A significant number of credit card customers are getting what they ask for when it comes to lower interest rates and waived late payment fees.
The problem is, not enough people are asking.
A new survey from Creditcards.com found that 65% of credit card holders who requested a lower interest rate received a reduction, but only 23% of those surveyed had asked. Late fee waivers happened 86% of the time, but only 28% asked.
If only I’d read this survey last month, when I discovered that I’d somehow missed a payment on a store credit card.
(That’s right, a store credit card. I’m not sure why it has a place in my wallet, but that’s surely a topic for another post and poll.)
Since I knew I received and accidently deleted an email notice about my payment being due, I took responsibility and begrudgingly paid the $25 late fee.
According to CreditCard.com’s experts, you have nothing to lose in asking for a late fee to be waived. Well, except that late fee.
Ditto for the interest rate adjustment.
“A lot of people who’ve had accounts for a long time have probably earned a better rate than they’re getting due to establishing a good credit history, but the creditors won’t check unless the cardholder calls and asks,” Melinda Opperman, senior vice president of community outreach at Springboard Nonprofit Consumer Credit Management Inc., said in a news release.
The only downside occurs if you have apply for a new credit line as part of the process. The subsequent credit check might affect your credit score.
But you can ask up front about the company’s procedure. So really, no harm, no foul.