How to Get Your Credit Card Company to Lower Your Interest Rate[yoast-breadcrumb]
How to Get Your Credit Card Company to Lower Your Interest Rate
If you have credit card debt, one of the best ways to save money is to get your credit card company to lower your interest rate. This can potentially save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars in interest charges. Here’s how to negotiate with your credit card company and get them to reduce your rate.
Do Your Research
Before you call your credit card company, take some time to understand your current situation. Look at your most recent statements and find out:
- What is your current interest rate?
- How much debt do you have on the card?
- How long have you had the card open?
- What is your payment history – have you made on-time payments?
Also, check your credit score. You can get this for free from sites like CreditKarma. If you have good credit (generally 670 or higher), you’ll have more leverage to negotiate.
Finally, shop around and see what other credit card offers are out there. Look for cards that offer 0% intro APRs on balance transfers. Make a note of these so you can use them in your negotiation.
Once you’ve done your homework, call up your credit card company’s customer service line. When you get a representative on the phone, be extra nice and polite. Say something like:
“Hi, I’m hoping you can help me out today. I’ve been a loyal customer for over 5 years now, and I’ve always paid my bill on time. But my interest rate is just too high right now. I saw some other cards offering rates around 10%. Would you be able to lower my rate to be more in line with those offers?”
The key is to ask politely, citing your history with the company and any competitive offers you’ve seen. Don’t make demands or threats – that will only make the rep less likely to help you.
If the representative asks for evidence about your credit score or other offers, be prepared to provide it. Scan or take photos of anything relevant and email it to the rep while you have them on the phone. The easier you make it for them to verify your claims, the better.
The representative may not immediately agree to slash your rate in half. Instead, they may offer a smaller decrease, like 2 percentage points. Take it! This still saves you money, and you can always call back in a few months and ask for another reduction. Slowly lowering your rate through multiple calls can be more effective than demanding a huge cut all at once.
Don’t Take “No” for an Answer
If the representative flat out refuses to reduce your rate, don’t give up. Nicely ask to speak to a supervisor or manager. Explain that you’re a loyal customer and you’re considering transferring your balance to another card with a lower rate unless they can offer you a competitive rate. Managers have more power to make exceptions to policy.
You can also try calling back a few days later and talking to a different representative. Different reps have different policies about what they can and can’t do. With persistence, someone will eventually agree to lower your rate.
Ask for a Temporary Reduction
If the rep won’t budge on a permanent interest rate reduction, ask for a temporary one instead. For example, “Would you be able to offer me a lower promotional rate for the next 6 months?” Issuers will sometimes do this to keep your business.
A temporary reduction gives you time to pay down your balance. Then you can call back later and negotiate again when the promotional period ends.
Threaten (Nicely) to Walk Away
If you still can’t get a lower interest rate, bring up the idea of closing your account. Say something like “I’ve loved being your customer, but this interest rate is just too expensive for me. I found a great 0% balance transfer offer from another card, so I may have to close my account with you and transfer the balance there.”
Make it clear you’re ready to walk away unless they can offer you a competitive rate. Many issuers would rather lower your APR than lose your business all together.
Watch Out for Penalties
One thing to watch out for is balance transfer fees. Many cards will charge you 3-5% of the transfer amount. Do the math to make sure the transfer fee plus 0% APR for 12-18 months actually saves you money compared to your current rate.
Also, closing your old credit card account can temporarily ding your credit score. This happens when you lose the available credit limit from that card. Make sure to factor this into your decision.
Get it in Writing
When you finally get an offer to lower your rate, get it in writing before agreeing to anything. You can ask the rep to email you something official detailing the new terms. This protects you from any miscommunications or errors.
Automate Your Payments
Once your rate is lowered, be sure to keep making on-time payments. Set up autopay through your credit card website so you never miss a payment. This will show the issuer you’re a responsible borrower who deserves the lower rate.
Ask Again Later
Don’t be shy about periodically calling back and requesting another rate reduction, especially if your credit score has improved. The worst they can say is no. But over time, regularly asking for lower rates can incrementally save you a ton of money.
Getting your credit card interest rate lowered takes some effort, but it’s one of the fastest ways to reduce your credit card interest payments. With lower rates, you can pay off your balance faster and save hundreds or thousands of dollars. Just be persistent, negotiate politely, and don’t take no for an answer. Over time, you can steadily lower your rate and pay off your debt.