Canadian Credit Card Companies Are Offering Relief to Customers Affected by COVID-19

Woman looks stressed while holding bill and three credit cards

Early last week, the government announced a myriad of relief efforts, including immediate plans to extend the 2019 tax deadline for individuals to June 1, 2020. Following suit, major cities, including Toronto, granted extensions to grace periods for utility bill payments and launched measures for further aid 

The top Canadian banks announced unprecedented mortgage relief to homeowners affected by COVID-19. This support will include up to a six-month payment deferral for mortgages, and the opportunity for relief on other credit products, the press release noted.  

To relieve financial pressures amid the COVID-19 crisis, many Canadian financial institutions are standing by their customers and supporting them through the uncertainty.  

Although most banks have closed their doors to safeguard the health and well-being of their staff and customers, online services and contact centres are open to answer questions and provide assistance. In terms of credit products, here is what customers can expect.

Financial Institutions:

Bank of Montreal (BMO)

BMO has introduced a financial relief program to support customers affected by COVID-19. The bank will assess customer’s needs on a case-by-case basis; however, individuals could see a deferral of credit card payments for up to three months.

More BMO COVID-19 information:

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC)

CIBC is helping clients who have been impacted by job loss or other circumstances as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The bank will assess each customer’s circumstances and provide flexible solutions.  

The bank does recognize they are experiencing high call-volumes and recommends customers fill out their financial assistance form online.  

However, if customers require immediate attention, they are instructed to call and speak to an advisor. The example provided is a payment due within the next 48 hours.

More CIBC COVID-19 information:

Capital One

Capital One is currently working on options to provide support to customers experiencing financial distress.

More Capital One COVID-19 information:

HSBC Canada

The HSBC website states, “We will work with all of our personal and small business customers that are experiencing financial hardship including job loss, illness or other circumstances resulting in a reduction of income due to COVID-19. All inquiries will be addressed on a case-by-case basis and we will offer flexible solutions that will best suit the needs of our customers.

More HSBC COVID-19 information:

National Bank of Canada

In a press release, the National Bank outlines measures to assist personal banking clients and encourages customers to contact the bank to find a customized solution.

More National Bank COVID-19 information:

Royal Bank of Canada (RBC)

RBC has started a flexible financial relief program. To start, credit card customers may be able to skip a monthly payment. RBC asks clients to book an appointment with an Advisor through the online booking tool for more details.  

In an update, RBC says, “These options will provide you with direct relief for one month. Please know that we will continue to work with you to provide further financial assistance, including further payment relief (for example, up to 6 months on mortgages), should you need our help.”

More RBC COVID-19 information:

Scotiabank

Scotiabank is offering financial support to those that need it most. The bank will be working with customers on an individual basis to alleviate financial hardships and find a solution to meet unique needs, until September 13, 2020.  

Secured and unsecured credit card customers may be eligible to defer their minimum payments for up to three months. “If you choose to defer your payments, interest will continue to accrue on your outstanding balance and will be payable once the deferral period is over,” the Scotiabank webpage states. “Please note that if you have creditor insurance on your Credit Card, creditor insurance premium payments will continue to be collected during the deferral period.” 

Scotiabank recommends those that have urgent needs, such as payment due within seven days, to call right away. For everyone else, feel assured that the bank is committed to assisting all customers.

More Scotiabank COVID-19 information:

TD Canada Trust (TD Bank)

TD Bank will work with customers facing financial hardships, such as pay disruption, school closures, or illness due to COVID-19. Each customer’s circumstances will be looked at individually to find a solution that meets their needs.

More TD Bank COVID-19 information:

Digital Support

The banks are asking customers to rely more heavily on online and mobile banking resources during this time. The support centres are experiencing higher than usual wait times, so the banks ask that customers give priority to urgent concerns and immediate matters.

Find more financial news and resources at RateSupermarket.ca.

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