NOTE: This article was updated on April 1 to reflect the latest offerings for Apple Card users. If you previously enrolled in the March Customer Assistance Program, you will need to enroll again to be eligible to skip April's payment.
On April 1, the Goldman Sachs-backed Apple Card emailed its customers to offer support as more and more consumers are bracing for the negative economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak.
Cardmembers can contact Apple Card Support and request to enroll in Apple's Customer Assistance Program. Upon enrollment, you will be able to skip your April credit card payment without incurring interest charges.
In its April 1 email to customers, the company wrote:
If you previously enrolled in the March Customer Assistance Program, you will need to enroll again.
Note that on May 1, your standard purchase APR will apply.
Apple Card customers can submit an enrollment request either online or via the Wallet app by asking an Apple Card Specialist. You'll receive an email confirmation within the next few days after your enrollment is confirmed.
At this point, according to Apple's email, no further action is needed.
Apple's efforts to ease the financial hardship facing its cardmembers are similar to the steps other major issuers are taking to provide emergency support to consumers.
But while financial institutions have acknowledged the strain that the current pandemic has placed on businesses and individuals, long-term relief options remain largely unclear. Cardmembers are encouraged to call the customer service numbers on the back of their credit cards and explain how they've been affected the coronavirus. But the kind of support you'll receive from your bank or credit card company will likely vary on an individual basis.
In a statement on Chase's website, Thasunda Brown Duckett, CEO of Chase Consumer Banking, encourages Chase customers to take advantage of the Chase Mobile® app during this period of social distancing. As for other assistance, she writes:
"If you're affected by COVID-19 and need help with your accounts or making payments, please reach out to us."
Through American Express' Financial Hardship program, Amex cardmembers might be able to temporarily lower monthly payments and/or APR for qualifying credit card accounts. If you have an Amex card, you must log in and chat with a representative to see if you are eligible.
Citi Bank has announced credit line increases and collections forbearance, but there is no information on its website about lowered APR or other waived fees. On March 16, Citi spokesperson Jennifer Bombardier wrote to CNBC Select:
Customers impacted by the virus may be eligible for a range of assistance measures including fee waivers, hardship programs and small business support. We encourage any customers impacted by the virus to contact us if they need assistance, and we will work with them on an individual basis to understand their particular needs and ensure that they have the assistance they need during this challenging time.
And as for canceled vacations, trip insurance is not offered by every credit card, and it's up to each cardmember to read their card agreements carefully.
Amid the confusion and financial unease brought on by coronavirus, Apple's Customer Assistance Program is a simple, albeit temporary, fix:
Enroll through the link provided in Apple's email, or connect with an Apple Card Specialist through the Wallet app (you'll choose to either text, call or chat online).
Then, await your confirmation. No other steps are necessary.
The Apple Card is one of CNBC Select's best cash back credit cards, thanks in part to its user-friendly interface.
3% cash back on goods or services purchased directly from Apple (including Apple retail stores, the Apple online store, the App Store, iTunes, Apple Music and other Apple-owned properties) on Uber and UberEats, at Walgreens and Duane Reade stores, on the Walgreens app and on Walgreens.com, in T-Mobile stores and at Nike, 2% cash back on Apple Pay purchases and 1% cash back on all other purchases
12.49% to 23.49% variable
See our methodology, terms apply.
Read CNBC Select's Apple Card Review for more in-depth information about the Apple Card's perks and fees.