Bank credit card issuers and networks have pledged more than $15 million so far for relief expenses related to Hurricane Katrina. In addition, issuers are waiving fees, relaxing payment requirements and raising credit lines for victims of the USA’s worst natural disaster.
VISA USA is donating $1 million directly to the American Red Cross and matching contributions from its employees dollar-for-dollar, up to $500 per donation.
MasterCard has contributed $500,000 to the American Red Cross, $500,000 to AmeriCares and donated its advertising space in USA Today to the Red Cross.
American Express has made an immediate donation of $500,000 to the Red Cross and will add $500,000 as a guaranteed minimum match of employee donations. Morgan Stanley has allocated more than $1 million in support for the victims of the disaster and has established an employee matching program up to $500,000. Morgan Stanley’s Discover Financial Services has offered its affected cardholders payment relief, emergency replacement cards, emergency PIN numbers and other special services. Discover is also rebating all merchant fees associated with disaster relief contributions to the Red Cross made with Discover Cards and has enabled cardholders to donate their “Cashback Bonus” directly to the Red Cross.
First Data’s Western Union Financial Services is reducing its current service fees by 50% on Western Union “Money In Minutes” transactions sent from within the U.S. to Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama between September 2nd and September 30th. Western Union also has established a special, no-transfer fee service for U.S. consumers who wish to help by sending donations directly to the American Red Cross.
JPMorgan Chase is donating $1 million to the American Red Cross and will match employee donations dollar-for-dollar up to $1 million. Chase’s credit card unit is also deferring payments at least 30 days, waiving late fees and over-limit fees, and will file no negative credit bureau reports for 90 days for affected cardholders.
Citigroup is donating $1 million directly to the Red Cross and will match any eligible donation made by a Citigroup employee dollar-for-dollar to the Red Cross up to $1 million.
Bank of America announced a $1 million donation including $500,000 to the American Red Cross “Disaster Relief Fund”, $100,000 to the Houston Food Bank and $400,000 to the areas of greatest need. BofA is also matching associate pledges through the bank’s “Matching Gifts” program and will not limit its overall relief donation. Capital One has pledged $1 million to the American Red Cross to aid its disaster relief efforts.
HSBC North America is waiving late fees, over-limit fees and cash-advance fees for affected cardholders.
Wells Fargo is contributing $500,000 to the American Red Cross “Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund” and will match contributions from its 151,000 team members dollar-for-dollar, up to $250,000 total.
AmSouth Bank has given its customers in the affected areas flexibility on loan repayments, discounted loan rates, and fee waivers. CardWeb.com made several $1,000+ contributions earlier this week to selected “Hurricane Relief” charities and is matching employee donations up to $500 each. CardWeb.com posted a direct link to the Red Cross “Hurricane Relief Fund” on its homepage encouraging consumers to use their credit cards to expedite contributions.