March 15, 2008

Getting Your Credit Card Rate Reduced

It looks like it could be easier than one might think to get the rate on your credit card reduced. CBS did an experiment of sorts by having 10 shoppers at a mall call their credit card company to try and get a rate reduction. And guess what? 6 out of the 10 did get their rate reduced, some by almost half!

When each person made the call, they were told by CBS to say this, "I think I've been a good customer. I'd like to stay with you, but I really want you to lower the rate on my card. Can you help me?" They were advised to ask for a supervisor and say the same thing if the customer service rep told them no.

So maybe it's worth a call and a few minutes of time to try and get a rate reduction after all!

Dave Ramsey,a financial author and radio show host, offers some good advice as well. According to Ramsey, when you call your credit card company, tell them about some specific offers you've recently received in your mailbox. Go on to say that if they don't meet or beat the offers, you are immediately going to cancel your card and move your remaining balance to another card.

Ramsey says this simple strategy will work almost every time, because the credit card industry is so super-competitive. The companies are constantly fighting for business, and they spend a lot of money to attract new customers. They certainly don't want to lose any current ones.

Even if you aren't a great customer — meaning you tend to pay bills late or not pay at all — you shouldn't hesitate to call and ask for a lower rate. The company may not give you 10 or 14 percent, but they may lower your rate from 29 percent to 19 percent. And if you routinely carry a balance, you know this will still make a significant difference.

Ramsey's advice for getting a ZERO percent interest rate —- cut your credit card up and throw it away!

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