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How to Lower Your Credit Card Interest Rate

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It might be as simple as popping the question. But be ready to negotiate.

Getting your credit card interest waived could save you an average of $88 a month, according to a recent credit card study by The Ascent. While getting your interest waived is only an option with some credit card issuers due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, you can always try to lower your credit card interest rate. Here's how.

How to negotiate a lower interest rate on your credit card

Lowering your interest rate can be as simple as calling and asking, but often it involves some negotiation. There are some steps you should follow to make sure you're prepared.

Know your numbers

Before contacting your credit card company, do your homework. Understand how credit card interest works, and make sure you have the following information on hand.

  • Current interest rate
  • Interest rates on competing cards
  • Credit score
  • Credit card balance

You can find your credit card interest rate on your monthly statement, and you can use the interest rate on other credit cards as leverage for negotiation. A recent study on waiving credit card interest shows that the average interest rate for cardholders with a balance is 16.61%, although the interest rate you qualify for is highly dependent on your credit history. If you've received any credit card offers in the mail recently, take a look at those interest rates.

In addition to knowing your credit score, you might want to look back through your payment history to see if you've ever missed a payment. If you have good credit and a history of on-time payments, you'll have a better chance of getting what you want.

It can also help to know how much you can afford to pay toward your balance each month, in case you're offered a payment plan in exchange for a lower interest rate.

Call your credit card company and ask

Once you have all your information ready, call the number on the back of your credit card and ask for a lower rate. Ultimately, credit card issuers are often willing to negotiate if it means keeping you as a customer, so use this to your benefit.

Let them know your current rate is too high and you're thinking about transferring your balance to get a lower rate. If you've received other offers, now is the time to mention those. Say you're willing to keep your balance with them if they decrease the interest rate. If you've never missed a payment, make sure to bring this up.

If you want to be even more resolute in your negotiations, you can tell them that you plan to close the account if you can't get a lower interest rate, but you should be willing to really do so if your creditor doesn't budge. Keep in mind that closing accounts can negatively impact your credit score.

If you're denied, try again

Receiving a denial from one customer service representative isn't necessarily the final word. It's worth calling again later and speaking to someone else who might make a different decision. If you've got multiple credit cards, try this with each one. You'll probably have the best luck with issuers you have a longstanding positive relationship with.

If you've tried a few times and still haven't had any luck, you can ask for a temporary decrease in your interest rate. Credit cards often have promotional offers that come with a lower interest rate for six or 12 months.

Finally, if you can't manage to get a lower rate on any of your cards, it might be time to throw in the towel for now, work on improving your credit score, then try again in a few months with your increased score.

Improve your credit score and try again

Improving your credit score takes time, but there are steps you can take to move toward good credit faster. One of the best ways to increase your credit score quickly is to pay off credit card balances, so focus on putting as much as possible toward your credit card balances each month.

After six months or so of on-time payments, you might see some results, particularly if your balance has decreased drastically. Once your score has gone up, give your credit card company a call, reference the diligent work you've been doing to pay down your balance over the last few months, and ask for a lower interest rate.

Other options for getting a lower credit card interest rate

If you've still haven't been able to decrease your credit card interest rate, or if your interest rate went down but you're still struggling to make your monthly payments, there are other options for securing a lower interest rate.

Low-interest credit card

Certain credit cards simply have higher interest rates than others. If you have good or excellent credit and your credit card interest rate is still in the mid- or high-teens, it's worth looking into some of the best low-interest credit cards.

Credit cards from credit unions often have some of the lowest interest rates and most favorable terms. This might not help you out if you're currently paying off high-interest debt, but it doesn't hurt to have a low-interest credit card on hand in case of emergency.

Below, we've listed some of our favorite low-interest credit cards. For the full list, head to our guide: Best Low Interest Credit Cards

As of Sep. 30, 2022
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BankAmericard® credit card

Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card Citi Simplicity® Card
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= Excellent
= Good
= Fair
= Poor
Apply Now for Citi Simplicity® Card

On Citi's Secure Website.

Credit Rating Requirement:

Good/Excellent (670-850) Info Icon Circle with letter I in it. Falling within this credit range does not guarantee approval by the issuer. An application must be submitted to the issuer for a potential approval decision. There are different types of credit scores and creditors use a variety of credit scores to make lending decisions.

Credit Rating Requirement:

Good/Excellent (670-850) Info Icon Circle with letter I in it. Falling within this credit range does not guarantee approval by the issuer. An application must be submitted to the issuer for a potential approval decision. There are different types of credit scores and creditors use a variety of credit scores to make lending decisions.

Credit Rating Requirement:

Good/Excellent (670-850) Info Icon Circle with letter I in it. Falling within this credit range does not guarantee approval by the issuer. An application must be submitted to the issuer for a potential approval decision. There are different types of credit scores and creditors use a variety of credit scores to make lending decisions.

