Simple Savings: Credit card fees

(Columbia) July 8, 2003 - Gina Marie Buonomo made just one phone call and saved big money on her credit card bills, "I was looking at my current statement on my credit card and I was wondering if you could lower my interest rate."
She got her interest rate down from 12.99% to 9.99% by calling her credit card company.
Getting your credit card interest rate lowered can save hundreds, even thousands of dollars. Take the average credit card debt, which is now about $9000 per household. At the average credit card interest rate of 13.77%, if you make the minimum monthly payment required, you'd pay $11,690 in interest before you've paid off your debt.
At 9.99 %, you'd pay $6210 in interest or a savings of more than $5000.
Mandy Walker with Consumer Reports says if you've got good credit, you stand a good chance of getting your rate lowered, "Credit card companies don't want to lose you, if you've been with them for a few years and you make your payments on time. Just mentioning those two facts can convince them to bring down your rate down."
It might also help to have some of the credit card offers you get in the mail handy. They can be a good bargaining tool if you tell your credit card company you're ready to make a switch.

A lower interest rate isn't the only thing you can negotiate with your credit card company. If you pay an annual fee,-ask your company to eliminate it or see if you can get more frequent flyer miles for your purchases.

By Judi Gatson
Posted 3:16pm by BrettWitt

All Consumer Reports Material Copyright @ 2003 Consumers Union of U. S. Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED