Instead of taking advantage of a temporary low rate offer, why not lower the rates you pay on the cards you already have? Here’s how you do it.
First, assemble the following information:
- Your most recent credit card statement from your credit card company. Circle the interest rate you are paying each month (e.g. 18%).
- Go to your mailbox and pull out one of those “special introductory offer” letters you probably received today from another credit card company. Circle the interest rate they are offering.
Second, call up your credit card company. Their phone number is on your statement every month.
Here’s what you say:
I just got an offer in the mail from XYZ credit card company (see point 2 above). I don’t really want to switch cards, but I’m paying X% in interest (see point #1) to you each month, and I’m going to have to transfer the balance unless you can lower my interest rate.
Now if you’ve been a good customer, and pay your minimum payment on time, and have a generally good credit history, your credit card company will not want to lose you as a customer. They will probably offer to lower your interest rate, probably to around 12%. They may also offer to reduce or eliminate your annual fee.
Now, 12% may not be as low as the 6.9% introductory rate offer you got in the mail, but 12% for the next two years probably is lower than 6.9% for six months, and then 18% thereafter.
But what if your credit history is not perfect? What if you have missed payments?
A simple phone call to the credit card company won’t solve your problem.
You need to pay off your credit cards.