Welcome Offer:

Welcome Offer:

N/A

Welcome Offer:

N/A

Rewards Program:

N/A

Rewards Program:

N/A

Rewards Program:

N/A

Intro APR: Intro APR Tooltip See terms.

Purchases: See terms.

Balance Transfers: See terms.

Intro APR:

Purchases: 0%, 12 months

Balance Transfers: 0%, 21 months

Intro APR:

Purchases: 0%, 12 months

Balance Transfers: 0%, 21 months

Regular APR:

See terms.

Regular APR:

16.74% - 26.74% (Variable)

Regular APR:

17.74% - 27.74% (Variable)

Annual Fee:

$0

Annual Fee:

$0

Annual Fee:

$0

Highlights:

  • No annual fee.
  • No penalty APR. Paying late won't automatically raise your interest rate (APR). Other account pricing and terms apply.
  • Access your FICO® Score for free within Online Banking or your Mobile Banking app.
  • Contactless Cards - The security of a chip card, with the convenience of a tap.
  • This online only offer may not be available if you leave this page or if you visit a Bank of America financial center. You can take advantage of this offer when you apply now.

Highlights:

  • 0% Intro APR for 21 months on balance transfers from date of first transfer and 0% Intro APR for 12 months on purchases from date of account opening. After that the variable APR will be 16.74% - 26.74%, based on your creditworthiness. Balance transfers must be completed within 4 months of account opening.
  • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
  • Get free access to your FICO® Score online.
  • With Citi Entertainment®, get special access to purchase tickets to thousands of events, including concerts, sporting events, dining experiences and more.

Highlights:

  • No Late Fees, No Penalty Rate, and No Annual Fee... Ever
  • 0% Intro APR for 21 months on balance transfers from date of first transfer and 0% Intro APR for 12 months on purchases from date of account opening. After that the variable APR will be 17.74% - 27.74%, based on your creditworthiness. Balance transfers must be completed within 4 months of account opening.
  • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
  • Stay protected with Citi® Quick Lock and $0 liability on unauthorized charges
Apply Now for Citi Simplicity® Card

On Citi's Secure Website.

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Balance transfer

Balance transfers are one of the best tools for paying off debt quickly and saving money on interest.

The best balance transfer credit cards typically offer a 0% intro APR on balance transfers for a limited period, usually from 12 to 18 months. As long as you can pay off the balance before the introductory period ends, this option might even beat negotiating a better rate on your current card. Keep in mind that you'll need good credit to qualify for most balance transfer credit cards.
Here are some of our experts' top-rated balance transfer cards. For the full list, head to our Best Balance Transfer Cards page.

As of Sep. 30, 2022
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Wells Fargo Reflect® Card Discover it® Balance Transfer

U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card

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Info Icon Circle with letter I in it. Our ratings are based on a 5 star scale. 5 stars equals Best. 4 stars equals Excellent. 3 stars equals Good. 2 stars equals Fair. 1 star equals Poor. We want your money to work harder for you. Which is why our ratings are biased toward offers that deliver versatility while cutting out-of-pocket costs.
= Best
= Excellent
= Good
= Fair
= Poor
Rating image, 5.00 out of 5 stars.
5.00 stars
Info Icon Circle with letter I in it. Our ratings are based on a 5 star scale. 5 stars equals Best. 4 stars equals Excellent. 3 stars equals Good. 2 stars equals Fair. 1 star equals Poor. We want your money to work harder for you. Which is why our ratings are biased toward offers that deliver versatility while cutting out-of-pocket costs.
= Best
= Excellent
= Good
= Fair
= Poor
Rating image, 4.50 out of 5 stars.
4.50 stars
Info Icon Circle with letter I in it. Our ratings are based on a 5 star scale. 5 stars equals Best. 4 stars equals Excellent. 3 stars equals Good. 2 stars equals Fair. 1 star equals Poor. We want your money to work harder for you. Which is why our ratings are biased toward offers that deliver versatility while cutting out-of-pocket costs.
= Best
= Excellent
= Good
= Fair
= Poor
Apply Now for Wells Fargo Reflect® Card

On Wells Fargo's Secure Website.

Rates & Fees Rates & Fees Rates & Fees

Credit Rating Requirement:

Good/Excellent (670-850) Info Icon Circle with letter I in it. Falling within this credit range does not guarantee approval by the issuer. An application must be submitted to the issuer for a potential approval decision. There are different types of credit scores and creditors use a variety of credit scores to make lending decisions.

Credit Rating Requirement:

Good/Excellent (670-850) Info Icon Circle with letter I in it. Falling within this credit range does not guarantee approval by the issuer. An application must be submitted to the issuer for a potential approval decision. There are different types of credit scores and creditors use a variety of credit scores to make lending decisions.

Credit Rating Requirement:

Good/Excellent (670-850) Info Icon Circle with letter I in it. Falling within this credit range does not guarantee approval by the issuer. An application must be submitted to the issuer for a potential approval decision. There are different types of credit scores and creditors use a variety of credit scores to make lending decisions.

