The fact is most credit card users do carry a balance on their credit cards and for them there is some good news – it is often easy to lower your interest rate simply by asking. Depending on how large a balance you have this could potentially save you a lot of money over time.
A 2014 survey of nearly 1,000 credit card users found that 65% of consumers who requested an interest rate decrease were successful in receiving it. Additionally, this survey found that 86% of cardholders who asked for a late fee waiver (after missing a payment due date) were granted one.
Oddly enough, these findings also indicated that only a very small percentage (about 25% of credit card users) ever contacted their credit card issuer to ask for better terms or fee waivers. Obviously, you’re more likely to get a positive response if your account is in good standing and you have a solid payment history. And this certainly doesn’t mean you can miss payments on a regular basis and then expect your fees to be waived.
Here are some other interesting bits of information the survey turned up:
1) 72% of households with annual incomes above $75,000 were successful in requesting lower interest rates compared to only 55% of households with incomes ranging from $50,000 to $74,999.
2) 93% of households with annual incomes above $75,000 were successful in getting late fees waived compared to only 80% of households with annual incomes below $50,000.
3) 79% of cardholders between the ages of 50 and 64 were successful in having their interest rates lowered compared to 59% of 30-49 year olds and 33% of 18-29 year olds.
Many credit card issuers base their decision strictly on your card usage and payment history while others may actually pull your credit report before making a decision (especially regarding interest rates). But as this recent survey certainly suggests- it never hurts to ask. And you may have a lot to gain!