Wouldn't lower interest rates on your credit cards just make your day? Depending on how much you owe, it might even be better than a raise in pay! It could be yours just for the asking. Most credit card companies want to keep your business. You don't have to get the best credit card in the world, but you do have to negotiate for lower interest rates.
- Ask for it. Make the call.
There's no better way to save more money in interest rates than to make that brief phone call to your creditor. The battle in the credit card industry is strong. If you're a good customer, your card company will most likely stick it out with you. It's a toll free number (check your billing statement for the customer service number).
- Maintain good credit.
Always pay your bills on time. Most credit card companies want to continue doing business with those who are capable of managing their debts. With a good credit standing, your creditor will likely listen to your request.
- Follow the script.
Survey shows that consumers who followed a script were able to get positive results from their request. Here it goes, "I'm a good customer and have received several offers in the mail from other credit card issuers with lower rates. I would like a lower rate on my card so that I don't have to switch my account. What can you do for me?"
That's it! You just have to be confident and quiet for a matter of seconds, though.
- Persistence pays off.
If your request was turned down, try again later. Never give up. Try calling back on another day. Who knows? You might get lucky and get a friendlier person. The customer service reps often have the authority to negotiate.
- Keep your request simple.
You could try asking question like, "Can you do any better?" or "What can you do to help me out?" Be extra sweet when asking. It still pays to be nice, you know.
- If they won't budge, then call it quits.
If your company won't listen, it's time for you to look for a better deal. Make it clear to them that you'll close your account if your rates are not lowered. This could be really demanding. But hey, it's your business with them that matters most.
- Read the fine print.
You'll never have the chance of obtaining a positive response on your request if you don't know what you'll be asking for. Read the terms and conditions written on the fine print. Credit cards with variable rates may be dependent on the existing prime rate. If this is the case, you could have better chances of lowering your interest rates if the current prime rate is low.
- Do the math and decide which way to go.
Do some calculations. If you know where to hit the target, it could be easier for you to get that request. Most people would ask a 10-point reduction at once. However, if you don't know your goal, you wouldn't know what to bargain for.
- Improve your credit score.
Aside from maintaining a good credit standing, you can lower your interest rates by having a good credit score. The issuer is likely to look at your credit score to decide whether to lower your interest rate or deny your request.
- Be smart. Know your consumer's rights.
If you don't know your way around, then your lenders will just have the easy way with you. The more you know about your rights, the better your chances of negotiating a better deal.
Bargaining for lower interest rates is not a matter of "ask and you shall receive" thing. Not everyone who asks is going to get an affirmative response on his or her request. But many will and it's worth a shot. What's the worst that can happen?