Reader Lowers Credit Card APR From 15.74% To 1.99% By Threatening To Cancel

After reading our posts about getting your credit card APR lowered by threatening to do a balance transfer to a lower rate credit card, Brandon got his Citibank Mastercard APR lowered from 15.74% to 1.99%. It’s an introductory rate that goes up to prime plus 4.99% after a year, but it’s definitely worth it for the time being. A factor that probably helped him was the $10,000 balance he was carrying, making his business more valuable to Citibank.

Writes Brandon, “They probably saw the ten thousand dollar balance and figured it was worth it not knowing that 3/4 is tuition that the company pays back next month.”

Shop around first for a lower rate card first so you can throw out names and numbers of better offers. If they call your “bluff” and don’t budge, then it will probably make sense to do the switch anyway.

(Photo: What Rhymes With Nicole)


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  1. abigsmurf says:

    It’s an important lesson. If you’ve a high balance, been with a company for a while, a good credit history yet still have a stupidly high credit limit, threaten to switch. More often than not commission hungry people at the call centre will try and offer you a better deal to make you stay

  2. kenposan says:

    not all are accommodating. I ended up transferring my balance because my company wouldn’t “play nice”. It wasn’t a 10K balance, but still…

  3. LetMeGetTheManager says:

    I gamble too much…I instantly recognized that picture as one from a slot machine…

  4. shan6 says:

    glad it worked out for him

  5. tedyc03 says:

    The trick is to know when to hold and know when to fold; when I did this I told them I was getting another offer at 0% for 6 months and 10.9% after that; they said “well we can’t match it but we can do xyz…” but if I had hung in there for 10.9% I would have gotten nothing. And the high balance helped, even though like I told Ben, 3/4ths of it is going to vanish when I get a tuition reimbursement from my company.

    However, the same tactic with Bank of America wasn’t so productive, with them refusing to budge; thus I may transfer it over to my freshly reduced Citibank card.

  6. surgesilk says:

    “Tedyco” its actually a video poker machine.

  7. dkush21 says:

    I have a high balance also, but what credit card company will be willing to transfer over $10,000 to themselves. I’ve tried to do that and they give me small balance transfers, last one was American Express, only $2000.00 after I applied which I specifically told them to cancel the process after I found out how much and I still got the card in the mail. They don’t tell you beforehand how much you are approved for. So now I have an American Express card which I never used. Mind you I’ve always paid on time.

  8. crappedcrusader says:

    I just called Citibank as well on my Visa and got 2.99% for 9 months. MacBook Pro, the time has come!

  9. vex says:

    So? They can raise it again whenever they want, for any reason. Where’s the win here?

  10. kc-guy says:

    Balance transfers aside, maybe there is a potential tax write-off of the tuition-incurred interest?

    I got a pretty sweet balance transfer option from Discover card, and inanimately called WaMu and CapOne and offered them a chance to match the offer…granted I didn’t feel the need to make any bluffs, or go any farther than the first guy I spoke to in the Balance Transfers group, but nothing came of it, other than a granted request for a lower purchase APR.

    Speaking of credit card rates…

    Variable rate credit cards are tied to the Prime Rate plus some number. I’ve been able to request that my current rate be lowered, and my payment history combined with lower interest rates (courtesy of St. Ben Bernanke) my interest rate has dropped with each request.

    Has anyone ever had their rates increase as a result of rising index rates?