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Credit cards: What is a payment holiday?

If COVID-19 has affected your finances and you're worried about making payments on your HSBC Credit Card, a payment holiday may help. If approved, you'll be able to postpone up to 3 months of payments, including the minimum payment on your credit card.

You won't be required to pay off your outstanding balance or any new transactions you make during the payment holiday. Interest will continue to accrue as normal. Once the payment holiday ends, you'll resume making monthly payments and your balance will include accrued interest and any new transactions.

This is a short-term solution. If you're having long-term financial difficulties, contact us for help. 

How will a payment holiday work?

If you apply and are accepted for a payment holiday, we'll confirm this to you in one of the following ways:

  • email
  • SMS
  • online banking
  • mobile banking, or
  • verbally over the phone

The payment holiday will then start from the date indicated in your confirmation. You'll continue to accrue and be charged interest at the usual rate during the payment holiday. You can find details of these rates in our Schedule of Services and Tariffs (PDF, 1.6MB).

There won't be any fees or charges for applying for a payment holiday. However, standard charges – for example, if you use your credit card to withdraw cash, or go beyond your authorised credit limit – will continue to apply.

If you make payments by standing instruction, we won't collect them and there’ll be no late fees charged during the payment holiday period. Once the payment holiday has ended, your standing instruction will be automatically reinstated and we’ll continue to debit the amount you have instructed. This needs to be at least the minimum payment.

The minimum payment may be higher than before your payment holiday, as it's normally based on a percentage of your outstanding balance. Your balance will include interest accrued and any money spent on your card during the payment holiday.

Interest accrued during the payment holiday will be charged in 3 equal monthly instalments. No additional interest will be charged on the accrued interest, providing it's paid within 3 months of the payment holiday ending.

There'll be no other changes to your HSBC Credit Card Agreement, which will continue to apply during the payment holiday. Additional terms will apply: The Credit Card Payment Holiday Terms and Conditions (PDF, 66KB).

Taking a payment holiday may mean it takes longer to pay off your credit card. You'll still be able to make payments during the payment holiday if you want and can afford to.

Who can request a payment holiday?

You can apply for a payment holiday if:

  • you hold an HSBC personal credit card account (you can't submit a request if you’re an additional/supplementary cardholder)
  • you've been directly or indirectly impacted by coronavirus
  • your ability to make at least the minimum monthly credit card payment has been temporarily affected, or you're expecting it to be – for example, your salary has been reduced
  • you're currently up to date on your credit card payments, or have not missed more than one payment

How do you apply for a payment holiday?

You can submit a request for a payment holiday by calling us and submitting an application. You should aim to do this at least 3 days before your next credit card payment is due. If you apply within this timeframe, we may not be able to offer you a payment holiday until the following month.

We may request additional documentation from you to support your application. We'll aim to process your application within 3 working days.

We'll look at:

  • the information you’ve provided us
  • the most up-to-date information we have on you
  • your records from the Credit Bureau

If any of the information provided changes, you'll need to let us know immediately as this may impact your application.

Will there be any change to my card limit?

We may reduce your credit limit (including supplementary cards and any other cards you hold with us) during the payment holiday. Details of this can be found in the application form or by contacting us. 

You can contact us at the end of the payment holiday to discuss reinstating your credit limit. This will be subject to review and eligibility criteria.

Can I continue to use my credit card during the payment holiday?

Yes. You can continue to use your credit card during the payment holiday providing it's within your credit limit and in accordance with the HSBC Credit Card Agreement Terms. 

Supplementary card holders will also be able to use their credit card throughout the payment holiday. You'll need to inform supplementary cardholders of the payment holiday terms and any revised limits put in place.

What if you still can’t afford to make your credit card payments after the payment holiday?

If you're worried about being able to make payments when the payment holiday ends, contact us. We have other options available to support you with longer-term difficulties.

Can I cancel a payment holiday?

You won't be able to cancel your payment holiday once it's been approved. We may choose to cancel your payment holiday for a valid reason, including: 

  • the information you provided during your application was incorrect or becomes incorrect and materially impacts our decision to offer you a payment holiday, or
  • you are in breach of the HSBC Credit Card Agreement Terms, the Personal Banking General Terms and Conditions, or any other product terms and conditions; or
  • we have decided to close your credit card account or any other accounts you hold with us
  • any other valid reason

Can I change my payment due date during my payment holiday?

No. You won't be able to make any changes to your payment date during the payment holiday. You can contact us to change the date after the payment holiday.

What will happen to any existing FIP/CIP plans?

If you currently have any Flexible Instalment Plans or Cash Instalment Plans on your credit card, we won't ask for payment of your monthly instalments. At the end of the payment holiday, we'll extend the term of these plans up to 3 months (depending on the remaining term when you apply for the payment holiday) without any additional charges to allow you time to repay these amounts. The terms and conditions for Flexible Instalment Plans or Cash Instalment Plans will continue to apply.

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