When it comes to pulling the wool over customers’ eyes, banks issuing credit cards are the pros. And one of their favorite ways to trick you is to raise your credit card interest rate.
It’s best to never carry a balance on your credit card and, therefore, never pay interest. But if you do, and you have good credit, there is no reason you should be paying a high interest rate on your credit card balance.
Many times, credit card companies will lower your interest rate if you just pick up the phone and ask them to do so. Why will they do this? Because the credit card business is competitive, and your card issuer knows that smart customers could leave them at any minute. If your current credit card company wants to keep your business, they will be happy to work with you to lower your interest rate.
Before doing battle with your credit card bank, there are a few things you should do to ensure you come out on the best end of the conversation:
1. Have your information ready. Before you make the call, make sure that you have your account number, payment history, and any previous correspondence information in front of you. Be prepared for the operator to give you reasons why they can’t lower your rate (for example, a past late payment).
2. Be persistent. If a representative denies your request at first, be prepared to try again. After all, you’ll likely get a different customer service rep! They will probably have the record of your recent attempt on their computer screen, but it will show them you’re not going to give up without a fight. If you’re still not getting anywhere, don’t be afraid to use the old “let me speak with your supervisor” line!
3. Be prepared to get tough! Exit strategy is important. If you plan on leveraging your position by threatening to take your business away, make sure you are prepared to follow through. If your credit is good enough to ask for a lower APR, it may be good enough to have a 0% APR transfer rate from another credit card company.
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- To qualify for the best credit cards, you’ll need a score between 680-720 or higher.
Be ready to walk away if you have to. Part of doing business with a company is being able to openly communicate and being satisfied with the service they provide. If you are unhappy with your service and the company, then take your business elsewhere.
For the first time in a couple of years, credit card companies want new business. That means many leading credit cards have 0% intro APRs and some even offer sign up bonuses of $50-$75 after you make a certain amount of purchases.