A Credit card can be your best friend. They can also be your worst enemy.
If you pay off your monthly balance every month, you won’t have much to worry about except if your score is high enough to get the credit card you want. But if you carry a balance on your card from month to month and you are only paying the minimum amount, you could be paying thousands in interest each year.
Interest on credit cards is one of those fine print details you have to pay attention to. Your new credit card might offer zero percent until a certain date. After which, they’ll slap you with a high interest rate on anything that’s not paid off. It was stated in your credit card contract, you just forgot what you were signing up for or when the high interest rate kicked in.
High interest rates are not good for your finances. Luckily, you may be able to negotiate with your credit card companies for a lower rate. Here are some tips to help you negotiate a lower credit card interest rate.
Start With Your Oldest Card
Loyalty will get you far. This applies to lots of things in life, including your credit card. Your oldest credit card may or may not have the highest interest rate, but if you get it lowered anyway, it can save you money in the long run. The credit company won’t want to lose you as a long-term customer, so they should be more willing to lower your interest rate.
See what new deals and offers are out there. If it’s better than what you have, call the company and see if they will price match or lower yours to be closer to the new card. Be educated when going into the conversation to help lower your interest rate.
Have a Reason to Lower Your Interest Rate
Most companies will want to know why they should lower your interest rate. If you have a valid case, tell them you have been with them for years, never missed a payment, and have good credit. They may be more inclined to lower your rate if you give them a reason. But don’t lie about your credit history. Lying gets you nowhere.
If at first you don’t succeed, try again. Most of the time, customer service reps can’t negotiate your interest rate, so you might have to ask for the manager and talk to them instead. If they say no, try back a week later. Hopefully your persistence will pay off.
No one likes a bully, let alone when you are the one being pushy. It’s okay to be persistent but insulting them for not lowering your rate is not the way to go about it. Even if you get denied the first time, use your manners.
There are scripts you can find online and use if you are timid about calling to ask for a lower interest rate. Practice on a friend if you need to.
If the company won’t negotiate with you, you may need to cancel that credit card. But, be cautious of this as it can affect your credit score. Closing a long line of revolving credit may not be in your best interest.
Another option to consider if they won’t budget on your interest rate is to transfer your balance to a different credit card with a lower interest rate. Make sure you consider the costs involved with this to see if it will actually save you money. Balance transfers often have a fee that will eat into your interest savings.