Have you received your holiday credit card bill? If the balance on the statement is more than you were hoping for, now is probably the time to negotiate a lower interest rate with your credit card provider. You may not realize it, but a rate that is even one percent lower than your current arrangement can save you money.
Credit card companies like to keep clients who carry large balances on their cards, but keep up to date with the minimum payments. This can play to your advantage as you make arrangements to pay off your holiday debts. Your credit card provider wants to keep your debt, but with one phone call you can suggest taking your business to a different company – and thereby leverage a lower credit card interest rate.
Loyalty Pays Off:
If you have a long-standing account with good credit history, it means you have a better chance at acquiring a more affordable interest rate. Time and consistent payments build trust between the credit card holder and the credit card provider.
Prepare Your Phone Conversation:
Make sure you speak to the right person to negotiate a new rate, and rehearse what you will say before getting on the phone. Mention you have been offered a better plan with a different provider, and ask what your current company will do to keep your business.
Be Realistic and Professional:
Remember that customer service representatives receive a lot of attitude, so be sure you are civil and polite when making your call. Keep in mind that you should have realistic expectations – if your interest rate is already below 10 percent, you probably won’t get a much better offer.
Pay Down Balances:
You can save yourself the trouble of negotiating a lower rate by paying off the credit card balance sooner – provided this is feasible. If you pay more than the minimum monthly payment, you accumulate less interest and save more money over the long term.
A low balance transfer card can also help you consolidate your debt onto a low interest card. Use the credit card help centre to answer any credit card questions you may have or compare low balance transfer and low interest credit card offers using the comparison tools at LowestRates.ca.