If you’re unhappy with the terms of your current credit card, you might think you’re stuck with the status quo. But credit card companies are often willing to negotiate certain terms, especially if you’re a good customer or if you have special financial circumstances.
Here are five things to negotiate with your credit card company.
1. Annual Percentage Rates
The annual percentage rate (APR) applied to your credit card purchases is based, in part, on your credit at the time you applied for the card. APRs can change for many reasons, including late payments, promotional rates expiring, or changes to the prime rate set by the Federal Reserve.
If your credit has substantially improved since you applied for your card, you may be able to negotiate a lower APR. When you call to request a lower rate, you’ll want to describe your history as a good customer, mention your improved credit, and have a few offers from competing credit card companies on hand.
2. Payment Due Date
Your monthly payment date is usually set when you open your credit card, but you may need to change it to fit your schedule. Many credit card companies will be happy to change the due date for you over the phone, and some even let you set the payment date yourself from your online account.
3. Late Fees
If you missed a single payment date by a day or two, your credit card company may have automatically charged you a late fee. But it won’t hurt for you to call and ask them to waive the fee, especially if you have a long history of paying your bills on time and you’re prepared to make your payment immediately. Some credit cards do offer one-time or ongoing late fee forgiveness, so check your terms and conditions before you call.
4. Credit Limit
Raising your credit limit increases your available card balance, giving you more spending power. But even if you don’t plan to increase your spending, you can use a higher card limit to improve your credit utilization rate and increase your credit score. If you’re a good customer, your credit card company could raise your limit upon request.
5. Repayment Terms
If you’re having trouble affording your monthly payment, the last thing you may want to do is call your credit card company. But they may be willing to help you figure out a debt repayment plan or lump sum settlement. Credit card companies are often open to these types of negotiations because they’d rather get something out of you than nothing. Before your credit card debt is sent to collections, pick up the phone and call your provider.
Negotiating with your credit card company may take persistence. If you don’t immediately have success, you may need to speak with a manager or keep calling. And if your credit card company can’t make you happy, it might be time to look at alternatives.