Your credit card company will probably be nicer to you if you just ask.
Around 84% of customers who asked for an adjustment to an annual fee or late fees, a lowered interest rate, or a higher credit limit were successful, according to a new survey from CreditCards.com.
But although the success rate for such requests is quite high, only about half of all those surveyed actually asked for help, meaning there are plenty of cardholders out there who are losing out on saving some cash. Often credit card companies instruct their service representatives to allow for a certain number of waivers a year, but only if a customer requests one.
Annual fees, which are most common for premium credit cards, were reduced 82% of the time customers asked, with 51% of them getting the fees waived completely, while the other 31% were able to get the fee reduced. Annual fees are usually assumed to be non-negotiable, which is why only 11% of those surveyed requested an alteration.
Customers were more likely to ask for a late-fee waiver. One in four solicited for a late fee to be quashed, with 87% of those who asked being successful. Customers were also more diligent in getting their credit limit raised. Some 28% of cardholders made such as request, with 89% of them receiving one. Customers had good fortune getting their interest rates altered as well. Of the 19% who sought a reduction, 69% were successful.
Age also plays a role in how generous the credit card companies are. Younger, un-retired baby Boomers, who have established credit histories and are in their peak earning years, have the highest success rate when asking for breaks on their bills, with 97% of them getting their annual fees either cancelled or reduced. Millennials who are below 26 years old, on the other hand, don’t fare nearly as well. They are only granted annual fee help 32% of the time. They also only received an interest rate reduction 15% of the time, far below the success rate of other generations.
And as always, the more money you make, the easier people make things for you. Customers who earned more than $75,000 a year were able to get their fees reduced and credit limit raised more easily than those who made less. Interest rates, though, were just as hard to get lowered for everyone, regardless of income level.