Learning how to negotiate with credit card companies is well worth the few moments it may take you to read this article. Why is this? Well, if you have credit card debt and you are struggling to make your minimum payments (or maybe you are just a savvy consumer that wants to get a better interest rate and pay less in credit card interest each month) then spending just a few moments to read some of these credit card debt negotiation tips and then spending another few moments to call your credit card company and put the tips into practice could literally be worth $1,000′s to you in money that you save in interest payments. So let’s get right down to it. Here are some practical tips for learning how to negotiate debt with your credit card company.
#1 Pick up the Phone!
If you get nothing else from this article but just this first tip then this could still be well worth your time. I would challenge you right now to just take your credit card with the highest interest rate out of your wallet or purse, flip it over to read the 800 number on the back of the card, and then take your phone right now and dial the number. As soon as the customer service rep answers the phone simply say, “My current credit card interest rate is X percent. Can you lower my rate to X – 5%?” (See the below negotiation tactics if they do not say yes right away).
#2 Don’t be Afraid to Haggle
Picking up the phone and making the call is half of the battle. The other half is being persistent with the credit card company and willing to stick in there and do a little negotiation. If the customer service representative does not agree to lower your interest rate immediately then here are a few tactics that you could try:
- Be very polite and friendly at all times. This is often an underrated tactic as most customer service reps will be happy to help someone (up to their authorization level) if they are dealing with someone that treats them nicely. Everything else being equal, customer service reps will give nice people what they want more often then they will give rude people what they want (and of course it’s just good manners!).
- Do not make it easy for the customer service rep to say no. It can be tempting to say things like, “Are you sure?” or “Is there anything else that I can do?” but DO NOT ask these types of questions because then it makes it very easy for the customer service rep to just say no. Instead ask questions like, “I would really like to get my credit card interest rate lowered. I am a (really good customer that has always paid on time and I will go somewhere else to find a credit card with a lower interest rate if I have to but I would rather stay with you guys/having some cash flow problems currently and I know that I have had a couple of late payments recently but if you can lower my interest rate just a little bit and waive some of these late payment fees then I know that it will help me get back on track without having to miss anymore payments)” Notice how these types of questions are much better because they are allowing the customer service rep to be proactive about finding ways to help you out while not giving them any easy out by just saying no (Thanks to Ramit from this post on negotiating with your bank for some great advice used for this particular tip).
- Make a counter offer. If the customer service rep (and their supervisor) refuses to lower your interest rate then politely but firmly ask them for a different concession that will also save you some money. This could be a removal of your credit card annual fee, a removal of some credit card overlimit charges, a removal of some credit card late charges, etc.
Of course, these are just a few credit card negotiation tips but just putting these few quick tips into practice could likely result in savings of $100′s or even $1,000′s.
#3 Make Notes
Make notes during every phone call with your credit card company. Refer to your notes from previous phone calls when you call back. Your notes will come in handy when you find out how many charges each particular credit card issuer typically allows their customer service reps to waive every month/quarter/year or any other useful information that you can glean from talking to the various credit card customer service representatives.
Every credit card is different and different people have different credit needs. Try our free credit card “Chaser” tool on our home page to search and compare the best credit cards online!
- How to Negotiate with Credit Card Companies: 7 Tips to Negotiating
- How do I negotiate with credit card companies?
- Should I seek help before negotiating with credit card companies?
- The Credit Card Concierge Experiment: Part 2
- How can I negotiate credit card debt?
- How to Lower Your Credit Card Interest Rates
- How do I check my credit card’s balance?