Credit Card Crunch

Want a Lower Credit Card Interest Rate? Try This

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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: Rising interest rates are coming for you. The average consumer's APR could rise from just under 16.4% to 18.5% by the year's end, experts tell CNBC. Assuming that cutting up the card isn't an option, there's still a way to save. Amazingly, a 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.

Related: How You're Destroying Your Credit Score Without Knowing It

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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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. 

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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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