Eighty-nine percent of consumers who have credit cards that asked for a late fee waiver had their request granted and 78 percent who requested a lower interest rate received one, according to a CreditCards.com survey. However, only one in five of consumers in the survey has tried to do this.
The success rates are better now than they were in 2014: cardholders are 13 percent more likely to score a lower interest rate and three percent more likely to have a late fee removed, according to CreditCards.com. And, annual household income doesn’t have much of an effect.
“People have way more negotiating power with their credit card issuer than they think they do,” said Matt Schulz, CreditCards.com’s senior industry analyst. “The worst that can happen is they say no, but most of the time, they say yes. The credit card market is incredibly competitive right now, and consumers should use that to their advantage.”
Credit card customers ages 50 to 64 had the most success in getting their interest rates lowered, 81 percent; followed by ages 65 plus, 80 percent; ages 30-49, 77 percent; and under 30, 36 percent, the survey shows.
The older the cardholder, the more likely they were to have a late fee forgiven: 91 percent of cardholders age 50 and older, 89 percent of those ages 30-49, and 84 percent of those ages 18-29 received a fee waiver when they requested one.
The survey found that African-American cardholders had a more difficult time getting their interest rates lowered than other demographic groups. Only 33 percent of them reported success, compared to 81 percent of whites and 88 percent of Hispanics.