01-27-2011 Posted in Credit 7 comments
There’s no better way to get better at negotiating than… negotiating, right? Today I called up my credit card company to ask for a lower APR. My current rate is 19%. which is extremely high. Now, I have very good credit, I pay off my balance in full every month, and I have been a customer in good standing for the past 3 years.
Here’s how the conversation went, and please, tell me what I could have done better and how I can improve next time.
I said to the first representative, “I’d like to get a lower APR, please. My current rate is really high and I’ve been a great customer la de da… ” He told me that my rate at 19% is the lowest rate the company offers and there’s nothing he can do. I remained calm and said that since I am such a good customer, I really want to work something out. I asked him to transfer me to his account manager / supervisor.
With the account manager
The account manager also said that the rate I have is the lowest rate
he can offer me. I reiterated everything I’ve said before: customer in good standing, I enjoy being with this company, I have gotten offers for lower APRs from other companies, I just want a rate that is more competitive.
He reminded me that since I pay my bill in full every month, my APR doesn’t matter (which is true. And which I knew.) But it’s the principle of the matter. I said that I understand, but the APR is still too high for my liking.
Finally he said that he can offer me a promotional rate of 14% for 6 months, but there is nothing else he can offer me. So I took that rate and felt like a chump.
I KNOW he has lower rates. But even though this exercise wasn’t the success I had hoped for, I learned a few very important things: I have a tendency to ask for permission at the end of asking – as in, “I’d like a lower APR, if that’s possible .” Or, “I’d like a lower APR, if that’s okay .” Not. Good.
Readers, please tell me how I can negotiate a lower credit card APR next time.