Credit Cardholders Can Minimize the Coronavirus Impact on Their Finances

2131The COVID-19 has made a lot of noise over the past few months and continues to spread rapidly throughout the world, including the United States. Thousands of cases with over 70 deaths are now identified across the country. The virus’ onrush has already led to closing educational institutions and public spaces, to banning large events and gatherings, dining out, travel, and more. Many countries have closed borders to foreigners.

Still, panicking is definitely not what one should do now. The World Health Organization and the government are doing their best to prevent the coronavirus spread and reduce the number of cases. And banks do not stand aside as well. Last week, the FDIC warned financial institutions of the growing financial difficulties of Americans affected by the COVID-19 and called them to customers and members’ assistance.

In this regard, many large issuers rolled out special coronavirus help pages on their websites containing information on the precautions taken and clarifying additional measures and services introduced to help people overcome the financial difficulties caused by the virus outbreak. Mostly these pages give tips on sound financial behavior during the pandemic and encourage customers (and explain how) to use online banking or mobile apps instead of visiting branches.

However, the most useful and beneficial thing you can find there is so-called “emergency support packages” or “financial hardship programs”. Here’s what they may include:

  • Credit Line Increase;
  • Reduced Payments;
  • Flexibility in Paying Bills;
  • Late Payment Fees / Monthly Fees Waiving;
  • Interest Rate Reduction;
  • Prevention of Collections;
  • Heightened Fraud Security.

Among the credit card issuers who currently officially offer assistance to impacted credit card owners are American Express, Bank of America, Capital One, Chase, Citi, Discover, Goldman Sachs, Synchrony, and Wells Fargo. The banks ask the cardmembers that are meeting difficulties paying their bills to contact their customer service. In most cases, solutions are offered on an individual basis. Note that the relief options are put into practice temporarily until the situation with the coronavirus subsides.

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