Credit Card Rate Reductions and Fee Waivers: Sometimes You Just Have to Ask…

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Sep 25, 2014

I love articles that provide common-sense tactics to help consumers save money.  Given the competitive environment for many financial services, don’t be afraid to negotiate lower fees and/or rates.  Credit cards provide a good example where such negotiating can work.  Survey results (and my personal experience) show that asking your credit card company to lower your interest rate or waive that late payment fee works.  From Creditcards.com:

The survey of 983 credit card holders found that relatively few ask for better treatment, but those who do usually succeed:

Just 23 percent say they have asked for a lower interest rate. Of those who asked, about two out of three (65 percent) report they got a rate reduction.  Similarly, only 28 percent have asked for a late payment fee waiver. Cardholders who sought forgiveness were granted it six out of seven times — an 86 percent success ratio.

Of course, there are some caveats before you make that call.  One being that you have a much better chance if you have a history of responsible use of credit and a decent credit score:

“A lot of people who’ve had accounts for a long time have probably earned a better rate than they’re getting due to establishing a good credit history, but the creditors won’t check unless the cardholder calls and asks,” said Melinda Opperman, senior vice president of community outreach at Springboard Nonprofit Consumer Credit Management Inc., a nationwide credit counseling organization.

FeeWaivers

About the Author

Tim Ranzetta

Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.

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