1. Money

Discuss in my forum

How to Lower Your Credit Card Interest Rates

By

Retail credit card transaction at florist Apostrophe Productions/Photodisc/Getty Images
Paying more in credit card interest than seems fair? Ask the credit card company to give you a lower interest rate, and you'll probably get it. Pick up the phone, and find out just how far they're willing to go to keep your business.
Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: Varies

Here's How:

  1. Contact customer service at the issuing bank. You'll find the number on the back of your credit card and on your statement.

  2. Identify yourself, and tell the customer service rep that you'd like a lower interest rate. If you always pay on time, have a high credit score or are a long-time cardholder, now's the time to mention those things. Also mention any low-interest credit card offers that you've received in the mail from competing banks.

  3. If the rep agrees to lower your interest rate, thank him. Then, get all of the details about your new rate. Is this a short-term promotional offer or your new annual percentage rate (APR)? Will the new rate go into effect immediately?

    If the rep denies your request, emphasize that you will be forced to take your business to another bank, if they aren't able to compete with the other offers that you've received.

  4. Still not making any progress? Then, ask to speak to a supervisor, and state your case again.
  5. If the answer is still no, hang up and try again another day. Often getting what you want is a simple matter of reaching the right customer service rep.
  6. Still being told no after numerous attempts? Now may be the time to make good on your threat to leave. Take a closer look at the other credit card offers that you received, and determine if a balance transfer makes good financial sense for you. Be sure to scrutinize the terms of the offer (paying special attention to any transaction fees and the duration of any promotional rates). If a move still seems beneficial after reading through all the fine-print, go ahead and transfer your balance to a new card.

    Just Keep in Mind: Due to current credit scoring practices, it is usally best to keep old accounts open (even if you aren't using them). So, wipe out the balance on your current card; then tuck it in a drawer where you won't be tempted to use it.

Tips:

  1. Use bankrate.com to keep up with the latest credit card interest rates and offers
  2. You can negotiate your credit card interest rate more than once, so don't hesitate to ask for a better deal, if you see your rate going back up again
  3. Use your lower interest rate to get out of debt faster

What You Need

  • Your last credit card statement
  • Copies of credit card offers you've received
  • Persistence
  1. About.com
  2. Money
  3. Frugal Living
  4. Money Management
  5. Debt Reduction
  6. How to Lower Your Credit Card Interest Rates

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.