Amex waiving interest, late fees on accounts requesting COVID-19 relief
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Over the weekend several TPG readers commented in our Facebook groups they had received relief from interest, late fees and other fees on both their personal and business American Express cards when requesting help over the chat feature on the American Express website.
Want more credit card news and advice from TPG? Sign up for our daily newsletter!
We reached out to American Express this morning to confirm the relief being offered and requesting how cardmembers can gain assistance. Amex offered the following statement:
Yes, American Express is ready to assist our customers having financial difficulties due to the effects of COVID-19. They can reach our Customer Care Professionals anytime by calling the number on the back of their card or through our digital servicing channels – online chat or the Amex app.
As you know, the situation is changing rapidly, so our approach to providing the best possible support and service to our customers is also evolving in real-time. We will work together to find a solution for each customers’ particular situation, which can include waiving late fees, return check fees, and interest charges. We have several financial hardship programs offering a range of short-term to long-term assistance. Details can be found here about these programs.
On the American Express Financial Hardships page, you can log in to your regular Amex accounts and begin a chat session with a live rep to evaluate your individual situation.
I logged into my own Amex account to try and replicate reader experiences. I asked what criteria would be needed to invoke the financial hardship relief and what all was included. The chat agent requested I provide clarification on how COVID-19 has impacted me. I said I was inquiring for informational purposes and the agent suggested I call the Account Services Department at 1-866703-4169 to have my accounts reviewed for potential relief.
There are some important caveats I learned to accepting the offer. According to reader Alex, who spoke with the Account Services Department, if you accept the relief, your accounts are frozen and may not be used further until they are paid off. Your Membership Rewards points are also frozen and cannot be used. However, if financial relief is what you need, this seems like a fair trade-off to prevent accruing further indebtedness.
Related reading: Choosing the best American Express credit card for you
Thousands of small and medium businesses are going to continue to be on hard times over the coming weeks. Restaurants, bars, entertainment venues, caterers and service providers are just a few of the businesses that will benefit greatly from the generous move by American Express. We’ll be checking shortly with the other credit card issuers to see what reliefs they may or may not be offering.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,600
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 3X points on dining and 2x points on travel, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
- Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
- Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
- With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
- Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.