Expert on fraud, travel and debt.
In the wake of Hurricane Florence, many financial institutions are trying to make things a little easier for the millions of North and South Carolina residents who have been hard hit by the winds and flooding from the storm.
Banks and credit card issuers are waiving credit card late fees and out-of-network ATM fees and some are offering to increase credit card limits to help those swamped by the storm.
Florence has killed at least 37 people and caused billions of dollars in damage, and flooding from the storm is expected to get worse in some places.
“We know people are in a tough spot and we want to help,” says Brian Davis, director of corporate communications at BB&T, which is based in Raleigh, North Carolina. “So many of our clients in the areas affected by Florence, especially in eastern North Carolina, are continuing to face all kinds of challenges in the wake of the storm. This includes clients and their families who are displaced either from evacuation or from damage to their homes.”
Some financial institutions are making allowances for anyone in North or South Carolina, while some are restricting the waivers to those who live in FEMA-designated disaster areas.
BB&T and other banks and card issuers also are pitching in millions of dollars to aid in disaster relief efforts.
As Barclays cardholders “begin to recover and rebuild, we want our cardmembers to know we’re here to help them through this difficult time. In addition to the proactive steps we’ve taken, we encourage them to contact us if they need assistance with any other circumstances,” says Mona Jantzi, Barclays’ head of customer experience.
After Hurricane Florence hit, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC), which insures bank deposits, encouraged financial institutions to “consider all reasonable and prudent steps to assist customers in communities affected by recent storms.” That includes waiving fees, increasing ATM cash limits, easing credit card limits, allowing loan customers to defer or skip payments and delaying delinquency notices to credit bureaus.
See related:Hurricane Florence: How you can help
Here’s what some of the main banks and credit card issuers are doing to aid those impacted by the storm.
Bank of America
Fees and late payment penalties may be waived. Customers should call to discuss their specific needs.
Late fees charged to credit cards will be waived or refunded and cash advance fees will be waived. Expedited credit card replacement is available at no charge.
Credit card clients can request a 30-day deferral on payments due on their September or October bills, and certain card fees may be refunded or waived. Those who can’t make normal payments or incur overdraft fees on mortgages, auto loans and home equity loans can call to discuss payment extensions or fee waivers.
Cardholders can have certain credit card fees waived or refunded, including fees for expedited credit card replacement and fees for using a non-Capital One ATM. The bank also is offering hardship concessions on a case-by-case basis.
Late fees won’t be charged through December and late payments won’t be reported to the credit bureaus through December.
Cardholders may be eligible for late fee waivers, minimum payment deferrals and an emergency credit line increase.
Card members may be eligible for delayed payments, waived fees or waived interest charges.
Discover will also match donations up to $500,000 for cardholders who give to the American Red Cross using their Discover cards or with their credit card cashback bonuses. All transaction fees on credit card donations to the American Red Cross are waived.
Customers can request temporary credit card or loan payment deferrals and temporary credit card line increases and apply for special storm-related unsecured loans with low interest rates and delayed payments.
All ATM fees and charges for the use of non-SunTrust ATMs will be refunded. Credit card holders, as well as those with mortgages and other loans, can request payment relief. Late payment fees and reporting of late payments to the credit bureaus will be suspended for 90 days.
Certain fees and charges for cardholders are being waived, ATM withdrawal limits are increased and customers can request increased credit card limits.
Cardholders are encouraged to call 888-287-7817 to inquire about available assistance.
Cardholders, as well as those with personal loans and lines of credit, can request payment assistance and fee waivers for up to 90 days.
Card members can redeem Go Far Rewards through Sept. 28 to support the American Red Cross and its hurricane relief efforts.