Consumer Alert: Your secret superpower. Consumers who ask get lower credit card interest rates.

Deanna Dewberry
Created: April 08, 2021 04:50 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — You have a superpower. It’s a consumer superpower you probably didn’t know you had, and it starts with taking a look at your credit cards.

What’s your annual fee, interest rate and credit limit? Are you satisfied with what you see? If not, you have the power to change it. All you have to do is ask.

"The truth is, people have much more power over their credit card issuer than they think they do and they really just need to wield it," said Matt Schulz, Chief Credit Analyst for LendingTree.

LendingTree surveyed adults who asked for a break on late fees, annual fees and interest rates. And researchers found in the vast majority of cases, consumers got what they asked for. Here are some of the findings:

  • 83% of cardholders who asked to have their credit card’s APR lowered were successful.
  • 92% of cardholders were able to get annual fees waived.
  • 88% got a late fee waived when they asked. 

“A lot of the power for the credit card holder comes from the fact that the credit card space is just ridiculously competitive,” Schulz said.

And he said you don’t have to have perfect credit to get a great result.

"What we've seen is that with success rates as high as we've found, it's not just people with 750 credit scores who are getting their requests granted. So even if your credit is not perfect, even if you made a mistake or two in the past, it's still worth the time to pick up the phone and call,” Schulz said.

The study found there's an art to the ask. For example, if you're asking for a lower APR, you should research the rates of other credit cards and be armed with that information when you make the call. You can find cards with the most competitive rates at sites like LendingTree.com, Creditcards.com and Bankrate.com.

LendingTree has other great advice here on how to make that call to your credit card issuer here.

And most importantly, be nice. My grandma always said you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar, and that's especially true when using your superpower. And that's your consumer alert.


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