Tired of that ugly credit card bill when it comes each month? Sick of making your monthly payments, and the balance doesn’t seem to be going down? What if I said getting a lower interest rate on your credit card could be as easy as a phone call?
The truth is people who simply call and ask their representative for a rate reduction, over 50% of those people get what they ask for. If it’s so easy, why don’t more people do it? Most folks don’t expect such a simple solution and therefore don’t even bother trying. In these economic times, credit card companies are trying harder than ever to please their customers. Not every card company is going to want to cooperate; after all, they’re in the business of making money. However, by dangling a carrot in front of their noses, such as threatening to take your business to another card company, your current card company may be more willing to hear you out.
One study conducted on this very issue used the following script when speaking to a customer’s credit card company.
Hi, my name is [Your Name]. I am a good customer, but I have received several offers in the mail from other credit card companies with lower APRs. I want a lower rate on my card, or I will cancel my card and switch companies.
It tends to sound harsh, but remember that a kind tone and a little nudge can go a long way. And if you get what you’re asking for, the end result will be worth the ten seconds of backbone. If this script doesn’t work, it could be the particular representative you’re speaking to. In that case, call back at a different day/time or request to speak to a supervisor. If you’re finding the person or situation to still be difficult, use phrases like: What can you do to help me out? Or Can you do any better? There could be an alternative price reduction not based on APR that the representative can offer to you for a break.
Other factors to consider as far as success in your rate reduction include delinquency, balance to credit limit ratio, and length of membership. If you’ve ever been late, a credit card company is going to be less lenient with you. If you keep a high balance on your card, the same is going to be true. Conversely, if you’ve been a member for at least four years, never been late, and keep your balance reasonable, your card company is more likely to grant your wish of a lower APR.
All in all, you’re not going to know if you can get the lower interest rate unless you call. And remember that over 50% of people that make that call wind up with the lower rate. If all you got to lose is a few minutes of phone time, isn’t it worth it?
Image Credit: On Calc