Welcome Offer:

N/A

Welcome Offer: Welcome Offer info Discover will match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year.

Cashback Match

Welcome Offer:

N/A

Rewards Program:

N/A

Rewards Program: Info Icon Circle with letter I in it. 5% cash back at different places each quarter up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases - automatically

1% - 5% Cashback

Rewards Program:

N/A

Intro APR: Intro APR Tooltip 0% intro APR for 18 months from account opening on purchases and qualifying balance transfers. Intro APR extension of up to 3 months with on-time minimum payments during the intro and extension periods. The balance transfer fee is 3% for 120 days from account opening, then up to 5%; min: $5

Purchases: 0% intro APR, up to 21 months from account opening

Balance Transfers: 0% intro APR, up to 21 months from account opening on qualifying balance transfers

Intro APR:

Purchases: 0%, 6 months

Balance Transfers: 0%, 18 months

Intro APR: Intro APR Tooltip 0% Intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 18 billing cycles. After that, a variable APR currently 17.49% - 27.49% (Variable).

Purchases: 0%, 18 billing cycles on purchases

Balance Transfers: 0%, 18 billing cycles

Regular APR:

15.99% - 27.99% (variable)

Regular APR:

14.99% - 25.99% Variable APR

Regular APR:

17.49% - 27.49% (Variable)

Annual Fee:

$0

Annual Fee:

$0

Annual Fee:

$0

Highlights:

  • 0% intro APR for 18 months from account opening on purchases and qualifying balance transfers. Intro APR extension for 3 months with on-time minimum payments during the intro period. 15.99% to 27.99% Variable APR thereafter; balance transfers made within 120 days qualify for the intro rate and fee of 3% then a BT fee of up to 5%, min $5.
  • $0 Annual Fee
  • Get up to $600 of cell phone protection against damage or theft when you pay your monthly cell phone bill with your eligible Wells Fargo card (subject to a $25 deductible).
  • Through My Wells Fargo Deals, you can get access to personalized deals from a variety of merchants. It's an easy way to earn cash back as an account credit when you shop, dine, or enjoy an experience simply by using an eligible Wells Fargo credit card.
  • Select “Apply Now” to learn more about the product features, terms and conditions

Highlights:

  • INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. You could turn $150 cash back into $300.
  • Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.
  • NEW! Discover helps remove your personal information from select people-search websites. Activate by mobile app for free.
  • Every $1 you earn in cash back is $1 you can redeem.
  • No annual fee.
  • Click "Apply Now" to see terms and conditions.

Highlights:

  • 0% Intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 18 billing cycles. After that, a variable APR currently 17.49% - 27.49%.
  • Get up to $600 protection on your cell phone (subject to $25 deductible) against covered damage or theft when you pay your monthly cellular telephone bill with your U.S.Bank Visa® Platinum Credit Card. Certain terms, conditions, and exclusions apply.
  • Choose a payment due date that fits your schedule
  • No Annual Fee
  • Pay over time by splitting eligible purchases of $100+ into equal monthly payments with U.S. Bank ExtendPay™ Plan.
  • Terms and conditions apply.
Apply Now for Wells Fargo Reflect® Card

On Wells Fargo's Secure Website.

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Debt consolidation loan

A debt consolidation loan can help you gather all your debt into one monthly payment, and pay it off at a lower interest rate.

Even if you don't qualify for a lower rate, paying off your credit card debt with a debt consolidation loan can help you lower your monthly payment amount. That said, lowering your monthly payment amount also draws out your repayment period, and that usually means you end up paying more in interest over the life of the loan. If you can currently afford your monthly payments, it's often best to stick with them.

Credit card hardship payment plan

If you've tried negotiating a lower rate and considered all of your options, and you still can't afford your credit card payments, you might want to look into whether your credit card issuer offers a hardship program.

These are payment plans that you work out with your creditor. In exchange for your commitment to a payment plan, the creditor will often offer a temporary lower interest rate to help you afford your monthly payments. You'll have to qualify for the program, and that might require proof that you've experienced some form of economic hardship recently, such as job or income loss or an emergency.

Make sure you understand the terms of any payment plan fully before agreeing to it. These plans might involve actions such as closing your account or lowering your credit limit, and that can impact your credit. You should also be certain you can afford the monthly payments before signing on.

Bankruptcy

It can take years to recover from bankruptcy. It should be treated as a last resort, and only considered if you've exhausted all other options and still can't afford to make payments on your debt.

That said, it's also an opportunity for a second chance, financially speaking. Having a bankruptcy on your credit history can impact your ability to get a car, rent a home, and even get a job, but it doesn't stay on your credit forever. With financial diligence, your credit should start to improve after a few years, and the bankruptcy will fall off your credit report completely after seven to 10 years.

There's no shortage of ways to secure a lower interest rate on your credit card. Whether you're paying off debt or just looking to get a better deal, securing a better interest rate is one of the easiest ways to save money.

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