How to lower interest rates on credit cards
Be prepared before calling your provider.
How to negotiate lower interest rates on credit cards
Negotiating with your card provider for a lower APR can result in a big financial win for you. Plus, there isn’t really a downside to making the request, as the worst that can happen is you’ll get a “No.”
Here are a few tips to help you navigate your negotiation smoothly.
Know your credit score
Your credit score is important because it affects whether your card provider sees you as a responsible borrower. The higher your credit score, the better chances you have of getting your APR lowered.
There are many services that let you check your credit score. For example, Credit Verify can get you instant access to your Trans Union credit score for only $1 for your first 7 days. Once this trial period ends you’ll have to pay a monthly fee of $19.95.
If your credit score is below 670, you may want to work on it before asking for a rate decrease. The two main ways to increase your score are making on-time debt payments over a long period and keeping your credit utilization low.
Find credit card offers from other providers
You can get prequalified for credit cards from certain providers without affecting your credit score. If you’re getting credit card offers in the mail, save them.
Getting credit card offers means you fit the credit profile of someone who would likely be approved. It also means you have other options if you become unhappy with your current provider. Simply mention to your provider that you’ve received these offers, which will help you negotiate a rate decrease.
Prepare for your call
Before you call your provider, prepare a few talking points. In addition to having a strong credit score and getting prequalified for other cards, here are a few other factors that can help your case:
- You’ve been a customer for a long time.
- You have a significant history of on-time payments.
- You recently got a raise.
Ultimately, getting your APR lowered is often as simple as calling your provider, saying you’re seeking a rate decrease and explaining why you should get one.
Be respectful when speaking to your provider
When you call your provider, it helps to be kind to the representative — they may be more willing to do you a favor simply because you’re polite.
If the representative says no, consider asking to speak with a manager, who may have more authority to help you. Alternatively, call back and try your luck with another representative who might be more lenient.
What to do if you can’t negotiate a lower interest rate
If you’re having trouble negotiating a lower interest rate, here are a few steps to look into.
Apply for a lower interest credit card
If your provider won’t lower your APR but you consider yourself a strong candidate, consider a low APR credit card. Below are a few low APR credit cards we highly recommend. Some even come with a lower rate on balance transfers for a set period of time.
|Card||Why it’s great||Introductory balance transfer offer||Ongoing purchase APR||Annual fee|
|BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard||Long intro APR on balance transfers at a competitive APR||3.99% for 9 months||12.99%||$20|
|TD Emerald Flex Rate Visa Card||Offers a flexible APR based on your own personal credit profile||N/A||TD Prime¹ + 4.5% up to TD Prime + 12.75%||$25|
|Scotiabank Value Visa Card||Comes with a competitive interest rate, and you don’t need any credit history to apply||0.99% for 6 months||12.99%||$29|
Work on improving your credit score
Compare low interest rate credit cards
Oftentimes, it doesn’t hurt to call your provider and ask for an APR decrease — especially if you have a strong credit profile. If your provider won’t lower your rate, explore all of your other credit card options.
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