Asking do you want to lower the interest rate on your credit card is like asking do you want money so here are five easy tips to help you start the conversation with your credit card company. If you follow these, you will be well on your way to having more cash in your pocket.
Always turn to the credit card chaser for assistance with your credit card issues.
Having a good interest rate can mean the difference between being happy with your credit card company and owning cards you never use because the rates are too high. Even if you think you are not a capable negotiator, don’t worry. The following pointers make it simple for anyone to talk their way into a lower credit card interest rate.
Tip 1: Talk to the Right Person
Just as you cannot get the receptionist at the auto repair shop to fix your car, you also cannot get a lower credit card interest rate from someone who does not have the power and knowledge to make it happen. When you reach a live person, briefly explain why you are calling and ask if he or she is in a position to help you. If not, politely ask to speak with a director or supervisor that has the authority to make these types of decisions.
Often, the representative who initially answers the phone is only allowed to address basic questions and solve simple issues such as opening a new account or having an erroneous charge removed. Some credit card companies have taken the bold step to empower their front line agents to make more advanced decisions, like lowering an interest rate independently, but it will save a lot of time and headache to ask first.
It may help you to think of the person who originally answers as the first line of defense. Depending on the bureaucracy of your credit card company, you may have a long way to go. The representative you speak to in the beginning may even have been trained to automatically tell you it is not possible to get a lower interest rate but do not accept this explanation without speaking with someone higher up on the chain of command.
Tip 2: Do your Homework
A famous coach once said, “A winning effort begins with preparation.” As with everything else you do, never enter a situation unprepared. This also applies to navigating a lower credit card interest rate.
One smart thing you can do is to find out what kind of interest rates other companies are offering for their customers, which is less complicated than it sounds and requires very little effort. All you have to do is watch a few commercials or start saving some of those ads you receive in the mail. Chances are, they have low rate credit card incentives for new clients and some even agree to seamlessly transfer your balance from your old card to their new one.
You may also want to call one or two competitors to learn what interest rate they would offer you for your unique situation and spending habits. Then you will have a better idea of what to accept from your credit card company.
If you have been a good customer, your credit card company will not want to lose your business. In the nicest way possible, threaten to discontinue your account in favor of a different one and your credit card company will listen to whatever you have to say.
According to CNN/Money if you have a credit score of 720, there is no reason for you to be paying an interest rate higher than 10%, especially if you have been with card issuer for several years.
Tip 3: Don’t be Afraid to Haggle
In any settlement, there is always a bit of give and take so some amount of haggling should be expected. If the representative offers you a reduced rate but you want one even lower, don’t be afraid to ask for what you deserve.
A few trustworthy news sites, such as the Wall Street Journal publish interest rates on a regular basis.
Tip 4: Ask for Alternatives such as Reduced Fees
You should be prepared for the rare circumstance that your credit card company really doesn’t lower interest rates for anyone one they have been set. In this instance, you could ask for other incentives such as loyal customer discounts, reduced fees, or even cash back. Let’s face the facts, which are that you will never know what you can get unless you ask.
Tip 5: Be Prepared to Walk Away
Perhaps you called on a bad day or your credit card representative is in a bad mood and not willing to discuss the situation. In any business, excellent customer service is crucial and if your credit card company is not agreeable to working with you then maybe it is not the company for you and you should take your money elsewhere. After all, it’s your money and you should be happy with where you choose to spend it.
Use our credit card finder to compare credit cards with attractive balance transfer options.