Coronavirus FAQs for credit card customers

Santander, cahoot and Business Banking credit card customers

We understand at the moment that you may be worried about paying your credit card, so we've made some changes to our fees to try to help. You can also apply for a credit card payment holiday for up to 3 months to help you through these uncertain times. See below for more information on our fee changes and how to apply for a payment holiday.
 

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What is a credit card payment holiday?

Taking a credit card payment holiday means you won’t need to make a payment to your card for up to 3 months. However, interest will be added to your balance each month, so your credit card balance will increase during the payment holiday. 

The below table shows how much interest will be added to your balance if you take a 3 month payment holiday and don’t use your card for any further spending during that time. You’ll receive a statement each month during your payment holiday which will show you exactly how much interest you’ve been charged.

 Example 1Example 2Example 3Example 4
Current card balance

£1,000

£1,000

£4,000£4,000
Interest rate (APR)18.9%

29.9%

18.9%29.9%
Current minimum payment£24.57£32.04£98.26£128.16
Minimum payment during holiday£0£0£0£0
Minimum payment after holiday£25.65£34.20£102.62£136.82
Card balance after holiday (with no further spend made)£1,044£1,068£4,177£4,270
Estimated additional interest per year£10£21£42£83

These are illustrative examples only. 

  • The minimum payment is made up of 1% of the balance plus any interest charged.
  • The examples show how a 3 month payment holiday could impact the minimum payment due.  If you spend on your card during this time, the balance will increase and so will the interest charged.
  • The amount of additional interest charged to you during the payment holiday, and the minimum payment due at the end of it will depend on: 
    • your balance
    • your interest rate, and 
    • the amount you spend on your card.
  • ‘Estimated additional interest per year’ means the extra interest you’ll be charged as a result of taking the payment holiday.  You’ll pay it in the 12 months following the start of the payment holiday. It assumes you’ll only be making the minimum payment each month once the payment holiday ends, and that there is no further spend on the card.

You can still make payments during the payment holiday period should your circumstances change. This will help reduce the interest charged and won’t affect your payment holiday.

How long can I take the payment holiday for?

You can choose 1, 2 or 3 months when you apply

When will the payment holiday start?

Your current minimum payment as shown on your latest statement will still need to be paid. The payment holiday you choose will start from your next statement and will show as £0 minimum payment to be paid that month, so you know the payment holiday is in place. 

When is the last date I can apply for this?

At the moment we are offering the payment holiday up to (and including) 14 July 2020.

I currently pay my credit card by Direct Debit, do I need to do anything?

During the payment holiday the Direct Debit won’t be taken, we’ll take care of this. 

My Direct Debit is set up to clear my full credit card balance but I can’t afford this now – is there anything I can do?

Unfortunately because the payment holiday won’t start until after you’ve made the current payment that’s due, your Direct Debit will still take the full amount. If your next payment due date is within 4 working days we can’t stop this Direct Debit being taken.  If it’s outside of 4 working days, you could cancel the Direct Debit using Online Banking and make a payment for a lower amount. 

I don’t pay my credit card by Direct Debit, can I still take the payment holiday?

Yes – if you normally pay your credit card online, in branch, at a Post Office or over the phone you can still take the payment holiday.

I’ve recently missed a payment on my credit card, can I still take a payment holiday?

Yes you can take a payment holiday if you are behind on your payments. The only exceptions are if you are insolvent or bankrupt.

My account is currently in arrears, what happens at the end of the payment holiday?

If you’re currently in arrears, any existing payment arrangements will be cancelled and we’ll revisit these arrangements with you when your payment holiday ends.

I don’t have an email / don’t want to provide this – is there any other way I can get the payment holiday?

The quickest way to do this is via the online form which requires an email address. We will only use the email address to keep you updated about your payment holiday.  If you don’t have an email address, you can call but we are experiencing a very high number of calls at the moment so it will take longer than normal to deal with your request.

  • Santander credit card customers 0800 9 123 123
  • cahoot credit card customers 0800 587 1111
  • Business credit card customers 0800 218 2345

I have several credit cards with Santander, does the payment holiday apply to all of them?

Yes it can, but you need to submit a separate form for each card online. 

Will it impact my credit file if I miss these payments?

