Credit card payment holiday
If you’ve been financially impacted by Covid-19 and are worried about making your M&S Credit Card payments, you can request a three-month payment holiday, without it impacting your credit file.
Taking a credit card payment holiday is only suitable for a short-term financial concern. If you have longer-term concerns over your payments or if you’re already behind on payments, you can find more information about what other support is available.
Who can make a request for a payment holiday?
You can submit a request if:
- you hold an M&S Credit Card
- you’ve been directly or indirectly impacted by Covid-19
- your ability to make at least your minimum monthly credit card payment has been temporarily affected, or you’re expecting it to be – for example, you’ve lost your job or you’re having to work less hours
If this doesn’t currently apply to you, please don’t make a request now. You’ll be able to make a request up until 31 October 2020 if your circumstances change.
How will this work?
If you submit a request for a 3-month credit card payment holiday and we accept your request, we’ll temporarily change the terms of your credit card agreement so there’s no minimum monthly payment due over the payment holiday. We’ll write to you to confirm this change. Other than this, there’ll be no change to your terms and conditions, which will continue to apply during the payment holiday.
If you make your credit card payments by Direct Debit, we won’t collect any payments from you during this period (if you pay by standing order, you’ll need to contact your bank to cancel this).
At the end of the 3-month period, your minimum payment will go back to the usual calculation, as set out in your current terms and conditions. This will be based on a percentage of the total amount you owe at the time, taking into account any increase due to interest or where you’ve carried on using your card during the payment holiday period. This means your minimum payment could be higher after the payment holiday ends.
Will interest and charges apply during the payment holiday?
It’s important to note that we’ll continue to charge interest at the usual rates during the payment holiday. You can find details of these rates in your credit card agreement or on your monthly statement. Standard charges (eg if you use your card to withdraw cash) will also apply.
As you won’t be paying off interest during this period (which means we’ll charge interest on that interest, as well as on any transactions added to your account), it may cost you more and take you longer to repay your balance.
You’ll still be able to make payments towards your account during the payment holiday period (though we won’t collect any payments by Direct Debit). Any payments you’re able to make will reduce the amount of interest you pay.
We won’t apply any charges for going over your credit limit during the payment holiday. As you won’t need to make any payments during this period, there’ll be no charges for paying late.
What if you have an introductory or promotional rate on your account?
This will continue to apply for the remainder of the introductory or promotional period (the payment holiday won’t change when this ends). After this, our standard rates will apply.
Will this impact how you use your credit card?
During the payment holiday period, you’ll still be able to use your credit card as normal.
How do you request a credit card payment holiday?
To submit a request for a credit card payment holiday, you should fill out our online form. You’ll receive an automated e-mail to confirm we’ve received your request, and we’ll be in touch as soon as possible to let you know if it’s been accepted. We’re anticipating a high number of requests, so please bear with us.
To fill out the form, you’ll need:
- your long credit card number or account number
- your next payment date
You can find these details on your credit card, statements or the account summary screen in Internet Banking.
Once your request has been processed and a decision has been made, we’ll contact you by email or send you a letter with an update (we won’t be able to provide this over the phone). If your request is accepted, we’ll set out the temporary variation to your credit card terms and conditions in the confirmation letter or email.
Will this affect your credit file?
If we accept your request for a payment holiday, this won’t impact your credit file.
Which credit card payments will this apply to?
If your request is accepted, we’ll be in touch to confirm when the payment holiday will apply.
What if you’ve already missed a payment?
You can still request a payment holiday using our online form. We’ll review your request and contact you to confirm if it’s been accepted.
If you’ve missed more than one payment, there may be other options that are more suitable for you depending on your circumstances, in which case we’ll provide further details of the available options.
If you’ve already contacted us and an alternative solution or payment arrangement has been set up, this will remain in place while we process your request for a payment holiday. If your request is accepted, we’ll take care of this and update the solution or payment arrangement without you needing to contact us.
What if you still can’t afford to make your credit card payments after the payment holiday?
If your circumstances change during the payment holiday period and you’re worried about being able to start making at least your minimum monthly payment again, you should contact us to see what options we have available to support you. We have a range of other solutions available to support with longer-term difficulties (there may be an impact on your credit file).