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Amex waiving interest, late fees on accounts requesting COVID-19 relief

March 17 2020
3 min read
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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.

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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:

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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

Bottom Line

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.

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Pros

  • 6x points on eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program
  • 4x points at restaurants worldwide, U.S. gas stations, wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and U.S. shipping
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases
  • Earn a free-night award each card renewal month (up to 35,000 points)
  • Receive 15 elite night credits to jump-start status
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Cons

  • Airline points transfer ratios are poor
  • Must spend $60,000 in a year for second free-night award
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.
  • 6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
  • 4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a 7% discount off standard rates for reservations of standard guest rooms at hotels that participate in the Marriott Bonvoy program when you book directly. Terms and Conditions Apply.
  • Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month. Plus, earn an additional Free Night Award after you spend $60K in purchases on your Card in a calendar year. Awards can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy® points) at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy®. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • Enjoy Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status with your Card.
  • Terms apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Apply for Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best Marriott card for Business Owners
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
3 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

6X6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
4X4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
2X2x points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Intro Offer
    Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.

    Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 points
    75,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $125
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

The Marriott Bonvoy Business Amex is a stacked card with a rewards rate that will help you earn bonus points on everyday and business-related purchases. You'll earn 15 elite night credits each calendar year, and receive automatic Gold elite status. Finally, the free night award certificate with a redemption level of 35,000 points or less can get you hundreds of dollars in potential value each year.

Pros

  • 6x points on eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program
  • 4x points at restaurants worldwide, U.S. gas stations, wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and U.S. shipping
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases
  • Earn a free-night award each card renewal month (up to 35,000 points)
  • Receive 15 elite night credits to jump-start status
  • Transfer Marriott points to 40+ airlines

Cons

  • Airline points transfer ratios are poor
  • Must spend $60,000 in a year for second free-night award
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.
  • 6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
  • 4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a 7% discount off standard rates for reservations of standard guest rooms at hotels that participate in the Marriott Bonvoy program when you book directly. Terms and Conditions Apply.
  • Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month. Plus, earn an additional Free Night Award after you spend $60K in purchases on your Card in a calendar year. Awards can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy® points) at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy®. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • Enjoy Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status with your Card.
  • Terms apply.
  • See Rates & Fees