Everyone wants a better deal from their credit card company right?
Last month I found myself in the unique position of wanting to look at my existing credit card deal, what the credit card company was offering me and really just to think ahead about my credit card debt BEFORE it becomes a pressing issue. See what I wrote there? Its not necessary for me to do the credit card negotiation I am undertaking it as part of being financially smart. One of the smartest financial decisions I can recommend to anyone is to make sure you keep an eye on your journey and where your at. Sure its a little time consuming but if you don’t keep track of a few of the smaller details when do you know when to act?
Rates Charges and Fees
Some months ago I repeated the exact same process I am going to talk about today. I took the time to make a coffee, pull out my credit card statements (or look at them online in my case…you do know some card companies charge you for the paper statement right?) and give some thought to my next few months. I wrote a quick five minute list on what bills would be coming in, had a think about my next holiday and how much I felt this was going to cost. Right now I have an idea of the size of the debt on my credit card versus what I feel I may want to pay with using that card as well. Understand where I am going here? Now I know what I need to ask for during the credit card negotiation. Is it a lower rate on my existing debt or perhaps I am better off with a reduced percentage on my future purchases? I also know what fees the card is currently costing me from the statement and of course I took the time to check what the charges are on my statement.
Sometimes all you need is to be ask!
Next step is the phone call. For some of us negotiation is fun and for some of us it can be daunting. Don’t make the mistake of thinking credit card negotiation is any different to haggling for free upgrade at a retail store. My biggest point here is its exactly the same….you don’t ask the question your never going to get an answer. Picking up the phone is the first step on this!.
Try some of these tips before you make the call;
- Make yourself a coffee and take a few sips along with a deep breathe or two in a quiet room with no distractions.
- Close for eyes for 10 seconds and imaging the outcome you want from this. You do know why you want to call them right?
- Find a pad and doodle down some of the points you want to cover and make with the credit card company.
- Relax! Best case you come away with a new deal saving money!!! Worst case from this call you learn for next negotiation and you are in the exact same position you are in now.
During the call try to let the credit card company do a lot of the talking by asking questions. Negotiation is the skill of listening and then making an offer.
Start by letting them know you are considering your credit cards right now in particular as you have received offers from other credit card companies at the moment. This sets the tone for “Help me or I am leaving your company”
Don’t forget with all the zero interest loans around companies are running scared you may jump ship on a better offer elsewhere. Their HOPING you don’t make the call your doing right now.
Here is a list of questions you should probably keep in mind
- What better rates are you offering at present on outstanding balances to keep my business?
- What better rate can you offer me for the next 6-12 months?
- Do you have any special deals at the moment I should be aware of?
- What suggestions can you make considering my position?
- Are any of your associate banks / credit company’s offering something you may be able to compete with?
- Why are your rates so high against “insert other credit card here” as I am very tempted to balance transfer
Last but not least finish with “Is this the best offer you can provide me right now or is there something else you can offer? This sets them up in case they’ve been withholding something on you.
A win win on the benefits?
Don’t forget during the conversation to not hesitate to ask for other options not relating to the rate or terms. Can they drop your monthly fee if you don’t take a paper statement? Do they offer a frequent buyer program your not aware of? Are their any upcoming specials they may be able to offer you that may not have been widely publicized?
Just imagine coming away from your credit card negotiation with a new deal on your balance or future purchases AND you save some money on fees! Its a Win Win!
Before you make the phone call you may want to read our previous post to check on the 5 signs you have a credit card addiction.
***Photo thanks to Images_Of_Money & Shawnzrozzi***