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Apple Card’s Newest Benefit: Relief for Natural Disaster Victims

October 11, 2019, 8:16 PM UTC

After a natural disaster, many often struggle to reach loved ones and rebuild their lives. And while time can feel like it’s standing still during emergencies like these, obligations like credit card bills continue to come in, adding to financial burdens disaster victims face.

Apple Card is offering a new benefit to help. With natural disasters on the rise due to climate change, the tech giant’s new credit card has been messaging cardholders in areas affected by natural disasters, like hurricanes, floods, or forest fires, encouraging them to apply for Apple Card’s Disaster Relief Program.

Reports of the emails first started appearing Thursday. Fortune confirmed details of the disaster relief program with Apple Card’s customer service and reached out to Apple’s press team for additional comment but did not receive an immediate response.

The Apple Card Disaster Relief Program offers cardholders in affected areas benefits to temporarily relieve the financial responsibility of paying their monthly credit card bill. The only requirement is to live in a FEMA-designated disaster area, according to Apple Card customer service. The Apple Card benefit charges no interest for two months, before the usual APR kicks in again, and a payment can be skipped for a month. Apple Card holders in good standing will see their accounts remain current, despite not paying their bill. For those who are behind before enrolling in the program, it will not go further past due, but will remain behind as it was before the disaster relief program.

The Apple credit card perk, while welcome by cardholders, isn’t necessarily novel or new. Banks and credit cards have offered similar relief programs including American Express, Bank of America, Citi, Capital One, Chase, Discover, and Wells Fargo have all previously offered waivers or other allowances for customers in FEMA-designated disaster areas. But Apple’s preemptive effort at alerting its cardholders to the Apple Card benefit may set it apart from competing credit cards.

The Apple Card offers other benefits to its credit cardholders, like its cash back rewards perk, which provides varying levels of rebates on purchases. Cardholders can get 3% back in Daily Cash (Apple Card’s cash back perk) for purchases made at Apple using Apple Pay, a 2% back on other purchases made using Apple Pay, and 1% when the physical card is swiped. Purchases made with Apple Card partners T-Mobile, Uber, and Walgreens also earn consumer a 3% cash back reward.

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