Many credit card issuers charge interest rates as high as 30% interest (APR) or higher. And most people do not realize that you can negotiate with your credit card company for a lower rate, especially if you’ve had any of your credit cards for a long time.
To do this all a consumer needs to do is to call their credit card issuer and insist on a lower rate. Even lowering the rate to 12% should save a consumer a lot of money. And the key to getting the lower rate is just to ask for it to be lowered. After all, you never know what you are going to get unless you ask!
Here’s how a consumer can check with their issuer for a lower rate:
1). Start with a credit card that they’ve had for a long time and that they have never been late on with payments.
2). Have them look on the back of the card and dial the customer service number.
3). Have them start negotiating. Here’s a sample script:
Consumer: (Upbeat and polite) “I just got an offer in the mail for a new credit card that has an introductory interest rate of only 6.9%! I don’t really want to switch cards, because your service has been wonderful. But even though I’ve had your card for five years, I’m still paying a 19% rate on my balance. I’m going to have to transfer my balance unless you can lower the interest rate.”
Them: (Over the sound of keyboard keys being tapped as your credit and payment history are being examined.) “Hmmm … well, that is the standard rate … but let me see …”
Consumer: “Of course, I understand that, but I can pay a lot less in interest if I transfer my balance. I really need you to reduce the rate to 9% or so.”
Them: “Hold on while I check with my supervisor … OK, how about 9.9%?”
Consumer: “No problem.” (Now pat yourself on the back for saving some bucks!)
This may not work as well if the consumer is frequently late on your payments and over their head in debt. But it can’t hurt to at least ask for an interest rate reduction.
If the consumer has a solid track record, handle their obligations, and are generally polite, their card issuers should be willing to offer them a lower rate to keep from losing them to their competition.
4). Keep trying. If the consumer doesn’t get what they want the first time, tell them to try to get another customer service rep or a supervisor on the line. They still won’t lower the APR? Have the consumer try again in a few months.
5). Tell the consumer to not get angry. I have found that I am far more successful in all financial endeavors when being polite. These financial “gatekeepers” have angry people calling them all day long. Imagine what that must be like. If you’re nice and treat them with extra respect, they often return the favor and give you a little extra care.