The majority of consumers use credit cards at some point during their lifetimes to finance major purchases, earn rewards or pay for unexpected financial emergencies. Although credit cards are convenient, they come at a cost. The annual percentage rate (APR) charged by credit card companies ranges from a 0% promotional rate to an oppressive 29%. If you fall in the large group of consumers who hold cards with high interest rates, it may be worth going through the process of negotiating your rate down. To be effective in reducing your rate, you must first understand your current rate, know competitor offerings and fully understand your credit history before calling your provider.
Do Your Research
Prior to negotiating your interest rate with credit card providers, it's important to know what you are currently being charged. Your APR is listed on your latest statement or on your account summary via the provider's online access site. Once you find your current rate, you can compare it to national or regional averages
for credit card users with similar credit scores. Data on credit card rates can be found through a quick online search. Knowing your current rate and national or regional averages prepares you to ask for a rate reduction when you make the call to your credit card provider.
Make the Call
After you have gathered the research on interest rates, negotiating your specific rate begins with a phone call. When you reach a live person, simply state you are calling to reduce your APR. If you receive hesitation or the service representative states he is unable to help, ask to speak with a supervisor. Once you have reached the person who is capable of assisting you, explain the reason for your call, give details on your current credit score and history, and share the data you researched. It helps to be confident, patient and as accurate as possible. If you are unable to achieve the end goal of lowering your APR, try again two or three months later.