Covid-19 relief: Citi Bank releases FAQ on deferred EMIs and its impact

Topics Citi Bank | EMI | Coronavirus

Photo: Reuters
The Reserve Bank of India announced a slew of measures to deal with the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. The measures were aimed at providing relief to the common people by allowing a moratorium of three months on payments of EMIs. Citi Bank released an FAQ on what its customers can expect. 

Q1. What is the allowed “Moratorium”?
Moratorium is an option provided to not make payments towards the cards dues for 3 months starting 1st Mar 2020 and ending
31st May 2020. During this period, customers can choose not to make payments which are otherwise due on the payment due dates per the credit card statements. There will be no late payment charges or payment return charges payable during this period. In addition, this would not adversely affect the credit bureau records.

Q2. Who is eligible for moratorium benefits?
Customers who have received the communication from Citi via Email and/or SMS are eligible for the moratorium benefits.

Q3. Is there an opt-in required to avail moratorium benefits?
No, there is no explicit opt-in required. The customers who have received the communication and from whom the Minimum Amount Due for the credit card in Mar’20 statement is not received will receive moratorium benefits.

Q4. What is the moratorium period in which will receive the benefits from the bank?
The moratorium offered by Citibank posts the customer's receipt of the email and SMS for the offer for dues falling upto May 31st, 2020.

Q5. Is a customer allowed to stop paying for my credit card?
Yes, a customer can choose not to make payments during the moratorium period including the Minimum Amount Due (MAD). This is a temporary relief measure for payments due between 1st March and 31st May in accordance with the RBI’s COVID-19 regulatory package.

Please note that interest will be charged if the Card Member does not pay back the previous bill in full, by the payment due date (as per the card statement), and on cash advances from the day of advance. Interest is charged from the date of the transaction until the date of full settlement of the dues. Please refer to section on “Finance Charges” in the Most Important Terms and Conditions of the respective cards for details. This is available at: https://www.online.citibank.co.in/portal/newgen/cards/tab/creditcards_tc.htm

Q6. Will the EMIs be billed into the monthly credit card statement?
EMIs due for April 2020 and May 2020 statements will not be billed for eligible customers who choose to avail the moratorium benefits and would be deferred. EMI billing will resume from June 2020 statement and there will be an extension of the remaining tenor of the remaining loan with one EMI billed per statement cycle. Please note, additional interest for the moratorium period will be applicable.

Q7. Will customers be charged late payment charges during the moratorium period?
No. Late payment charges or payment return fees will be not be payable during the moratorium period. However, interest would continue to accrue on the balances at the current interest rates. It should be noted that late payment fees and payment return charges would be applicable if the minimum amount due is not received by the payment due date after the moratorium ends.

Q8. How do customers opt-in for the moratorium?
The RBI has permitted banks to offer the moratorium at their discretion. The bank is extending the moratorium to our credit card customers, whose cards are in good standing as of March, 2020 (i.e. no default in repayment of prior dues).

Q9. Will the bank levy interest charges for the deferred period of payment?
The RBI press release has specified that interest will continue to accrue on the outstanding amount during the 3-month moratorium period. Thus, if a customer makes any payments during this period, the interest charges will be reduced accordingly. For more details on interest calculation, please visit https://citi.asia/INCreditCard. The interest-free period will also not apply for any fresh purchases a customer makes subsequently and interest at the applicable rate of interest will be applied from the date of purchase.

For e.g.: If a customer made a purchase on 20th Apr for Rs. 1,000 with a statement generation date of 25th April, interest on this purchase will accrue from 20th Apr till the date of full payment.

Q10. Will my credit bureau score be impacted if a customer doesn’t make payments?
No, there will be no adverse reporting on credit bureau records for payments not received during the moratorium period.

Q11. Will a customer continue to get my statement?
Yes, the statement will be generated as per customer's billing cycle. Customers will receive the statement information via email, SMS or physical letter (subject to lockdown conditions). However, a customer has an option to not pay during the moratorium period. Customers will be required to make payments towards the total dues by the first payment due date post the end of the moratorium period.

Q12. Is there any change in the interest rate during the moratorium period?
For all credit card dues (including any unpaid EMIs till the respective payment due date), current prevailing interest rates will apply as per the Cardmember Terms and Conditions.

Q13. How can a customer view statement or unbilled transactions and any interest/charges during or after the moratorium period?
A customer can easily access your statements and unbilled transactions via Citi Mobile App or Citibank Online.

Q14. What if a customer does not want the auto-debit of due amounts from his savings account?
To place a request to stop the auto-debit from the linked savings account, a customer can disable the Standing instruction from Citibank Online / Citi Mobile App or write to us at moratorium@citi.com.

If the standing instruction for payment is already executed then a customer may reach out to the bank for refund, if required.

Q15. What if a customer makes a payment during the moratorium period?
If a customer makes any payment against the credit card outstanding during the moratorium period, the interest would be levied on the remaining outstanding amount only from the date payment is applied (as per the prevailing interest rate of the card as per the applicable terms and conditions).

Q16. A customer has already been charged late payment fees in March, how does he get the same refunded/reversed?
The Late payment fees charged in Mar’20 will continue to be a part of credit card dues and will not be reversed.

Q17. EMI has been billed in the March statement for my credit card, how does a customer get the same refunded/reversed?
EMI once billed will not be reversed and will be part of a customer's credit card dues. However, a customer can choose to not pay the Minimum Amount Due during the moratorium period to avail of its benefits. EMIs due in subsequent statements – Apr’20 and May’20 will not be billed.

Q18. Will there be any penal charges payable for return on standing instructions/ECS?
There will be no payment return charges payable during the moratorium period. Should there be any charges levied during the moratorium period, we will reverse those charges.

Q19. A customer does not want the SI to get debited for card payment, what should be done?
We will continue to present standing instruction/ECS in the month of Apr’20 and May’20. However, there will not be any payment return charges payable by a customer. If a customer does not want the bank to present the ECS / SI / NACH, he/she will need to inform the bank.

A customer may write to the bank at moratorium@citi.com to request for cancellation of future presentations. Please note:

Request should be received from registered email Id
Please mention “Credit Card XXXX” in the subject (XXXX – Last 4 digits of the card)
Please mention option (a) Refund of the payment & (b) Refund of payment and cancellation


Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel