Credit cards. They can be our best friend or our worst enemy. While the sign-up bonuses and reward points are fantastic, there is also a downside. Exorbitant interest rates and annual fees can easily cancel out those benefits.
The good news is that it might be possible to talk your way out of paying your annual credit card fee. Don’t get me wrong, this script isn’t foolproof, but it doesn’t hurt to ask, right? With these tips and script, you have a decent chance of getting your fee waived or reduced.
Tip #1: Call your credit card company before your card even gets charged for the fee. They can make a note on your account that you have been proactively calling in asking for the fee to be waived.
Tip #2: Be nice. These representatives deal with angry people calling all day, so it’s refreshing for them to hear someone pleasant and kind, which in turn makes them more willing to help.
Tip #3: Remember, the worst they can do is say no. This method has not worked for me personally every time, but it has worked sometimes, and I call that a win. Why not try?
The conversation will go like this:
You: “Good afternoon! I remembered my annual fee is coming up soon and I’d like to ask to have it waived.”
Rep: “I see that upcoming fee. Unfortunately, we’re not able to waive that.”
You: “I understand. I’ve been a good customer with [name of company] for [number of years with company] now. I have great credit. I would like to get it waived because I really appreciate this company, I love this card and I’d love to keep using it.”
Rep: “Hmm, one second. We do appreciate having you as a customer. Unfortunately, there’s nothing I can do.”
You: “Oh gosh, I was hoping I could get it waived. To be honest, this would really help me out financially. I would really hate to have to close the account just because of this fee. What else can you do to help me?”
Rep: “One second, I’ll check with my supervisor…ma’am, you are welcome to call in again after the fee has been charged. I’ll put a note on the account that you have called to request this.”
You: “Thank you so much. I’ll call back then.”
When you call back after the fee has been charged, you will have the exact same conversation once more. Be firm and confident but as polite as possible. With luck, you’re well on your way to getting those fees waived.
Rachel Richards is a real estate investor, former financial advisor and bestselling author of “Money Honey” and “Passive Income, Aggressive Retirement.” She is based in Louisville with her husband and dog.