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Lower Your Credit Card Rate

Kimberly Lankford

A few of my credit cards charge higher rates than other cards I see advertised. What can I do to try to get the rate lowered?



A few of my credit cards charge higher rates than other cards I see advertised. What can I do to try to get the rate lowered? Do I need to switch cards? I'm always getting mailings from other cards with lower rates.

You may not need to switch to another card, but use those low-rate mailings as leverage when you call your card company and ask for a lower rate. "Let them know that you've been using the card, or will start using the card, if they give you a better deal," says Scott Bikler, founder of DebtSmart.com and author of Talk Your Way Out of Credit Card Debt. "Read a few of the low-rate offers to the representative so they know you have options and that you will transfer your balances if they don't comply." If that person can't make the change, ask for the supervisor. "Be patient," says Bilker. "You may have to tell your story a few times."

It also doesn't hurt to ask the credit card company to waive the annual fees. "If the bank doesn't waive that, then remind them that there are many other cards that don't charge those fees and that you'll be using one of those banks shortly," he says.

If the credit card company won't waive the fee, try asking the bank to change the card to a different product that doesn't charge a fee. Bilker says he has had luck using this tactic.

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If the rate negotiation doesn't work, call your other credit card companies and ask if they have a low-rate transfer deal, says Bilker. Then transfer the high-rate balances to the low-rate card. However, you will need to keep track of any teaser rates, which often rise after six months or so. Perpetual switching can hurt your credit score, too, so it's best if you can pay the card off by the time the low introductory rate expires.

See Pocket the Best Credit Card and our Yields & Rates page to search for the best credit card deals.

Got a question? Ask Kim at askkim@kiplinger.com.




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