Credit Card Crunch
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Want a Lower Credit Card Interest Rate? Try This

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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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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

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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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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.

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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. 

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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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