Stuck with an incredibly high credit card interest rate with no place to go? The average APR for most credit cards is around 15 percent, and regardless of whether you have a higher or lower rate than the norm, your current interest rate can quickly compound your debt.
The good is you don’t have to stand for high interest rates, even if you have less-than-stellar credit. The difference between a few percentage points may not look like a lot on paper, but it could save you hundreds (or thousands) of dollars over the lifetime of your credit card.
Here are a few negotiation tips to help you lower your credit card APR:
Shop around for offers: Before beginning the negotiation process, it’s smart to have other offers in your back pocket. Credit card comparison sites can help you shop around for the best, low-interest rate credit card deals - and you’ll be able to use this valuable research when you speak to a customer service representative on your existing credit card.
Call the customer service number on the back of your card… and ask: It seems so obvious, but the only way you’ll be able to find out if you even qualify for a lower interest rate is to ask for it! Worried about what to say? This is where bringing up the other offers you’ve seen or received will help. If you’ve been offered a lower introductory rate on a new card or you have the ability to make a free balance transfer, mention this to the customer service representative and ask if they’d be willing to offer a comparable or lower interest rate. If possible, speak to the customer retention department; it’s their job to keep customers, so they be more likely to negotiate with you.
If the interest rate negotiations fail, negotiate your annual fee: You may find yourself up a brick wall with your interest rate negotiations. If that’s the case, ask if they’d be willing to lower or waive your annual fee (if you have one). While that might not help you lower the interest that’s accruing on your outstanding debt, it could help save you a little of money.