Requests to Waive Credit Card Fees Are Often Successful

Is there a way to get credit card fees waived? Who wouldn’t want that? Fortunately, relief from excessive charges can be just a phone call away, that is, if you have the nerve to ask, according to a survey from

Key points to remember

  • Credit cardholders who ask for lower fees, a lower interest rate, or a higher credit limit are often successful.
  • Many cardholders simply don’t know they can apply.
  • Your chances of success improve if you keep your credit card balances at a safe level.

Get Credit Card Fee Waiver surveyed 1,589 US cardholders to find out how difficult it is to negotiate better credit card terms. More specifically, the investigation focused on four actions:

  • Cancellation or reduction of annual fees
  • Waive late fees
  • Reduction of interest rates
  • Increase credit limits

The survey, released in April 2018, found that up to 85% of cardholders who made one or more of these requests were successful in getting what they wanted. This is encouraging, but the survey also revealed that consumers tend to be reluctant to try. Only 60% acknowledged having made one of the requests.

For those who take the initiative and try to negotiate better credit card terms, the answer is overwhelmingly yes. Among those who asked for the abolition of late fees, 84% won their case. Additionally, 56% successfully negotiated a lower interest rate and 85% negotiated a higher credit limit.

What’s even more interesting is that 70% of those who asked for their annual fee to be waived or reduced were successful in getting the credit card company to comply. Of course, there are plenty of cards that don’t have an annual fee to start with. In a 2019 US News & World Report study, 68% of cards charged no annual fee; among those who did, the average was close to $110.

The challenge is finding the courage to contact your credit card company and ask for a better deal on the annual fee. According to the survey, only 18% of credit card users have ever requested a reduction in their annual fee. They were more than twice as likely to request a credit limit increase or the removal of late fees.

Negotiate more favorable credit terms

While each credit card company makes decisions on a case-by-case basis, the survey offers some insight into factors that could affect your chances of getting a “yes” when you apply.

The survey found that men were more likely than women to ask for better terms and more success when doing so (91%, compared to 86% for women). Millennials and Gen Xers were less likely to ask for credit breaks and less likely to get them, in many cases because they didn’t even know such a request was possible; 33% of millennials who said they had never asked for an interest rate reduction said they didn’t know they could. Overall, 40% of respondents said they didn’t know they could request a fee waiver, and around a third thought they wouldn’t pass if they did.

Your income, education, and credit card management may also come into play. The survey found that cardholders who earn more, are more educated, spend more, and keep their credit card balance at a secure level are more likely to be approved for a higher credit limit or lower interest rate.

The essential

If your credit card fees and interest are weighing too heavily on your budget, it may be worth contacting your credit card company. After all, the worst that can happen is that he says no. If you’re willing to ask and the answer is yes, then you could save a lot of money. You might also consider applying for a credit card with better terms.

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