How to Get a Lower Interest Rate on Your Credit Cards

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    Getting a lower interest rate on your credit card is something you can do with just one phone call.  We've all been there.  You get sucked in by those low 0% introductory rates, build up a huge credit card balance, then get hit hard with interest rates as high as 28% once the low intro rate has ended.  But did you know that you can negotiate a lower interest rate on your credit card balance just by making a simple phone call?

    Yep, you can get a lower interest rate just by asking!

    Remember, it's us against them when it comes to "what's in your wallet", and the more cash you're able to keep or pay down your debt with is a win for you, not the bank, who doesn't care about you at all.

    Of course, I don't like the idea of using credit cards at all.  So once you negotiate a lower interest rate, my advice is to pay off your credit card balance as quickly as you can and cut up your credit card for good!

     

    So How Do You Get a Lower Interest Rate?

    It's relatively simple wit just one phone call, as long as you know what to do.  Here's how to negotiate a lower interest rate in just a few simple steps:

    • Place a call to the customer service number for your card.
    • Tell them you want a lower interest rate and your annual fee (if you have one) eliminated.
    • If they ask why, tell them it will better help you meet your financial obligation to them without any problems.
    • Also tell them that you've been looking at other cards with no annual fee and lower interest rates.  Let them know you'll float your balance over to one of those cards if they can't help you out.
    • If they still refuse to negotiate, ask if there is anyone else you can talk to that can help.  Sometimes the person that initially answers the phone may not have the power to lower your rate, but someone higher up can do it with no problem.
    • If they refuse to help, don't hesitate to transfer your balance away from that company to another card with a lower interest rate and no annual fee.

     

    Don't Take "No" For an Answer

    How to Get a Lower Interest Rate on Your Credit Cards When you make that call, don't take no for an answer.  Sometimes they just want to see how far you'll go, because if you are easily discouraged by their "no", then it saves them money. Be pleasant, but be firm.  Don't talk from a position of weakness.

    For example:  If you say "I was wondering if maybe you could give me a lower interest rate?", that is probably not going to work.

    Speak from a position of strength:  "I want you to give me a lower interest rate and eliminate the annual fee on my credit card.  If you can't do that, I'll be floating my balance to another credit card with a lower interest rate." If you sound passive and unconfident, they will roll right over you.

     

    Be Firm When Negotiating Your Credit Card Rate

    You might want to practice the call beforehand, rehearsing what you'll say and how you'll say it. Of course, this technique may not work every single time, depending on your payment history and other factors.

    But if you're firm and insist upon getting what you called for, you'll find that negotiating your rate works quite often. You should understand this phone call might be a long one. They will likely put you on hold multiple times and even try to sell you alternate products.

     

    Be Patient Too

    Do your best to be patient.  Continue to nicely insist on getting what you came for, and you'll find that lowering your interest rates with this technique works more often than not.

    This call will last 30 minutes to an hour, but it can literally save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars in interest depending on your balance.

     

    [tweetherder]How to Negotiate a Lower Interest Rate on Your Credit Cards- Step by Step Instructions [/tweetherder]

     

    After You Get a Better Interest Rate

    Once you get a lower rate, don't get lazy!  Your interest rate can shoot back up in short order if you're not careful.  Here's what you need to do:

    • Pay your balance on time- Sending your payment late is a huge red flag for the credit card company. A single late payment will send your interest rate through the roof.
    • Watch your credit limit-  The closer you get to your credit limit, the more likely your rate will go up.
    • Don't pile up more debt-  Just because you got a better interest rate doesn't mean you should spend more money. Be careful!

     

    The Best Interest Rate is 0%

    Sure, there are plenty of credit cards that will offer you a 0% interest rate.  That's not what I'm talking about here.

    The best 0% interest rate is the one you get by not having credit cards at all!  Yeah, I know that sounds kind of crazy to some people. But what have credit card companies done for you lately?  Seriously, you probably wouldn't be reading this post if you were perfectly happy with your relationship with credit cards.

    The best thing you can do is pay those credit cards off for good and transition to a cash only lifestyle.  Angie and I have been doing it for a dozen years now, and I can tell you there is no better way to live your financial life.

    We haven't stressed out or fought about credit card debt in many years.  It's brought more peace to our marriage and our finances, and that's worth its weight in gold!

     

    Let Me Know How You Did!

    Once you call your credit card company and use this technique, contact me by email and let me know how it went for you.  I'd love to hear your experience!

    Question:  Have you used any special techniques to get your debt lowered or paid off quicker?  Leave a comment and tell me about it.

    Check out the CFF "Credit Cards" Page Here

     

    This post originally appeared on the Celebrating Financial Freedom blog


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