Last week I offered 10 random tips for saving money, one of which was making a call to your credit card company and asking them to lower your card’s interest rate. It’s a tip that really works, and that five-minute phone call could save you hundreds of dollars.
Does it really work though? The U.S. Public Interest Research Group put the tactic to the test by asking 50 credit card holders to call their card issues to ask for a lower rate. Fifty-six percent of those calls worked. The 28 successful calls saw the APR on their card drop from an average of 16 percent to nearly 10 percent. So yes, it really does work!
Now I know what you’re thinking – “I really don’t like being pushy and I especially don’t like being confrontational.” That’s understandable, but I’m guessing you like saving money, so here’s a simple three-step plan to make that call:
BE PREPARED – Don’t just flip your credit card over and call the number on the back. First, get a copy of your most recent statement and make sure you know your account number and current interest rate.
GET PSYCHED UP – Drink a glass of water. Relax. Don’t get worked up. If it helps, call a friend and practice your request with them.
MAKE THE CALL – When you get a hold of a customer service representative, here’s what you need to say:
Hello. I’m a good customer with a good payment record, but I’ve recently received several offers from other credit companies offering lower interest rates. I’m going to transfer my balance to another card, but I figured I’d try lowering my current rate with you guys first. What can you do to lower my interest rate?
More than likely the first customer service rep you speak to won’t have the authority to lower your rate (or at least that’s what they’ll tell you). If that happens, don’t take no for an answer. Ask to speak to someone who can help you and then repeat the script above.
Chances are, after just a few minutes of polite conversation, you’ll have the lower rate you’re looking for. If it doesn’t work, call again the next day and test your skills on someone else. Good luck!