How to Lower APR on a Credit Card

By Alan Kirk

  • Overview

    Credit card debt can be a very frustrating situation. Many people don't even know what the interest rate is that they are paying on the debt they owe to their credit card company. A smart credit card user will always know his interest rate and the rates of competing credit cards. As rates lower for other cards, this is a good time to call your own credit card company as ask them to lower your interest rate on the card you currently have.
    • Step 1

      Determine your past payment history for your credit card. If you have been paying on time and paying at least the minimum payment you should have a good chance at getting your credit card company to lower your annual percentage rate, or APR.
    • Step 2

      Investigate what other credit cards are offering for interest rates. The more information you have when you call your credit card company, the better your chance of having your APR rate lowered. It is best to have a comparison of credit cards similar to the one you have. This means making sure the cards you are comparing rates with are similar in that if yours offers a rewards program based on cash back or points to redeem, the other offers a similar program.

    • Step 3

      Call your credit card company. Sometimes it can be very difficult to reach an operator. Log in using your credit card number as requested. Instead of navigating the difficult menu, try pressing the number zero a few times. The first couple of times it might ask you to re-enter your request, but if you continue to hit zero, it will eventually transfer you to a representative.
    • Step 4

      Act very polite on the phone. Do not be confrontational. Ask the representative if there is any way they can help you with getting your APR on your credit card lowered. Mention to them that you have noticed that there are other credit cards with lower rates similar to theirs and point out the rate. Mention that you would prefer not to have to open a new card and transfer your balance from theirs to another company, and you are hoping you two can work something out so you remain with that credit card company.
    • Step 5

      Repeat any information the representative gives you about the lowered rate you are being offered. Find out if this rate is only for a specified amount of time or if it is a permanent change.
    • Step 6

      Request confirmation in writing to be mailed to your postal mail address to confirm this change in the APR rate. Indicate you are not doing this because you doubt the agent, but because you need to have it for your own personal records so you can remember when the change was made.
    • Step 7

      Thank the representative for his time. Even if the representative can't help you, ask them if they have any suggestions on how you might be able to get your rate lowered in the future.
    • Skill: Moderately Challenging
    • Ingredients:
    • Previous credit card bills to establish history of payments
    • Tip: Always be polite. Confrontational customers are less likely to receive assistance from the customer service agent on the other end of the phone call.
    • Warning:
    • Make sure you note the representative's name, the time of the call, and the agreed-upon lower rate. This way if there are issues where the rate is not changed, you have this documentation to refer to when you call back inquiring why the agreed-upon change was not made.

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