When you apply for a credit card, the credit card fees and interest rates appear to be set in stone. You might think applying for a new credit card is the best way to get a better deal.
But according to a recent CreditCards.com survey, all you have to do is ask. The results showed that only 19 percent of respondents asked their credit card company for a lower interest rate and 10 percent asked for a break on an annual fee.
Among those who asked, however, the success rate was high. Eighty-two percent had their annual fee waived or reduced, and 69 percent received a lower interest rate.
Getting a lower credit card interest rate can make a big difference if you’re carrying a balance. And no one likes paying credit card fees, even if you’re getting a lot of value out of the card. Find out how you can improve your credit card situation below.
How to negotiate lower credit card fees and interest rates
Here are four tips you can use to negotiate lower credit card fees and interest rates before your next billing cycle.
1. Remember how valuable you are as a customer
“The credit card industry is extremely competitive and very profitable,” said credit card expert Jason Steele. “It can be worth hundreds of dollars to acquire a new customer.”
As a result, credit card companies might be willing to give you a break to keep you happy. After all, losing your business means spending more money to replace you.
If you can’t manage to achieve the results you want, don’t be afraid to let the issuer know you’re considering closing the account and getting a better deal elsewhere.
Don’t think of it as a threat. Rather, it’s something the credit card company needs to know to make the right decision. In some cases, that might mean letting you go. But in others, it might trigger an about-face.
2. Call and make your request politely
When you ask someone for help, it’s best to be polite. “Even if you are mad at the card issuer for some reason,” said Steele, “it’s certainly not the fault of the person you are speaking with.”
The best way to contact the issuer is to call the number on the back of your card rather than sending a message via your online account. Having a conversation can make it easier to explain your situation and escalate your questions.
If you’ve been a cardholder with the company for years, emphasize your loyalty. Then ask for what you need, whether it’s a lower credit card interest rate, a waived late fee, or a break on the annual fee.
At this point, the representative might put you on hold to check with a supervisor. Or they will decline upfront. Either way, politely ask for a supervisor if the representative responds in the negative.
“If you don’t get the result you need, politely hang up and call back,” said Steele. “You might get a different result.”
3. Make sure you are a worthy candidate
Depending on what you’re asking for, you’ll want to convince the issuer that it isn’t wasting its time.
“If you’re asking to have a late fee waived,” said Steele, “make your payment first and wait until your account is credited before making the request.”
If you want a lower interest rate, exercise some responsible credit card use before making your request to show you aren’t a big risk, including:
- Making a big payment on the credit card in question before you ask
- Using the credit card regularly
- Setting up autopay to avoid late payments
- Avoiding overspending
4. Don’t hesitate to walk away if necessary
If you’ve tried everything and still can’t get the result you want, start looking for other credit cards that offer better terms.
“It’s strictly a business relationship,” says Steele, “and you need to open or close accounts when it benefits you.”
If you’re looking for a lower interest rate for a big purchase or a way to save money while you’re paying off your debt, consider a 0% APR credit card to give you some time to pay off your balance interest-free. And if you’re looking for a good no-annual-fee card, check out some of the top cash-back credit cards to get the most bang for your buck.
Call your credit card company today
It can be intimidating to ask your credit card issuer to lower your interest rate or waive a fee. But if you never ask to lower your credit card fees or interest rates, you’re guaranteed to get no results.
Also, the sooner you ask, the sooner you can take advantage of a lower interest rate or waived fee — which is especially important if you carry a balance on your card.
If it doesn’t work, you’ll at least know you tried. And if it does, you’ll enjoy the benefits immediately.
Interested in refinancing student loans?Here are the top 6 lenders of 2019!
|Lender||Variable APR||Eligible Degrees|
|Check out the testimonials and our in-depth reviews!
