If you’re concerned about the possibility of carrying a credit card balance during the coronavirus pandemic, you may be able to lower your interest rates by contacting your card issuers right now.
I reached out to five major credit card companies to see if they would lower my interest rates. I’ll share the results in this article.
I Asked 5 Credit Card Issuers for Help: Here’s What Happened
For some background, I pay off my credit card balances in full and have a credit score above 800. But whether you have credit card debt or not, it doesn’t hurt to ask for a lower interest rate.
Although I’m able to pay my bills right now, the future is uncertain. This is part of my plan for a possible recession.
After gathering five of my credit cards from different issuers, I reached out to them using the number on the back of the card or through live chat on their official websites. Here’s the sample script I used:
“I’ve been following the news about the coronavirus and am asking for help. I’m not currently facing a hardship, but I wanted to see if you had any offers for a lower interest rate. Is there anything that you can do for me?”
It took me about 45 minutes to call or chat with all five of the credit card issuers: American Express, Chase, Citi, Discover and Wells Fargo.
Three of the companies lowered my interest rates. The best offer was from Discover, which gave me 0% APR for 12 months on purchases. The normal APR on my Discover it card is 21.49%.
Here was the result with each of the issuers:
- American Express: 3% APR reduction on purchases
- Chase: No offer provided
- Citi: 3.99% APR on purchases until 10/2020
- Discover: 0% APR on purchases for 12 months
- Wells Fargo: No offer provided
Of course, the offers that you receive may be different. Discover told me that they were able to provide 0% APR for 12 months on purchases for my loyalty, not because of the coronavirus pandemic.
If you decide to call and try this yourself, my advice is to use the number on the back of your credit card for faster service.
Credit card companies have special programs in place for times like these. If you need to have a late fee waived or a payment deadline extended, reach out for help. You have nothing to lose!