If you are paying a higher interest rate on a credit card than you think you should be, contact the credit card company and request a better rate. Having a longtime history with the card issuer could reflect positively in your favor. While you might not receive a lower rate, some advance preparation along with demonstrating persistence and patience could eventually pay off. Consumers who have a timely payment history, carry low balances and have a good credit score can usually get their rates lowered.
Build a positive payment history with your credit card provider by paying your credit card bill on time. Make it a habit to pay your bill early each month to demonstrate your ability to pay without difficulty. Never use more than 30 percent of your total credit line.
Make inquiries about the rates other card issuers are offering before attempting to negotiate a lower interest rate with your current credit card company. Search the Internet for current averages on credit card rates. Look for credit card companies that offer the lowest rates. Compare the higher rates that your company is charging you with lower rates that would be available to you if you opened an account with another card issuer.
Call your credit card issuer and talk to a customer service representative. Ask if you can receive a lower interest rate on your credit card. Point out that you have a timely payment history with the company. If you have excellent credit overall, mention that as well. This is also the time to use the information you collected on lower rates being offered by other companies.
Request that your call be transferred to an account manager. Many customer service representatives are not authorized to change your rates, although an account manager usually has the discretion to do so. Provide details about how long you have been with that particular credit card company, your positive payment history, high credit score and any other information you feel may help you to receive a lower interest rate.
Tell the account manager that you will need to obtain a credit card elsewhere if you do not receive a more reasonable interest rate. Most credit card companies don’t want to see you take your business elsewhere, and therefore, might be more willing to work with you if they know you will go to another company. Don’t be afraid to change to a different credit card issuer if you aren’t receiving fair interest rates from your current card issuer. It may be time to look for a better deal elsewhere if your present card company won’t cooperate and lower your interest rate, especially if you’ve been a longtime customer.
Call back later if you are unable to negotiate a better interest rate. Sometimes calling again in just 30 minutes can put you in touch with the right person. Whereas one account manager might try everything to retain a high interest rate for the company, a different manager might be concerned that you will transfer your credit card balance to a company offering a lower interest rate.
Amber Keefer has more than 25 years of experience working in the fields of human services and health care administration. Writing professionally since 1997, she has written articles covering business and finance, health, fitness, parenting and senior living issues for both print and online publications. Keefer holds a B.A. from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania and an M.B.A. in health care management from Baker College.