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Negotiating credit card interest rate - possible?

Negotiating credit card interest rate - possible?

Old Jan 11th 2019, 4:10 pm
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Default Negotiating credit card interest rate - possible?

I've decided 2019 is going to be the year I get a handle on our finances, which are not where I'd like them to be (putting in mildly!). I've read in a few books and websites that the first thing you should you is call your credit card provider and ask for a lower rate. I have a card with CIBC which I've had for over 4 years. I always pay on time, more than the minimum amount, but I'm carrying a balance. I finally got up the guts to call them, and the woman I spoke to bluntly told me 'no'. 'Rates aren't negotiable'. She tried to sell me on a card with a lower rate, but just said they don't negotiate card rates.

This is the opposite of everything I've read online, including Canadian info sources. Has anyone tried this? Is it actually doable? It was an unpleasant experience and I don't really want to repeat it if they're not going to budge. If anyone has any experience of this - particulary with CIBC - I'd love to hear. I've liked CIBC as a bank up to now...
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Old Jan 11th 2019, 4:50 pm
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Default Re: Negotiating credit card interest rate - possible?

Well, they really have no reason to negotiate. You're their perfect customer: carrying a balance, always paying on time.

The only time they will 'negotiate' is if they are in danger of losing their money. If you are struggling and have missed a few payments and may be about to declare bankruptcy, then you may get a deal. Problem is, your credit will take a hit.
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Old Jan 11th 2019, 4:59 pm
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Default Re: Negotiating credit card interest rate - possible?

Just to add:

Look for another CC company that offers an introductory 0% rate for XX months (if your credit report will allow it). Be sure to plan to pay it down within the 0% time-frame. Usually, they will charge 3-5% fee for the transfer but if you can get 0% for 18 months, you're laughing.

Don't close down the other account as that will also negatively affect your score. It's also possible to do this multiple times. When near the end of the 0% period, find another deal.

The key is to make a plan and stick to it.
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Old Jan 11th 2019, 5:41 pm
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Default Re: Negotiating credit card interest rate - possible?

Yeah I mean that makes sense, it's just that every website and financial book out there says to phone to negotiate, and that most banks will move, even if just a little. It's depressing! So yes, I'm looking for transfer offers. 2019 is the year of the plan, so I'm definitely going to stick to it :-)
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Old Jan 11th 2019, 6:30 pm
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Default Re: Negotiating credit card interest rate - possible?

Aren't most credit cards 0% interest if you pay the balance off on time therefore hard to get a better rate than 0%. I know some have lower rates when upgrading to a Premium card but then you pay an annual fee and also these premium cards may offer other incentives for travel etc.
If you only put stuff on the credit card and pay it in full by statement date then I have just used a normal visa card with no annual fee.
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Old Jan 11th 2019, 6:50 pm
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Default Re: Negotiating credit card interest rate - possible?

Originally Posted by Former Lancastrian
Aren't most credit cards 0% interest if you pay the balance off on time therefore hard to get a better rate than 0%. I know some have lower rates when upgrading to a Premium card but then you pay an annual fee and also these premium cards may offer other incentives for travel etc.
If you only put stuff on the credit card and pay it in full by statement date then I have just used a normal visa card with no annual fee.
yep its easy... pay in full each month and 0% Rate regardless..plus if they give you rewards or points they end up paying you to use their credit...for example i used to have tesco credit card in the UK never paid any interest and used to get 500 pounds free shopping each year
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Old Jan 11th 2019, 7:08 pm
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Default Re: Negotiating credit card interest rate - possible?

Yes, I've read that too but I think it was more about where someone has a problem and the bank considers negotiating a lower rate as a better option than having to chase a debt, whereas you're in control.

The balance transfer offers are worth looking at. I went through an extended period where I would pay for unexpected expenses on one card and transfer that balance to another where the interest would be a tenth of the rate for anything up to a year. That meant more of the monthly payment went to clearing the balance even if making the same monthly payment.

TD card is good for transferring to.

MBNA card recently did an interest free transfer for a whole year offer for new applications.

Of course, if you can get a loan to 'consolidate' (even if no consolidation is needed) with a lower rate than the credit card, so much the better.

But that might not be possible of course. The balance transfers worked very well for me.
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Old Jan 11th 2019, 7:10 pm
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Default Re: Negotiating credit card interest rate - possible?

Pay off high interest debt with lower interest finance. A credit line from the back is one way to clear a balance, then pay that down. Then spend only what can be paid off each month.
0% transfer, charge no interest on the balance transferred, but any additional spending that is not paid down each month is not usually 0%.

If one has defaulted on a card and it goes to collection, it may be possible to negotiate a settlement with the collection dept. This is what credit councilors do.
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Old Jan 11th 2019, 7:32 pm
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Default Re: Negotiating credit card interest rate - possible?

Originally Posted by Aviator
If one has defaulted on a card and it goes to collection, it may be possible to negotiate a settlement with the collection dept. This is what credit councilors do.
Word of warning on this: If you negotiate a settlement for less than is owed, the difference is subject to income tax.
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Old Jan 11th 2019, 9:54 pm
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Default Re: Negotiating credit card interest rate - possible?

