The Secret To Lowering Your Credit Card Interest Rate (Spoiler: Just Ask)

Are you sick of being slammed with an 18% interest rate on your credit card even though you regularly pay down your balance and don’t miss payments? “How can I possibly get that rate down a few points to make my finances more manageable?” you ask to no one in particular, but that’s a question to ask your credit card issuer because there’s a decent chance they’ll knock down that APR for you.

This is according to the folks at, who recently found that most credit cardholders don’t ask for lower interest rates, but a majority of those that do ask get some sort of relief.

In a survey of cardholders, only 23% of respondents said they had asked their card issuer for a lower interest rate. But of those people, 65% were granted rate reductions.

But before you go running to your phone to call, you should check with your card issuer to find out what their policy is on rate reductions.

Some banks will simply look at your credit card activity and payment history to decide if you qualify for a rate reduction. So asking for a lower rate won’t have any impact on your credit score.

But some card issuers treat rate-reduction requests like it’s a new credit application, which will likely mean a check of your credit reports. That may mean a slight, temporary ding on your credit score.

If your credit has improved since you initially got the card, a hard inquiry with the credit bureaus shouldn’t be a problem. But if you’ve had some issues with late or missed payments with other lines of credit, the request could backfire.

Speaking of late payments, the survey found that cardholders had even greater success with asking their banks to waive at least one late payment fee.

Again, only a minority (28%) of all respondents even tried to request a fee waiver from their card issuer, but 86% of those that did were able to get that fee removed.

“We were surprised with the success rate,” said Matt Schulz,’s senior industry analyst. “It’s probably the best time in years to ask credit card issuers for a break.”

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