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Big Banks Extend Hurricane Fee Waivers

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Last week most big banks issued and extended fee waivers for customers impacted by Hurricane Sandy.  Monday, November 5th, was scheduled to be the last day for forgiving fees by Citibank and Bank of America, while Chase and Wells Fargo said they would end the policy on Wednesday, November 7th. But that was a rolling deadline at press time so check your bank’s website for the most up-to-date information.

Chase and Wells Fargo

Chase said that close of business on Monday would be the last day customers are eligible for automatic fee waivers, but the bank extended that to Wednesday. The waivers apply to overdraft protection transfers, returned checks and insufficient funds fees, and late fees on credit cards and most types of business and consumer loans.

The fees are being automatically waived for Chase customers in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Washington, D.C. Chase customers should make sure accounts are current by the end of the day on November 7th when the fee-forgiveness window is scheduled to close.

Wells Fargo also pushed its date to November 7th noting there are still many challenges affecting day-to-day living in storm-affected states.

Customers in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C can also withdraw funds from CDs without incurring early withdrawal penalties, use foreign ATMs without being charged, and will not be charged late fees on credit cards, small business, consumer, and other types of loans.

Citi and Bank of America

Citibank is also forgiving fees for late credit card payments, overdraft fees, and other banking charges incurred because of the storm. The bank said that fees would be forgiven “at least” until November 5th. Customers needing a further extension should call to request one.

Bank of America backtracked on an earlier announcement asking customers to call to request refunds. Customers can call to request increases on credit lines or payment extensions, but fees incurred during the storm in affected areas will be waived.  The bank said customers should not worry about charges, as Bank of America has a longstanding policy of waiving fees for hurricane victims “whether it is now or a month from now, we are here to help,” said a spokesperson.

Case-by-Case Basis

Capital One, Discover, American Express and other credit card issuers haven’t issued formal policies on waiving fees, but will consider requests on a case-by-case basis. Storm-impacted account holders should call their credit card issuer directly to make their case if they have been charged fees due to Hurricane Sandy.

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