As inflation continues to climb the price you pay for interest on your credit cards may be set to spike again.
With more people turning to credit to combat the crippling costs of every day items it is important to know you have the power to negotiate your interest rate, if you know the right way to ask.
The first thing you need to arm yourself with is an accurate appraisal of your situation.
How much do you owe? How good is your credit score? Are other banks making better offers to earn your business?
When you call the 800 number on the back of your card ask the agent to connect you with someone who can review your interest rate.
If they say they can't, use these three words: Customer Retention Department.
Ask to be transferred there. These are the folks who are responsible to keep you as a customer and can usually make the kind of adjustment you're seeking.
Remind them how long you've been a customer and that you'd like to stay on board to avoid the hassle of having to change cards.
See what kind of rate they can offer.
Not low enough?
Now it is time to mention any competing offers you have from other banks. Can they match them?
Research online offers from your bank for new customers, those can be a bargaining chip. Remind the agent you'd like the same courtesy that a new customer would get.
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Now it is time to get creative. How about a low balance transfer offer?
Will the bank be willing to play ball with a lower rate if you agree to transfer balances from other cards to them?
Don't have any? Explain to the agent you're really committed to paying off your balance, but the interest is just too much. Would they be willing to extend a temporary drop in the rate so you can better pay back the money you own?
Bottom line: it costs you nothing to ask, but could save you a bundle.
Remember, kindness goes a long way.
Always keep in mind these folks are here to help and keeping you as a customer costs the bank far less than finding a brand new one.