The secret to lower credit card rates and fees

Personal Finance

If you ask your credit card issuer to drop an annual fee, waive late charges or reduce your interest rate, your credit card company is highly likely to say yes, according to a recent survey from

The success rate, while good across the board, varied based on the type of request cardholders made:

  • 85 percent who asked received a higher credit limit.
  • 84 percent had a late-payment fee waived.
  • 70 percent got their annual fee dropped or reduced.
  • 56 percent received a lower interest rate.

Despite a high chance of success overall, only a small number of cardholders are making each type of request, mostly because they aren’t aware it’s an option.

“It is really as simple as picking up the phone and asking nicely,” said Matt Schulz, senior industry analyst at

Some preparations for your credit card negotiations will also help. Schulz recommends collecting a few competitive card offers to use as leverage and stressing your own positive credit history and on-time payments. Then seriously consider switching cards if you can do better elsewhere.

“If you are willing to walk away, that gives you more power in the negotiation as it does in any negotiation,” Schulz said.

Of course, “you still have to pay what you owe,” he added.

“On the Money” airs on CNBC Saturdays at 5:30 a.m. ET, or check listings for air times in local markets.

More from Personal Finance:
Credit card debt hits record high
Your credit score may have just jumped. Here’s why
You’re probably using the wrong credit card. Here’s how to fix that

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