You’re shopping on Amazon, and you find exactly what you’re looking for from two different sellers. One is selling it for twice the price of the other – the exact same item. Which do you purchase?
This may seem like a no-brainer, but when it comes to credit cards and interest rates, a lot of people choose the more expensive item for no real reason at all. Not shopping around and using the tactics below to get the lowest credit card interest rate available to you is like buying the more expensive item on Amazon, even though the half price one is just as good. Except with credit cards, you’re paying double every single month.
And often times, you really are paying double. There are plenty of credit cards out there with a 20%+ APR, even though a decent credit score could easily snag you a credit card with an APR of 10% or even less.
Whether you chose your credit card because you like the brand, it has good rewards, or you’re already banking with them, it’s important to have the lowest interest rate possible, especially if you’re going to be carrying a balance. You might not even need to get a new card.
Here are our top tips for snagging yourself a lower credit card interest rate and saving big.
The easiest way to get a lower interest rate is to negotiate with your current credit card issuer. All it takes is a simple phone call, so everyone should try this.
You will likely need to have a history of on-time payments (even one missed payment will make it hard to bargain) as well as a good credit score. Call up your credit card issuer and cite your payment history and credit score, asking if they would be willing to decrease your interest rate.
If they say no, tell them you’re considering closing your account with them. This doesn’t always work, but it’s a great bargaining tool for getting lower interest rates or no annual fees. You’ll likely be transferred to another person, and although they won’t tell you, this person probably works in retentions. Their job is to keep customers from cancelling their accounts.
Now, you have to be ready to close your account in order for this to work, but if you’re paying a high interest rate, that’s probably for the best anyway. Once you’ve been transferred, mention once again your payment history and great credit score, and tell them that you want to close your account because of the high interest rates. Be sure to mention that once you do, you’ll be opening an account with a competing credit card company and transferring your balance. Ask them if there’s any way to get a lower interest rate.
If that doesn’t work, you can ask if they have any other cards with lower interest rates. If you are really considering transferring your balance, you’ll want to ask about any balance transfer fees on those cards as well.