How To Legally Decrease The Interest Rate On Your Credit Cards (Step By Step)

by Scott Bradley · 14 comments

comparing credit cardsWhether we like it or not, having a credit card is essential to a consumer like salt is to food. Many experts tell you that over usage is bad, but life just sucks without it.

But what about those interest rates? With credit easing a little bit and the economy strengthening, the once dependable method of lowering interest rates is working again. Here, we outline the steps to lower the interest rates on your credit cards (for those of you who don’t currently own 0% balance transfer credit cards) so you can substantially lower your monthly payments each and every month.

Step 1: Collect All Credit Card Offers That You Receive In The Mail

You should be getting at least one of these every couple of weeks in the mail. Many of these offers give you teaser rates for 0% for 6 months or 0% on your first balance transfer…or something similar.

Step 2: Choose One Of The Offers

After sorting through each offer, choose the one that you feel you can easily talk with the credit card representative about. Make sure that it is about something with a 0% rate. This is important because it is your “negotiation leverage.”

Step 3: Call Your Credit Card Company and Ask For A Decrease By Following This Script

Once you have decided on the offer you feel comfortable speaking with the customer service representative about over the phone, just give them a call. Ask to speak with a representative by saying “operator” over and over again (sometimes, repeated press “0” also works) until the automated system understands you would like to speak to a physical person on the other end.

When you get the representative on the other end you can follow this script as your guide:

Operator: “Hello _____(Your name) what can I help you with today?”

You: “I am calling you to see what my current interest rate is.”

Operator: “Your interest rate that we have on file is ____%”

You: “That seems kind of high, I have an offer that I received in the mail today from ___________ (competitor) and I am thinking about switching my debt to that card to take advantage of the offer they have on the table…but wanted to call to see if I could get an interest rate decrease from you since I have been a loyal customer to ___________(Your companies card) for ______ years. Is there any way you could help me get a rate decrease?”

(Stay silent)

Operator: “Well let me see what I can do for you today Mr./Ms. ________ (Your Name)

You: “Thank you”

Operator: “Well you are in luck I am able to decrease your rate from _____% to _____% does that work with you?”

At this point you are jumping up and down because you just saved yourself thousands of dollars in fees and are well on your way to financial freedom.

*Special Notes + Scenarios*

If the representative doesn’t give you a rate decrease…

Ask to speak to their manager and start the script from the top.

If the manager still doesn’t help you…

Hang up and call up again, as you will eventually get a new customer service agent that would be more willing to help you.

When this process works for one of your cards, proceed to call the others and do the same thing!

Trust me on this that by going through this process once every 6 months, you can decrease your monthly payments on your cards significantly. Let me hear a “Yay” for total credit card domination and further financial freedom!

In the comments below, only if you feel comfortable, take some time to share with everyone your experience in doing this for your cards, and if you feel bold enough, share how much your rates decreased!

Money Saving Tip: An incredibly effective way to save more is to reduce your monthly Internet and TV costs. Click here for the current AT&T DSL and U-VERSE promotion codes and promos and see if you can save more money every month from now on.

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Financial Samurai November 19, 2009 at 5:30 am

What if the operator not only refuses to lower it, but then asks you out on a date? I had this woman once ask what I was doing Friday night, and perhaps she’d hook me up with 3.5% for life. ha.

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MoneyNing November 19, 2009 at 1:20 pm

That’s a bit strange :) Are you sure you didn’t know her?

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Adam November 19, 2009 at 6:51 am

Hey, I did this and the card company lowered my rate. Worked great. I tried it again with another company and did not get the same result, however, I was prepared and took advantage of the offer I received in the mail and now I am paying 0% for 12 months.

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Frugal Francis November 19, 2009 at 8:06 am

Another great article from MoneyNing, this guy is Money…

One extra tip that I have seen work is when you get that rate lowered, sometimes you can ask them to apply that rate retroactively to your previous months statements. In this case, they would actually credit your account with free money. Last year my wife was able to do this and she got a free 300 and something dollars credited to her account. She recently tried again, and they said “no”. Maybe with recent credit restrictions and the down economy, credit cards are not giving back free money…

Certainly worth a try… Clearly this only adds value if you carry a balance…

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MoneyNing November 19, 2009 at 1:21 pm

It’s amazing that they will even back date the offer. It never hurts to ask.

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CreditShout November 19, 2009 at 10:54 am

Excellent post, I’ve actually never covered this on my site – I’ve done something similar with Comcast and went from paying like 180 / month for Cable, Phone and Internet to 140 without losing anything at all, now it was only for a year I have no doubt that you could just call and do it again.

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Daniel November 19, 2009 at 12:26 pm

140? Wow, go negotiate again. We’re on a $60 plan for cable (with several free add-on features) and internet (16 Mbps).

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CreditShout November 19, 2009 at 2:58 pm

$60 a month is really good, damn do you have the HD Channels and HBO / Starz?

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Tushar Mathur November 19, 2009 at 12:17 pm

Hi,

I have tried a similar script to get my cable and Internet bill decreased.
Works like a charm.

-Tushar Mathur

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Finavigation November 19, 2009 at 5:15 pm

Also worthy of mention – if you don’t get good offers in the mail, you can use sites such as bankrate.com and creditcards.com to find offers that you can use as leverage.

If the credit card company refuses to lower your rate, you can often find several decent deals on a new card at these sites. Good things to look for would be 12 – 15 months zero APR, no balance transfer fees, and no annual fees. They lay the terms out pretty well for you, so it’s easy to compare different cards to see which one offers the best deal.

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Credit Card Chaser November 19, 2009 at 8:18 pm

Credit card companies are much more willing to negotiate than many people realize. However, gathering up credit card offers received via snail mail does seem a little too 1980’s for me when its easy to compare credit card offers online in seconds. The one thing that unfortunately you typically cannot negotiate with the credit card companies is a higher cash back % so if you are paying off your card balance in full every month and using a card for the cash back or rewards then negotiation won’t do a whole lot of good. Great job outlining a good strategy for people who carry a balance and want a lower rate though.

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John November 20, 2009 at 2:51 pm

This definitely works and so does this:

1. You order something over the internet.

2. You call to get a return authorization code. You give as the reason that the item is too expensive.

In at least 50% of the cases you will be offered a rebate, of 20-40%. You keep the item and pay less.

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cd phi November 20, 2009 at 4:14 pm

YAY. I would have never thought of doing this but I’m sure it works as most companies are willing to negotiate. Thanks for the tip.

@ John: I will definitely try that next time, too.

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cd phi November 20, 2009 at 4:20 pm

I like this article. It is interesting to know how much the President really makes. When I was a kid, I always thought the President made the most money in the world. How silly of me… Keep the great articles coming.

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