How to Negotiate Lower Rates With a Credit Card

By Allison Boyer

  • Overview

    Millions of people have credit card debt, and many of those consumers are actually paying a higher interest rate than they should. Credit card companies aren't charity, so unless you ask for your rate to be lowered, they'll keep your rate high, making as much money from your debt as possible. The good news is that your rate is never set in stone. With just a simple phone call, you can get your rate lowered, saving hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
    • Step 1

      Gather your most recent credit card statement, including any information your credit card company sent with that statement regarding your terms. If you still have it, have a copy of your contract in front of you so you can refer to it.
    • Step 2

      Get a copy of your credit report. You can do this annually without any cost or negative effects on credit score.

    • Step 3

      Call the customer service number on your credit card statement. You should be put through a low-level representative who will ask for your account information. Usually, this person is not in a position to negotiate a lower rate, but he is a gatekeeper of sorts to the people who can help you.
    • Step 4

      Explain your request for a lower rate. At this point, the credit card company will typically tell you that you have the lowest rate possible, but do not take no for an answer. Cite the reasons why you should get a lower rate, including your on-time payments, good credit rate, and the length of time you've been with the company.
    • Step 5

      Ask to speak to a manager. If you are told no, continue to ask for a supervisor until you are speaking with someone who has authority to change your rate.
    • Step 6

      Note that you have other offers for lower rates from other companies. You shouldn't threaten, but you should make it clear that you're prepared to leave unless they can lower your rate.
    • Step 7

      Make an offer for a lower, fixed interest rate. Make sure that you ask for a fixed rate, not an adjustable rate that can just be changed again in a month. When making an offer, initially ask for a rate lower than the current prime rate, because they'll counter your offer with something slightly higher if they are willing to talk to you at all. When you come to an agreement, make sure that you have paperwork regarding the conversation sent to you to confirm your new terms.
    • Step 8

      Ask what you can do to get an even lower rate next time. Make a close note of what they tell you, which may include maintaining a balance and making payments on time. Try to fulfill these requirements, and call back when you do.
    • Skill: Moderately Easy
    • Ingredients:
    • Most recent credit card statement
    • Your credit information
    • Telephone
    • Tip: Don't hang up the phone until your rate is lower. Customer service representatives are trained to refuse a lower rate.
    • Tip: Keep your cool. You won't get a lower rate if you raise your voice, start to cry, or otherwise get upset.

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