Lower Your Credit Card Bills By Negotiating Your Rates

Tired of your credit card bills? Here are some tips for getting them under control.

Do you know how much interest you are paying on your credit card balance each month? If you are shaking your head and picking numbers out of the air, then you’ll need to do something different. You should always know what you are paying so you know whether you are getting a good deal or not.

Lower Your Credit Card Bills By Negotiating Your Rates

Many people mistakenly believe that credit card rates are set in stone. They think that the rate advertised is the rate you will get and that’s that. But this isn’t always the case.

What you need to remember is that credit card companies are always out to get new customers. They would also like to keep as many of their existing customers as they possibly can.

So if you were to say you were going to take your business elsewhere, it might persuade them to give you the interest rate you are looking for.

Do your homework first!

It’s no good calling up your credit card company and asking for a lower rate. You need to find out whether you can get a much lower credit card interest rate elsewhere first. In fact, a little bit of research into 0% balance transfer credit cards can help move the process along. Here are some top balance transfer cards you can check out:

Credit Card
Interest Rate
Transfer Fee
Discover Escape Card 0% for 6 months 3% transfer fee
Discover Miles Card 0% for 6 months 3% transfer fee
Discover More Card 0% for 12 months 5% transfer fee
Discover More Platinum Card 0% for 12 months 3% transfer fee
Discover More Sealife Card 0% for 6 months 3% transfer fee
Discover More Clear 0% for 6 months 3% transfer fee
Discover More American Flag 0% for 6 months 3% transfer fee
Chase Freedom Card 0% APR for 12 months on BT $10 or 5%, whichever is greater
Visa Black Card 0% for 6 months No balance transfer fee / $495 annual fee
TrueEarnings Card from American Express and Costco 0% on purchases for 3 months, 1.99% bt for 6 months No balance transfer fee
Starwood Preferred Guest Card from American Express 2.9% for 6 months No balance transfer fee

You can then call them up and say something like this: “I’d like to keep my card with the 18% interest rate with you but I’ve been offered 12% by XYZ Company. Can you match it?”

This puts across your wishes in a positive way and it could result in a better outcome. It’s never a good idea to go in with a negative and pushy attitude because you’re likely to get the same kind of attitude in return. Nobody wants to work with a difficult customer. Go in positively and in a friendly manner –- you might be surprised at how far it will get you!

Make sure your credit history is in good shape.

The first thing your credit card company will do when you call them up and ask for a better rate is to look at your history with them. If you always pay on time, regardless of whether you have a balance or not, they will be much more inclined to consider your suggestion.

Tip: If you are interested in the health of your credit, you can check your credit score from credit reporting agencies.

If your credit card company is only seeing a catalog of late fees and extra charges, then don’t expect to receive what you’re looking for. Why should they help you out when they are earning a lot of money at your expense (from your errors)?

Could you reduce your annual fee as well?

There are a lot of credit cards that don’t have an annual fee, but if you happen to have one that does, it is always worth asking whether they will waive it for you. You could at least ask for it to be reduced to some extent.

Once again, if you can let them know that you’re ready to switch to another credit card that doesn’t have a fee, you may find yourself in a stronger position to negotiate for what you want. When they realize that they might actually lose a valuable customer, it’s amazing what the credit card issuers will do to keep you. After all, you might be worth a small fortune to them over the long term.

Tip: If your credit card company becomes difficult to deal with, you may want to consider working with another card issuer. If so, then make sure you compare credit card offers carefully before making any type of switch.

Remember to be positive!

You don’t have to flatter the person you are talking to or come across as if you are their best friend. But be polite, professional and positive –- it will get you a lot further in the end.

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