How to get a lower credit card rate

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Getting a lower interest rate from your credit card company is easier than you think. In many cases, all you have to do is call and ask.

So flip over the back of your credit card and dial the 800 number for customer service. Not sure what to say?

Here’s a sample script suggested by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group. It’s short and sweet.

Hi, my name is [Your Name]. I am a good customer, but I have received several offers in the mail from other credit card companies with lower APRs. I want a lower rate on my card, or I will cancel my card and switch companies.

You can throw in additional details if you wish. For example, if you’re a long-time customer or you’ve never been late with a payment, go ahead and tell them.

The main thing is to make it clear that you will cancel your card if they don’t give you a lower interest rate. Be persistent.

If a customer service rep can’t help you, ask for a supervisor.

If you get turned down, don’t cut up your card just yet. Give them one more chance. Make the same call another day. You may reach a more cooperative customer service rep. You may be sent to an agent who specializes in keeping customers who are threatening to leave.

Once again, be persistent and make it clear that you’ll close your account if your interest rate is not lowered.

If your card company really won’t budge, it’s time to start looking for a better deal.

This search engine from Bankrate.com can help you search for card deals from issuers from around the country. This worksheet shows you how to transfer a balance to a lower rate card without a hitch.