OCT 20, 2011
Youâ€™ve heard people say you can negotiate your credit card rate, but what do you say to your credit card company to get them to agree?
A Lending Club survey found that when consumers asked for a better credit card rate, 68 percent of them actually got one. Unfortunately, while 93 percent of survey respondents knew it was possible to negotiate their credit card rate, only 29 percent had actually tried to do so.
So the takeaway lesson clearly is â€“ ask!
Start by calling your credit card company directly. Yes, theyâ€™re in business to make money but they also know itâ€™s to their advantage to keep a good customer, especially one who has a good credit score. So dial that 800 number on the back of your card and ask to speak to someone who has the authority to lower your rate â€“ not every customer service representative who answers the phone will be authorized to do so.
Play up your good credit score and report, and your history of timely, responsible payments with the card issuer.
Point out competitor deals and emphasize how you value loyalty and would like to continue doing business with your current credit card company. Suggest a rate that you believe would be fair and beneficial to both you and the company.
If the answer is â€œno,â€ ask why. And ask if improving your credit score might make you eligible for a better deal in the future. If the answer is â€œyes,â€ then take steps to improve your credit score.
Keep asking. Just because the answer is â€œnoâ€ today doesnâ€™t mean that will be the answer you get next month. Continue trying, especially as you pay down your debt and improve your credit standing. Negotiating your credit card rate may not be a one-time task.