Requests to Waive Credit Card Fees or Negotiate Better Terms Often Successful

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Requests to Waive Credit Card Fees or Negotiate Better Terms Often Successful

Is it possible to have credit card fees waived? What person wouldn’t desire that? According to a CreditCards.com poll, relief from exorbitant fees may be only a phone call away—that is, if you have the courage to ask. 1

Key Takeaways

  • Credit card customers that request a fee reduction, a reduced interest rate, or a greater credit limit are often successful.
  • Many cardholders are just unaware that they have the option to inquire.
  • Your chances of success enhance if you keep your credit card balances low.

CreditCards.com surveyed 1,589 American credit cardholders to find out how tough it is to negotiate better credit card conditions. The poll specifically targeted four actions:

  • An annual charge is waived or reduced.
  • Reversing a late fee
  • Reducing interest rates
  • Increasing credit limits

According to the report, which was released in April 2018, up to 85% of cardholders who made one or more of such requests were successful in acquiring what they desired. While this is promising, the poll also discovered that customers are hesitant to try new things. Only 60% said they have made one of the requests.

Those that take the initiative and strive to negotiate better credit card conditions get a generally favourable reaction. 84% of those who applied for a late-payment charge waiver were successful. Furthermore, 56% were able to negotiate a reduced interest rate, and 85% were able to negotiate a bigger credit limit.

Even more intriguing, 70% of individuals who requested their credit card provider to waive or reduce their annual charge were successful. Of course, many credit cards do not have an annual charge to begin with. According to a 2019 U.S. News & World Report survey, 68% of credit cards do not carry an annual fee; of those that do, the average price is close to $110.2.

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The difficult part is summoning the courage to contact your credit card provider and request a lower annual charge. Only 18% of credit card users have ever requested a decrease in their annual fee, according to a CreditCards.com poll. They were more than twice as likely to request a credit limit increase or a late charge waiver.

Negotiating More Favorable Credit Terms

While each credit card issuer makes individual judgments, the CreditCards.com poll provides insight into characteristics that may influence your odds of receiving a “yes” when you submit a request.

According to the poll, males were more likely than women to ask for better terms and were more successful when they did (91% vs. 86% for women). Millennials and Gen Xers were less likely to apply for and get credit breaks, in many instances because they didn’t realize such a request was even feasible; 33% of millennials who said they had never requested for an interest rate decrease stated they didn’t know they could. Overall, 40% of those questioned were unaware that they could request a fee waiver, and almost a third assumed that if they did, they would be unsuccessful.

Your salary, education, and credit card management may also be factors. Cardholders who earn more, have more education, spend more, and maintain their credit card balance at a safe level are more likely to be accepted for a greater credit limit or reduced interest rate, according to the poll.

The Bottom Line

If the fees and interest on your credit cards are eating up too much of your budget, it may be worthwhile to contact your credit card provider. After all, the worst-case scenario is that it says no. If you’re willing to inquire and the answer is yes, you may save a lot of money. You might also apply for a credit card with better conditions.

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