Originally Posted by chawkins99
the difference is subject to income tax.
In which jurisdiction in Canada? IRS rules do not apply to Canada
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Old Jan 11th 2019, 9:58 pm
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Default Re: Negotiating credit card interest rate - possible?

Originally Posted by Aviator
Pay off high interest debt with lower interest finance. A credit line from the back is one way to clear a balance, then pay that down. Then spend only what can be paid off each month.
0% transfer, charge no interest on the balance transferred, but any additional spending that is not paid down each month is not usually 0%.

If one has defaulted on a card and it goes to collection, it may be possible to negotiate a settlement with the collection dept. This is what credit councilors do.
This is what I did recently to clear my remaining UK credit card balances (from my student days). I took out a credit line from RBC and got an interest rate of 8% opposed to 20% on the credit card. Also say on transfer fees.
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Old Jan 11th 2019, 11:21 pm
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Default Re: Negotiating credit card interest rate - possible?

Originally Posted by izzi81
I've decided 2019 is going to be the year I get a handle on our finances, which are not where I'd like them to be (putting in mildly!). I've read in a few books and websites that the first thing you should you is call your credit card provider and ask for a lower rate. I have a card with CIBC which I've had for over 4 years. I always pay on time, more than the minimum amount, but I'm carrying a balance. I finally got up the guts to call them, and the woman I spoke to bluntly told me 'no'. 'Rates aren't negotiable'. She tried to sell me on a card with a lower rate, but just said they don't negotiate card rates.

This is the opposite of everything I've read online, including Canadian info sources. Has anyone tried this? Is it actually doable? It was an unpleasant experience and I don't really want to repeat it if they're not going to budge. If anyone has any experience of this - particulary with CIBC - I'd love to hear. I've liked CIBC as a bank up to now...

Banks make their profit from people not paying off the balance on their credit cards and thus paying a high rate of interest.

But it might have been a much better idea to go into your own bank branch, and talk to a financial advisor face-to-face. That might have given a much better, and more pleasant, outcome.

Always better to deal locally than on the phone to the call centre


What about asking your bank for a Line of Credit, which often has a much lower interest rate than the credit card.

Pay off the credit card in full from the LoC, then make sure that you do NOT carry any balance in future ......... ie, do not charge more than you can pay off in one go.

If you can't pay something off at the end of the month, then just don't buy it. Save up until you can afford it.

Pay off the LoC as soon as possible, and then put it aside unless there is an absolute emergency.

Keep track over at least 3 months of how and where you and everyone else in the household are/is spending the money ........ itemising every little coffee, beer, chocolate bar, as well as large grocery bills, clothes etc. Then look at how you might be able to cut out or reduce some of the spending


I'm not being a smart a**!

That's what we did some 45 years ago when we found ourselves spinning money around but never quite paying off and having interest added each month.

It took us about 2 years to undo what we'd done over the previous 6 or 7 years ................ but we've never been in debt since, except for the house mortgage and paying off the LoC for new car(s).

We set up a new bank account, originally as a savings account that paid a small amount of interest every month (they still did that back then ), and arranged for an automatic transfer of a certain amount every month. We didn't touch that money until the bills for City taxes, house insurance, and car insurance came in, when we had the amount ready to pay out.

I still do that even now ................ the money transferred over has increased over the years, but at the moment $600 a month goes into the account and covers all those bills as well as a couple of other small ones that come in annually or every 6 months. But if Vancouver city taxes go up much more, I shall have to find a way to increase the amount transferred!

As for keeping track of spending ........... we immediately cut out the box of Glossette choolate-covered raisins that I used to buy every afternoon as I passed a certain snack bar on my way to meet the OH and go home. I kept track of our spending until just 2 years ago. The only things I didn't track was my daughter's own spending money, and the small amounts OH and myself were allowed as "personal spending money".

Last edited by scilly; Jan 11th 2019 at 11:24 pm.
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Old Jan 12th 2019, 1:25 am
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Default Re: Negotiating credit card interest rate - possible?

Depending on your situation, the following is another option.
A friend of mine who was falling behind on debt payments took this route.
Slightly less onerous than bankruptcy.

Orderly Payment of Debt or Consolidation Order:

https://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/bsf-os...olidationorder

https://novascotia.ca/sns/access/ind...assistance.asp

https://retirehappy.ca/the-orderly-p...debts-program/
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Old Jan 12th 2019, 3:16 am
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Default Re: Negotiating credit card interest rate - possible?

From my brief experience working at one of the banks, you would be best to go and see a financial advisor in a bank: not a financial services representative, a financial advisor. They tend to have a wee bit of discretion with certain credit products, but you will need to make your case. What will likely be offered is a line of credit, on a cheaper rate, and a lowering of your credit card limit commensurate with whatever balance you are carrying.

Having a plan, with well defined goals and timescales, is also key.
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Old Jan 12th 2019, 2:39 pm
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Default Re: Negotiating credit card interest rate - possible?

Originally Posted by Aviator
0% transfer, charge no interest on the balance transferred, but any additional spending that is not paid down each month is not usually 0%.
This is especially important to consider when looking at these balance transfers
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