1 Important Disclosures for SoFi.
2 Important Disclosures for Earnest.
To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or possess a 10-year (non-conditional) Permanent Resident Card, reside in a state Earnest lends in, and satisfy our minimum eligibility criteria. You may find more information on loan eligibility here: https://www.earnest.com/eligibility. Not all applicants will be approved for a loan, and not all applicants will qualify for the lowest rate. Approval and interest rate depend on the review of a complete application.
Earnest fixed rate loan rates range from 3.89% APR (with Auto Pay) to 7.89% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 2.50% APR (with Auto Pay) to 7.27% APR (with Auto Pay). For variable rate loans, although the interest rate will vary after you are approved, the interest rate will never exceed 8.95% for loan terms 10 years or less. For loan terms of 10 years to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95% (the maximum rates for these loans). Earnest variable interest rate loans are based on a publicly available index, the one month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Your rate will be calculated each month by adding a margin between 1.82% and 5.50% to the one month LIBOR. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Earnest rate ranges are current as of April 17, 2019, and are subject to change based on market conditions and borrower eligibility.
Auto Pay discount: If you make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic, monthly deduction from a savings or checking account, your rate will be reduced by one quarter of one percent (0.25%) for so long as you continue to make automatic, electronic monthly payments. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance.
The information provided on this page is updated as of 04/17/2019. Earnest reserves the right to change, pause, or terminate product offerings at any time without notice. Earnest loans are originated by Earnest Operations LLC. California Finance Lender License 6054788. NMLS # 1204917. Earnest Operations LLC is located at 302 2nd Street, Suite 401N, San Francisco, CA 94107. Terms and Conditions apply. Visit https://www.earnest.com/terms-of-service, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 888-601-2801 for more information on our student loan refinance product.
© 2018 Earnest LLC. All rights reserved. Earnest LLC and its subsidiaries, including Earnest Operations LLC, are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.
3 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.
Laurel Road Disclosures
However, if the borrower chooses to make monthly payments automatically by electronic funds transfer (EFT) from a bank account, the fixed rate will decrease by 0.25%, and will increase back up to the regular fixed interest rate described in the preceding paragraph if the borrower stops making (or we stop accepting) monthly payments automatically by EFT from the designated borrower’s bank account.
However, if the borrower chooses to make monthly payments automatically by electronic funds transfer (EFT) from a bank account, the variable rate will decrease by 0.25%, and will increase back up to the regular variable interest rate described in the preceding paragraph if the borrower stops making (or we stop accepting) monthly payments automatically by EFT from the designated borrower’s bank account.
All credit products are subject to credit approval.
Laurel Road began originating student loans in 2013 and has since helped thousands of professionals with undergraduate and postgraduate degrees consolidate and refinance more than $4 billion in federal and private school loans. Laurel Road also offers a suite of online graduate school loan products and personal loans that help simplify lending through customized technology and personalized service. In April 2019, Laurel Road was acquired by KeyBank, one of the nation’s largest bank-based financial services companies. Laurel Road is a brand of KeyBank National Association offering online lending products in all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. All loans are provided by KeyBank National Association, a nationally chartered bank. Member FDIC. For more information, visit www.laurelroad.com.
4 Important Disclosures for LendKey.
Refinancing via LendKey.com is only available for applicants with qualified private education loans from an eligible institution. Loans that were used for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not eligible for refinancing with a lender via LendKey.com. If you currently have any of these exam preparation loans, you should not include them in an application to refinance your student loans on this website. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on LendKey.com reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse, any educational institution.
5 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.
Offered terms are subject to change. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900). If you are approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your credit profile, your application, the loan term selected and will be within the ranges of rates shown.
All Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) displayed assume borrowers enroll in auto pay and account for the 0.25% reduction in interest rate. All variable rates are based on a 1-month LIBOR assumption of 2.49% effective March 10, 2019.
6 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.
Citizens Bank Disclosures
|2.50% – 7.27%1||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.50% – 7.12%3||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.81% – 8.79%4||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.50% – 6.65%2||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.55% – 7.12%5||Undergrad & Graduate|
|3.00% – 9.74%6||Undergrad & Graduate|