your credit card company to treat you better may be
easier than you think.
90 percent of consumers who asked their card issuer to
reverse a late fee were successful, according to a
report by the credit card comparison site
study also found that almost 70 percent of people who
asked got their interest rate cut.
most surprising, roughly half of cardholders with
premium travel reward cards that typically carry a stiff
annual fee were able to get that fee waived. Another 30
percent got the fee reduced.
have far more power with their credit card company than
they realize," said Matt Schulz, senior industry
analyst at Creditcards.com. "You need to wield that
power. It can save you some real money."
the high success rate, only about half of those surveyed
asked for such breaks. Many people probably donít
bother to call because they assume theyíll be shot
down, Schulz said.
earning over $75,000 a year were more likely to be
successful negotiating annual and late fee waivers, but
income level did not appear to affect success in
snagging a lower interest rate, according to the report.
no harm in asking," said Bill Hardekopf, CEO at
Lowcards.com, another card comparison site. "All
they can do is say no. Theyíre not going to jack up
your rates" as punishment.
general, the best way to ask for better terms is to be
polite, Schulz said.
No. 1 is donít be a jerk," he said. "Even if
a company typically would give you a break, if you are a
jerk or mean-spirited, they might not work with
also pays, Hardekopf said.
a request is denied, politely ask to speak to a
supervisor, he said. "He or she may have the
ability to grant the request whereas the first person
answering the phone may not."
a late fee removed can be as simple as saying, "I
was busy and forgot to pay." Thatís because many
card issuers will forgive a late fee occasionally as a
courtesy, no questions asked.
itís your first time in a long time being late, thereís
a really good chance all you will have to do is call up
and ask politely, and they will waive the fee,"
it comes to asking for a lower interest rate, the best
tactic is to come armed with other offers found online
or in the mailbox.
ĎHey, can you match this?í If they donít work with
you, you can walk away and take that other offer,"
average rate on a credit card is about 15.6 percent,
Schulz said, up from 15.2 percent six months ago before
the Federal Reserve raised short-term interest rates.
With the Fed expected to continue boosting rates this
year and into 2018, card rates are expected to keep
moving higher, he said.
most common request in the Creditcards.com survey was
for a higher credit limit, which was granted almost 90
percent of the time.
said getting a higher credit limit can help people raise
their credit scores.
you donít go crazy with all that extra credit, the
fact that you have a higher credit limit can help your
utilization rate (total credit card balances as a
percentage of available credit), which is a significant
part of your credit score," he said.
if a particular request is denied by the card issuer, it
may ultimately be worth making the effort to call,
if you donít entirely get your way, there is a good
chance you will get something," Schulz said.
example, the issuer may offer a bonus, such as some
extra reward points or miles, to try to keep people from
canceling their cards.
high overall success rate in the report shows how
competitive the credit card marketplace is nowadays, he
said. Issuers "clearly are willing to negotiate and
bend over backwards to keep current customers in the
could change, Schulz said.
arenít going to be flexible like this forever,"
he said. "Credit card debt is rising, rates are
rising and delinquencies are rising. That makes now a
good time to act while banks are still willing to
negotiate as much as they are."