Want a Lower Credit Card Interest Rate? Try This

Credit Card Crunch


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Senior Woman With Credit Card

It Never Hurts to Ask

If you carry a balance on your credit card, brace yourself: The Fed hiked benchmark interest rates this week by a hefty 0.75% for the third time this year. Currently the average APR on new credit cards is at a staggering 18% — just 1% behind the all-time high, and cardholders can expect to see their current rates rise within the next couple statements. Assuming that cutting up your cards isn't an option, there's still a way to save. Amazingly, a recent survey by LendingTree has found that the majority of people who simply ask for better credit-card terms get them — but less than half of credit-card holders ever negotiate. It also turns out that there's plenty more than a better interest rate that credit-card users can ask for, and stand a good chance of receiving.

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Young Asian woman having problem using her credit card for internet banking

I Want a Lower APR

Who wouldn't appreciate a lower interest rate? Asking for a lower credit-card APR can get results — of those who asked, 70% got an adjustment, with an average reduction of 6.9%. But only 15% of cardholders even bothered to ask.

Related: 14 Ways to Improve a Bad Credit Score

Paying with credit card at car service

I Need a Higher Credit Limit

Need more spending power? Requesting a higher spending limit meets with success 84% of the time, LendingTree reports, with an average increase of $1,200. But just 24% of cardholders have bothered to ask.

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Happy woman ordering something online and paying for it by using her credit card.

I'm So Over My Annual Fee

Most cardholders grumble about annual fees — but it turns out this is negotiable, too. Ninety percent of cardholders who asked for an annual fee waiver or reduction got what they wanted, with 64% getting the fee waived and 26% getting a reduction. Still, only 21% of cardholders asked.

Credit card late payment shown on monthly statement

Make My Late Fee Disappear

Not paying a credit-card bill on time is a dangerous habit, but it turns out that those late fees aren't set in stone. Surprisingly, cardholders who asked for a late fee to be dropped were successful 82% of the time, saving an average of $26. About 41% of cardholders have asked for this welcome break. 

Shot of african american businessman holding mobile and credit card, while resting in the cafe

Other Changes to Ask For

The following percentages of cardholders successfully asked for these other changes, according to LendingTree:

  • Changed payment due date: 73%
  • Waived balance transfer fee: 61%
  • Waived foreign transaction fee: 58%
  • Waived cash advance fee: 53%

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