Tip on Lowering Your Credit Card Rate With One Call
It could take as little effort as one phone call to lower your credit card interest rate, according to Curtis Arnold, of Cardratings.com, a site that lists the best credit card offers currently available. His one-call theory was put to the test by local Houston TV station KTRK, which hired a bunch of “card testers” to check it out, with surprising results: about half of those who made one call to their credit card company succeeded to get a lower rate. One tester, Joelle Miller, lowered her rate by almost seven percent! Before you pick up the phone, check out Arnold’s top tips on how to gab your way into lowering what you pay:
1. Get a Handle on History – Knowing your account history is step one; if you don’t pay late, tell that to the credit card company’s customer service representative.
2. Know the Score – Most consumers have a credit score in the 700-range, which is considered good. You can find out your credit score for free via FreeCreditReport.com. This free credit score is truly unique, since most of the time they cost up to US$14.95. If you have a score around 700, tell the card representative.
3. Get Tough - The average credit card rate is 15%. If you are paying more than that, tell the representative you are speaking to that you know you can get a better rate somewhere else. Ask them point blank why you are paying such a high rate. If he/she refuses to lower the rate, tell them you want to close the account. You don't actually have to follow through with the threat, but by saying it you will be transferred to the account retention department; that's the place designed to keep you as a customer. They are the ones who have the authority to make bigger concessions.
4. No Means Call Back in 15 - If your credit card rep says no, call back in 15 minutes. You'll be speaking to a different person, and that may be all it takes to get that lower rate. If the answer is still no, Arnold says find a credit card with a low rate on balance transfers, and move the balance to that new card.