No - we’ll make sure this doesn’t happen.

Will I still be sent a statement?

Yes - you’ll continue to receive your monthly statement, however the minimum monthly payment due will show as £0.

Can I make a payment during the payment holiday if my circumstances change?

Yes - you can make a payment at any time and it won’t impact your payment holiday.

Can I still spend on my card during the payment holiday?

Yes - you can continue spending on your card up to your credit limit.

What happens after I apply?

Once you have submitted the form we’ll take care of everything so there is no need to call us. We’ll send you a text or email to keep you updated on your request.

I’m currently in a 0% promotional period for balance transfers / purchases on my Santander card

During a promotional period you still have to pay the minimum amount due. However if you take the payment holiday, you won’t need to make these payments for up to 3 months. Please be aware that the length of your 0% promotional period will remain the same, it won’t be extended by 3 months.

Can an additional credit card holder request a payment holiday?

No – the request must come from the main account holder.

I normally pay my Santander credit card at a branch but I can’t get there because of coronavirus – what other options do I have?

The quickest and easiest way to make a credit card payment is in Online Banking. You can also pay over the phone but unfortunately due to high demand it’s taking us much longer than usual to answer calls.

How will I know my payment holiday is ending?

We'll contact you either by email or SMS approximately 10 days before your payment holiday is due to end. Once it has ended, your next statement will show your new minimum payment due and your statement will inform you when you need to make your next payment.  

Can I extend my payment holiday?

If your first payment holiday was for less than 3 months, you can extend it up to a maximum of 3 months. You’ll need to complete the online payment holiday form again within 5 days of receiving your email / SMS to ensure there is no interruption in the payment holiday. Remember that interest will continue to be added to your balance.

The quickest way to apply is using the online form – you’ll need an email address. 

We’ll only use the email address to keep you updated about your payment holiday.  If you don’t have an email address, you can call us but we’re taking a lot of calls at the moment so it will take longer than normal to respond. Santander credit card customers 0800 9 123 123

  • cahoot credit card customers 0800 587 1111
  • Business credit card customers 0800 218 2345

How long can I extend my payment 
holiday for?

You can take a payment holiday of 3 months in total. For example, if you initially took a payment holiday of 2 months, and you submit a new request for a 3 month holiday, we’ll only extend your holiday by 1 month. 

What happens to my Direct Debit?

If you had a Direct Debit set up on your account before the payment holiday, this will restart once the payment holiday has ended.

My Direct Debit is set to clear the full balance of my credit card but I can’t afford that now

If, due to your current circumstances, you don’t want this to happen, you’ll need to cancel this Direct Debit and make a payment for a lower amount, making sure you meet your minimum payment. If your Direct Debit is set up with Santander you can do this in Online Banking.

I can't afford to make my minimum payment now that my payment holiday has ended

If you still feel unable to make the minimum payment, please call us so we can help you. We’re working hard to ensure we look after all our customers, so we’re sorry if it takes longer than normal to reach us over the phone.

Personal customers

0800 011 3142

Business Banking customers

0800 169 3371

What do I do if I was behind on my credit card payments before the payment holiday?

If you were behind with your credit card payments before your payment holiday, and you had an existing payment arrangement with us, that arrangement was cancelled. If you’re still worried about meeting your repayments we can revisit this arrangement. Please call us so we can help you. 

Personal customers

0800 011 3142

Business Banking customers

0800 169 3371

What is the change? 

We’re removing the late payment fee and cash advance charge on our credit cards from 31 March until 6 July.

What is a late payment fee?

As part of your credit card agreement terms and conditions, you are required to make a minimum payment by the date shown on your monthly statement. If a payment is not made on time, then a £12 late payment fee will be charged.

Will this impact my credit rating?

You need to continue to make your minimum payments each month as missing your payment can affect your credit rating.(Please note this is different to a payment holiday where your credit rating won’t be affected)

Does this mean I don’t need to make a credit card payment?

No. Please try and pay at least your minimum payment each month. If you can’t, you’ll have the peace of mind that you won’t be charged a late fee until 6 July if you miss a payment.

Will I still have to pay interest?

Yes.  Interest will still be applied to your balance and cash transactions in line with your credit card terms and conditions.

