I usually suggest to readers to ask their banks to waive late fees or annual fees. Now there’s some numbers behind this that show that banks are indeed willing to waive these fees. What’s even more surprising, based on a survey from CreditCards.com, they will waive these fees most of the time. You just need to ask.
Waived Annual Fees
When people ask for their annual fees to be waived, there’s an 80% chance of success. Most get the fee waived entirely, while a smaller portion receive a fee reduction, according to a CreditCards.com report released Monday that surveyed around 950 card users.
Several large credit-card lenders acknowledged to The Wall Street Journal that they often give in to such requests. But companies try to keep this options a secret, because if it becomes public knowledge, then more and more people will try to have their annual fees waived.
Those who have the best luck are those who pay on time, use their cards often and threaten to stop using the card or to close it if the fee isn’t waived. Intense competition between credit-card issuers is the main reason for this flexibility on fees. All banks are fighting for more market share in the credit-card market, and they spend lots of money through advertising, rewards and sign up bonuses to get customers.
In some instances, a card holder can get their annual fee waived if they agree to spend a certain amount of money on the card within a set period of time, according to one card-issuing bank that didn’t want to be identified. This is known a retention bonus, and they usually vary from one customer to another, or one customer service rep to another.
Waived Late Fees
First, you should always pay on time. Late payment will ruin your credit score, so always have reminders or use websites or apps such as Mint, to keep track of your credit card’s due dates. But if you do incur a late fee, then there’s plenty of hope.
Some 87% of card users who asked their lender to waive their late fee were successful, according to the CreditCards.com survey.
Interest rate on a credit card is usually an after thought for many readers here I hope. Obviously if you have two equal option, and the only difference is the interest rate, you should go for the lower one. But we usually look at benefits and bonuses when signing up for a new credit card. If you’re paying your bills in full every month, the interest rate doesn’t matter.
But we never know what the future holds and we could be forced to make a minimum payment on a card, or even forget to pay off the whole balance by mistake. It sure doesn’t hurt to have a low interest rate on your credit card.
The same survey shows that nearly 70% who asked for a lower interest rate got it. Consumers seem to have a better shot at getting issuers to agree to these requests if they have a history of paying on time. So do ask, it will only take a few minutes.