Ask and You Shall Receive When it comes to Avoiding Credit Card Fees

More than 80% of cardholders had annual fee waived or reduced upon request 

It pays to reach out to your credit card provider when faced with unwanted fees and high interest rates. 87% of credit cardholders who asked for a late fee waiver were successful and 69% who requested a lower interest rate received one, according to a new CreditCards.com report. The study shows that no more than 1 in 4 cardholders make any one of the requests; added together, only about half of consumers have made any request at all. Click here for more information.

Many premium credit cards charge an annual fee for their desirable rewards and perks, and those fees are negotiable as well. Over half of American cardholders who asked (51%) were able to get their annual fee waived entirely, while 31% who asked were successful in negotiating the fee to a lower amount. Younger Baby Boomers (age 53-62) were the age group most likely to have their annual fee completely waived. However, only slightly more than 1 in 10 cardholders (11%) have ever made that request.

“People have far more power with their credit card company than they realize. Competition among card issuers is incredibly high these days and customer retention is a priority,” said Matt Schulz, CreditCards.com’s senior industry analyst. “Don’t be afraid to ask for fees to be waived or higher credit limits because, quite often, you’ll actually get it.”

In fact, nearly 9 in 10 cardholders (89%) received a higher credit limit when they asked their credit card issuer. Older millennials (age 27-36) were most likely to ask for a higher limit, as well as receive one. Of the four requests we asked about in our survey – waiving a late fee, lowering an APR, waiving an annual fee and raising a credit limit – the most commonly requested was a credit-limit increase, at 28 percent.

Methodology

CreditCards.com commissioned Princeton Survey Research Associates International to obtain telephone interviews with 952 credit cardholders living in the continental United States. Interviews were conducted by landline and cell phone in English and Spanish by Princeton Data Source from February 16-19, 2017 and March 2-5, 2017. Statistical results are weighted to correct known demographic discrepancies. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 4.0 percentage points.

CreditCards.com is a leading online credit card marketplace, bringing consumers and credit card issuers together. At its free website, consumers can compare hundreds of credit card offers from America’s leading issuers and banks and apply securely, online. CreditCards.com is also a destination site for consumers wanting to learn more about credit cards. Offering advice, news, features, statistics and tools, CreditCards.com helps consumers make smart choices about credit cards. In 2016, over 35 million unique visitors used CreditCards.com to find the right credit card to suit their needs.