Most people know you shouldn’t pay the sticker price on a car and that it’s important to negotiate a job offer, but did you know you can call your credit card company and negotiate for a lower APR? You could be paying way more than you need to without even realizing it.
Credit Card Rates & Fees
The high interest rates that come along with most cards can make it hard to claw your way out of debt. However, you do have some options as you work to pay off your balance.
How to Negotiate This
Call your credit card company and explain that you’ve been stretching to make the monthly payments and need to reduce the interest rate somehow. Explain that it would be convenient for you to stay with them and keep the balance on their card, but that you’re considering other cards with lower interest rates. Then ask them if they can reduce the interest rate on your current account.
Be sure to convey that you’re a good existing customer, but you’re having a hard time making the payments with your current rate. Be courteous but clear: You want them to lower your rate, or you’ll consider transferring your balance to a different card with a better rate and closing your account with them. Most companies would rather keep an existing customer than lose them to a competitor.
If you pay off your balance in full each month and don’t have any credit card debt, but you use a card with an annual fee, you can also try to negotiate that fee. Many rewards cards have a fee that can range anywhere from $30 per year to thousands, depending on the rewards. If you’re interested in the perks but can’t stomach the annual fee — or if you had the fee waived in an introductory period but are now facing paying the full amount — call and ask if the fee can be waived or reduced.
If the answer to that query is no, ask for bonus perks or points instead. Again, it’s much more cost-effective for these companies to keep an existing customer than to recruit new ones, and they’ll do a lot to keep you happy.