The South Korean government has created a new Covid-19 relief fund, in the form of giving cash back on card spending.
From October to the last day of this November, those who spend more than usual will get a sliver of their card spending added back to their bank accounts.
The Finance Ministry announced on Monday that anybody in South Korea who spends at least three percent more than their average monthly spending in the second quarter, will get ten percent of their extra expenses back, up to a maximum of 100-thousand Korean Won or 85 U.S. dollars.
So let's say a person has spent 1-thousand U.S. dollars a month on average through April to June.
They would have to spend at least 1-thousand and 30 U.S. dollars to get some money back.
The extra money will be given as credit card points and will roll into their banks on the 15th of the following month,.. but bear in mind, that these points will be only be usable until the end of next June.
The government is putting almost 600 million U.S. dollars into the scheme.
The funds aim to boost spending in small, local businesses to get the economy moving.
So purchases made in overseas stores, big supermarket chains, major department stores, outlets, and high-end brands will not be accounted for in this cashback scheme.
Anyone in South Korea who's using a credit or debit card from one of nine card companies is eligible to apply for cashback funds, and this includes foreigners.
People can apply by calling their card company or visiting its website from October 1st.
For the first week in October, people will have different dates to apply, depending on their birth year.
Applications will be open until November 30th, but if the total funds allotted to this scheme run out faster than expected, applications could close earlier than announced.
Kim Yeon-seung, Arirang News