accruing interest.

Don't just skip a payment and expect to see your interest fees waived; if you have a consumer or business Amex card and you're not in a position to pay your statement balance, call the number on the back of your card or log into your account and start a chat. Be prepared to explain how COVID-19 has impacted your financial situation, and note that if Amex account services does offer any financial relief, your accounts will be frozen until they're paid off, and you won't be able to access your Membership Rewards points balance until your accounts are paid off. See more details on the American Express Financial Hardship landing page.

Additionally, if you booked a trip through Amex Travel and need to change or cancel your reservation, Amex will honor the travel provider's policies. It's also waiving the Amex Travel fee for making flight modifications through April 30, 2020.

See the Amex COVID-19 information page for more info.

Bank of America

Bank of America has a coronavirus help page, but it hasn't published any details on its financial hardship assistance program, but according to The New York Times, it will allow skipped payments (but will not waive interest). If you need financial assistance, you should call the number on the back of your Bank of America credit card.

Capital One

Capital One encourages cardholders facing financial difficulties to contact the issuer. The same New York Times report says that Capital One is another issuing offering cardholders the ability to skip payments without interest, but again, contact the issuer to discuss your options before assuming you're eligible for this.

Chase

Chase hasn't announced any policies like the ability to skip payments without interest, but if you need financial assistance you should call the number on the back of your Chase card to see what options are available to you.

If you booked travel through Chase's Ultimate Rewards portal and your trip is more than seven days out, you can request to cancel your booking and get a refund via an online form. (For trips seven or less days out, Chase recommends contacting its customer support team via the number on the back of your card).

Citi

According to Citi's coronavirus resources page, cardholders can contact the issuer to discuss credit line increases and collection forbearance programs, which could allow you more time to pay off your bill. Call the number on the back of your Citi card for more information.

Discover

Discover hasn't published any specific assistance program details, but on its website it says customers who have been impacted by COVID-19 should contact the issuer via phone, the mobile app, or online.

Wells Fargo

While Wells Fargo doesn't mention any specific assistance programs available to cardholders on its coronavirus help page, it does encourage customers to call its customer service team to discuss their options.

See Business Insider's list of the best credit card intro APR offers »

{{}}
Add Comment()
Comments ()
X
Sort By:
Be the first one to comment.
We have sent you a verification email. This comment will be published once verification is done.