What is a cash advance fee?

As part of your credit card agreement terms and conditions, there is a charge for withdrawing cash from ATMs or over the counter at a Branch or Post Office. 

Will I still pay a cash advance fee if I withdraw cash abroad?

No, but if you do have to use your credit card abroad, a non sterling transaction fee may be charged (depending upon the type of card you have). 

Which credit card does this apply to?

This change has been applied to all our personal Santander credit cards, including cahoot and Santander Business Banking credit cards.

Do I need to do anything?

No. We will automatically waive any late fees or cash advance fees going forward and they won’t appear on your statement.

How will I know my payment holiday is ending?

We'll contact you either by email or SMS approximately 10 days before your payment holiday is due to end. Once it has ended, your next statement will show your new minimum payment due and your statement will inform you when you need to make your next payment.  

Can I extend my payment holiday?

If your first payment holiday was for less than 3 months, you can extend it up to a maximum of 3 months. You’ll need to complete the online payment holiday form again within 5 days of receiving your email / SMS to ensure there is no interruption in the payment holiday. Remember that interest will continue to be added to your balance.

The quickest way to apply is using the online form – you’ll need an email address. 

We’ll only use the email address to keep you updated about your payment holiday.  If you don’t have an email address, you can call us but we’re taking a lot of calls at the moment so it will take longer than normal to respond.

  • Santander credit card customers 0800 9 123 123
  • cahoot credit card customers 0800 587 1111
  • Business credit card customers 0800 218 2345

How long can I extend my payment 
holiday for?

You can take a payment holiday of 3 months in total. For example, if you initially took a payment holiday of 2 months, and you submit a new request for a 3 month holiday, we’ll only extend your holiday by 1 month. 

What happens to my Direct Debit?

If you had a Direct Debit set up on your account before the payment holiday, this will restart once the payment holiday has ended.

My Direct Debit is set to clear the full balance of my credit card but I can’t afford that now

If, due to your current circumstances, you don’t want this to happen, you’ll need to cancel this Direct Debit and make a payment for a lower amount, making sure you meet your minimum payment. If your Direct Debit is set up with Santander you can do this in Online Banking.

I can't afford to make my minimum payment now that my payment holiday has ended

If you still feel unable to make the minimum payment, please call us so we can help you. We’re working hard to ensure we look after all our customers, so we’re sorry if it takes longer than normal to reach us over the phone.

Personal customers

0800 011 3142

Business Banking customers

0800 169 3371

What do I do if I was behind on my credit card payments before the payment holiday?

If you were behind with your credit card payments before your payment holiday, and you had an existing payment arrangement with us, that arrangement was cancelled. If you’re still worried about meeting your repayments we can revisit this arrangement. Please call us so we can help you. 

Personal customers

0800 011 3142

Business Banking customers

0800 169 3371

 

What is the change? 

We’re removing the late payment fee and cash advance charge on our credit cards from 31 March until 6 July.

What is a late payment fee?

As part of your credit card agreement terms and conditions, you are required to make a minimum payment by the date shown on your monthly statement. If a payment is not made on time, then a £12 late payment fee will be charged.

Will this impact my credit rating?

You need to continue to make your minimum payments each month as missing your payment can affect your credit rating.(Please note this is different to a payment holiday where your credit rating won’t be affected)

Does this mean I don’t need to make a credit card payment?

No. Please try and pay at least your minimum payment each month. If you can’t, you’ll have the peace of mind that you won’t be charged a late fee until 6 July if you miss a payment.

Will I still have to pay interest?

Yes.  Interest will still be applied to your balance and cash transactions in line with your credit card terms and conditions.

What is a cash advance fee?

As part of your credit card agreement terms and conditions, there is a charge for withdrawing cash from ATMs or over the counter at a Branch or Post Office. 

Will I still pay a cash advance fee if I withdraw cash abroad?

No, but if you do have to use your credit card abroad, a non sterling transaction fee may be charged (depending upon the type of card you have). 

Which credit card does this apply to?

This change has been applied to all our personal Santander credit cards, including cahoot and Santander Business Banking credit cards.

Do I need to do anything?

No. We will automatically waive any late fees or cash advance fees going forward and they won’t appear on your statement.

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