What to Say When Asking For a Lower Interest Rate

Ask Savvy: What to Say When Asking For a Lower Interest Rate


Dear Savvy,

I currently am trying to pay off a high revolving balance on my Citibank MasterCard. I have a good credit rating (730-740) and am current on all my bills with no late payments. My current credit card interest rate is 14.99 percent. I heard that if you contact the credit card company and say that you are receiving offers for lower rates in the mail they would lower your interest rate. I would do this but I don't know what to say or what would be considered a reasonable interest rate. Can you help?

See my answer when you read more.

Because you're a reliable customer who pays her bills on time, you should be able to get your credit card company to lower your interest rate. Right now you're an ideal customer because you haven't defaulted on payments but you're also paying them interest, and Citibank wouldn't want to lose you to one of their competitors.

Say something along the lines of the script CBC News gave to shoppers during their mall experiment and led to six of ten shoppers getting their interest rates reduced. Here's the spiel: "I think I've been a good customer. I'd like to stay with you, but I really want you to lower the rate on my card. Can you help me?" If the customer service rep dares to say no, ask for a supervisor and repeat the script.

Three of those shoppers rates were offered rates half of what they used to be. While getting your 15 percent rate cut in half may be a long shot, you really have nothing to lose. The customer service rep will likely offer you a new rate first but that doesn't mean you should accept it, so aim low! With your medium to low risk credit score I'd estimate that you would be able to get at least a few percentage points knocked off, if not a handful. Don't hang up until you've gotten a good deal.

Have any of you had experiences with trying to get your interest rates lowered?

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