A new report suggests that credit card holders could get lower interest rates and late fees waived if they ask.
The report, released this week by CreditCards.com, found that nearly 90 percent of cardholders who asked their credit card issuers to wave a late payment fee were successful. The report also found that two-thirds of cardholders who asked for late fees to be waived also were approved.
?We were surprised with the success rate,? said Matt Schulz, CreditCards.com?s senior industry analyst. ?It?s probably the best time in years to ask credit card issuers for a break.?
But only about one-fourth of the credit card holders queried for the report asked for a break on their credit card bills.
Only 28 percent of U.S. cardholders have asked for a late fee to be waived. And only 23 percent of have asked for a lower interest rate.
?I don?t think (people) realize how good of a chance they have at being successful,? Schulz said. ?It?s as simple as that.?
The report, which queried 983 holders of major credit cards, found that older people are more likely to have their requests approved. The report said that 79 percent of 50- 64-year-olds were approved for a lower interest rate compared with just 33 percent of requests from 18- to 29-year-olds. CreditCards.com outsourced the data gathering to Princeton Survey Research Associates International who obtained interviewed participants by phone.
Cardholders from wealthier households were also more likely to receive late fee waivers and lower interest rates upon request. The report said that 93 percent of the highest income households ? those that make at least $75,000 annually ? were able to get late fees waived. At the same time, 72 percent of the highest-income households asked for lower interest rates and received them. This compares with only 55 percent of those with income between $50,000 and $74,999 successfully requesting a lower interest rate.
?I think what it tells you is that when in doubt, give your credit card issuer a call,? said Schulz. ?You?ve got a good chance of working it out.?
Source: MCT Information Services