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Irene blows away card fees

By Janna Herron · Bankrate.com
Monday, August 29, 2011
Posted: 2 pm ET

Some credit card holders won't have to worry about paying their bills on time as they clean up debris from Hurricane Irene -- at least temporarily.

Several banks and issuers are giving their customers a reprieve from credit card late fees along with other banking fees if they live in hurricane-affected areas, according to numerous media reports.

Chase sent an email to its New Jersey, New York and Connecticut customers Monday morning saying don't worry about fees for using another bank's ATM, overdrawing on a checking account, using overdraft protections or paying a credit card or other bank loan late until Sept. 4.

Capital One told SmartMoney.com that it will consider waiving credit card fees, reducing interest rates and coming up with special repayment plans for customers struggling with the aftermath of the hurricane. They should visit their local branch, call the bank's toll-free number or make an online request.

Other issuers are offering similar, case-by-case aid, including HSBC, which said it will consider waiving credit card fees, replacing debit and credit cards and allowing free telephone payments, which typically run $20.

If your credit card issuer isn't on the above short-list but you're running into troubles, give your issuer a call. The sooner your credit card company knows about a potential problem, either Irene-inflicted or not, the more likely they can help solve it.

Has your credit card company helped out after a natural disaster or other major event in your life? What kind of assistance do you think is appropriate? Sound off.

Follow me on Twitter: @JannaHerron

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