Credit Card Companies Actually Want to Waive Your Fees
Nearly everyone with a credit card could benefit from a lower interest rates or a higher credit limit. Most people don’t know that a simple and fast call to their credit card company is likely to result in success.
Personal finance gurus have been talking about how important it is to call the credit card’s customer service to make their requests. Consumers aren’t listening, though.
A recent survey conducted by CreditCards.com via Princeton Survey Research Associates in February and March of 2017 indicates that at most, only 25% of cardholders have made any type of request.
Of those that take the time to call their credit card company and request a waiver of their annual fee, higher credit limit, lower interest rate, or refund on a late charge, 84% get their way.
Annual fees may be an unnecessary expense
Consumers assume their credit card’s annual fee is part of the package when they sign up. In many cases, there’s no annual fee for the first year, but it kicks in on their anniversary.
For premium cards, that fee could mean an extra $50 or even $99 charge on their credit card statement. If you are trying to pay down a hefty balance or even simply keep the balance at zero from month to month, the annual fee is a real pain.
The CreditCards.com survey indicates that 31% of people who called their credit card company and asked for an annual fee waiver were able to negotiate a lower fee. Over half (51%) managed to get the fee waived completely. Only 10% of cardholders have ever asked for a fee reduction or waiver.
Negotiation doesn’t come easily to many Americans
It may feel weird to call your credit card company to ask for a fee waiver or better terms, but we have proof that it works.
Most people consider their credit card terms, set by the credit card company, as a take it or leave it deal. If they want the card, they have to abide by the terms. While that may be the case most of the time, it definitely pays to ask when something pops up on the statement that irks you.
Credit card companies want to keep good customers, so as long as you are normally making payments on time, they are usually happy to waive a late fee. This could mean a $30-$40 savings for a 10-minute phone call. In fact, 87% of people who called their credit card company to ask for a late fee waiver got it.
While fees and interest charges are part of the cost of owning a credit card, those charges aren’t set in stone. Only 25% of cardholders have ever called their credit card company to ask for a refund on a late fee.
A higher credit limit could mean a FICO score bump
Paying down your credit card balance may not be the only way to quickly move a FICO score a bit higher. Credit utilization, or the percentage of total available credit that you use, accounts for a sizeable chunk of your FICO score. Moving that percentage down makes the FICO score go up a few points.
If you don’t have the cash on hand to reduce the balances on your credit cards, a quick call to the company may provide relief. Nearly 90% of people who called in to ask for a higher credit limit got their wish. Asking certainly doesn’t hurt; the worst the customer service representative for company can say is no.
Credit card companies decide on a case-by-case basis
For most requests, the customer service representative you speak with will consider your personal history with the company. For others (like the late fee waiver) companies allow a certain number per customer inside a predetermined time period.
Whether the answer to your question is yes or no, one thing is for certain; you won’t get the benefits if you don’t ask.
By Rachel Morey, FemmeGuru Contributor