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The financial landscape has changed a ton since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. A strong economy has quickly turned into an economic recession, and suddenly funds are tight for millions of people.
One little silver lining in all of this is that there are organizations that are giving you financial kickbacks.
Here’s who is writing checks to you:
1. The U.S. government is giving refunds.
Hopefully by now you’ve heard about the economic stimulus bill that was passed a few weeks back, and hopefully you know that you’re getting a check for $1,200 per adult in your household, and $500 per minor child.
If you haven’t received your stimulus check yet, don’t worry; there are plenty of legit reasons why that could be the case. Find out more about the stimulus package here.
On top of this, various cities and states have economic relief plans of their own.
2. Car insurance companies are giving refunds.
To help people during this financially difficult time, and to account for the fact that people are driving much less due to shelter-in-place restrictions, car insurance companies are paying customers back.
These refunds run anywhere between $20 and $150, depending on the company you’re with and the policy you’ve bought. For the most part, companies are giving 15 – 25% off two months’ worth of premiums, either credited to future policy renewals, or returned via check or direct deposit.
The big names in car insurance are playing (GEICO, State Farm, Progressive, etc.). Find out if your insurer is on the list and what your car insurance kickback is going to be.
3. Colleges and universities are giving refunds.
Some colleges cut short their academic year due to coronavirus; others sent students home and shifted to online-only education. Most colleges are offering refunds or credits. While you may not be reimbursed for your tuition, if you paid for room and board packages, there’s a good chance you’ll get a prorated portion of that back.
Early refunders include:
- Amherst College
- Cal Tech
- Florida State University
- James Madison
- Stevens Institute of Technology
- University of Chicago
- University of Kentucky
Also, the recent stimulus package puts all federal student loan borrowers in forbearance, which means payments are paused March 13 to Sept. 30. Anyone who paid on their loans during that time period can receive a refund for that payment. Contact your loan servicer directly to get a refund if your loan is eligible.
4. Ticket companies
Live Nation is giving customers the option of holding on to their ticket for a rescheduled date, exchanging the ticket for “Concert Cash” (worth 150% of the ticket’s value), donating their ticket value to healthcare workers, or receiving a full refund (within 30 days of an event announcing its cancellation or postponement).
Ticketmaster changed their refund policy after an uproar. If the show you purchased a ticket for has been postponed with set new dates, you should receive an email from Ticketmaster starting May 1. Once you get an email, you’ll have 30 days to request a refund. If you don’t, your ticket will be good for the rescheduled date.
5. Hotels are giving refunds.
The following hotel chains and companies have made announcements regarding refunds:
- All outstanding Best Western, Choice Hotels, Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott, and Radisson reservations can be cancelled and refunded, if the changes are made at least 24 hours before scheduled arrival, and by June 30.
- Choice Hotels guests can change their reservations with no fee, or cancel their reservations for a full refund through April 30.
- In addition to the June 30 deadline, all new Hilton, Hyatt, and Radisson reservations made between now and June 30 for a future date are eligible for a full refund, with no penalty.
- Hotels.com gives you a full refund for any stays booked on or before March 19, 2020 — to take place on or before May 31, 2020. Just log in to your hotels.com account, go to your bookings, and cancel to get your refund. It may not come right away due to high demand, but it’s coming.
- Wyndham Hotels & Resorts reservations made through May 31 may be cancelled and refunded with no fee if received at least 24 hours prior to scheduled arrival.
TIP: And what about airlines? The U.S. Department of Transportation has directed all airlines to give full refunds of airline ticket prices and associated fees (not just give credits). Check with your airline; each one has their own policies and procedures regarding refunds, and from the looks of Twitter posts, it’s not going very smoothly.
6. Gyms are giving refunds.
With gyms closed due to coronavirus and social distancing guidelines, some customers are looking to be refunded for their memberships. We go into great detail about how to get a refund for gym membership fees, but here’s the deal: If you prepaid for services you haven’t used (classes, mainly), you’re due for a refund.
You might have to jump through some hoops, though.
7. Power companies are giving refunds.
Minnesota Power is giving $12 million back in refunds this summer.
The California Climate Credit gives utility customers in California a kickback every year, funded by power companies who buy “pollution permits” from the government. This year, the credit will be automatically distributed early to help pay for the extra electricity used by staying home. Utility customers are expected to receive around $34 this year for electric, $25 for natural gas.
Florida power companies are automatically applying fuel savings credits to customers’ May bills to offset power spending increases. Avista Corporation in Washington is refunding $51 million to their electric and natural gas customers.
Check with your power company to see if any refunds or credits are coming your way.